Research Article Critique Assignment
(link 9) guidelines for a research proposal (these guidelines should be used to constructively critique your research proposal for this course and in the future).
Criticism of a Proposal
Quoted from McMillian, J. and Schumacher, S. (1997). Research in education: A conceptual introduction (4th edition), pp. 602-603. NY: HarpersCollins College Publishers.
After completing a draft of a proposal, authors read it critically in terms of research criteria appropriate for the purpose and design of the study. In addition to self-criticism, researchers give a draft to colleagues for feedback. Students give a draft to their advisory chair and if the chair feels it is ready for full committee feedback asks the student to provide a draft to his/her dissertation or thesis committee members for feedback. Once revisions are complete the student is ready to present the proposal for committee approval to go forward with the study.
Below are some common weaknesses of proposals to avoid:
1. The problem is trivial. Problems that are of only peripheral interest to the field are seldom approved. The problem should be related to current knowledge, scholarly thinking, research, and practices in the field.
2. The problem is not deliminated. A problem must be focused for both research and practical reasons. Designs cannot yield valid data for every possible variable, nor can qualitative researchers encompass extremely broad questions in a single study. Experienced researchers know how time-consuming research processes are from the initial conceptualization of an idea through the final report. Researchers rationally delimit the problem. The specific research questions and/or hypothesis or the qualitative foreshadowed problems are focused by the theoretical frame which is stated in such as way so that the delineation of the focus is apparent.
3. The objectives of the proposal are too general. Sometimes hypotheses are stated in such broad, general terms that only the research design really conveys what the study is about. If the research design does not logically match the specific research questions and/or hypothesis or the qualitative research questions, then the planned study is not capable of meeting proposal objectives. Failure to consider extraneous or confounding variables is a serious error in a quantitative proposal. Qualitative proposals need to be focus too with a theoretical frame that provides the lens for collecting data, analyzing data, and interpreting data.
4. The methodology is lacking in detail appropriate for the proposed study. Quantitative proposals should be detailed sufficiently in subjects, instrumentation, and data analysis to allow for replication. Qualitative proposals, by their inductive nature, are less specific in certain aspects. A qualitative proposal, however, can be sufficiently specific to connote possible purposeful sampling, planned data collection strategies, and inductive data analysis techniques. This specification ensures a review committee that the researcher is aware of subsequent decisions to be made. Much of the specificity for either quantitative or qualitative proposals depends on the extent of the researcher's preliminary work.
5. The design limitations are addressed insufficiently.