Step 1: Title Page For the purposes of this assignment, your title page will differ from what is in the official APA guide, which you will need to follow if you do submit a thesis proposal. Be sure to add a page header, generally the title of your proposal or an abbreviated version of the tile. Also include page numbers for the entire document. The title page (first page of document) should contain: Title of the proposal Name of the author The course number Institutional affiliation (and department) Date submitted Step 2: Abstract The second page of your proposal is the abstract. The abstract is a clear concise description of the entire proposal. The abstract should be a single paragraph, double spaced, and not to exceed 400 words. The word Abstract should appear above the abstract section, centered in the middle of the page. On the next line begin your abstract. It should contain approximately one sentence regarding each: Background information Purpose of study; methods Study design Materials Procedure Results Discussion At the bottom of the abstract page, list 3 to 4 keywords that identify the area of research of the proposal. Step 3: Introduction This section helps orient the reader to the proposed study. This is accomplished through reviewing the literature, stating the problem as you see it, and concluding with the specific aims, research questions, or hypotheses for your study. You must cite previous research in this section. Keep it brief – 2 to 4 pages long. Start this section with a broad statement of what you will cover in this section. This should be short and concise (1 to 2 sentences). Establish the topic – what is being studied? Provide significance – why this is topic important to study? Review the relevant literature – what do we already know about this topic? Point out the gap(s) – what’s missing in the research literature (what we don’t know – motivation for your study). State research question,/hypotheses/study aims/purpose The last paragraph should specifically state the hypotheses (null and alternative) and a brief 1 or 2 sentence description that pulls the section together. Example Hypotheses: Alternative = Participants in the treatment condition (exercise program) will show lower body mass index than those in the control condition (no program). Null = Participants in the treatment condition (exercise program) will show similar body mass index to those in the control condition (no program). Step 4: Methods This section describes in detail the specifics of the proposed study: the sample, design, materials and procedures. You must cite measurement instruments (if you’re using already existing instruments). Start this section with a broad statement of what you will cover in this section. This should be short and concise (1 to 2 sentences). In the Sample section, provide the following information: What is the target population? What kind of sampling procedure will you use? How many participants will take part? Are there any inclusion or exclusion criteria (in other words, are there reasons you will accept a particular participant into your sample or not accept a particular participant into your sample) In the Design section, provide the following information: What is the design of your study? Is it a randomized controlled trial, a cross-sectional survey, a naturalistic observation, a case study, an experiment, etc.? What are your independent and dependent variables? If it is an experiment, for example, explain your conditions. What is your treatment condition? What is your control condition? In the Materials section, provide the following information: What kind of measurement instruments or questionnaires will you use? Are these self-report measures? How will they be administered? (Paper and pencil? On the computer?) Will there be observational measures? Coding systems? Can you provide evidence of validity and reliability of the measurement instruments you chose? In the Procedures section, provide the following information: How exactly do you plan to carry out your study (discuss in detail your study procedures)? How will you recruit participants? What activities are involved? What will the participants be doing? How long will it take? When will the measurements be taken? Step 5: Results The Results section is generally where you describe your statistical analyses and what you expect to find if your hypothesis is correct. Start this section with a broad statement of what you will cover in this section. This should be short and concise (1 to 2 sentences). Because this is a research proposal (not a completed study), you will not have data. Despite the lack of data, in this section, you need to describe: What statistical analyses plan to use to analyze the data and a sentence on why you selected this analytic technique? Make sure to discuss level of measurement of the variables being analyzed. What alpha level will you use? What would the statistical analyses show if your alternative hypothesis is supported? Include one table or figure shell (see Module 7). Step 6: Discussion The Discussion section is where you describe and discuss the expected findings in general terms and the implications of those results if the proposed hypothesis is true. Because this is a research proposal (and not a completed study), you won’t have anything to say about your actual results. Don’t forget to cite any literature that you use in this section. Start this section with a broad statement of what you will cover in this section. This should be short and concise (1 to 2 sentences). In this section, you need to describe: If your alternative hypothesis was correct, what would that mean? How would this impact the field? How would this impact the community? What gaps in the literature would it fill? Step 7: Works Cited You must use scholarly/academic sources (journal articles primarily) for your paper. Follow the Citation Guide: APA 6th Edition for examples on how to create your Works Cited pages and how to cite your sources (both in-text and in the works cited page).
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