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This assignment incorporates two key components of a research proposal the literature review and the research design. 

The components below must be included. They are highlighted in yellow in the outline.
title page
table of contents
introduction (small introductory paragraph, problem statement, purpose, significance, research question/hypothesis, definition of terms),
literature review
methods (research method & design, sampling, setting, data collection, instrumentation, ethical considerations, strengths and limitations)

Follow the outline (see pages 3-5 below).
Note: Some of the questions in the outline are very similar. They are stated in different ways to get you thinking about the components of each section.


Minimum of 6 text pages (not including the cover letter, the abstract; and the title, table of contents, and reference pages)
Maximum of 12 text pages (additional pages will not be looked at)
12 font, double space (except the cover letter and abstract), 1 margins
APA style (including a running head and page numbers)
Go to the OWL Purdue website for a review of the APA 6th edition
At least 6 key research references (five references must be research studies from peer reviewed journals; all references must be from credible sources no blogs, .coms, etc; newspapers and magazines are not acceptable)
Cite as needed (use the APA or AMA format for in-text citations)
Must include the components noted above (see Requirements)
Must be edited and free of spelling and grammatical errors (see the writing tips below for more writing guidelines)


You will be graded on:
How well you follow instructions (demonstrated by the content you provide)
o Inclusion of all the required elements to complete the assignment

Your writing skills including:
o Grammar & punctuation
o Comprehensive presentation of the literature and all other components
o Coherence of ideas
o Support for argument/point of view (with in-text citations in the APA format)
o Organization
o Clarity and conciseness
o Summary and analysis in your own words
o Paraphrasing others ideas

WRITING TIPS (important to remember!)

Spelling & grammar (proofread & revise, revise!)
Introduce acronyms (write out acronyms the first time they are mentioned)
Define terms
Use the active voice
Use parenthetical in-text citations
Avoid wordiness and jargon
Avoid first person writing and personal opinions
Pay attention to transitions
Pay attention to detail
Provide a summary and analysis in your own words (avoid just paraphrasing others ideas)
Explain technical terms

Research Proposal Outline

Title Page

Cover Letter [Optional] (address it to the funder; one-two paragraphs describing the problem, the proposed study and its significance, as well as how the proposed study relates to the funders mission)

Table of Contents

Abstract [Optional; 150-250 words_keep it short!]

Introduction [1-2 pages]
Introduce the topic [1 paragraph]
o What is the topic?
o What societal or organizational problem/issue does the research topic address?
Problem Statement [1-2 paragraphs]
o What specific problem does this proposed study address?
o What is the magnitude of the problem?
o Why is this problem worth studying?
o How will this study be conducted? (briefly describe in 1-2 sentences) 
Purpose of Study and Significance [2-3 paragraphs] (describes the overall purpose of the study and its importance in meeting the goals & objectives)
o What is the purpose of the study?
o What is the practical significance of the proposed research study?
o What will the proposed study achieve and how will it improve society?
Does it contribute to improved understanding of health services delivery, problem solving, or the refinement of existing theories?
Research question and hypothesis
o Briefly introduce this subsection
o State the main research question (make the connection between the research question and both the problem and purpose)
Sub-research question/s (if any; not mandatory)
o Hypothesis (only if this is a quantitative study)
Definition of terms
o Introduce this section
o Provide a list of key terms with their definitions

Literature Review [3-5 pages]
o What is this section about? (3-5 sentences)
o Summarize/describe prior studies (pay attention to detail but do not throw the kitchen sink in)
The summaries must follow the structure for annotated bibliographies; however, the key here is to create a narrative which shows how one study connects to the other and how together they all help the reader understand the topic, the gaps in knowledge, and the study you will propose.
o State the significance and rationale of these studies
o Indicate the key arguments and main results as related to the research topic
o Identify design/methodological limitations that effect the validity of the studies
o Summarize the main findings of the literature review
o What are the current gaps in the current knowledge and research in this area?
o How will your proposed research fill-in one or more of these gaps?
What will your research contribute to this field of study?

Note: Remember that the literature review tells a story (a well-structured and woven narrative) about the research that already exists, their strengths and weaknesses, the gaps in knowledge, and how this informs your proposed study.

Theory/Model (Optional)
Discuss the theory and the model that best supports the proposed study and its purpose.

Methods [2-4 pages] (general research design)
Introduce this section and restate the studys purpose and the research question.

o Which research approach is best suited for the proposed research question and why?
E.g., quantitative, or qualitative, or mixed methods. Is it deductive or inductive reason?  Explain the rationale for the chosen approach. Use the literature to support your ideas.
o Discuss the overall design (the details will be noted in the next subsections).
Highlight if this is a cross-sectional or a longitudinal study.  Explain. What are the strengths of this type of study? Use the literature to support the ideas.
o What is the unit of analysis? (is it individuals, states, countries, or entities/organizations?)
Sample & setting
o Define the target population (use demographic information for individuals and characteristics for organizations such as type of facility public or private, small or large)
o How will the sample be selected from the population?  This will depend on the study approach, whether it is quantitative or qualitative.
o What is the setting of the study? (e.g., urban or rural; region)
Data Collection
o How will the data be collected? (e.g., field research, collection of records, surveys, focus groups, interviews, or previously collected data)
o Will it be primary data or will it be secondary data? 
o What are the procedures/steps for collecting the data?
Where is the data coming from the data source?
What collection tool will be utilized (e.g., survey questionnaire with closed-ended questions, interview guide, focus group guide, etc.)? 
Include incentive to get individuals to participate. Remember, the incentive must be within ethical standards.
Instrumentation (if needed for the study)
o Describe the data collection tool in more detail.
E.g., provide sample questions for a survey, an interview guide, or for a focus group guide. (3-5 questions)
Concepts, Constructs, Variables
o What are the key concepts and constructs?
o If proposing a quantitative study, make the constructs measurable. Therefore, discuss the variables of interest?  Which is the dependent variable, and which is the independent variable? How the dependent and independent variables will be measured?  What are potential covariates? Any other types of variable to consider? Use the literature to support the ideas.

Note: Defining the variables and how they are measured. They an be bulleted.
E.g., Body Mass Index (BMI) is a proxy measure for adiposity.  BMI is the outcome in the study and therefore, it is the dependent variable. It calculated using measured weight (in kilograms) and height (in meters). The independent variable is physical activity measured by minutes of strenuous exercise per day. Strenuous exercise would need to be defined, as well.

Ethical Considerations
o How will the researcher/s protect human subjects?
o How will confidentiality be maintained?
Go back to the CITI training on human subjects research and the ethics lesson to provide a well developed discussion here.
Strengths and Limitations
o What are the strengths of the proposed study design?
o What are the anticipated limitations of the proposed study and how will they impact the results? 
E.g., measurement bias, issues of validity and/or reliability, small sample size, selection bias, etc.  Explain and use the literature to support the ideas.

Innovation [1 Paragraph]
o How is the proposed study be different/unique/new?
o What will this study contribute to the research literature/our understanding of the topic and problem?

Discussion [2-4 Paragraphs]
o Summarize the research proposal
o Discuss the potential weaknesses and limitations of the proposed study and why they cannot be eliminated.
o What are the strengths of the study?
o Emphasize the importance of the proposed study in the context of practice and society.
o State what the study is expected to accomplish and how it will contribute to the field.

Reference Page(s)


Patient safety and communication in healthcare
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