Type of Project
Final Research Proposal
The Final Research Proposal is a polished document that builds on the Research Design assignment and the Mini-Literature Review assignment.
A qualitative research proposal explains what your chosen research topic and research questions are, why it’s worth researching, how it fits into the broader literature, and how you plan to conduct your research. Research Proposals are used to persuade a supervisor that your project is necessary, original, and manageable (given your skillset, resources, and your 1-2 year timeframe).
Outlined below are the sections and content required for a complete research proposal. Every section of a research proposal is meant to be detailed and well supported by academic literature.
For this assignment, please complete the following:
-Provide an interesting introduction to your chosen topic.
-Identify your specific focus (one that is suitable for qualitative inquiry).
-Explain how you arrived at your topic.
-Explain why it is important to conduct research on your topic (the “so what?” of your project).
[Approx. 2-3 paragraphs].
-Identify 1-2 research question(s) that guide your qualitative research project.
-Include these Research Questions in your Introduction.
Note- You may use the same questions from our course’s previous two assignments if you
received feedback that they are well worded and well suited to qualitative research. If not, you
should continue to refine your questions.
[Approx. 0.5 paragraph]
-Introduce and thematically synthesize 5 academic sources (journal articles, academic books,
book chapters) that are relevant to your proposed study. Remember that “thematically
synthesize” means to discuss the articles in relation to one another.
-You can use none, some, or all the content from your Mini-Literature Review assignment
(including exact sentences and paragraphs) if you received positive feedback about your
sources and your synthesis.
-Feel free to replace some of your sources with more up to date or relevant literature, although
this is not required.
– Discuss your proposed research in relation to the existing literature. Explain how your
proposed study differs from or extends the previous research (in terms of focus, goals, scope,
methods, theoretical frameworks).
-Explain what your research will contribute to the field.
[Approx. 3-4 pages]
***Note- This is the most important section and will make up the bulk of your assignment and
the grade for this assignment.***
-Introduce the qualitative method(s) you have selected for your proposed research (i.e, in-depth
interviews, focus-groups, film analysis, legal analysis, document analysis, virtual ethnography,
visual analysis etc.).
-Describe your chosen method(s) (i.e. if you’ve chosen virtual ethnography explain what a
virtual ethnography is with references to course readings and other scholarly sources).
-Justify your choice of method. Why did you choose this method and not another method?
TIP: Draw on the course readings and additional scholarly sources to explain and
justify your selected method(s). Conduct an academic search on your method and cite
literature that explains what that method is all about and why it’s a suitable for your
proposed project. There are many academic journals devoted to qualitative inquiry that
can help with this (i.e. the journals Qualitative Research and Qualitative Inquiry).
-Explain in detail the: what, who, how, and why of your methods.
-What are your sources of data (i.e. transcripts from human participants, movies, blog
posts, case law, legislation… etc.). Be as specific as possible.
-What is the scope of your proposed study (i.e., city of Ottawa, criminal cases from the
last 5 years, Instagram posts from the following 5-10 people over the past 6 months…).
-What are your field sites (i.e. names of specific organizations, places, websites, apps
that actually exist!)
-What are you analyzing (i.e.: name of specific films, Supreme Court cases, Instagram
posts, documents from Department of National Defence…)
-Who are you talking to and why? (i.e. queer youth, students, Crown Attorneys…)
-Who are your gatekeepers (provide actual names and positions. This might involve
some online research of these organizations and their employeers);
-How and where you will recruit? (if this is necessary for your chosen method)
-How will you access your data sources? (i.e. publicly available? join an in-person
group? Lurk on-line?…)
-How will you analyze your data (i.e. qualitative content analysis, thematic analysis,
discourse analysis, interpretive analysis, narrative analysis)
-Why did you make all of the above methodological choices? Justify each of the above
decisions with references to course readings, scholarly research, lectures.
[Approx. 5-6 pages]
Research Design Assignment And The Mini-Literature Review Assignment