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COEDU Graduate Handbook

Appendix I:

Questions To Be Considered in the Development

of a Research Proposal

1.0. Problem and its Context
  1.1. Describe context of problem.
  1.2. Has problem been stated clearly?
  1.3. Has the problem been tied to a theoretical rationale or empirical base?
  1.4. Does the problem have sufficient value to justify the study?
  1.5. Has problem been delimited (cut to size)?


Hypotheses or Research Questions
  2.1. What are the hypotheses? What are the research questions?
  2.2. Are the hypotheses stated as directional research hypotheses?
  2.3. Are they consistent with theory or empirical evidence?
3.0. Definitions and Assumptions
  3.1. Have unique terms been defined theoretically and operationally as used in the study?
  3.2. Have relevant assumptions been stated?
  3.3. Have independent and dependent variables, if applicable, been defined?

Review of Literature

  4.1. Is the reviewed literature related to all aspects of the study?
  4.2. Have relevant, important studies been synthesized? (Watch for non-relevant fillers.)
  4.3. Has attention been given to agreements - disagreements, consistency of findings, major approaches to studying the problem, main positions?
  4.4. Does review of literature support need for the study?
  4.5. Is it possible to identify a theoretical rationale for the study?
  4.6. Is the review comprehensive?
  4.7. Does the hypothesis rise from the literature and is it consistent with the literature?


Procedure - Method (Conduct of Study)
  5.1. What type of study? - experimental, survey, quantitative, qualitative, mixed, etc.
  5.2. Describe the design - How does it minimize threats to internal validity? Symbolize the design, if applicable. Is the design appropriate to the questions?
  5.3. Data gathering

5.3.1. Methods

Instruments, Validity, Reliability, Observation (Participant Observer Bias), Interview (Field Test), Available Records (Internal-External Criticism), Credibility.


5.3.2.  Sampling procedures

Description of population and sample

Description of sampling plans - random, stratified-non-comparable

Note selection and assignment

How does sampling affect External Validity and Generalizability of findings?


5.4.  Data Analysis

5.4.1. Appropriate technique

5.4.2. Identify the model symbolically (if appropriate)

5.4.3. Note assumptions underlying statistical technique

5.4.4. Processing Model

6.0. References - Books, Journals, Publications, Periodicals, Primary Sources, Reports, Secondary Sources




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