A. Make sure the paper starts on a general level with some type of introductory remarks before going into the details of the specific research question you are proposing. This can be accomplished by providing a frame of reference, a definition, or a discussion of the significance of the topic in the field.
B. Provide a statement of the question, issue or general problem that you are examining. A common problem in research proposals is for the author to delay too long in stating the specific research question. Make sure the research question is stated no later than the end of the second or third paragraph. Make sure the research question is fully stated in one place.
C. Your research question has to propose a relationship between two variables, for example: gender and social media, race and beauty standards, etc. You then need to specify a culture, a time period being studied so that your topic is narrow enough for a course term paper. PLEASE REFER TO THE LINKS IN THE EMAIL TO KNOW HOW TO NARROW DOWN YOUR TOPIC.
D. Discuss what other studies have said about your research topic and how your research relates to that of other scholars who have written on the topic.
PART II: LITERATURE REVIEW
A. The literature review is written to place your study within the context of existing knowledge and other studies in your discipline. It gives recognition to other scholars and it also allows you to point out what is new about your research. Be sure to indicate if you are building on a previous study or a well-established theory; addressing certain gaps in knowledge that exist; or adding to existing knowledge by doing a study with a different or more complete methodology.
B. Ideally, at least five other studies should be discussed in the literature review. After you have written the literature review read it carefully and make sure it is clear. Notice whether you can easily determine how the proposal is building on earlier studies, as well as exploring a line of research that is new.
C. When you mention other studies they are usually cited by the author’s last name and the date of publication. For example: “Another important study in the area (Chan and Gibbs, 2003) found that…” Later on, in the bibliography, you will provide a full citation to all the studies you cited in your proposal.
PART III: METHODOLOGY / THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
A. Provide a full description of your general research design, as well as the specific methods and procedures used in your research project. The methodology should be sufficiently detailed so that it can be replicated. If you are following a methodological approach developed by others, cite the relevant studies.
B. Describe your theoretical approach or type of analysis, if applicable (feminist, Marxist, Freudian, etc.). Discuss the types of sources used (primary or secondary texts, interviews, surveys, personal notes, etc.).
C. Explain the details of your methods. For example: how you selected your research subjects; a copy of your survey questionnaire (IF YOU USED ONE); an explanation of statistics used; a definition of
your focus in terms of historical period or framework; etc.
D. Explain any limitations that your study has in terms of the reliability and applicability of theresults.
PART IV: PRESENTING THE DATA + ANALYZING THE DATA
You need to present the data you gathered (for example observation, content analysis, etc. depending on your topic). This is also where you analyze your data in relation to your research question from part I. How does the data answer your question? Does it prove or disprove the relationship you proposed between your variables.
PART V: CONCLUSION
Here you quickly recapitulate on what you did throughout your paper, and generally, writers propose new areas for future studies.
PART VI: BIBLIOGRAPHY
(Also known as “Works Cited,” “References,” or “Literature Cited”)
A. On a separate sheet, list the articles or books that you have cited in your proposal.
B. Generally this is done in alphabetical order by the last name of the author. However, each field has different format requirements. Anthropology uses the Chicago manual of style that you can find here: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html ; But since UCW is using APA7.0, it might be easier for you to use this citation guide. Whichever citation style you decide use, make sure you stick to it throughout the paper.
EDITING YOUR RESEARCH PAPER
After you have written the first draft of your paper, and before you turn it in, check for the following (do this for subsequent and final drafts as well):
1. Make sure your proposal has section headings: Introduction, Methodology, and Bibliography.
The Literature Review can be part of the introduction, or a separate section with its own heading.
2. The quality of the writing in the proposal (and the research paper) is important. Check for thefollowing common errors:
(a) Are the sentences too long? You can improve your writing immensely by usingshorter sentences.
(b) Are the paragraphs too long? This is a common problem that makes it harder to reada paper.
(c) Is any of the writing awkward, vague, long-winded, or too informal? The bestwriting is concise, to the point, and without a superfluous word.
(d) Avoid inadvertent plagiarism: have you cited your sources each time you express anidea that is not you own?
(e) Have you utilized the correct style for citing articles or books?