Research Proposal: Step 1 Research Problem

I’m studying for my Psychology class and need an explanation.

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Throughout the next six weeks, you will plan and propose a qualitative research design of your choice, which may (or may not) involve an area of interest for your doctoral dissertation. You will select a research topic, generate researchable questions, review relevant literature, describe participant selection procedures, identify data collection methods, address potential ethical problems, and describe limitations of your research proposal.

This assignment is the first step toward completing your Final Research Proposal in Week 6. Every research project begins with a well-defined topic and research problem. Review this week’s textbook readings for ideas regarding how to select a good topic and research problem for qualitative research.

After thinking about a topic area you are interested in researching, conduct a preliminary literature search on that topic using ProQuest, EBSCOhost, or another library search engine. ProQuest has a database called “Dissertations & Theses” that will be especially useful for finding dissertations that have been written on your topic. From your initial review of the literature on your topic, state a specific research problem. Write a two-three page summary on the following:

  • Explain your topic area. Make a case for why this topic is important to you, the field of psychology, or your specialization area.
  • Is there an abundance of relevant and appropriate information on the topic? Are there research studies in your topic area that can help you formulate your own research problem statement? Is your proposed topic too broad or narrow?
  • After becoming familiar with some literature on your topic, what part of your topic are you most interested in?
  • What specifically about your topic do you intend to study? Can that problem be studied using a qualitative methodology? State the research problem clearly and completely.
  • State the significance of engaging in qualitative research on your particular topic.
  • Include a list of at least 5-7 scholarly resources on the Reference page that support your topic. You do not need to provide a comprehensive summary of the resources for this week, but should be preparing to do so for the Week 2 written assignment.

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