Community Services Research Proposal

Length: 2300 – 2500 words (excluding references)

The purpose of this assessment is for you to demonstrate your ability to engage with good
research design. Within each of the draft research proposals, there are numerous errors,
both major and minor, in each of the key sections (e.g. background and research question,
literature review, sampling & recruitment & method, ethics). Your task is to select one of
these proposals, read it to identify the errors and propose an alternative strategy to address
these errors by utilising the principles of good research design. You will need to reference
your responses by drawing on the course materials and by finding other sources.
Note: Each of the draft research proposals are different, so not all elements suggested below
may be equally applicable. You will have to draw on your knowledge of research design and
use your academic judgement to decide what you may focus on for your chosen proposal.

Introduction to the Paper
A sentence or two here to identify which proposal you are reviewing, and if you have any
overall comments (i.e. a brief summary of your review)
Background Section of Proposal
This section should identify the key problems with things like:
– The alignment between the background of the research problem, and the research
question
– The alignment between the research question and research aims
Detail your advice to the writer on how they may address these, by doing things like:

– Further developing the context for the research problem, and suggesting what kinds
of information should be included
– Revising the research question, offering a suggested revision
– Revising the research aims to better align with the research question and
background
Literature Review
This section should identify the key problems with things like:
– The extent to which the literature review was undertaken appropriately
– The extent to which the literature review justifies the research question
– Whether or not the literature review identifies any of the key ideas, concepts or
theories explored in the research method
Detail your advice to the writer on how they may address these, by doing things like:
– Explaining the purpose of a literature review, and suggesting a revised literature
review strategy
– Suggesting some search terms and themes, with reference to the information in the
background and research question of the proposal
– Suggesting some key sources of useful literature
Research Design and Data Collection Method
This section should identify the key problems with things like:
– The extent to which the population or sample is appropriate for the research
question
– The extent to which their participants are appropriately and ethically recruited
– The extent to which the research design, if identified, aligns with the research
question and research aims
– The extent to which the data collection method is explained well
– The extent to which the data collection method is appropriate for the research
question and aims, and is likely to generate useful data

Detail your advice to the writer on how they may address these, by doing things like:
– Suggesting how they should go about defining and recruiting their participants
– Suggesting a suitable research design, and the kinds of data useful in answering the
research question
– Suggesting an appropriate method of data collection and analysis to capture this
data
Ethics
This section should identify and / or further detail ethical problems across the draft
proposal. You may have already identified ethical issues in other sections, so refer back to
them here, and use this section to further explain why these ethical issues are problematic.
You also need to review the ethical problems that the writer has identified in this section.
You may think about potential ethical concerns across the dimensions of:
– Psychological
– Social
– Physical
– Legal
– Financial
– Other, including risks to the researcher
For any and each of the risks you identify, you need to suggest (again with reference to
appropriate texts and course readings) how the writer should address / mitigate these risks
in order to ensure that their research is ethical. It would be good practice here to consult
and reference the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research when working
through the ethical concerns you identify in the draft proposal.
References
Make sure to include a reference list that is formatted in a recognised academic style in
alphabetical order (whatever referencing style your discipline uses is fine, as long as it’s
consistent).

 

Denscombe, M 2010, Good Research Guide, 4th ed., McGraw-Hill
Education, Maidenhead, https://ebookcentral-proquest-
com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/lib/rmit/detail.action?docID=650320
Denscombe, M 2012, Research Proposals, 1st ed., McGraw-Hill
Education, Maidenhead, https://ebookcentral-proquest-
com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/lib/rmit/detail.action?docID=1037303
Vogt, WP, Gardner, DC & Haeffele, LM 2017, When to Use What
Research Design, Guildford Publications, https://ebookcentral-
proquest-
com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/lib/rmit/detail.action?docID=873354