Submitted to Northcentral University
Graduate Faculty of the School of XXXXXXXXXXXXX in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of
DOCTOR OF XXXXXXXX by
Prescott Valley, Arizona
Guidelines: Left justified. No indents.
Maximum length is 350 words. A proposal abstract includes items 2-5, and is in the future tense.
Introduce the research area briefly.
Clearly articulate the problem statement.
State the general methodology (quantitative, qualitative, mixed method).
Quantitative research identifies the design.
Qualitative research identifies the typology/strategy of inquiry.
Mixed Method research identifies both design (for quantitative aspect) and typology/strategy (for qualitative aspect).
Identify the participants. ii
Table of Contents
List of Tables
[Use Word’s Table of Figures feature (using caption style = “table”) to create this section. Note that each table title needs to be created as a caption style format above the table. The List of Tables entries should mirror the APA format of table titles within the body of the paper.] iv
List of Figures
[Use Word’s Table of Figures feature (using caption style = “figure”) to create this section. Note that each figure caption needs to be created as a caption style format below the figure. The List of Figures entries should mirror the APA format of figure captions within the body of the paper.] v
Chapter 1: Introduction
[Introduce the dissertation topic in one or more paragraphs (2 pages maximum).
Briefly describe the study topic to establish the main ideas and context. Include appropriate scholarly source citations for each assertion. Provide an overview of what is
1 contained in chapter 1.]
[Present an overview of why this research topic is currently of interest. Focus on the area of research interest, briefly laying the groundwork for what has been done in the area and why the area is of important social or practical concern, or of theoretical interest.
Include appropriate, recent, scholarly sources to support each assertion.]
[Approximately 250 to 300 words. Note: Articulation of a concise problem statement is essential to a successful dissertation manuscript. The problem statement is a brief discussion of a problem or observation succinctly identifying and documenting the need for and importance of the study.
1. Present the general issue/observation that in theory or practice leads to the need for the study (unless considered seminal, citations within the last 5 years are included).
2. Present a focused problem that leads to the need for a research response. For some degree programs (DBA, EdD) the problem identified may be a practical problem or issue.]
[The purpose statement is a concise paragraph that describes the intent of the study, and it should flow directly from the problem statement, specifically address the reason for conducting the study, and reflect the research questions. Identify the research method as qualitative, quantitative, or mixed (i.e., “The purpose of this
[qualitative/quantitative/mixed] study is to ... (succinctly describe the overarching study goal that reflects the research questions). Follow with a brief overview of how, with
2 what instruments/data, with whom and where (as applicable). Identify variables/constructs and/or phenomenon/concept/idea:
research variables/constructs are briefly identified (including potential confounding variables, covariates, mediating variables, etc.).
Research variables/constructs from valid and reliable instruments are identified and cited, if appropriate.
research identifies a single phenomenon, concept, or idea that will be studied.
research includes all of the above.
Identify the specific population of proposed study, including an estimate of the number of participants who will serve as the sample, based on a power analysis
(quantitative/mixed method) or design conventions (qualitative) as detailed in chapter 3.
Finally, identify the geographic location of study (as applicable.]
[Discussion reflects an overview of the broad conceptual and/or theoretical area under which the research falls (e.g., social psychology, organizational behavior,
3 experiential learning), and how the research fits within other research in the field.
Discussion specifically includes important issues, perspectives, and, if appropriate, controversies in the field. Discussion reflects the author’s knowledge and familiarity with the both historical and current literature. Include appropriate scholarly citations to support the theoretical foundations. Note: For DBA or EdD dissertations, the framework may be applied rather than theoretical.]
[Provide some introductory discussion context followed by a list of the research questions. Research questions are distinct and answerable, given the identified constructs/phenomenon and population. The research questions must directly align with the study purpose. For quantitative and mixed studies, follow with corresponding null and alternative hypotheses.
Include the research questions, and if appropriate based on the research design, include the hypothesis(es) and the rationale for the hypothesis(es). b.
Research questions and hypothesis(es) are aligned with problem statement. c.
State both the null and alternative hypotheses. d.
State the hypotheses in testable, potentially negatable, form with each variable operationalized.
Each hypothesis represents one distinct testable prediction. The phrasing of each hypothesis clearly reflects the
nature of the statistical analysis used to test each hypothesis (i.e., comparisons, relationships, associations, model prediction).
State the research questions as they relate to the phenomenon under investigation. b.
Align the research questions with the problem statement. c.
Include the qualitative method(s) by which the research questions were answered.
includes all of the above .]
(Quantitative/Mixed Studies Only)
[Hypotheses stated in testable, potentially negatable form with each variable operationalized. Note: Each hypothesis represents
testable prediction. The phrasing of each hypothesis clearly reflects the nature of the statistical analysis used to test each hypothesis (i.e., comparisons, relationships, associations, model prediction).]
. [Null Hypothesis Text…]
. [Alternative Hypothesis Text…]
Nature of the Study
[Present a brief overview of the study design, variables/constructs, instruments and analyses (as applicable).]
Significance of the Study
[Demonstrate why the study is important and describe the contribution(s) to the field of study.]
[Provide definitions for (a) key operational terms, (b) words used in a unique way, and/or (c) words
not commonly used or understood
. Definitions might include terms related to your research design, qualitative inquiry, and/or analytical strategy. Support definitions with citations and/or note when definitions are those of the researcher.]
Summarize key points
presented in chapter 1 and include supporting citations.]
Chapter 2: Literature Review
[Begin with a summary of the purpose statement that leads to a brief explanation of the logical organization of the literature review. Include a paragraph that explains the literature search strategy and describes the sources. Note: Conduct a thorough literature
6 search based on a variety of relevant key words and databases. It is extremely rare for there to be no existing literature on a topic worthy of doctoral level study.]
[repeat as needed]
[Present the theoretical or conceptual framework(s) related to the study. Present historical research as well as research related to the topic of study within the last 5 years.
Include appropriate scholarly source citations for each assertion. Ensure the discussion has depth and presents a critical analysis and synthesis of the literature that provides a context for the dissertation study. Discuss conflicting findings and/or theoretical positions causing intellectual tension in the field. Ensure the discussion is comprehensive, organized, and flows logically. Use themes and/or subtopics as headings. Note: A literature review is discursive prose, not a list describing or summarizing one piece of literature after another. Avoid stringing together articles and beginning every paragraph with the name of a researcher. Instead, organize the literature review into sections that present themes or identify trends, including relevant theory.
One should not attempt to list all the material published, but rather synthesize and evaluate the relevant scholarly research according to the guiding concept of your thesis or research question.]
[Summarize key points presented in chapter 2 and include supporting citations for key points. Highlight contradictions and uncertainties that support the need for the proposed study.]
Chapter 3: Research Method
[Begin with an introduction and/or restatement of the research problem and purpose. Conclude the introduction with a brief overview of the chapter. Restate the research question(s)/hypotheses.
Quantitative – research questions and hypothesis(es) clearly stated and clearly aligned with each other and with the problem statement.
Qualitative - research questions clearly stated and aligned with problem statement.
Mixed Method - includes all of the above.
Note: This section should be identical to wording used in chapter 1
Research Methods and Design(s)
[Accurately describe the research method and design(s). Substantiate the appropriateness of the method and design(s); include a statement about why the method/design(s) was/were chosen over others.
Elaborate on the research design (e.g., case study, phenomenology, grounded theory, causal-comparative, correlational, quasi-experimental, etc.) appropriateness to respond to the study purpose.
Clearly describe the design steps. Ensure the discussion is not simply a listing and description of research designs. Provide appropriate support for the use and application of the chosen design.
Demonstrate why the design will accomplish the study goals and why design is the optimum choice for the research.
Describe in enough detail so that the study could be replicated
[Provide a description of the population (as appropriate), estimated size and relevant characteristics with appropriate support. Identify the sampling method and explain selection of participants, including known population characteristics and recruitment strategy. Describe participant characteristics. Describe and justify the sampling method and minimum sample size:
Quantitative studies include probabilistic selection approach and a supporting power analysis for statistical significance of responses. When determining a minimum sample size, consider sampling error, representativeness and the assumptions of the proposed statistical tests.
Qualitative studies include references that support the proposed number of participants.
Mixed Method studies include both of the above.]
[In this section, include a description of (a) published instruments (adequately describe constructs measured, coding schemes, and psychometric properties (include both indices of reliability and validity) – include as an appendix, if possible, or include sample items); (b) materials (including survey/instruments) developed for study (adequately describe the development process and final product (include as an appendix)); (c) apparatus (adequately describe any apparatus including model/make, how it is used, and outcome(s) it provides). If a self-developed instrument is proposed, describe the measures to demonstrate validity and reliability.]
Operational Definition of Variables (Quantitative/Mixed Studies Only)
[Text (optional)… Identify each of the primary constructs associated with the proposed topic, problem, research question(s), and hypotheses. Include a brief overview of how each will be operationally defined for the proposed study
Describe the nature of each variable and how it will be/was measured and collected. The nature of the data must be consistent with and appropriate to the purpose, research design and proposed statistical analyses.]
Data Collection, Processing, and Analysis
Describe the collection, processing and analyses in enough detail so that the study could be replicated. Describe the steps taken in carrying out the study. Provide specific details relative to the execution of the design in each appropriate section.
[Describe the types of data to be collected, and how the data will be coded, and what statistical analysis and software will be used.
Quantitative: restate each hypothesis and fully describe the analysis strategy used to test each hypothesis. Present a valid argument for the choice of the proposed analytical strategy.
Qualitative: fully describe how the data will be/were processed and analyzed
(including any efforts for triangulation). Present a valid argument for the choice of the proposed analytical strategy. Explain the role of the researcher.
Mixed Method: include all of the above.]
Methodological Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations
[Thoroughly discuss the assumptions about the population and design (and rationale/support for assumptions).
Provide a thorough discussion of the study limitations (potential weaknesses to
11 interpretation and validity). Discuss any measures taken to mitigate limitations in this section.
Review any potential threats to the internal and external validity (specific to the study design) and how they were addressed.
Describe the study delimitations (specific choices made to narrow the scope of the study). Discuss the scope of data used in the study in this section.]
[There are four categories of ethical issues in research including protection from harm, informed consent, right to privacy, and honesty with professional colleagues.
When research involves human beings, ethical issues may occur. Discuss compliance with the standards for conducting research as appropriate to the proposed research design.
Describe the informed consent procedures and how you will maintain confidentiality of the participants (as appropriate). Describe how you will obtain assurances for formal approval of the study.
In the proposal, state that IRB approval will be sought prior to any data collected.
In the final Dissertation, state that IRB approval was obtained prior to any data collection conducted].
[Summarize key points presented in chapter 3 and provide supporting citations for key points.]
[All references listed in text appear in reference section. Use a .5 inch hanging indent, single-spacing, with a blank line between references.]
[Each Appendix referenced in text should appear in this section at the end of the manuscript]
[Insert/type Appendix A content here]
[Insert/type Appendix B content here]