Structure of Research Proposal

Structure of Research Proposal

Introduction (300 words)

Paragraph 1: Introduction (300 words)

  • (1st sentence) Topic sentence (the importance of your topic) (e.g. Language ability is important for learning and social interactions)
  • (2nd sentence) Explanation of topic sentence or supplementary information to the topic sentence (e.g. Children, who have language delays, would be learning slower than others and less willing to interact with others.)
  • (3rd – 4th sentence)  Research evidence #1 to support 2nd sentence (e.g. For example, a study showed that …..).
  • (5th-6th sentence) Research evidence #2 to support 2nd sentence
  • (7th sentence) Literature gap (what are the things literature did not mention about your topic à the contribution of your topic to ECE)
  • Concluding sentence (the goal of your study: to answer the main research question [your main research question in statement form]) (e.g. therefore, the proposed study has the goal of investigating… / The objective of the proposed study is to investigate/ examine/ explore ….)

Literature Review (1000 words)

Paragraph 2: Definitions and explanations of terms (200 words)

  • Definition of the key term (e.g. Community college is defined as / refers to…… (reference))
  • Explanation of topic sentence or supplementary information to the topic sentence (e.g. In Hong Kong, there are 13 tertiary education institutes and 7 of them are community colleges. Some of them are vocational training schools.)
  • detail or example #1  (e.g.  For example, Vocational Training Council has offered programs, such as engineering, with hundreds hours of job training to work in the actual setting. It prepares graduates with the hands-on experience and knowledge.)
  • detail or example #2  
  • Concluding sentence.

Paragraph 3: Current understanding #1 (200 words)

  • Topic sentence (e.g. YCCECE is a student-centered community college)
  • (2nd sentence) Explanation of topic sentence or supplementary information to the topic sentence (e.g. Students’ needs are always being taken care.)
  • Research evidence #1 to support 2nd sentence (e.g. For example, a survey conducted by Ho (2022) showed that 90% of YCCECE students have received English language supports to complete their course assignments.
  • Research evidence #2 to support 2nd sentence (e.g. Another study (Smith, 2021) revealed that students, who have emotional issues, had been supported by the college social workers and received appropriate counselling services. More than 60% of students expressed that they are satisfied with the counselling services.)
  • Concluding sentence

Paragraph 4: Current understanding #2 (200 words)

  • Topic sentence (e.g. Community College Y is an academic-oriented community college)
  • (2nd sentence) Explanation of topic sentence or supplementary information to the topic sentence (e.g. Students’ academic excellence is considered the key mission of College Y.)
  • Research evidence #1 to support 2nd sentence (e.g. For example, a survey conducted by Mok (2021) showed that 87% of students of College Y have received language supports to complete their course assignments, and students reported that College Y’s course design with small group tutorials was especially useful to enhance their understanding of key concepts and virtually improved their exam results. The latest results of graduate employment survey of College Y (reference) also revealed that… )
  • Research evidence #2 to support 2nd sentence (e.g. However, Au (2020) revealed that the emotional support from College Y to students was not sufficient because 65% of the students who quitted College Y reported a absence of social worker and poor attitude of administrative staffs of student development office.)
  • Concluding sentence

Paragraph 5:  Literature gaps (200 words)

  • (1st sentence) Topic sentence (Although some research studies have been investigated on (your research topic), we are less clear about ….(your sub question 1 and 2).)
  • (2nd sentence) Literature gap #1 (not many studies have been done on certain population/ in certain context/ about certain concept… à explain why the issue is important to be done on certain population/ in certain context/ about certain concept …)
  • (3rd sentence)  Research evidence #1 to literature gap #1
    There is a study (citation of reference) showing that … (evidence showing the importance of the issue of literature gap #1), but not many studies have investigated …
  • (4th sentence) Literature gap #2
  • (5th sentence)  Research evidence #2 to literature gap #2
  • (6th sentence) Concluding sentence (fill the literature gaps)

Paragraph 6:  Overview of your study (200 words)

  • (1st sentence) Importance of your topic
  • (2nd sentence) explain how your topic contributes ECE teachers and/or parents and/or children
  • (3rd sentence) research objectives (i.e. your sub questions in statement form)
    The objectives are to investigate/ examine/ explore sub question 1 in statement form and sub question 2 in statement form.
  • (4th sentence) Goal of your study (to investigate/ answer/ understand/ learn about … (the main research question))

Methodology (700 words)

  • Paragraph 1: Qualitative or quantitative methodology and justification (what are the advantages of such methodology) (150 words)
  • Paragraph 2: Participants (who are joining your research? How many participants? Where will you find the participants? [The participants will be recruited at …… by using convenient sampling method.] What are the selection criteria?) (50 words)
  • Paragraph 3: Method (150 words)
    • (interview [individual or focus group]? Questionnaire? Observation? [what are you going to observe, when will be observation, how are you to record the observation] Experiment?) – if interview, is it semi-structured interview? (advantage of semi-structured interview)
    • Sample questions (interview or questionnaire) à select some representative questions to be included here.
      * If you use both interview and questionnaire, you will need to include sample questions for each method.
  • Paragraph 4: Procedures (100 words)
    •  the logistic of the data collection. (E.g. interview on Zoom? F2f? Transcripts? Translation? )
    • Steps: permission from principal, consent from participants, arranging the data collection (interview), data collection (audio-recording), transcription, translation of some quotes in the report writing (if necessary)
  • Paragraph 5: Ethical Considerations (250 words)
    • Consent form to the participants (who?) (prior to the data collection)
    • Confidentiality (not disclose the identities in the report …)
    • Data protection (storing the recording at the laptop with password protection, not sharing with anyone else…)
    • Anything else??

Appendix (Information sheet for your study + Complete interview and/ or questionnaire questions)

Reference list (APA format)

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