9780815681410

How to Prepare a Dissertation Proposal : Suggestions for Students in Education and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780815681410

  • ISBN10:

    0815681410

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 5/30/2005
  • Publisher: Syracuse Univ Pr

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Summary

"What are the core elements of a strong proposal?" "How can I accent the strengths of my study design? "How can computer use facilitate my literature review?" "What is the best way to get my proposal reviewed and approved?" You will find the answers to these and other key issues in this unique "assembly manual" for crafting a complete and convincing dissertation proposal. Three extensively annotated proposals of former students provide examples of the guidance offered and illustrate common types of studies. Whether you study best by example, review, memorization, or problem solving, this book's format enables you to follow your own pace and style. This is no ordinary step-by-step guide. The authors begin by identifying and defining the basics of a dissertation proposal. With careful consideration, they explore proposal functions and parts, show how to build your study's chain of reasoning, and carefully review alternate study designs. Chapters are devoted to qualitative studies: (sectioned into case studies, philosophical, and historical investigations); quantitative studies: (sectioned into experimental, causal modeling, and meta-analysis studies); and mixed-method studies: (sectioned into: sample survey, evaluation, development, and demonstration and action projects).

Table of Contents

Illustrations xi
Preface xiii
PART ONE: Concepts Fundamental to Proposal Writing 1(42)
1. What Is a Proposal?
3(12)
Definition of a Proposal
3(3)
Typical Dissertation Proposal Sections
6(1)
Overview of the Dissertation Proposal Process
6(4)
Preparing Yourself
6(1)
Preparing the Proposal
7(3)
Worksheet 1.1: Self-Assessment
10(3)
Worksheet 1.2: Environmental Assessment
13(2)
2. The Functions of a Dissertation Proposal
15(16)
The Functions of the Proposal in the Dissertation Process
15(7)
The Proposal as justification for the Study
17(1)
The Proposal as Work Plan
17(1)
The Proposal as Evidence of Ability
18(1)
The Proposal as Request for Committment
18(1)
The Proposal as Contract
18(1)
The Proposal as Evaluative Criterion
19(1)
The Proposal as Partial Dissertation Draft
20(2)
Summary
22(1)
How Functions Differ with Different Kinds of Inquiry
22(8)
Prespecified vs. Emergent Studies
23(1)
General vs. Local Findings
24(6)
Worksheet 2.1: Proposal Function Review
30(1)
3. The Proposal as a Chain of Reasoning
31(12)
The Proposal as a Chain of Reasoning
31(1)
The Chain of Reasoning in Studies with Generalizable Findings
32(4)
The Links in the Chain
32(2)
Details of the Links from Procedure to Data
34(2)
Four Useful Characteristics of the Chain Analogy
36(2)
Relation of the Chain Analogy to the Proposal
38(1)
The Chain of Reasoning in Development and Problem-Solving Studies
39(3)
Worksheet 3.1: Chain of Reasoning Analysis
42(1)
PART TWO: Advice Common to Most Proposals 43(76)
4. The Description of the Problem
45(30)
The Problem of the Problem
46(1)
Problem Statement
47(2)
Related Research
49(3)
What to Include
50(2)
Search Strategies and Information Sources
52(12)
Use of the Internet and World Wide Web
52(2)
Research Strategies Before the Internet
54(4)
Relevant Information Sources Appropriate to Successively Specific Stages of Problem Definition
58(1)
Save Steps and Time with Your Computer-An Example
58(4)
Quantitative Literature Summaries
62(2)
Questions, Hypotheses, or Models?
64(5)
Descriptions of Where to Look and Questions
65(1)
Hypotheses
66(1)
Models
67(2)
Worksheet 4.1: Characteristics of a Good Dissertation Topic
69(2)
Worksheet 4.2: What to Look for in Reviewing Literature for a Dissertation
71(2)
Worksheet 4.3: Characteristics of a Good Proposal Statement
73(2)
5. The Method Section
75(27)
Section 1: General Considerations
76(11)
Adapt the Material on Method to Your Study
76(1)
The Method Section Flows from the "Questions, Hypotheses, or Models" Section
76(3)
Operationalizing Terms May Result in New Conceptualizations
79(1)
Restrain the Design to Realistic Limits
80(2)
Eliminate Plausible Alternative Explanations
82(4)
Design Efficiency
86(1)
Give Special Care to Those Sections Critical to Your Research Method
87(1)
Section 2: Developing the Subsections of Method
87(12)
Participants-Population and Sample
88(2)
Situation
90(1)
Focus of Action-Treatment(s), Independent and Dependent Variable(s)
90(1)
Records-Instrumentation and Observations
91(4)
Comparison and Contrast-The Basis for Sensing Attributes or Changes
95(1)
Time Schedule-The Specification of the Procedure
96(1)
Problems in Data Collection
96(2)
Analysis
98(1)
Expected End Product
98(1)
An Alternative Dissertation Format: Articles Ready for Publication
99(1)
Worksheet 5.1: Study Methods Review
100(2)
6. Ensuring Feasibility and Other Proposal Parts
102(17)
Time Schedule or Work Plan
103(2)
Graphic Depictions of the Work Plan
105(3)
Assurance of Competence
108(1)
Assurance of Access
109(1)
Assurance of Observance of Ethical Considerations
110(1)
Budget and/or Sources of Financial Support
111(1)
Other Parts of the Proposal
112(2)
Appendix
112(1)
Abstract
113(1)
Title
114(1)
Last Steps Before Submitting for Approval
114(1)
A Final Check and Review
114(1)
Preparing the Final Copy
114(1)
Funding
115(1)
Writing the Proposal after You Are Well into the Study
115(3)
Worksheet 6.1: Assurances Review
118(1)
PART THREE: Advice Specific to Particular Kinds of Studies 119(76)
7. The Special Requirements of Proposals Using Qualitative Approaches: Emergent, Qualitative, Philosophical, Historical
121(22)
Section 1: Qualitative Method Studies
122(15)
The Special Problems of Emergent Study Proposals
122(2)
A Checklist for Qualitative Method Study Proposals
124(2)
The Focus or Question and Its Rationale
126(1)
Sample of Persons, Sites, and Situations
127(1)
Qualitative Orientation
128(1)
Researcher's Qualifications
129(1)
Data Collection
130(2)
Data Analysis
132(3)
Ensuring Ethical Procedure
135(1)
Worksheet 7.1: Review of Proposals Using Emergent Qualitative Approaches
136(1)
Section 2: Philosophical and Historical Study Proposals
137(6)
The Nature of the Proposal
137(1)
The Conceptual Roots of the Study
138(1)
Your Conceptual Contribution
138(1)
The Assumptions on Which Your Study Proceeds
139(1)
The Criteria by Which Your Study Is to Be Judged
139(2)
In Any Kind of Study, How Much Is Enough?
141(1)
Worksheet 7.2: Review of Proposals Using Philosophical and Historical Approaches
142(1)
8. The Special Requirements of Proposals Using Quantitative Approaches: Experimental, Causal Modeling, Meta-Analysis
143(20)
Section 1: Experiments
143(11)
Rationale
144(1)
Hypotheses
144(1)
Design or Procedure
144(9)
Analysis of the Data
153(1)
Section 2: Causal Modeling
154(2)
Worksheet 8.1: Review of Proposals Using Experimental and Causal Modeling Approaches
155(1)
Section 3: Meta-Analysis
156(7)
Special Requirements of a Meta-Analysis Proposal
157(5)
Worksheet 8.2: Review of Proposals Using Meta-Analysis Approaches
162(1)
9. The Special Requirements of Proposals Using Qualitative and/or Quantitative Approaches: Survey, Evaluation, Development, Demonstration
163(32)
Section 1: Sample Surveys
164(9)
Problem
164(1)
Review of Previous Research
165(1)
Design
166(4)
Data Analysis
170(2)
Worksheet 9.1: Review of Proposals Using Sample Survey Methods
172(1)
Section 2: Evaluation Studies
173(6)
Audiences
173(2)
Who Defines Program Goals or Standards?
175(1)
What Evaluation Orientation Do You Bring to the Study?
176(2)
Formative or Summative?
178(1)
Describe the Research Method
179(1)
Worksheet 9.2: Review of Proposals for Evaluation Studies
180
Section 3: Development Studies (e.g., Curriculum, Equipment, Instrument, Software, and Methodology)
179(5)
Special Emphases in the Problem Statement
181(1)
Who Will be Involved?
182(1)
Describe the Development Process
182(1)
Work Plan
183(1)
Whether and How Thoroughly to Evaluate the Product
183(1)
Protection of Your End Product
183(2)
Worksheet 9.3: Review of Proposals for Development Studies
185
Section 4: Demonstration and Action Research Studies
184(13)
Demonstration Projects
186(4)
Worksheet 9.4: Review of Proposals for Demonstration Studies
190
Action Research Projects
189(5)
Worksheet 9.5: Review of Proposals for Action Research Studies
194(1)
PART FOUR: Additional Considerations 195(12)
10. Other Things to Consider
197(10)
What If This Book's Advice and That of My Committee Differ?
197(2)
Literature Review
197(1)
Statement of Hypotheses
198(1)
I'm Having Trouble Getting Started, What Do I Do?
199(1)
Is There Enough Detail?
199(1)
Is the Hasty Reader Signaled to Critically Important Proposal Parts?
199(1)
How Shall I Show My Competence?
200(1)
When Shall I Get My Chairperson's Reaction to a Draft?
201(1)
A Final Review
202(1)
Worksheet 10.1: Checklist of Sections of a Dissertation Proposal
203(4)
PART FIVE: Annotated Proposals 207(58)
11. An Annotated Dissertation Proposal Using Qualitative Methods
209(22)
The Change Process in Men Who Batter Women by Bill Warters
210(21)
12. An Annotated Dissertation Proposal Using Quantitative Methods
231(21)
A Study of the Effectiveness of Concept Mapping in Improving Problem Solving by Katherine L. Beissner
232(20)
13. A Quantitative Dissertation Proposal with Student Annotations
252(13)
Self-Directed Learning's Impact on MBA Students and Their Attitudes Toward Personal Development by Thomas D. Phelan
252(13)
PART SIX: Funded Proposals 265(10)
14. Finding Funding
267(8)
Search Current Grants
268(1)
Federal
268(1)
Foundations
268(1)
Use Professional Associations
269(1)
Examine Successful Proposals
269(1)
Use Your Institution's Grants Support Office
270(5)
Additional Readings 275(4)
References 279(6)
Index 285(5)
About the Authors 290

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