Research Proposal
Worth: 120 points
See Calendar for due date
This is it – the bread and butter of this course. You are going to take everything you have written and smash it all into one giant document called the Research Proposal. You are basically writing a research proposal without actually collecting the data itself (that is what 407/408 are for). You must include all elements outlined on this page for your Research Proposal assignment. You should strive to be as descriptive and explicit as necessary, but you also need to be as succinct as possible. Below, you will see the rough outline of how the headings and paragraphs should look. For additional support, please refer to the examples posted on Canvas. And away we go!
Abstract/Keywords
Now you have to include an abstract after your title page. In this abstract, think of it as an annotation that you have done for an annotated bibliography. Mention the topic, the rationale for why the topic should be studied, the purpose of the study, and the proposed methods. Looking at about 100-250 words. Also include keywords for your paper (keywords being what someone would Google in order to find your paper, so make them specific).
Introduction
Flashback to your topic proposal and literature review. Assuming the idea stayed the same, you will edit and polish your introduction from the topic proposal and literature review and include that here. Make sure to have your rationale and preview of the paper and that it flows well. You can just use the same introduction you wrote in your literature review here.
Literature Review
Edit and polish the literature review assignment and write it here. Fix the mistakes you might have made in the lit review assignment because I will be looking at this paper with an eye for detail and will deduct points for mistakes that could have easily been fixed. Make sure your research question(s) or hypothesis(es) are at the end of this section (it makes it easier to find). Again, check my notes on this in your original literature review assignment and adjust accordingly. You do not need to rewrite this whole thing! You already wrote it so just edit where needed and plop it down here.
Methods
The meat and potatoes of this assignment. You will describe your research method in detail using the appropriate terms. For instance, you will indicate if your proposal is quantitative, qualitative, or rhetorical and then you will name the method you are using (if you are quant, you can do survey, experiment, or content analysis; if you are qual, you can do an interview, focus group, or ethnography; if you are rhet, you can do a rhetorical criticism or critical analysis). **If you want to do a rhetorical criticism, talk to me about it FIRST because this is a tough one to do. It is possible (and a whole lot of fun) but you really need to know your stuff with this method.
Additionally, explain why this type of method is being used (i.e., why the specific method is appropriate for this topic). Only choose ONE method (so NO mixed-methods!). Please make sure to write in the future tense, as you will not actually conduct the study…in this class.
The sections are separated by quantitative, qualitative, and rhetorical methods.
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If you want to do a quantitative proposal…
Procedures
Participants. This section describes, in detail, how the participants will be sampled, how they will be recruited, the characteristics of the sample that will be relevant to the study, the desired size of the sample, and a logical rationale that justifies this sample choice and size. Remember that the study needs to be feasible so make sure you can actually collect these participants.
Procedures. Include your description of how your research will proceed (remember – we may want to actually conduct this study in the future [hint: COM 407/408]). If relevant, discuss where your participants will be studied, what will happen to them when they immediately arrive, the instructions you will give participants, etc. Describe how the data will be gathered, including specific procedures to be followed. Be sure to include how consent will be gathered from the participants. Provide a brief rationale for why these procedures and measures are appropriate for the study, including how reliability and validity will be determined.
Instrumentation. Describe how you will operationalize the independent and dependent variables. That is, explain how the variables will be observed, measured, and/or manipulated in relation to all questionnaires, physical observations, and any other applicable measures. You must use pre-existing measures or procedures (they usually have names like “XXXX Scale” or “XXXX Measure”). If the instruments that you will use have been previously validated, report that information here, along with the reliability coefficient that other researchers have found that instrument to have. Be sure to include examples here. If you are using any kind of instrument (like if you are doing a survey), include the instrument in the Appendix (at the end of the paper). If the actual instrument has not been published, then include the examples of the items that other researchers have described when they used that instrument. Do NOT write your own survey questions unless they are the demographics. Survey items need to actually exist and have been tested before. If you are using a pre-existing procedure (doing an experiment), then please thoroughly explain the experiment.
Justification for your method
Here you will describe your reasoning for using this method as opposed to another method. Cite the lecture material or textbook here.
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If you want to do a qualitative proposal…
Participants
This section describes, in detail, how the participants will be sampled, how they will be recruited, the characteristics of the sample that will be relevant to the study, the desired size of the sample, and a logical rationale that justifies this sample choice and size. Remember that the study needs to be feasible so make sure you can actually collect these participants.
Data Collection
Include your description of how your research will proceed (remember- we may want to actually conduct this study in the future [hint: COM 407/408]). If relevant, discuss where your participants will be studied, what will happen to them when they immediately arrive, the instructions you will give participants, etc. Describe how the data will be gathered, including specific procedures to be followed. Be sure to include how consent will be gathered from the participants. Provide a brief rationale for why these procedures and measures are appropriate for the study. If you are doing interviews or focus groups, then include a list of sample questions and the full interview or focus group guide in the Appendix (at the end of the paper). If you are doing an ethnography, describe the site of research, how you will gain access to that site, and what you would be doing there.
Justification for your method
Here you will describe your reasoning for using this method as opposed to another method. Cite the lecture material or textbook here.
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If you want to do a rhetorical criticism proposal…
[ Talk to me about it. This can look a myriad of different ways.]
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(From here below, all papers will need them regardless of what method you chose.)
Limitations
Discuss some holes in the data you potentially can find, and how these threats will be (a) thwarted by your procedures, or (b) may impact the conclusions. It should not be difficult to be specific and accurate here, since your book discusses all of these issues in chapters that we have read.
References
List all references in alphabetical order by author’s last name using proper APA format. Please remember to add any new articles used, or else that is plagiarism. You should have at least 10 scholarly articles in your references page (most of which should be from comm journals). You can use popular press articles and sources, but they will not count towards your 10 scholarly references.
Appendix
Please include all relevant study materials here. You will need at least TWO appendices – the consent form and the instrumentation like survey questions, interview/focus group questions, experimental design, the process for a content analysis, etc. Here is a template
Actions
for the consent form as provided by ASU. Feel free to use it and change the information wherever necessary (basically fill out everything in red). As for the survey/interview questions, those do not have a template so it is a bit free form. However, the ORDER of the questions matters. Refer back to the discussions on surveys and interviews and base your order on what was said (hint: ask what you want to be answered most first and then take it from there).
Rubric
INTRO
5 pts
Full Marks
Grabbed my attention and made me want to read more; knew what the study was going to be about with the purpose statement; knew why the study was important to do with the rationale, knew what was coming up with the preview
LIT review- variables
5 pts
Full Marks
Present and effective; variables well-defined from comm research and understandable; theory or theoretical perspectie present or helped with conceptualization
LIT review-claims
5 pts
Full Marks
Present and effective; claims were plausible and made sense; communication-based
LIT review- revelent info and flow
5 pts
Full Marks
Present and effective; all information was relevant to the study; little to no irrelevant information added (aka fluff); flowed well with the ideas; connected big themes together with the background research
RQs/H
5 pts
Full Marks
Present and effective; clear understanding of what a RQ or H does; easy to understand the direction of the study
METHODS- participant/text
15 pts
Full Marks
Present and effective; clear amount of people desired for the study (and the appropriate amount for the method); inclusion/exclusion criteria present; recruitment present and plausible; texts are clearly defined
METHODS-data collection
15 pts
Full Marks
Present and effective; clear order of the research protocol, including when the consent form comes in; clear indication of what will be collected from the participants; sample survey and/or interview questions present and appropriate; could read this section and replicate the study with ease
METHODS-justification
10 pts
Full Marks
Present and effective; clearly justified why you chose the method you did; understands the method’s purpose and uses it effectively; makes sense with the questions you are asking
Limitations
10 pts
Full Marks
Present and effective; clearly understood the limitations to the study and indicated them; understood what a limitation was
APPENDIX – CONSENT FORM
5 pts
Full Marks
Consent form completed/mostly completed with minor errors
REFRENCES
10 pts
Full Marks
At least ten scholarly articles (mostly from comm journals); mostly proper APA format
FLOW-orginaztion and grammer
5 pts
Full Marks
Present and effective; proper transitions and preview statements; grammatically correct; spellchecked; flows well
APPENDIX QUESTIONS
10 pts
Full Marks
Appropriate and complete survey questions in the appropriate order; appropriate and complete interview questions in the appropriate order
I WILL UPLOAD A FILE OF MY LIT REVIEW. I NEED YOU TO WORK WITH THAT AND COUNTINE ON WITH IT please. need to be 6 more pages on top of lit review.

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