Connecting students to knowledge
and its application
Southern Utah University
Lynn White, Ph.D.
Elements of a Research
1.Title Page: include the Running head, title of your proposal, your name, and university affiliation (note: remember to paginate every page)
2. Abstract (150-250 words): summarize the background information on the topic under investigation, a brief explanation of the niche for your research, the research question(s), methods, proposed statistical analyses, prediction(s) with rationale, and implications. Written in the future tense – for now.
3. Introduction A and B (don’t label them like this!)
Introduction A is an introduction to the general area of investigation. The goal here is to provide background information to the reader – and to demonstrate to the person grading your paper that you know something about the area that you are spending a full year investigating.
Introduction B is an introduction to your study. Here, the goal is to discuss enough previous research in the area to fully justify your study. That is, you need to convince the reader that your study is necessary, interesting, important etc…
Intro A & B are written mostly in the past tense. At the very end of this section, state your research questions,
predictions and rationale. Give a 1-2 sentence description of the methods you will use in your study. This part is written in the present and future tenses. Intro A and B should total 6-8 pages and funnel shaped.
4. Method section with three subsections: Participants, Materials, Procedure
Essentially, copy and paste from your IRB proposal. Remember to write this section in the future tense – for now.
5. Planned Statistical Analyses
I recommend the following format:
Question A > analysis to answer question A > prediction with brief rationale for question A
Question B > analysis to answer question B > prediction with brief rationale for question B
Question C > analysis to answer question C > prediction with brief rationale for question C
6. Reference List… and you’re done!
7. Appendix: Attach surveys, inventories etc… as applicable