As we will discuss in class, your major project for the semester is a mini-thesis or applied project proposal. This proposal should be built from the knowledge that you have gained from your individual assignments for the semester and from your on-going literature review for your area of research or applied project interest. We have also shared other “framework” materials that you would benefit from further review. I will also provide a copy and post the Twenty Steps on the class web page.
Your proposal should consist of three major parts (supplemented by title page, abstract and references):
1. Chapter One — Introduction
Introduces the background to the research/project, defines the problem, establishes limitations and potential contributions, etc.
2. Chapter Two — Literature review
Establishes format for the literature chapter and includes at least a portion of the primary literature that is the foundation for your study/project. Aim for 8 – 10 sources as a minimum. (You collected this information in your first assignment)
3. Chapter Three — Methods
An outline of the proposed methods for the study/project.
This should be preceded by a Table of Contents and a one to two paragraph Abstract of the research/project. A List of References should follow chapter three.
You will actually determine the format for your thesis/applied project based on the topic and
1. The following is a generic outline for a thesis. It is not meant to be inclusive of all material that would be included with your work, rather it is a model to work form and expand for your own use. If you are doing a project, the format and contents of chapters would change but could still follow the same “global” organization.
I. Title Page
II. Approval Sheet
V. Table of Contents
VI. List of Tables
VII. List of Figures
VIII.Chapter One – Introduction
B. Statement of the problem and identification of study variables
C. Significance of the problem (potential findings/importance — need for the study)
D. Research hypotheses (or objectives)
F. Assumptions and limitations of the research
G. Research/project justification (from key literature)(could also lead to a theoretical framework for the study)
H. Organization of the thesis/report
IX. Chapter Two – Review of Literature
B. Framework for literature review
C. Sub-section I
D. Sub-section II
E. Sub-section III
F. Sub-section IV
X. Chapter III – Methods
A. Determination of research design
B. Research design (including operational definitions)
C. Data collection
XI. Chapter IV – Data Analysis and Results
A. Demographics of the population
B. Testing of hypotheses (sub-section on each one)
C. Validity within the study (if appropriate for operational definitions)
D. Reliability (if appropriate for your study)
XII. Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations
D. Implications and limits of generalizability of findings
Remember that the generic format will vary for each of you! The above noted examples are only a reference or place to start!
While the applied project approach to work may be theoretically different, the generic outline is very similar. The “generic” chapters one and two are very much the same kind of content — an introduction to the project and literature or case studies that provide background and context. Chapter three is usually some form of methods or approach; chapter four may be results or outcomes or solutions. Chapter five is still a summary and recommendations section. There may be visuals separate from the written documentation and the written documentation may be less lengthy than the typical thesis. Each applied project is very individualistic and, therefore, different!
Your minimum document for this assignment should include:
1. Title Page
3. Table of Contents
4. Chapter One – Introduction
5. Chapter Two – Review of Literature (a working review; may not include all or even most of your proposed review but should be sub-divided into the appropriate sections)
6. Chapter Three Methods- Include a detailed summary about the methods you will use to collect and analyze your data. For example, what sampling techniques will you use, if any What technology might be required to complete your project How much time will the project require Will you work alone or with assistants Will your ability to speak another language be required to complete this research Are there special permissions that need to be sought to conduct research on this topic or in this region
I will be glad to review work in progress prior to the final deadline (see course outline). See me if you have questions