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

ISBN-10: 0815681410

ISBN-13: 9780815681410

Edition: 2005

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"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).
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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Publication date: 5/1/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 289
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.452
Language: English

Nick L. Smith is Professor in the School of Education at Syracuse University and a past president of the American Evaluation Association. The primary focus of his writings is the nature of applied field research and evaluation methods, and the theory of evaluation. nbsp; Paul R. Brandonnbsp;is Professor of Education and Director of the Program Research and Evaluation Office at Curriculum Researchnbsp;and Development Group, University of Hawai`i at Manoa. His current scholarly interests include the evaluation of program implementation and standard setting in evaluations.

Concepts Fundamental to Proposal Writing
What Is a Proposal?
Definition of a Proposal
Typical Dissertation Proposal Sections
Overview of the Dissertation Proposal Process
Preparing Yourself
Preparing the Proposal
Environmental Assessment
The Functions of a Dissertation Proposal
The Functions of the Proposal in the Dissertation Process
The Proposal as Justification for the Study
The Proposal as Work Plan
The Proposal as Evidence of Ability
The Proposal as Request for Committment
The Proposal as Contract
The Proposal as Evaluative Criterion
The Proposal as Partial Dissertation Draft
How Functions Differ with Different Kinds of Inquiry
Prespecified vs. Emergent Studies
General vs. Local Findings
Proposal Function Review
The Proposal as a Chain of Reasoning
The Proposal as a Chain of Reasoning
The Chain of Reasoning in Studies with Generalizable Findings
The Links in the Chain
Details of the Links from Procedure to Data
Four Useful Characteristics of the Chain Analogy
Relation of the Chain Analogy to the Proposal
The Chain of Reasoning in Development and Problem-Solving Studies
Chain of Reasoning Analysis
Advice Common to Most Proposals
The Description of the Problem
The Problem of the Problem
Problem Statement
Related Research
What to Include
Search Strategies and Information Sources
Use of the Internet and World Wide Web
Research Strategies Before the Internet
Relevant Information Sources Appropriate to Successively Specific Stages of Problem Definition
Save Steps and Time with Your Computer-An Example
Quantitative Literature Summaries
Questions, Hypotheses, or Models?
Descriptions of Where to Look and Questions
Characteristics of a Good Dissertation Topic
What to Look for in Reviewing Literature for a Dissertation
Characteristics of a Good Proposal Statement
The Method Section
General Considerations
Adapt the Material on Method to Your Study
The Method Section Flows from the "Questions, Hypotheses, or Models" Section
Operationalizing Terms May Result in New Conceptualizations
Restrain the Design to Realistic Limits
Eliminate Plausible Alternative Explanations
Design Efficiency
Give Special Care to Those Sections Critical to Your Research Method
Developing the Subsections of Method
Participants-Population and Sample
Focus of Action-Treatment(s), Independent and Dependent Variable(s)
Records-Instrumentation and Observations
Comparison and Contrast-The Basis for Sensing Attributes or Changes
Time Schedule-The Specification of the Procedure
Problems in Data Collection
Expected End Product
An Alternative Dissertation Format: Articles Ready for Publication
Study Methods Review
Ensuring Feasibility and Other Proposal Parts
Time Schedule or Work Plan
Graphic Depictions of the Work Plan
Assurance of Competence
Assurance of Access
Assurance of Observance of Ethical Considerations
Budget and/or Sources of Financial Support
Other Parts of the Proposal
Last Steps Before Submitting for Approval
A Final Check and Review
Preparing the Final Copy
Writing the Proposal after You Are Well into the Study
Assurances Review
Advice Specific to Particular Kinds of Studies
The Special Requirements of Proposals Using Qualitative Approaches: Emergent, Qualitative, Philosophical, Historical
Qualitative Method Studies
The Special Problems of Emergent Study Proposals
A Checklist for Qualitative Method Study Proposals
The Focus or Question and Its Rationale
Sample of Persons, Sites, and Situations
Qualitative Orientation
Researcher's Qualifications
Data Collection
Data Analysis
Ensuring Ethical Procedure
Review of Proposals Using Emergent Qualitative Approaches
Philosophical and Historical Study Proposals
The Nature of the Proposal
The Conceptual Roots of the Study
Your Conceptual Contribution
The Assumptions on Which Your Study Proceeds
The Criteria by Which Your Study Is to Be Judged
In Any Kind of Study, How Much Is Enough?
Review of Proposals Using Philosophical and Historical Approaches
The Special Requirements of Proposals Using Quantitative Approaches: Experimental, Causal Modeling, Meta-Analysis
Design or Procedure
Analysis of the Data
Causal Modeling
Review of Proposals Using Experimental and Causal Modeling Approaches
Special Requirements of a Meta-Analysis Proposal
Review of Proposals Using Meta-Analysis Approaches
The Special Requirements of Proposals Using Qualitative and/or Quantitative Approaches: Survey, Evaluation, Development, Demonstration
Sample Surveys
Review of Previous Research
Data Analysis
Review of Proposals Using Sample Survey Methods
Evaluation Studies
Who Defines Program Goals or Standards?
What Evaluation Orientation Do You Bring to the Study?
Formative or Summative?
Describe the Research Method
Review of Proposals for Evaluation Studies
Development Studies (e.g., Curriculum, Equipment, Instrument, Software, and Methodology)
Special Emphases in the Problem Statement
Who Will be Involved?
Describe the Development Process
Work Plan
Whether and How Thoroughly to Evaluate the Product
Protection of Your End Product
Review of Proposals for Development Studies
Demonstration and Action Research Studies
Demonstration Projects
Review of Proposals for Demonstration Studies
Action Research Projects
Review of Proposals for Action Research Studies
Additional Considerations
Other Things to Consider
What If This Book's Advice and That of My Committee Differ?
Literature Review
Statement of Hypotheses
I'm Having Trouble Getting Started, What Do I Do?
Is There Enough Detail?
Is the Hasty Reader Signaled to Critically Important Proposal Parts?
How Shall I Show My Competence?
When Shall I Get My Chairperson's Reaction to a Draft?
A Final Review
Checklist of Sections of a Dissertation Proposal
Annotated Proposals
An Annotated Dissertation Proposal Using Qualitative Methods
The Change Process in Men Who Batter Women
An Annotated Dissertation Proposal Using Quantitative Methods
A Study of the Effectiveness of Concept Mapping in Improving Problem Solving
A Quantitative Dissertation Proposal with Student Annotations
Self-Directed Learning's Impact on MBA Students and Their Attitudes Toward Personal Development
Funded Proposals
Finding Funding
Search Current Grants
Use Professional Associations
Examine Successful Proposals
Use Your Institution's Grants Support Office
Additional Readings
About the Authors
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