Dissertation proposal rationale

Phd Research Proposal Rationale

This section is included to aid the reader in understanding how you are using specific terms. You should not define every common term associated with child care programs in industry or with the research methodology you are proposing. You need only define uncommon terms or common ones you are using in uncommon or unconventional ways.

For example, the child care program in XYZ corporation may be set up only for "latch key" children.

As there is no commonly accepted definition for this term, you need to define this term as applied to your study. If you decide to use a variation of an accepted research methodology, this should be included as well. Words or terms needing definitions are most often found in the title of your study, and in the purposes, objectives, rational, hypotheses and research questions sections. They should be briefly defined in chapter one and may be elaborated on in the literature review section found in chapter two.

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The purpose of the "assumptions and limitations" section of the proposal is difficult to clearly discuss because there is no general consensus regarding its function or what needs to be included. As always, once you have determined the assumptions and limitations you feel are appropriate to your study, discuss them with your committee chair and committee members and come to an agreement regarding how this section relates to your study.

Generally speaking, a section discussing the major assumptions underlying the study are required by most graduate schools. You need to determine what is a major assumption and what isn't. Discuss this with your committee. There are many levels of assumptions that come into play in each and every study. Assumptions may relate to the population or sample that you are using in your study or may be concerned with subtle differences regarding cultures or societies.

They may relate to age, sex or other demographic variables among your study population. Assumptions may relate to the measures or to other aspects of the research design and methodology i. You need to make the initial decisions about the importance of the assumptions and whether they need to be included in this section.

Follow this up with a discussion with your committee. Limitations provide another way to further clarify, quantify, delimit, or define certain aspects of the problem or topic that cannot easily be included in any of the sections discussed so far. The intent of this section is to give special emphasis or to further clarify limiting factors that have not been discussed before.

Let's take another look at the child care program of the XYZ corporation.

While this may have been discussed before, it should be mentioned here as a limitation as it possibly impacts the generalizability or application of your results to other child care programs in similar companies. The "organization of the remainder of the study" section is designed to tell the reader what to expect in the remaining chapters. One way to think of this section is that it prepares the reader for what will come in the rest of the study. Some graduate programs want this in the proposal but not in the final report. This section could be a paragraph as follows: Chapter two will discuss the appropriate literature related to the problem just described.

Chapter three will describe and discuss the research methodology selected to respond to the problem. Chapter four will present and analyze the data collected using the methodology described in chapter three. The study will conclude with chapter five which is a summary and conclusions drawn from the data presented in chapter four, and will conclude with recommendations drawn from the data in this study and will present recommendations for future research. Chapter two of the proposal and the final report is the literature review.

In the proposal it is frequently a brief review of pertinent literature grouped around major themes or topics. The literature review includes books, articles, interviews or other print or non-print sources of opinion, fact, or empirical data.

The purpose of the literature review is to demonstrate that you are as current as anyone about what has been done as it relates to your topic. A well done literature review can establish you as an expert. At the very least, it should establish that you know a lot about your topic and have a good working knowledge of direct and indirectly related literature.

What this handout is about

Is writing a rationale for a dissertation a trouble for you? Are you not sure how to start and where to finish? Learn all bits and bolts of rationale. The first chapter in this document lays out the rationale The context for your dissertation's rationale refers to the research, both past and present, that focuses on the problem you hope to How to Do a Thesis Proposal Presentation→.

The literature review should accomplish at least the following five purposes: 1 to place the topic in an historical context; 2 to provide for the assessment of previous studies relating to the topic; 3 to justify selection of the topic; 4 to assist in the selection of research design and methodological procedures; and, 5 to provide a theoretical framework. Let's look at these purposes more closely. It is fairly safe to say that no topic exists in isolation. When faced with making sense out of reams of computer generated abstracts of literature relating to your topic, you may wish this were true, but it isn't.

When writing about your topic, you need to establish where it fits in relation to other current and past studies. What aspects of the problem have been studied?

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When were the studies completed? What problems have been encountered?

How have they been resolved? Looking at the historical context will also help you to establish how your study is different from other studies and will help establish your credibility. The literature review also provides an assessment of previous studies as they relate to your topic. How reliable is the data and the analysis? How sound are the recommendations? On what criteria is the cited literature relevant to your topic? The five "W's" of journalism who, what, where, when and why provide a way to look at this. When looking at the "who" aspect, consider the reputation of the author.

How well known is this person? How many books, chapters, articles, etc.


How prestigious are the journals or publishers of this person's work? Another dimension of the "who" is to consider the population comprising the focus of the research. How were they sampled and what was the extent of the sampling. How does the "who" of this literature relate to your study? Assess the literature in terms of "what" has been done as well as "what" are the results of that research. How can you use this literature? How does this relate to your proposed topic? When looking at the "where", most literature reflects at least one of the following four perspectives: local, regional, national and international.

You need to review literature from the most relevant perspective s. For example, if you were considering a topic relating to industrial psychology, looking at regional differences might be considered irrelevant as people learn through the same basic psychological processes in California as they do in New York.

How to write a dissertation proposal

However, if your study is concerned with differences in attitudes, it is impossible to assume that the opinions of individuals in the West are the same as those in the East. The key is to know your topic and to review the literature accordingly. The same logic can be applied to reviewing literature with a local, national or international flavor. The purpose of reviewing literature from a "when" perspective is to determine the currency of the material. Research often runs in cycles. There are times when a great deal of research is done on a particular subject.

Interest subsides. Then, for no apparent reason, it picks up again. Be sure you know if the particular literature you are reviewing is in a cycle. If so, you need to know where the piece you are reviewing is in relation to that cycle. There are several other reasons for needing to know when the research was done. It will help you to determine how far back you need to go to establish the historical basis for the research. It will help you to determine if the research interest in this topic has waned.

If this is so, a good question to ask yourself is, "Why am I interested in it"? Knowing when the study was done will also help you to determine if replicability is needed or warranted. Would a study completed in have the same results if completed on the same population today?