You will develop a research proposal that uses qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods with the goal of service delivery improvement. The proposal could relate to an issue within a group member’s agency, or it could be a topic that you have come across in your article review assignments. Your task will be to propose a research study to collect information related to this identified issue. You will produce a research proposal, but you will not actually collect data. You will produce a paper (5-8 pages long). The grading rubric below outlines what is expected for this assignment.

I. Introduction: Introduce and describe the purpose of your paper and why the research you are proposing is relevant to the field of social work. State the main research question. Write at least two hypotheses (if the proposal uses quantitative methods because quantitative research predicts and qualitative research explains).

Literature Review: 2-3 pages to clearly establish the context of the selected problem/issue and what is known. Locate, read and describe at least 8 scholarly articles from peer-reviewed journals that relate to your research questions and interests.

II. Methods: Is the study quantitative, qualitative or mixed? (1) Why is this design appropriate for your research question? (2) Who are the participants and how will they be selected? (3) What questions do you plan on asking so you can learn whether your hypotheses are correct or not? What format do you plan on using to collect this information?

Create a sample survey/interview guide/focus group guide and include it in your paper as “Appendix A.” If you take questions from a standardized measure, include citations What are the ethical considerations of the study? What are the limitations? 2-3 pp plus survey

III. Conclusion: Summarize the purpose of your research, hypotheses, findings of the literature review, and the methods of the research you are proposing. 1-2 pp

IV. References: Minimum of 8 scholarly articles from peer-reviewed journals that relate to your research questions and interests. These should be in APA format. Be sure to cite and reference all other sources of information as well. No errors in grammar, spelling or word usage. Exhibits well-developed, thoughtfully written work throughout while still being concise. Provides a title page, headings, references in a References page (five minimum) and maintains in-text citations (following APA guidelines throughout).

Parts of the Research Paper
I. Introduction/Literature Review (2-3 pages,)

  • Introduce the topic
  • What specifically is the research about
  • Why is this topic important (as it relates to the field of social work)
  • Literature Review (Use a minimum of 8 research articles—Non-peer-reviewed sources cannot be used)
  • Research Question/Hypothesis

II. Design/Methodology (2-3 written plus survey)

  • Operationalizing of study design
  • Design choice and justification
  • Data collection
  • Sampling
  • Human Subjects consideration
  • Instrumentation
  • Identification of instrument
  • Outline the procedures for collecting data
  • How to solicit subjects (do you need to protect confidentiality)
  • Administration of survey
  • Feasibility

III. Analyzing the data/Draw Conclusions/Relevance to social work practice (2-3 pages)

  • Plans for analyzing data (no actual data entry)
  • Potential conclusions
  • Was the research question answered?
  • Support for hypothesis
  • Application to social work

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