Statement of Problem
_____ Identifies a general research problem that will address the practical problem. What do you want to know that you don’t know (that nobody knows) that will help to solve the practical problem?
_____ Focuses in on a specific research problem that the study proposes to address
_____ Clearly and logically demonstrates how the focus of the study is an important problem, worthy of study.
_____ Impact of the research problem is fully documented and supported.
_____ Discusses how the research study represents a unique approach to the research problem, adds to the research literature, and contributes to practice in the field.
_____ Explains how the study proposes to address the specific research problem
Purpose of the Study
_____ Provides a specific and accurate synopsis of the overall purpose of the study
_____ Connects the Purpose of the Study as addressing the specific research problem
_____ Includes a single-sentence Purpose Statement that succinctly describes the focus, methodology, population, and geographical location of the study
Ex: The purpose of this phenomenological study is to understand the experience of Generation X women in the Los Angeles area who desire to obtain their first executive position in the financial services industry.
_____ Briefly defines and delimits the specific area of the research
_____ Foreshadows the hypotheses to be tested or the questions to be raised as well as the importance of the study
_____ Clearly identifies and defines the central concepts or ideas of the study
_____ Identifies the unit of analysis in the study
_____ Justifies the general method of inquiry used in the study: qualitative, quantitative, or
For a quantitative study:
_____ Specifies at least two variables and a conjectured relationship between them to describe what will be studied
For a qualitative study:
_____ Identifies the phenomenon, situation, or factors of interest
_____ Indicates and justifies which qualitative methodology will be used
For a mixed methods study:
_____ Identifies the specific type of mixed method design–explanatory, exploratory, or triangulation.
_____ Reflects whether the qualitative and quantitative phases of the study are sequential or simultaneous
Importance of the Study
_____ Answers the following in a logical, explicit manner:
_____ What is the importance of this research?
_____ What will it contribute to theory and practice in the student’s field of specialization?
_____ What are implications of the research?
Theoretical [or Conceptual] Framework
_____ Places the study within a particular theoretical area in the field under investigation
_____ Situates the study among other research studies within the theoretical area
_____ Briefly summarizes enough relevant research literature (historical, seminal, and current) to situate and justify the study based on its contribution to the existing body of research, referencing the more detailed discussions in Chapter II
_____ Articulates the theoretical base (quantitative only) or the conceptual framework (qualitative only) to show connection to a certain body of literature. (Mixed method–addresses both theoretical and conceptual framework.)
Research Questions [and Hypotheses]
_____ Clearly presents specific research questions and sub-questions to be addressed,
referencing the more detailed discussions in Chapter III
_____ Includes research hypotheses for each research question and sub-question (quantitative only)
_____ Includes research questions that are identified for the qualitative and quantitative phases (mixed method only)
_____ Questions and hypotheses are elaborated on in a discussion format, not simply listed
_____ Connects the research questions to the Statement of Purpose, showing how these questions will address the goals of the study
Overview of Research Design
_____ Briefly describes the general methodology and design, including data collection method, population and sample, instrumentation, data collection, and analysis, with references to more detailed discussions in Chapter III
_____ Shows how the particular research design is the most appropriate to address the goals of the study
Definition of Terms
_____ Defines important terms as used in this study, especially those that may otherwise have multiple meanings
_____ Uses citations to support the origin of the definitions
_____ Defines important technical terms that may be unknown to a reader
_____ Operationalizes key variables or constructs
Assumptions, Limitations and Delimitations
_____ Describes the scope and bounds of the study (delimitations–boundaries researcher has set)
_____ Addresses major limiting factors in the study that could possibly affect the results (If limitations are considerable, explains why the study is being conducted.)
_____ Articulates assumptions about facts that are not actually verified
_____ Addresses potential weaknesses of the study
_____ Discusses generalizability of the study findings
_____ Summarizes key points of the study
_____ Gives an overview of the content of the remaining chapters in the study, bridging to Chapter II
_____ Conforms to the recommended length of 15–25 pages for Chapter I