Instructions How to Write

Proposal Development Instruction

(1) Introduction (3 – 5 pages)

The Introduction should provide an overview of the topic, introduce the rationale for the proposed research, identify gaps in or questions from the existing literature, and conclude with an explanation of the purpose of the proposed study. This section should include the following sections:
• Background and Overview -- includes statement of the problem and supporting evidence/documentation
• Purpose of the Study or Specific Aims – what aspect of the problem statement will be addressed by the study
• Significance, Rationale or Importance of Study –the importance of conducting this study in terms of its contribution to the knowledge base and implications for practice

(2) Preliminary Review of Literature (7 – 10 pages)

The Literature Review for the Proposal is not expected to be as extensive as for the Final Dissertation, but it should sufficient to show that the student has surveyed the relevant research and understands the core issues in the topic area. This section should include the following:
• Theoretical perspective/foundation for the study
• Thematic organization of relevant research
• Concluding statement of Knowledge gaps
• Proposed Research question(s) (generally not more than two)

(3) Methodology (7 – 10 pages)

The Methods sections should explain the proposed approach to answering the research question(s). This includes proposed design, data sources, data collection instruments and methods as well as the rationale for selecting the approach and methods. The organization of the section will vary based upon the purposes, approach and methods (e.g., quantitative or qualitative, experimental or non-experimental, etc.)
If a secondary data analysis is being proposed, the student should provide as much information as is available about the data that will be used. (In most cases, IRB approval will not be received until after the Proposal is defended.) This section can explain the known strengths and limitations of the proposed study design.

(4) References

Include all cited work in the body of text in the reference list.

Dissertation Timeline (1 – 1.5) - is not included in the maximum page count of the Proposal)

This is the work plan for completing the dissertation. The student should present a feasible timeline for the completion of the dissertation, this includes the additional literature review, IRB approval, data collection, management and analysis and writing the final document.

Dissemination Plan (0.5 – 1) - is not included in the maximum page count of the Proposal)
Other than ProQuest, the student should identify potential outlets for the dissertation research. In addition to peer review publications, a plan for sharing the information derived from the study should be presented (e.g., audiences, specific organizations, etc.).

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