A research proposal is a document in which you propose a plan for a research project, showing that you have thought through all the steps in the research project. You will not actually do the project, you are just proposing the project. This happens in graduate school, and when seeking funding for research. You should use the following headings to organize your paper. Choose any SOCIAL/CULTURAL topic that interests you. You’ll need to decide on a research question before you start.
This is one paragraph where you introduce your research question. Tell the reader what made you interested in the topic, and how that topic is important in society. What will happen if your research question is answered? What will happen if it is not answered?
2. Literature review (3 sources minimum)
This is where you tell the reader what scholars are saying about your research topic, or if there’s not much about the specific thing you chose to analyze, what the literature says about that general type of thing. A good place to start is JSTOR in the Golden Library (https://enmu.libguides.com/az.php?a=j) or Scholar.Google.com. For current events, try Pewresearch.org and search. And you can always email me if you get stuck. As you do this, think about the “big questions” like, what bigger questions do scholars ask about the topic? What are the debates in the field? Do scholars seem to agree, or are there differences in how they look at the topic? There should be at least one paragraph per source. Do not use quotes from articles, instead summarize the important points in your own words and cite at the end, like this (Jones 2019).
In this section, you tell the reader how you will go about your project. Will it be qualitative or quantitative, and why is that the most appropriate for your research question? What method(s) will you use, given the practical constraints of budget and time? Why is that method the most appropriate? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the method(s) you chose? What is your sampling frame, and how will you sample? What is your population for sampling? Be very specific, as if you were planning to actually do the project. Are you using random sampling, stratified random sampling, cluster sampling, snowball sampling, theoretical sampling? Why did you chose the sampling strategy you chose?
4. Research Instrument (counts towards your page count)
In this section, you attach your data collection instrument (formatted survey, content analysis coding sheet, list of interview questions, list of events of observe, people to interview, etc depending on what method you chose)
5. Reference list (ASA (American Sociological Association) format. Your text doesn’t count towards having three sources)
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