Guidelines: Typewritten in 12 Point Font Double-Spaced 1 Inch Margins, Footers,

Typewritten in 12 Point Font
1 Inch Margins, Footers, and Headers
1250 – 1750 Words Double-Spaced Pages (No Less)
(Note: Bibliographies do not count toward your word count)
Your third and final writing assignment this semester is to composed of two parts. First, you must prepare a Methodology/Research Design. From there, you will draw from your previously submitted work to assemble your Final Research Proposal. Below are instructions for completing both parts of the assignment.
Methodology/Research Design
Writing a Methodology/Research Design is fairly straightforward – especially if you’ve been keeping pace with your other writing assignments.Methodologies/Research Designs typically do the following:  1) Clearly define your research question; 2) Explain how you plan to answer that question; and 3) Discuss potential research findings and the implications of those findings.  Simply put, your Methodology/Research Design is your opportunity to tell the social scientific community what you plan to study, how you plan to study it, what you hope to find, and why that’s significant. 
A good Methodology/Research Design will do the following:
Provide a clear, concise research question with readily apparent dependent, independent, and control variables.  This also entails explaining how you plan to “operationalize” (or measure) your variables and why you chose that particular strategy.  You should also make clear how your research question relates to or is in dialogue with the information contained in your Literature Review. 
Offer a discernible and repeatable strategy for investigating your proposed research question.  Specifically, you need to explain precisely how you plan to obtain the data necessary to successfully answer your research question.  This includes identifying your sample population and explaining why that group of people is an ideal population of study.  You also need to explain how you plan to gain access to this population and whether you plan to disclose the true nature of your study to research participants.  What is your ideal/target sample size?  Why?  What methods do you plan to use to study your population of interest?  Qualitative or Quantitative?  If Qualitative, what kind(s) and why?  If Quantitative, what kind(s) and why?  And last, discuss what information you seek to extract from research participants over the course of your study.  How does your preferred research method help you to achieve that goal?
Discuss your anticipated research findings and the significance of those findings to the social scientific research community.  To successfully to do this, you should provide a minimum of two hypotheses or informed predictions about what you might find/discover as part of this research.  It is also necessary that you explain the underlying logic behind your hypotheses – i.e. what’s your reasoning for making that prediction.  Last, you should explain the implications/significance of testing these hypotheses and what it means should they prove correct or are falsified.    
Final Research Proposal
For those of you who have successfully kept pace with the readings and other writing assignments in this class, this last step should be fairly painless.  Your Final Research Proposal requires very little new written work from you.  Quite simply it is a compilation of the best parts of your previous work that when put together forms a cogent plan of attack for investigating your research question. 
Your Final Research Proposal should provide the following:
AN INTRODUCTION TO YOUR PROPOSED RESEARCH TOPIC AND QUESTION. This section of your paper is your opportunity to tell your reader what you are interested in studying, why it is an important topic of study (to the research community and beyond), and more importantly, the specific question you plan to investigate.  (Please note that if there is any new writing to be done in this assignment, it is generally in this section of your paper.  I recommend drawing from you Field Statement and the first part of your Research Design/Methodology to create this part of your proposal).    
A FORMAL LITERATURE REVIEW.  Your Literature Review should provide your reader with a more in-depth understanding of prior research on your topic and more importantly, where this research is lacking.  For the most part, you should be able to transplant your previously prepared Literature Review directly into your Research Proposal.  That said, I recommend that you do your best to tighten things up so that your new Literature Review only provides the most pertinent information – i.e. focuses on what prior research has concluded, what that means for your proposed study, and why it makes your proposed study necessary. 
A RESEARCH DESIGN/METHODOLOGY. This section of your Research Proposal draws from the first part of the assignment (outlined above).Again, a Research Design/Methodology tells your reader how you plan to go about answering your proposed research question.  Here you will want to identify your proposed population of study (and control group) and explain to your reader how you plan to access that population.  Additionally, you will want to share with your reader what kind of data you hope to collect (Qualitative and/or Quantitative), as well as whether you plan to use pre-existing data (please try to identify a data set) or plan to collect your own data.  If you plan to collect your own data what means will you use to collect it?  Why is this method ideal for answering your proposed research question? 
A CONCLUSION/DISCUSSION OF IMPLICATIONS.  The final section of your Research Proposal should mirror the final section of your Research Design/Methodology.  Your goal is to provide your reader with a few informed predictions about what you might find/discover as part of this research project.  It is also to explain the underlying logic behind your predictions – i.e. what’s your reasoning.  Last, you should explain the implications/significance of this research.  Why is it important to test your predictions?  How might we apply your research findings?
As always, don’t forget to provide a thesis statement.  You are the expert now and it is your job to SELL your proposed research to your reader.  You need to make clear what the overall purpose of your work is.  The best way to do that is to be direct and provide a clear thesis/statement of purpose early in your paper.
Additionally, I recommend that you not simply cut and paste the pieces of your previous work together.  You want your Research Proposal to read as though it is one continuous piece of writing and not some “patchwork” of information.  As such, I suggest that you focus on developing a narrative that weaves all of your previous written work together to form a cogent, well-reasoned, and persuasive whole.       
Last, remember to keep things simple.  You know this stuff.  You’re the expert.  Now is the opportunity for you to be the teacher and explain why your research is important. 
If you have any problems, questions, or concerns please come see me during office hours or send me an e-mail.
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