The research proposal project is designed to provide the student an opportunity to investigate a topic of interest and learn about the various parts of a research proposal

HCM 3500 Research Proposal Paper:

 The research proposal project is designed to provide the student an opportunity to investigate a topic of interest and learn about the various parts of a research proposal / research write-up.  You will not be actually carrying out the research, but will be writing a proposal to do research – what you would do if you were going to do the research. 

Final proposals will contain the following sections (these should have section headings in your paper:

·       Title Page per APA guidelines.

·       Table of contents per APA guidelines.

·       Abstract per APA guidelines. The abstract should give a brief glimpse of your research including: topic, reason for research, type of study, and hypothesis/research question.


·       Introduction including purpose of doing the research.  The purpose for doing the research is primarily a statement of why the student chose this topic and why it is important to do this research.  It includes the problem statement, which is the specific problem that is being addressed by the research.


·       Literature review and theoretical/conceptual framework.  This section builds the foundation for the research.  It explains the ‘state of the art’ of the topic under study.  You should discuss the current, relevant research in the area so that the reader understands what has been done on this topic and how the proposed research builds on what has preceded it.  A theoretical / conceptual framework lays down the concepts and assumptions of any relevant theories / concepts that are being tested or that support the research being done.  An example might be if you were looking at instituting an education program to change behavior, then looking at learning theory would be important – how people learn and make behavior changes.  The variables you are studying should be described by your literature review so that you can decide on operational definitions and look at how to measure the variables in your methodology.  I expect at least three (3) references to be used in this section.


·       Research question and/or hypothesis. This section often includes a restatement of the problem.  From this comes the specific question that is being investigated.  If it is an experimental design, then there must be a hypothesis (a prediction of what you think will happen).  Even with some descriptive studies, a hypothesis is in order.  You should clearly identify the variables (independent and dependent) that you want to study.


·       Design / methodology.  This section includes the research design (descriptive, exploratory, or explanatory and qualitative, survey, experimental, etc. – identify this in the paper) the student is using to study the question / hypothesis.  Methodology includes who, when, where, and how (we should already know why) the data will be collected.  You must address the following:


1.     Your sample and how you will select it and why;

2.     The data you will collect on both the independent and dependent variables including what level of data it is (nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio);

3.     The tool you will use to collect this data including any reliability issues (you don’t need to have the tool developed, but a sample of it or a description is required);

4.     Any variables you will control for including how you will deal with observers / raters who help collect the data; and

5.     A statement about the potential issues with validity, both internal and external.

6.     This section should also include a brief statement about potential statistical evaluation (look at the level of data you are collecting and what general kind of statistics to use).


·       Summary and evaluation.  This section looks at what we hope to gain from this research and how you anticipate the research could be used in the future including what other research needs to be done in your area of inquiry.


·       Dissemination.  This section provides details on how you would go about distributing the knowledge you gain from conducting the research you are proposing.  For example, will you distribute your research by publishing your findings through articles?  Will you present your findings at conferences? Newspapers? Television?


Remember, you will not be doing this research, you will just be proposing research you might do, so don’t think you have to go collect data!  And, this also means you will not have a results section.


Proposals will be 7 to 9 double-spaced pages in length.


This paper will, of course, have references and citations!  You need at least five (5) references.


Please follow APA both for citations and for the structure of the paper.  You do need a title page, a table of contents, an abstract, and a reference page for this paper. These pages don’t count in your page total.  You will submit this assignment through SafeAssign in Blackboard.  The instructor will set-up the SafeAssign account prior to the due date specified in the assignments schedule.