Purpose of the Study
Provide an introductory description of the research topic
Give justification or a rationale as to why this study being conducted
Give the actual questions being explored in this study
Describe any outcomes that you may have anticipated before conducting the study (if any)
As you write this subsection, ask yourself…
Are the research questions directly related to the purpose of the study?
Is each research question feasible? That is, are these realistic and researchable questions?
Definitions of Terms
Any important variables and concepts from the Purpose of the Study or Research Questions subsections that lack an obvious or precise meaning should be operationally defined here (e.g., over-achievement, self-contained classrooms, holistic learning, locus of control)
Review of the Literature
Reminder #1: Use headings and subheadings relevant to your specific research topic to organize the literature review as you see fit.
Reminder #2: Keep the literature review as brief, as possible. (Roughly 3-4 pages)
As you write this section, ask yourself…
Are all referenced sources relevant to the study?
Are all sources from legitimate peer-reviewed academic journals (or equivalent scholarly work)?
Is the review well organized? Is there a logical flow from one point to the next?
Participants & Sampling
Describe the target and accessible populations
Identify the sampling method used to obtain participants
Give the anticipated (or at least the desired) sample size
Address any ethical consideration (if applicable), such as…
Will IRB approval be needed?
Does the sample include children or some other vulnerable population?
Safeguards in place to protect human subjects
Steps taken to insure informed consent
Identify and describe any instruments (if any are to be used)
Report the reliability and validity characteristics of each instrument (if known)
If an instrument is being developed specifically for this study, describe its purpose and proposed format (e.g., online questionnaire using Likert-scale items)
Identify the research design(s) to be used in this study
Identify any applicable threats to internal and external validity