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CRJ 418/518: Research Methods

Research Guide for CRJ 418/518

Preparing your Graduate Thesis Proposal

Your Graduate Thesis Proposal should include each of the following sections:

Project Title​

Project Summary: a brief overview of the research design, goals, and merit

Biographical Sketch: your biography and relevant experience

Project Description: a clear statement of the work and its merit

Project Objectives

Literature Review: with relevant literature and theoretical frameworks, and information about the intellectual merit and broader impact of your project:

  1. Follow the steps outlined under Identify Research Gaps to identify a research gap in the literature
  2. Go to Start Finding SourcesSearch Databases, and Browse Journals to find journal articles for your research area.
  3. Go to Analyze Your Sources to analyze your journal articles, Select Your Sources to evaluate and select sources for your project description, and Use Your Sources to use your sources to build your hypothesis, arguments, justifications, and research methods for your proposed research project.
  4. Go to Write Your Literature Review to pull together your research into a compelling narrative about the background and importance of your research project.

Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts

Research Methods: includes a Research Timeline with deliverables and respective dates. Depending on your project, it may also include information about populations and sites, participant recruitment, secondary analysis of datasets, protocol for protecting participants, survey/interview protocol, or an informed consent document.

  • Go to Use Your Sources to use your sources to build your research study design.
  • Go to Find Datasets if you are using datasets as part of your research design.

Data Management Plan: includes protocol covering data collection, storage, and sharing.

Proposal Budget: project costs and justification for each of your project costs

Research Timeline: include deliverables and their expected dates

References Cited: Go to Cite & Write in ASA Style to format your References Cited list in American Sociological Association (ASA) format.


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