Chapter 1 The Research Problem Introduction Set the background of the study by explaining relevant i

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Chapter 1 The Research Problem Introduction
Set the background of the study by explaining relevant information directly leading to the proposed research questions. Describe the status of past research in the area under investigation that eventually led to the present research questions. Justify why there is a need to conduct the present study. o Present gaps from past research. o Mention the contradictory findings. o Explain the rationale investigating the central phenomenon If a theoretical perspective (as an advocacy lens) is used, it should be describe in this section Background of the Study (Creswell, 2008)
Serves as an opening statement to aid readers understanding of the nature and scope of your research. Focus on and discuss the following sections Topic (subject area) Research problem (a concern or issue; a problem; something that needs solution) A justification of the importance of the problems as found in the past research and in practice (evidence from the literature or practical experiences) The deficiencies in our existing knowledge about the problem (In this body of evidence, what is missing or what do we need to know more about)
The audiences that will benefit from a study of the problem (How will addressing what we need to know help researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and other individuals) Purpose Statement
Provides a general definition of the central phenomenon or idea to be investigated It indicates the intent to explore or understand the central phenomenon with specific individuals at a certain research site Often appears as the last sentence in the Introduction before the research questions are presented To guide you in writing a purpose statement see the template below: o The purpose of this (strategy of inquiry) study is (was? will be?) to (understand? describe? develop? discover?) the (central phenomenon being studied) for (participants) at (research site). At this stage in the research, the (central phenomenon) will be generally defined as (provide a general definition) Research Questions
Qualitative research questions are open-ended, general questions that you would like to answered during the study The researcher should state the research questions in a manner that highlights the emerging design of the qualitative study Start with a description of the general purpose of the study. The participants and the research site should be explicitly mentioned The research questions are enumerated logically according to what needs to be asked or established before moving to other questions. Below are more practical guidelines:
Expect your qualitative questions to change and to emerge in the course of your study because of your growing and deeper understanding of the phenomenon
Ask only a few, general questions (5-7 questions) Ask questions that use neutral, exploratory, and non-directional language o Design and write 2 types of questions: the central question (big, main question), and subquestions (more specific questions related to the central question) Scope and Limitations (for proposals only)
Refers to how you delimit or narrow the scope of study by focusing on specific central phenomenon, participants and site or narrowed to one type of research design Limitations refer to anticipated potential weaknesses of the proposed study Significance of the Study
Provide rationale for conducting the study and a statement why the results will be important
This sections provide the more detailed discussion of importance of the proposed study to researchers, practitioners, and policy makers In writing this section, you can write about 3-5 reasons why the study can add to the scholarly research and literature in the field, help improve practice, and improve policy
Chapter 2 Research Procedures 1. Qualitative Methodology and Design
Describe the type of research design (e.g., CQR, case study, phenomenology, etc.) used in the study and explain how it is going to be applied. Provide a brief background information about the strategy and how the strategy shapes the types of questions asked Discuss why it is the appropriate strategy for the study 2. Research Site and Sample
Identify the purposefully selected sites, individuals, documents or visual materials for the study Explain how the participants were selected (sampling technique). Report the procedures for selecting participants. Describe the research setting. Give major demographic characteristics such as general geographic location, institutional affiliation, gender, age, and other relevant demographic profile. 3. Data collection
Describe the types of data to be collected, and as well as, the method for collecting data, which may include any of the following: o Observations o Interviews (i.e. -on-on interviews, focus group discussions, telephone interviews, electronic email interviews, open-ended questions on questionnaires) o Documents o Audiovisual materials Describe the development of interview schedules and observation checklists, if applicable 4. Data Analysis
Indicate the procedure for content analysis. Provide information regarding the credentials of the researcher/s, auditors, and research team members involved in the data analysis Provide information regarding the credentials of the interviewers, raters, translators, and judges. Discuss the steps involved in the following stages of analysis o Organizing and preparing the data for analysis o Coding the interview/observational/audiovisual data
o Making descriptions of the setting/people and categories/themes for analysis 5. Researchers Role
Qualitative research by nature involves the researcher as instrument In order to ensure trustworthiness, qualitative researchers typically identify biases, values, and personal interest about their research topic and process. This section covers the following statements about: o Past experiences that can serve a background for readers to better understand the topic, the setting, or the participants o Connections between the researcher and the participants, and on the research sites o Steps to gain entry to the research setting and to secure permission to study the informants or situation o Steps to take in order to address anticipated ethical issues 6. Methods of Validation
Discuss how rigor and trustworthiness are addressed and ensured Specify procedures for establishing trustworthiness (credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability) using the strategies like: triangulation, auditing, member checking, etc.
Anticipated Outcomes and Tentative Review of Literature (optional) (applicable for proposals only) Discuss possible outcomes that you anticipate and provide a tentative explanation to support your anticipated outcomes Thoroughly evaluate whether you need to include this section by considering your research questions and designs This is generally suggested to be included in the proposal

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