Research Proposal: Research Question and Methodology
Throughout this course, you will plan and propose a qualitative research design of your choice, which may (or may not) involve an area of interest for your doctoral dissertation. You will select a research topic, generate researchable questions, review relevant literature, choose a methodology, describe participant selection procedures, identify data collection methods, address potential ethical problems, and describe limitations of your research proposal.
This assignment is the next step toward completing your final research proposal in Week 6. In a less than ten page page paper, answer both of the following:
- Drawing on your topic from Week 1 Written Assignment, and the review of the literature you have been compiling, create a specific research question and possibly a small number of subquestions that will help you investigate the research problem. Remember, you will be using a qualitative methodology, so make your research question match the types of questions that methodology can answer. Your research question will be very specific. Drawing from the literature you have been compiling, provide a brief justification for your research question.
- Develop your methodology and research plan to answer your research question, including:
- Research Methodology: Describe what research methodology you will use to answer your research questions and why it is an appropriate method.
- Propose a Research Plan, including:
- Participant Selection: If applicable, describe the site of the data collection. Explain who your participants will be and what method you will use to select them. Be as specific as possible, as if you were giving directions to someone on how to choose and obtain the participants. Include instructions on how to get informed consent from the participants.
- Data Collection: Discuss how you will collect the data (interviews, observations, documents, etc.). Tell what sort of questions you will ask (for interviews) or what you will look for (for observations) and why that will help you answer your research questions. Include the interview guide including how to conduct interviews for your study and what questions will be asked in an Appendix.
- Appendix that contains your interview guide or other collectiouide.
- The Differences between Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods These research methods can be used independently or combined depending on the type of research, nature of data, the research questions, and circumstances surrounding the research. It is important to note that qualitative and quantitative research methods differ from the paradigm that guides every research. These two research methods are distinguished based on any social science research (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016). The major paradigms of qualitative and quantitative research differentiation are interpretive, positivist, ontological, methodological, and epistemological. These paradigms of research methods underline the definition and nature of research that any particular inquiry seeks to undertake. The Ontological Paradigm The ontological paradigm is a methodological difference between the two research designs based on the researcher’s belief system about the research’s humanistic and reality. The objective paradigm assumes an independent existence, while the constructivism paradigm assumes that the truth in research is a product of various social processes (Tisdell, 2016).The Epistemological Paradigm The epistemological paradigm focuses on the differences in the theoretical foundations that guide the knowledge informing the research process. This paradigm uses natural science and social science as the same things that can be studied from the same point of view. This paradigm assumes the focus of the research to discover new laws that explain human behavior. The epistemological position of the interpretive paradigm believes that the world is constructed, experienced, and interpreted by human beings that interact with the social systems and with each other. Thus, the nature of research inquiry is interpretive to achieve the purpose of understanding a particular phenomenon and not to generalize it to the entire population (Polkinghorne, 2005). The positivist paradigm combines precise empirical observation and deductive logic of individual behavior to discover and subsequently confirm a set of probabilistic laws of casual nature. This paradigm uses deductive and logic to predict the pattern of human nature. The Methodological DifferencesMethodological differences between the two research methods focus on the unique ways of gaining knowledge from them. This paradigm combines ontology and epistemology paradigms into a single guideline for conducting research. It outlines the principles, practices, and procedures that govern research practice. Based on these paradigms of differentiating qualitative and quantitative research methods, the positivist research paradigm tends to align with quantitative methodology (Lee, 1992). On the other hand, interpretive epistemology and constructivist ontology underpin the qualitative methodology (Hennink et al., 2011). The realist/ objectivist ontology and empiricist epistemology of the positivist paradigm align with an objective or detached research methodology that emphasizes measurement of variables and hypothesis testing hypotheses from a general causal explanations theoretical approach.Reflecting On Predilections I am more aligned to the interpretive epistemology and constructivist ontology that underpin the qualitative methodology. I tend to assume that the meaning of research is embedded in the participants’ experiences mediated through the researcher’s perceptions. I believe that positivist research relies on experimental designs to measure causal effects of complex data gathered in the form of numbers that present evidence in quantitative form.ReferencesHennink, M., Hutter, I., & Bailey, A. (2011). Qualitative research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.Lee, J. S. K. (1992). Quantitative versus qualitative research methods—Two approaches to organization studies. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 9(1), 87-94. [Retrieved from ProQuest]Merriam, S. B., Tisdell, E. J. (2016). Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Polkinghorne, D. E. (2005). Language and meaning: Data collection in qualitative research. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52(2), 137-145. doi:10.1037/0022-0126.96.36.199 [Retrieved from EBSCOhost]Tisdell, E. J. (2016). Spirituality and emancipatory adult education in women adult educators for social change. Adult Education Quarterly, 50(4), 308-335.