Write a 6–9 page research proposal on the topic of your choice. It is recommended that you choose the same topic for webliography, article critiques and proposal. Include short sections on: 1) Background and Review of Related Research (at least 5 sources), 2) Problem Statement, 3) Purpose, 4) Research Questions, 5) Methodology 6) Significance of the Study. Students may add any other sections they feel are needed.*** All proposals must end with a list of references***
1) Background: minimum of 1 page; maximum of 3 pages):
You will include a Review of Related Research, Theory and Literature with your Background.
Thinking of Achilles et al. describe more of the dilemma that your topic is centered on and work towards your problem. Connect the Background of your problem to previous research, literature and or theory.
This section should lead into your next section where you will state the problem more succinctly.
2) Problem Statement (1 paragraph):
Gets down to the nugget of the problem.
E.g. We now know that there is a writing achievement gap between boys and girls at the upper elementary levels. In your Background you will have stated so and cited some research. You probably also referenced some research on what has been done to help improve writing recently (overall, or for this achievement gap). Your problem statement cannot be centered on solving this gap (too big). But, maybe there is a specific approach to teaching writing that you feel is more inclusive and is worth researching. State this approach. You could very briefly describe this program and
write, “How can… improve male elementary school students’ creative
3) Purpose (1 short paragraph):
Written in plain English.
E.g. “The purpose of this study is to determine whether … can be used to improve upper elementary students’ creative writing abilities and specific NJ
ASK open-ended writing test scores. Special attention will be focused on how it affects the male student population. There will not be a focus on non-fiction or descriptive writing. In addition to determining how … objectively
affects writing ability and scores, an examination will be done to determine
the students’ and teachers’ perceptions of the program.”
Note the sentence that added in a delimitation of the study (“There will
4) Questions (a set of individual sentences: 1-5) You may use hypotheses instead.
Use a WHAT question for quantitative inquiries. E.g. “What impact will the initiation of … writing program have on student NJ ASK test scores?” (You
may plan to use a single sample t-test comparing the selected group of
students’ average score to their previous years’ average score for the same
grade, but the method is not stated in your questions.) Use a WHY question for purely qualitative inquiries. E.g. (If your background study found it to be popular) “Why do teachers and students enjoy using …” Use a HOW question for either qualitative, quantitative or mixed-method inquiries. E.g. “How does the … affect the writing of male upper elementary
students?” With a question like this you may not need any other questions.
You could certainly have quantitative measures that help answer it, and you could also have qualitative.
5) Methodology (around 1 to 3 pages):
Start with a simple sentence stating whether it is qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-method.
Describe sample and how are you going to get it. You have to try and make something random. State how you will do so and precisely state how you are going to get your sample.
State the dependent and independent variables. E.g. “In part of my study the independent variable will be the… writing program. I will examine its impact on the dependent variable of student NJ ASK writing scores.” Is there an experimental and control group(s)? Explain. Go on to explain exactly how you are going to conduct the examination. When tests are going to be administered? What type of t-test or correlation are you going to conduct (If you are going to test more than one independent variable’s effect on one dependent variable it will be called an ANOVA, which is still just a group of t-tests)? If you are using a survey describe it. If you are interviewing, state whom you are interviewing and what type of questions you will be asking (give an example)? If you are observing, state exactly who you will observe and for how long. Try and triangulate. 6) Significance (1 paragraph)
It is ok to think big here. If/then. *** You must have a separate page as reference page.
Problem Statement: Every student needs an education that is well fit and suitable for them. The educational resources that one student may receive can be very effective depending on how they perform as a student. Many times this may include students being enrolled in gifted and talented programs to being placed in special education classes. Although these programs can play a vital role in a student’s life, evidence shows that African American students are over represented in special education classes. Are students getting discriminated against and being automatically labeled? Are decision makers for special education programs effectively studying children and making the choice that is best suitable for them? With the numbers growing every day, policy makers need to assess the decision making process to ensure that all students are getting the proper education they need.
Who decides? Are parents voicing their concerns freely? What about the student? All of these questions need to be taken into consideration when decision makers for special education programs are deciding. Believe it or not research shows that often times they are not.
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