4000-word Quantitative Research Proposal
NB: submission deadline is 16 December 2015
Programme of study: MA in Disability Studies (School of Policy and Social Sciences)
Module/Unit: Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences.
The assignment for this unit requires you to develop a quantitative research proposal. We would like you to design a study in a policy area of your choice.
The study could be a:
• Observational survey
• Experimental trial
• Secondary analysis of existing observational or experimental data
• Systematic review.
Part One (no more than 2000 words)
In the first part of the assignment we would like you to describe a study you have designed to answer a research question in a policy area of your choice. The proposal should contain a clear outline of the:
• Theoretical background to the area that you wish to explore
• Research question/s that will be answered
• Hypotheses that will be tested – highlighting the independent and dependent variables
• Methods to be used including detail on o Study design
o Sampling frame
o Data collection/Access procedures
o Data Analysis plan (Using Statistical Package for Social sciences-SPSS)
.Anticipated ethical issues in the study,
.Preliminary studies or pilot tests
.Significance of the study
Part Two (no more than 2000 words)
The second part of the assignment should draw on methodological literature and analyse the strengths and weakness of the proposed research and methods. Your analysis should consider:
. The philosophycal underpinnings
• The strengths and weaknesses of the design/methods selected
• Practical difficulties in conducting the research
• Threats to validity (internal, external, construct etc validity) & reliability and steps taken to control for them.
• Ethical issues raised by the proposal
• Your essay should use 1.5 line spacing; no less than 12 pt font
• Include exact word count –
• The main section including parts one and two (no more than 4000 words, including figures and tables but not reference lists)
• A complete reference list presented according to the Harvard system1.
• Include page numbers at the bottom of each page
• Remember that you may lose marks if you exceed the word limit, do not reference properly, or submit the assignment late without a pre-approved extension.
Briefly assignments should demonstrate:
• Knowledge of the relevant literature
• Independent and critical evidence synthesis
• An acquisition relevant skills
• Clear presentation and use of referencing system
• The ability to write well and draw valid conclusions
Tips: To check the quality of your essay, consider asking yourself the following questions and noting in the margins of your final draft where you have addressed each point.
Purpose and Objectives:
• Is the main purpose clear? In your words, what is it?
• Are objectives stated early on and major issues clearly identified? Are they linked in obvious ways to the main research question?
• Will the reader quickly see how the question relates to the area of interest?
• Are the style and tone of the essay appropriate to the audience and the occasion?
• Are subsections and paragraphs unified – each focusing on one central topic?
• Does your format (headings, bullets, boldface, etc) explicitly describe the text that follows? Do headings summarise key points?
• Are there clear ‘road signs’ indicating how your arguments move towards your conclusions?
• Are there any redundant/repetitive parts? Can they be combined or deleted?
• Do you indicate awareness of the difference between facts and opinions?
• Are opinions sufficiently supported by relevant data/sources/theory?
• Are issues overdeveloped; too detailed or contain less relevant arguments?
• Could some information be presented more clearly in a table/figure/graph?
NB: submission deadline is 16 December 2015
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