Click here for a U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health article on How
to Write a Research Proposal at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3282423/
This will serve as a good general overview. Your proposal will need to comply with the
By the end of Week 4 of the course term, a draft of a research study proposal is due. You will not be
conducting this research, just proposing it as a hypothetical study. The study will focus on a real world
socio-cultural issue. You may use an existing published study from an academic journal article as a
prototype example for developing your proposal, but the study method and focus of research you
propose must be your own original research idea. The paper will consist of an Introduction, a
Literature Review, an Hypothesis, a Method section, and a References page. The paper must be a
minimum of 14 pages (excluding Title, Abstract, and References pages).
Your research study proposal draft will include:
Significance of this question to the field of study (e.g., how is it relevant to social psychology in
A LITERATURE REVIEW
At least 4 brief summaries of other similar studies. The Literature Review section must
not be merely one summary after another with no meaningful connections
between them, but rather should include, following a description of and
careful review and critique of the summaries, descriptions of how they are
related to one another. This is done via transition statements between
descriptions of the various summaries such that the paper interweaves all
the articles into a coherent and well-articulated review of scholarly
publications related to the paper topic focus.
What is a Literature Review?
A brief review of the literature means that you will report (search some key words in the on-line
library in Psych Abstract or some such area) on studies that are similar to the one you propose. This
might include an old classic study that launched the field of study in your topic but should include
some background studies and at least one rather recent study into the same area as yours. For this
assignment, 4 or 5 quick reviews would suffice. The reviews are typically no more than a paragraph
explaining in simple terms, who did the research (with the APA style “year” of the study in
parentheses), what they were hoping to explore, and what the results of their study were.
Wrap up with a FORMAL HYPOTHESIS
What is an Hypothesis?
At the conclusion of your review of the literature you will summarize your research idea and then state
your hypothesis. A good proposal hypothesis should directly state, without reservations, the
expectations of the study. For example, “Hypothesis: The experimental group will significantly improve
their scores on the _____measure after viewing the role play of bullying behavior.” Or another
example: “Hypothesis: Subjects will show decreased empathy on a survey of compassion and
empathy for the learners that used the weakest excuses.” Or, “Hypothesis: There will be a significant
difference between the groups with the experimental group having higher scores than the control
A METHOD Section
The Method section includes a detailed description of measuring devices to be used for data collection
(Examples: Surveys, questionnaires, individual interviews, case studies, naturalistic or controlled
observation), of the study participants, or "subjects" and of the procedures, or how measures will be
taken. You should include three sub-sections titled Subjects, Measures, and Procedures. Also include
a brief statement regarding how you intend to analyze the data you collect (e.g., regarding statistical
analysis of data).