Research Proposal: Problem Statement

I’m studying and need help with a Social Science question to help me learn.

Answer the following questions:

  • Present your topic (problem)
  • From your topic or problem, clearly state your proposed research question
  • State the purpose of your study
  • Describe the seriousness of the problem (provide facts and statistics)
  • Identify what the proposed study would contribute to the current understanding of the issue
  • Rationale for why this is an important issue in social work (what is the contribution of your study to social work?)
  • Cite at least two peer-reviewed sources to support the rationale for the items above

Social workers frequently use research to answer important questions. Research proposals are used by social workers to explain to others how they plan to answer the types of questions presented above. The very process of sitting down and writing a research proposal is incredibly helpful in working out the details of a research study, and—when this is explained well—it can lead to grant funding, donations, or other resources for research or interventions that actually address client needs.

Keep in mind you will not actually conduct a research study–you will only be describing how you would do so using either quantitative or qualitative methods.

(1) What is the problem?
(2) What is already known about the problem?
(3) How can I design a study to study this problem?
(4) How do I convince others that my study is worth doing?

You will need to include in the Research Proposal internal and external validity, reliability, confidentiality, sampling, etc., and apply them to your research topic. You will also seek out peer-reviewed sources (academic journal articles and textbooks) that relate to your research topic and incorporate this information into your Research Proposal.

Who should I keep in mind as I write the proposal? You will prepare all steps of your research proposal as if you were writing it for a government agency that is giving out $100,000 research grants. Keep in mind that only 5 grants of $100,000 each will be given out, regardless of how many people apply. There is a grant review committee that will review the grants using the same rubric that you receive. ONLY the 5 research proposals with the highest scores will get funded. In other words, the research proposal needs to convince the people reviewing the research grant that YOUR research proposal is the best place to invest their money.

The research proposal should be a quantitative research study.

The text and references for the research paper must be written in APA style (APA Publication Manual, 6th ed.)


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