A formal thesis proposal shall be prepared in accordance with the standards of the academic discipline. The formal proposal must provide a clear and lucid description of a question or problem and a proposed method of answering the question or solving the problem. must approve the proposal before students move on to the next stage of the process. The proposal should explain the question or problem to be investigated and convince the thesis professor that the question or problem merits investigation. It should show that the student has read the relevant and recent literature on the subject and it should contain a list of academically appropriate resources consulted during the preliminary stages of research.
In general, the thesis proposal should include background information related to the research topic, purpose of the research, methodology, and analytic procedures to be used. Proposal drafting is considered a learning process and helps students avoid oversights and possible mistakes.
Research Proposal – Specific Instructions
For the thesis proposal, include each element in an abbreviated format.
PLEASE USE THE ATTACHED TEMPLATE TO ENSURE YOUR PROPOSAL CONFORMS TO THE STRUCTURAL REQUIREMENTS.
MA Theses are expected to contain the following elements:
(Adapted from the End of )
Introduction – Approximately one (1) page in length. Your introduction will provide background and contextual material justifying your topic. Your introduction will also include a statement of the problem followed by a purpose statement. The introduction concludes with one or several specific research questions that sets the general context for the study.
Literature Review – Approximately two (2) pages in length with at least six (6) that address the conceptual elements of the thesis and demonstrate that there is a “research gap.” Your review of the literature centers on your specific research question(s). The literature review focuses on discussing how other researchers have addressed the same of similar research questions. It introduces the study and places it in a larger context that includes a discussion of why it is important to study this topic. It of our accumulated knowledge as it relates to your specific research question. In your literature review you should summarize and synthesize the material. Identify the findings as well as the methodology used to obtain those findings.
Theoretical Framework – Approximately one (1) page in length which includes a scholarly source that illustrates the framework you may use in your own study. In this section you will identify the gap in the literature and explain how your thesis addresses that gap. You will also present, explain, and justify your preliminary thoughts on a theory or model that you will use in your study. If you are developing a model you should present a preliminary diagram. Finally, you should state a hypothesis that is testable.
Research Design. Approximately two (2) pages in length. This section represents your preliminary thoughts on how you will answer your research question(s). What design do you intend to use (i.e. case study method, , interviews, surveys, policy evaluation). What data will you need to collect to answer your question? Where does this data exist? How will you collect it? How will you analyze it? What are the limitations of your method?
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