The goal of this assignment is to set you up for success in designing research inquiries moving forward. Part of a solid research idea and proposal is having a workable research question that is narrow enough that it can be addressed in the space provided (for example a 15-20 page research paper versus a 50-page thesis), and written in a way that is open-ended and free from bias.
While there are many ways to frame a research question, at the graduate level, your research questions should be 1) open-ended and start with “How,””Why,””What,” or “To what extent;” 2) should incorporate the variables you seek to assess and their relationship; and 3) should indicate how you intend to test the nature of that relationship. You want to make sure that your question has an appropriate amount of complexity so that it requires a significant amount of research and analysis. A simple Google search should not be able to answer your research question.
Unclear: How can the need for power be harmful?
Too simple: What is Hillary Clinton’s position on Obama Care?
Too simple: What is Hillary Clinton’s operational code?
Too broad: To what extent is Hillary Clinton different from Bill Clinton?
Appropriately Complex and Focused: To what extent is Hillary Clinton motivated by a need for power by comparison to Bill Clinton, and how might this impact access and control of information within the White House?
Hypothesis: A statement for how a change or condition in one or more independent variables cause(s) a change or condition in a dependent variable.
Not all studies or research papers require the use of a hypothesis. In most cases, hypotheses are used when a study is conducting an experiment or when a study is quantitative in nature. However, this is an important skill to develop in case you do go on to complete quantitative research or conduct a formal experiment.
In this next step, you will develop a hypothesis that reflects your educated guess as to the relationship between your selected variables. You may use an “if””then” statement or you may formulate it as a narrative statement. Finally, explain why these are the important variables to look at within this research project. Why focus on these variables and not other variables?
By the time you are done, you should have at least 3-4 pages of content (double spaced in times-new roman font), not including the title page, and a “references list or bibliography” page. Your writing should be consistent with the professional/academic writing style. For a refresher on the conventions of academic writing please refer to the latest Turabian writing guide or APA writing manual. Since multiple writing styles are in use within this course, on your title page, please note which style you are using within your assignment. This will help me cater my comments to the style you are using. The style you use needs to be the one that is used within your program of study.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
You can also consult: Turabian (2013) Chapter 2 and Hypothesis Writing
Use the filename (no spaces) yourlastnameWeek3.doc for uploading this file to the Assignment.
As you proofread your assignment I encourage you to work with Belcher, Wendy Laura. 2009. “Editing Your Sentences” In Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success. Sage. This resource has a nice step by step process for enhancing your writing.
Note: This assignment will be something that you draw upon to help you complete your final assignment, which is a research proposal. For that assignment you may use the same research question you developed here or create another one.
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