Statement of Research Problem and Working Outline
1. Write an introductory paragraph that introduces your research topic, discuss the topic in general terms and conclude the paragraph with a clearly stated research question or statement of research problem that demonstrates the following: deterministic or cause and effect logic, inclusion/exclusion, specific disciplinary applications, and the “so what” question”.
2. Convey the Project’s conceptual structure via a well-organized outline. See “Preparing a Working Outline” handout for a useful set of notes related to building an outline.
By the above due date you are to have submitted to me a clear statement of your now approved topic at the conclusion of a well-written introductory paragraph. To date, I have provided you with feedback to help you do this. You will also submit a working outline. It will be most helpful for you and me that, at this time, the outline’s elements be described in full sentences rather than fragments. In short, describe what each segment (i.e., numbered and lettered parts) of the outline aims to accomplish. Eventually, your outline will become a Table of Contents but, for now, I insist that your working outline represent a comprehensive description of how you will approach the analysis of your statement of research problem and organization of your Project. Finally, as part of this assignment, you will also be submitting an APA formatted cover page, an abstract, and your reference page (see APA handoutPreview the document for specific directions).
In preparing this submission you will submit the following as one file:
1. An APA formatted cover page
2. An APA formatted abstract or executive summary page
3. An introductory paragraph (on its own page)
4. A working outline (beginning on its own page)
5. A References page (beginning on its own page)
Please contact me before the due date if you have any questions or concerns regarding these instructions.
Submit your work as a MS-Word file or as a pdf file. Be sure to provide both in-text and reference citations in APA format for ALL sources utilized.
Late assignments will receive a one point deduction per each day late.
Example of a Working Outline
Without exception all working outlines will begin with Introduction and Statement of Problem. In my example, I use Roman Numerals to denote 1st level headings. I use capital letters to denote 2nd level headings and numbers to denote third level headings.
I. Introduction and Statement of Problem
This will then be followed by…
II. Justifications for the Study.
In the Justifications section, you will be required to develop no less than four arguments that explain to your reader why your topic/statement of problem is important/worth examining.
Below, you will see an example of an outline. It is an example so it may not exactly apply to your topic.
I. Introduction and Statement of Problem
II. Justifications for the Study
A. Justification/Argument 1 (write out in sentence format the basic argument you intend to make that explains why your research question/statement of problem is important)
B. Justification/Argument 2
C. Justification/Argument 3
D. Justification/Argument 4
III. Literature Review
A. Factor/Concept/Variable A (write out in sentence format what topic/concept/variable you will be discussing and how it relates to your statement of problem)
1. Why Factor/Concept/Variable A is important (write out in sentence format what topic/concept/variable you will be discussing and how it relates to your statement of problem)
2. What the published literature actually says about how Factor/Concept/Variable A relates to the problem
B. Factor/Concept/Variable B
1. Why Factor/Concept/Variable B is important (write out in sentence format what topic/concept/variable you will be discussing and how it relates to your statement of problem)
2. What the published literature actually says about how Factor/Concept/Variable B relates to the problem
C. Factor/Concept/Variable C
1. Why Factor/Concept/Variable C is important (write out in sentence format what topic/concept/variable you will be discussing and how it relates to your statement of problem)
2. What the published literature actually says about how Factor/Concept/Variable C relates to the problem
D. further lettered points as needed
IV. Summation of the Literature Review
In this section you will reinforce to the reader how the primary points gleaned from the literature review relate to the Statement of Problem (Please note that you may not really be able to develop this at this point because you are still reviewing the literature. This comment may also apply to the below V, VI, VII and VIII sections. However if you can basically describe what will be discussed in those sections, please do so.)
V. Proposed Recommendations (or Solutions)
it is here where the student conveys recommendations to address the problem. If the literature has suggested that factors A, B, and C cause the problem, then it makes sense that the recommendations made, in some way, address the mitigation of A, B, and C. The recommendations must be pragmatic and implementable. I understand that you may not be able to provide details here as you are still no doubt reviewing the published literature.
A. Recommendation 1
B. Recommendation 2
C. Recommendation 3
D. and further lettered recommendation points as needed
VI. Implementation of the Recommendations
This is a very important conceptual part of your Project! To improve the human condition and address real problems, your recommendations or solutions have to implementable. Concrete and pragmatic strategies to implement the recommendations must be given. I understand that you may not be able to provide details here as you are still no doubt reviewing the published literature.
A. Implementation Strategy A
B. Implementation Strategy B
C. Implementation Strategy C
D. Implementation Strategy D
VII. Evaluation and Follow-Up
It is not possible in a Capstone Project for students to actually implement their recommendations. They must however be able to convey to the reader how they might evaluate whether their implementation strategies are effective. Such a discussion is required here.