Research Proposal: (15% of final grade, 4.5 – 6 pages)

I. Problem Statement (1/2 – 1 page)
Utilize 7 professional social work journal articles and other relevant information to introduce your research topic. Familiarize the reader with your topic, summarizing key issues and past research findings.

II. Justification (1/2 page)
Describe your topic’s relationship and significance to social work practice.

III. Research question and related hypothesis (1/2 page)
Based upon your problem statement (Part I), identify one researchable question that you would like to answer. Identify your study as qualitative or quantitative and the nature of your research. Clearly indicate your research hypothesis (your tentative answer to your question).

IV. Variables (1/2 page)
Describe the concepts and variables pertinent to your hypothesis. Identify and describe the independent and dependent variables. Provide conceptual and operational definitions of each variable.

V. Measurement (1/2 – 1 page)
Locate or develop the measurement instrument you will use to collect data about these variables. Discuss why you chose such instrument and how the validity and reliability are ensured. Describe the instrument in detail and attach a copy as Appendix A. Identify the level of measurement (i.e., nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio) that will occur.

VI. Target population and Sampling Approach (1/2 page)
Discuss your sampling frame, approach, and method. Identify your population if applicable and your target population (i.e., the group to whom the study’s results are expected to apply). Explain how you will draw your sample from your population. Discuss and justify your anticipated sample size.

VII. Design (1/2 page)
Describe the research design you will use. Identify your design as a case-level or group-level design and the general type (exploratory/descriptive) as well as specific type of design (i.e., longitudinal, pre-posttest, cross-sectional, etc.). Explain if your study would be an ‘ideal’ experiment and discuss ethical issues that need to be considered.

VIII. Data collection (1/2 page)
Describe how you will collect data and what type of data you will utilize. Identify if your study would protect confidentiality and/or anonymity. Justify your data collection strategy. Explain in detail one threat to internal validity.

IX. Summary and critique of your proposal (1/2 page)
Identify at least one strength and one limitation of your study. Will your results be generalizable? Identify any measurement or constant error. Address any ethical or social justice issues.

Your research proposal should adhere to APA format and include a title page and abstract.
Proposals are worth 60 pts and will be evaluated according to: application and discussion of research concepts (70%), identification and justification of topic (5%), research question/hypothesis (10%), organization and composition/format (5%) and critical thinking (10%).

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