Writing The Research Proposal

Report
Writing PhD Research Proposal
Prof Dr Normah Omar
Director
Accounting Research Institute (ARI)
23rd November 2011
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Outline
• Overview of what constitutes research
• Overview of what research proposal should
highlight
• Components of Research Proposal
• Your research proposal…
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Research - Review
• An intellectual and creative activity
carried out on a systematic basis in
order to discover/prove/find evidences
about something new or unknown
Research - Review
• Research is an organised, systematic,
data-based, critical and scientific
enquiry into specific problem that
needs a solution
Research Proposal
• An Overall Plan, Scheme, Structure and
Strategy Designed to Obtain Answers to the
Research Questions or Problems which
Constitute Your Research Project
Proposal is like a Construction Plan
Brief Concept/idea
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Add the details
You Start with a Clear
Vision of What You Want6
Research Proposal: Two Main
Functions
1 General Function: Outline the Operational
Plan for Obtaining Answers to Your
Research Questions
2 Technical Function: Specify and Ensure the
Methodology for Control of Variance
FOR FUNCTION 1, RESEARCH PROPOSAL MUST
INDICATE:
•
•
•
•
•
WHAT You Are Proposing To Do
HOW You Plan To Proceed
WHY You Selected The Proposed Strategy
WHEN You Want To Conduct Your Study
WHERE Will The Study Takes Place
FOR FUNCTION 2, RESEARCH PROPOSAL
SHOULD INDICATE:
• Procedure To Test the Validity and Reliability
of Data
• That Variables Chosen are Appropriate and
Workable in Terms of Obtaining Answers to
Your Research Questions
Research Proposal: Academic
Requirements
• It Must Contain Appropriate References in the
Body of the Text and a Bibliography at the End
• Your Survey of the Relevant Literature Should
Cover Major Publications on the Topic Literature Review
For PhD research:
• You research contribution(s) must be
significant
• And it (they) must be original
• Make sure these two elements are still there
until you completed your VIVA
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Common Mistakes
• Topic is too broad/general
• Research Problem is not
clear
• Research objective is not
clear
• Research
questions/hypothesis
• Critical LR
• Inability to identify gap
• Unclear PhD Research
Contribution
• Flow of thought
• Unclear PhD Research
Significance
• Lack Theoretical Framework
• Unclear Proposed
Methodology
–
–
–
–
Sampling
Instrument
Measurement
Analysis
• Ineffective use of diagrams,
Tables, Figures
• Out of date references
• Poor Writing Skills
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Proposal: Putting Your Ideas Well in
Advance
• What is it you want to research on?
–
–
–
–
Topic of research
Working title
Keywords
Preliminary literature search
• Why you want to do this research?
–
–
–
–
Problem statement
Research gap?
Is it important to solve this?
Significant research contribution?
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Proposal: Putting Your Ideas Well in
Advance
• Where about will this research be covering?
– Population & Sampling
– Research Setting
• When will this research be conducted?
– Scope of research
– Period of study
• How will this research be conducted?
– Methodology
– Measurement, Instrumentation, Analysis
– Will you solve the problem?
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Where & How to Start?
• Own experience
• Own environment
• Talking to others
• Own Reading
1.
General
Idea
• More Readings
• Availability of previous works
• PhD Contributions
5. Identify
Issue or
Research
Problem
• More Readings
• Own Interest
2.
Lots of
Readings
4.
3.
Identify
Gap(s)
Refine
your Idea
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• Journals
• Books
•Theses
• Proceedings
• Develop key words
• Ask questions
• More Readings
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Proposal Contents
1. Title (Working Title)
2. Preamble/Introduction
3. Short Statement of the Problem
4. Research Objectives
5. Research Questions/Hypothesis
6. Review of Research Literature
7. The Design - Methods and Procedures
8. Tentative Time Table
9. References
10.Attachments/Appendixes
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1. Title (Working Title)
• Must be accurate, descriptive and concise (e.g.
20 - word limit). May include variables and/or
a mention of population.
• Note that you are only ready to devise a title
when you are clear of the focus of the study
• Choose a topic which can be investigated
through appropriate & valid methods & for
which research materials are available
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2. Preamble/Introduction
• The preamble/introduction provides readers
with the background information for the
research
• Relate the transformation of a “general idea”
to a more “refined topic”
• ½ page
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3. Short Statement of the Problem
• Give a short summary of the research problem that
you have identified (15-20 lines). SPEND TIME TO
GET THE PROBLEM CORRECTLY IDENTIFIED
• Remember, the most important aspect of a research
proposal is CLARITY of the research problem
• A problem might be defined as the issue that exists in
the literature, theory, or practice that leads to a need
for the study
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4. Research Objectives
• Give a concise and clear research
objectives that you want to achieve
through your research project
• It should be a measure of outcome NOT
mean
• If the objective is not clear to the writer, it
cannot be clear to the reader.
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5. Research Questions/Hypothesis
• Premised on the problem statement
identified, list possible research questions that
could be asked in order to achieve the
research objectives of the study
• Hypothesis are research questions that could
be statistically tested
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6. Review of the Literature
• Give a short and precise overview about the present state of
research that is immediately connected to your own research
projects
• The review of the literature provides the background and
context for the research problem. Name the most important
contributions of other studies
• Demonstrate to the reader that you have a comprehensive
grasp of the field and are aware of important recent
substantive and methodological developments
• Give a clear discussion of the theoretical framework that can
be used to frame the study
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Review of the Literature
• State clearly how your own research contributes
to existing body of knowledge
• Avoid statements that imply that little has been
done in the area or that what has been done is
too extensive to permit easy summary.
Statements of this sort are usually taken as
indications that the writer is not really familiar
with the literature.
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Literature Review
Year
Earliest
Latest
Gap
Your
Study
Author
(Source)
Variables
Methods
Model
/Framework
Conclusion
Comments
7. The Design - Methods and Procedures
• This is the central part of your research proposal.
• The methods or procedures section is really the
heart of the research proposal. The activities should
be described with as much detail as possible, and
the continuity between them should be apparent
• Indicate the methodological steps you will take to
answer every question or to test every hypothesis
illustrated in the Questions/Hypotheses section.
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The Design - Methods and Procedures
• All research is plagued by the presence of
confounding variables (the noise that
covers up the information you would like to
have).
• Confounding variables should be minimized
by various kinds of controls or be estimated
and taken into account by randomization
processes
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Quantitative VS Qualitative
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The Design - Methods and Procedures
In the design section, indicate
– the variables you propose to control and how
you propose to control them, experimentally or
statistically, and
– the variables you propose to randomize, and
the nature of the randomizing unit (students,
grades, schools, etc.).
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Main Components:
Sampling
• The key reason for being concerned with
sampling is that of validity—the extent to
which the interpretations of the results of the
study follow from the study itself and the
extent to which results may be generalized to
other situations with other people
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Main Components:
1. Sampling
• Sampling is critical to external validity—the
extent to which findings of a study can be
generalized to people or situations other than
those observed in the study.
• To generalize validly the findings from a sample to
some defined population requires that the
sample has been drawn from that population
according to one of several probability sampling
plans
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Main Components:
Instrumentations
• Outline the instruments you propose to use
(surveys, scales, interview protocols, observation
grids).
• If instruments have previously been used, identify
previous studies and findings related to reliability
and validity.
• If instruments have not previously been used,
outline procedures you will follow to develop and
test their reliability and validity (e.g. pilot study)
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Main Components:
Instrumentations (cont)
• Because selection of instruments in most
cases provides the operational definition
of constructs, this is a crucial step in the
proposal
• Include an appendix with a copy of the
instruments to be used or the interview
protocol to be followed.
• Also include sample items in the
description of the instrument.
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Main Components:
Data Collection
• Outline the general plan for collecting the
data. This may include survey
administration procedures, interview or
observation procedures.
• Include an explicit statement covering the
field controls to be employed. If
appropriate, discuss how you obtained
entré.
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Main Components:
Data Collection
• Outline the general plan for collecting the
data. This may include survey administration
procedures, interview or observation
procedures.
• Include an explicit statement covering the field
controls to be employed. If appropriate,
discuss how you obtained entré.
• Provide a general outline of the time schedule
you expect to follow.
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Main Components:
Data Analysis
• Specify the procedures you will use, and label
them accurately (e.g., ANOVA, MANCOVA, HLM,
ethnography, case study, grounded theory). If
coding procedures are to be used, describe in
reasonable detail.
• If you triangulated, carefully explain how you
went about it. Communicate your precise
intentions and reasons for these intentions to the
reader. This helps you and the reader evaluate the
choices you made and procedures you followed.
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Main Components:
Data Analysis
• Indicate briefly any analytic tools you will
have available and expect to use (e.g.,
Ethnograph, NUDIST, AQUAD, SAS, SPSS,
SYSTAT).
• Provide a well thought-out rationale for
your decision to use the design,
methodology, and analyses you have
selected.
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8. Tentative Time Table
• Give if possible, in a table format,
information about your estimated time
table, indicating the sequence of research
phases and the time that you probably
need for each phase
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9. References
• Only references cited in the text are included
in the reference list; however, exceptions can
be found to this rule. For example, if the
research committees may require evidence
that you are familiar with a broader spectrum
of literature than that immediately relevant to
your research. In such instances, the reference
list may be called a bibliography.
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10. Attachments/Appendixes
• The need for complete documentation generally
dictates the inclusion of appropriate appendixes in
proposals
• The following materials are appropriate for an
appendix:
– Verbatim instructions to participants.
– Original scales or questionnaires. If an instrument is
copyrighted, permission in writing to reproduce the
instrument from the copyright holder or proof of
purchase of the instrument.
– Interview protocols.
– Sample of informed consent forms.
– Cover letters sent to appropriate stakeholders.
– Official letters of permission to conduct research.
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THANK YOU
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Let’s Review Your Research Proposal
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PROPOSAL FOR DOCTOR OF ACCOUNTANCY
(AC 990)
Integrating Target Costing (TC)
Indicators within the Balanced Scorecard
(BSC) model:
An Empirical Evidence of Malaysian
Companies Capabilities
PREPARED BY:
HUSSEIN HUSSEIN HAMOOD SHARAF ADDIN
(2010267516) - (Full-Time)
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Refine your proposal
Write concept papers
• 1st paper
• 2nd paper
• 3rd paper
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