Topic 6: Preparing and defending the research proposal

Introduction

This topic focuses on how to prepare a research proposal and make a successful defence of it to a thesis examination panel. The aim of this topic is to assist students to define their research topic, develop an appropriate research design, determine the most effective research methodologies to be employed and demonstrate an understanding of the relevant theory and literature underpinning the thesis. A major paper or research proposal embodying these elements is prepared in consultation with an academic staff member or supervisor. This proposal is then presented to an examination panel and the elements of this methodology defended in open debate.
 
On successful completion of this topic, you should be able to:
  • Define your research topic;
  • Successfully justify the proposed research in terms of adding new knowledge;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant literature underpinning their thesis;
  • Align the research questions, propositions/hypotheses, variables, measures, and analytic methods, and
  • Successfully defend your research proposal.

Recommended readings

Bazeley, P., and Jackson, K. (2013) Qualitative Data Analysis with NVIVO, 2nd Edition, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, Sage Publications Ltd.

Chandrasekhar, R. (2002) How to Write a Thesis: A Working Guide, University of Western Australia.

Creswell, J.W., (2014) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, Sage Publications Ltd

Garson, G.D. (2014) Multiple Regression, Statistical Associates Publishing, Blue Book Series

Garson, G.D. (2015) Structural Equation Modelling, Statistical Associates Publishing, Blue Book Series.

Garson, G.D. (2013) Factor Analysis, Statistical Associates Publishing, Blue Book Series

Garson, G.D. (2013) Scales and Measures, Statistical Associates Publishing, Blue Book Series.

Garson, G.D. (2013) Social Science Theory in Research and Dissertation Writing, Statistical Associates Publishing, Blue Book Series

Garson, G.D. (2016) Survey Research & Sampling, Statistical Associates Publishing, Blue Book Series

Garson, G.D. (2016) Validity & Reliability, Statistical Associates Publishing, Blue Book Series

Garson, G.D. (2016) Partial Least Squares, Statistical Associates Publishing, Blue Book Series

Hardy, S. and Ramjeet, J. (2005) "Reflections on how to write and organise a research thesis", Nurse Researcher, 13(2): 27-39.

Levine, S.J. (2008) Writing and Presenting Your Thesis or Dissertation, www.learnerassociates.net

Rovai, A.P., Baker, J.D., and Ponton, M.K. (2013) Social Science Research Design and Statistics: A Practitioner's Guide to Research Methods and SPSS Analysis, 1st Edition, Chesapeake VA, Watertree Press

Saldana, J. (2016) The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, Sage Publications Ltd

Yin, R.K. (2014) Case Study Research: Design and Methods, 5th Edition, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, Sage Publications Ltd

Zaitseva, E. (2012). How to make sense of the Leximancer analysis: A quick guide to interpreting concept maps. Kingsway House, Hatton Garden, Liverpool, L3 2AJ, Liverpool John Moores University, Academic Enhancement Unit.

Lecture notes

Useful links and videos