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Here’s the recommended schedule for the project:
Project: Proprosal Marking Scheme Proposal Written by: Topic: Date: COMPONENTS Max. Marks Your Marks Recommended dates of completion
1. A Statement of Problem or Objective 5 a. Does the proposal have a clearly defined objective or purpose? b. Is the topic articulated in an approporiate, significant, and interesting manner? That is, why is it important to study the topic? What theoretical or practical implications does the study have? 2. Literature Review 20
a. Does it contain an adequate review of literature (i.e., at least five previous studies or more plus other sources) b. Is the literature review based on reputable sources (i.e., sociological or scientific journals as opposed to internet websites and hearsay)? c. Is the theory or explanation well presented? (If it is not a theory-guided study, then is the rationale for the study well presented?) That is, it is resonable, logical, and convincing, based on the review of previous studies as well as the presenter’s perspective. d. Are the concepts well-defined? e. Are the hypotheses clearly presented? What are the variables in the hypotheses, and how are the variables related to each other? f. Are the hypotheses empirically testable? 3. Subjects for Study a. Is there a clear presentation of the intended target population and sample? That is who or what are you studying? b. Is the sample or research design appropriate for the study? c. Is it realistic to use the sample (e.g., How practical is it to estimate the suicide rate based on a sample size of 1000)? What is the sample size? How will the sample be selected? Do you have access, permission, or authorization to study the sample (e.g. studying children who are HIV positive)? Is it possible to obtain as many cases as you need for the project (e.g., Drawing a sample of 1000 Grade 12 students in Brandon–which is not possible)? 4. Measurement a. Are there adequate descriptions of the major variables? b. Are the measures for the variables reasonable and robust in terms of validity and reliability? c. How well do the measures reflect your review of previous research? (That is, to develop good measures, researchers often “copy” questionnaire items from previous research studies. If you are proposing to do a survey, you have to show that you are using some of the measurement items from reputable studies such as Statistics Canada Census questionnaire items, General Social Survey… etc.). d. How well is the design of the research instruments? If it is a survey, how well written are the questionnaire items? If it is an experiment, then what is the design of the experiment and how well is it designed? Similar criteria will be applied to observation studies, unobtrusive analysis, and other research methods. 5. Data Collection Method a. Is the data collection method, that is, a survey, an experiement, an observational study, or any other method, appropriate for the purpose of the study? b. How will you collect the data? Is the plan practical and realistic. (For example, if you plan to randomly select 1000 Brandonites for your study by telephone interview, how will you do it? The answer “I will select 1000 persons for my study” without any explanation or justification will not do well.) c. Does it show adequate and reasonable capability of collecting the data? For example, if it is a telephone interview, will there be adequate training for your interviewers? Do you have the “know-how”? If not, what books or sources of expertise can you consult? (Don’t just say Babbie’s research methods text. You have to point out the specific content of the text to fill in the blanks.) d. Is there anticipation of failure? Is there a contigency plan if things do not work out as planned (e.g., a high refusal rate in a telephone interview of sexual practices)? 6. Ethical Approval 5
a. The presenter will mention the seeking of ethical approval from the University or a review board if the research involves human subjects. For this presentation, you are not required to actually seek ethical approval. (Warning: You are writing a proposal and not actually carrying out the research. On the other hand, to make the presentation realistic, you should pretend that there will be ethics review or approval.) b. Is the proposed method of data collection ethical? Is it likely to face difficulty in getting ethical review? (It makes little sense to propose a project that will be not approved on ethical grounds.) 7. Analysis 10 a. Is there an appropriate method of analysis? The method of analysis may be quantitative or qualitative, depending on the project. b. Does the presenter show a reasonable knowledge of the method of analysis? c. Is the method of analysis realistic, practical, and adequate for the purpose of examining and testing the hypotheses? d. What does the researcher expect to find out of the analysis? How will the findings be important to the hypotheses? In what way will the findings be significant in terms of theory and/or the applied use of knowledge? 8. Schedule 5 a. Is there a chronological schedule? b. Is the schedule logical, reasonable, and workable? c. Is there a clear presentation of the steps and timeline for the different tasks? d. Is there a contingency or back-up plan if one or more of the steps is not on schedule? e. Does it show that the researcher has done some fact-finding before planning the schedule? (For example, if you wish to do a classroom survey, when is the best time of the semester to conduct it?) 9. Budget (Hypothetically set at $1000 maximum for each project) 5 a. Is there an itemized budget for the project? b. Are the estimates reasonable and realistic? For example, how much do you need to pay two telephone interviewers to do a survey of 1000 Brandonites? c. Does the budget include a contingency plan? For example, if the response rate after mailing your questionnaire is only 20%, what do you do next? How much do you need to spend on mailing the questionnaires the second time? What will happen if the minimum wage jumps from $11.0 to $15.0 per hour? d. Can the student afford to pay for the project if external fundings are not available? What is the contingency plan? e. Will the funds be used efficiently and effectively, based on the proposed procedures? 10. Overall Evaluation of the Written Presentation a. Is the written presentation clear and concise? Submit the full proposal
b. Is it interesting? c. Does it have a consistent theme? d. Is it in general a practical and promising proposal?