This handout is for your research proposals final version. By now, you have selected a topic that led to a research question. As a research proposal, a big part of it is the way in which you are answering your question,
i.e., your methodology. You polished your research question based on further information you obtained from your sources and on the method. The main constraints for your research proposal are the following.
1. It needs to use methods that are accepted by one of the disciplines you are using. For example, if you are using pure mathematics, you will be proposing to prove theorems. If you are using sociology, you may be aiming to perform statistical analyses. If you are using comparative literature, you may be applying critical theories to analyze a question.
2. It cannot create demand characteristics. This means that your proposal needs to be executable by you in a short time (a semester). For instance, your plan cannot rely on extensive data collection if one person cannot collect all the data, thus requiring external hires. Or it cannot demand multi-state travel or a large budget. It needs to be a doable proposal.
1. Research Proposal has a title.
2. Name of author is displayed under title.
3. An abstract (no less than 200 words) is show below authors name.
4. The draft has at least 3,000 words, but no more than 4,500 (excluding references).
5. Proposal has an introductory section. In the introduction:
a. the purpose of the study is clearly explained.
b. the relevance of the study is explicitly addressed.
6. Proposal has a literature review section. In the literature review:
a. at least eight scholarly sources per discipline are discussed.
b. for one of the disciplines, at least 12 scholarly sources are discussed.
c. literature review is framed in one of the standard ways: thematically/categorically, chronologically, theoretically/methodologically, theoretically/empirically.
7. Proposal has a section with hypothesis and its rationale:
a. Your hypothesis (i.e., what you guess will be the answer to your research question) is described, and a narrative is created to justify the project.
b. All predictions are clearly stated, if applicable.
c. Hypothesis is contextualized with respect to the academic literature.
8. Proposal has a section on methods:
a. Procedures are clear and appropriate for one of the used disciplines.
b. Design allow researchers to examine hypothesis within one of the used disciplines.
c. Design does not create demand characteristics, i.e. is doable by a sole researcher without any external funding or help in the period of three to six months.
9. Proposal has a section on integration:
a. The proposal approaches questions from at least two disciplines.
b. The proposal states how those two disciplines will be integrated.
c. Connects examples, facts, or theories from more than one field of study or perspective.
d. Identifies important connections, relationships, or overarching ideas among the relevant facts, concepts, and/or perspectives in different disciplines, and develops these connections effectively.
a. Is clear and easy to understand.
b. Points are fully elaborated.
c. Ideas and sentences are connected.
d. Uses clear topic sentences.
e. There are few (four or less) spelling errors.
f. Text is in Standard Written English.
11. Logical Structure.
a. The logical structure of the proposal is clear.
b. Argument has not gaps.
c. Each logical component is clearly connected to a paragraph in the text.
a. All factual statements that are not common knowledge have referenced citations.
b. Citations follow a standard format (such as APA, Chicago, MLA).
c. At least 20 peer- or editor-reviewed, professional, appropriate scholarly sources are used.
d. All cited references in the text are listed in the reference list.
e. All references in the reference list at the end are cited in the text.
a. The hypothesis is justified or motivated from at least two disciplines.
b. The question the proposal tries to answer is being approached or motivated from the point of view at least
c. Research methods of at least one discipline are proposed for answering the question.
d. The proposal shows how the disciplines will be integrated to provide an answer to the question.