What is a Research Proposal? • A research proposal is a detailed plan or ‘blueprint’ for the intended
• Research proposal forms the backbone for the research and is the most important step in the process of conducting research
• Research Proposal describe planned activities and include a time line
• Research Proposal describes what you intend to accomplish and how
Elements of a Research proposal
• Identify a research problem or research topic • Introduction • Problem and objectives • Literature Review • Research Methods and Design
• Subjects for Study – population and sampling • Research Instrument – surveys (questionnaire), interviews,
• Data Collection Methods • Data Analysis • References
Identify a research problem or research topic • A problem is something to solve or framed as a question that must be
• You can identify a research problem by reading recent research to find a gap in what is currently known about it or identify community problems or through personal experiences.
• You might look for: • A phenomenon or research area that has not been thoroughly studied • A situation or relationship that is not well explained • A disturbing question that has not been resolved through research
Introduction • Introduction is termed as the need for the study.
• It introduces the idea and sets the scene for the research
• It drives the research
• The introduction should be designed to create interest in the reader about the topic and proposal.
• It should convey to the reader, what you want to do, what necessitates the study and your passion for the topic (Sandelowski & Barroso, 2003).
Problem and Objective
• What exactly do you want to study?
• Does the proposed study contribute to our general understanding of crime, criminal behavior, the criminal justice system or policy responses to crime?
• Specify Research problem or objective
• Indicate what you intend to achieve in the Research
Literature Review • Review what others have written about your research topic
• Literature review tells you what is already known and not known.
• Your literature search must be organized around the key concepts you wish to study
• You can access academic journals, reports by government agencies, institutional databases, libraries online
• Summarize each article in a paragraph, highlighting the details relevant to your research interest.
• Literature review should include supporting data, disagreements and analytical .
• Discuss Criminological Theories that support your research. Those theories must be synthesized into your Research. Examples of Criminological Theories are Social learning theory, Strain theory, Conflict theory, etc
• If you have not taken the Criminology and Theories of Crime class, you can google theories that support your topic.
• What specific questions will your research try to answer?
• It’s useful to view research questions as a more specific version of the problem or objective described earlier
• Your specific questions should be framed so as to address the research objective
• Your study’s research question/questions is not the same as your survey questions
Hypothesis • You only need to state Hypothesis if you are going to conduct a hypothesis
testing, in that case a quantitative analysis.
• A hypothesis is a specific, clear, and testable proposition or predictive statement or possible outcome of a scientific research that must be tested
• Two types of Hypothesis – • Null Hypothesis is the starting point of your measurement and represents
equality eg there is no difference between variable A and variable B • Research Hypothesis represents inequality eg. there is a difference b/w
two variables or there is a relationship between rehabilitation and recidivism
Research Methods and Design • Subjects for Study – population and sampling
• Whom or what will you study in order to collect data?
• Identify who are available for study and how you will reach them.
• Is it appropriate to select a sample? If so, how will you do that?
• If there is any possibility that your research will have an impact on those you study, how will you ensure that they are not harmed by the research?
• If you intend to interact with human subjects in the course of your research, you may have to include a consent form.
• What are the key variables in your study?
• How will you define and measure or operationalize them?
Data Collection Method
• How will you actually collect the data for your study?
• Will you observe behavior directly or conduct a survey? Surveys are used to study attitudes, perceptions and opinions
• Will you undertake field research, or will you focus on reanalysis of data already collected by others?
• You may include more than one research method.
• Briefly describe the kind of analysis you plan to conduct.
• Are you interested in precise description of your data?
• Do you intend to explain why things are the way they are?
• What possible explanatory variables will your analysis consider?
• Will you conduct qualitative analysis or quantitative analysis?
• Ensure to reference and include a list of all materials you consulted and cited in your proposal.
• Reference your materials according to APA format.
• Sandelowski M, Barroso J. (2003). Writing the proposal for a qualitative research methodology project. Quality Health Research. 13, 781–820.