Developing Effective Research Proposals

Page iii © Keith F Punch 2000 First published 2000 All rights reserved.The ideas of social science, and of different social science areas which use empirical research, are discussed in Section 1.2.4.To achieve its purpose, the book is organized around three central themes: What is a research proposal, who reads proposals and why (Chapter 2)? What general guidelines and strategies are there to help students, while recognizing, at the same time, that the wide variety of social science research implies that we should not try to be too prescriptive or restrictive about this?As before, too, I would welcome feedback on this book.Keith F Punch Graduate School of Education The University of Western Australia NEDLANDS WA 6907 Email: [email protected] Fax: 61 8 9380 1052 Page 1 1 Introduction CONTENTS 1.1 Research proposals – purpose and use of this book 1.2 Background to this book 1.2.1 Empirical research – data 1.2.2 Quantitative and qualitative data 1.2.3 Relaxing the quantitative–qualitative distinction 1.2.4 Social science and social science areas 1.2.5 Relationship of this book to Introduction to Social Research 1.3 A view of research 1.4 Outline of chapters 1.5 Review concepts 1 3 3 3 4 5 6 7 8 8 1.1 RESEARCH PROPOSALS – PURPOSE AND USE OF THIS BOOK The research proposal is a central feature of the research world.), I suggest you concentrate first on Chapters 2 and 7, then on Chapter 3, and then fit the other chapters in around these.If your main interest is in the proposal as a finished product (what does it look like?Chapter 2 discusses the idea of the proposal as process, product and plan.Here, by way of introduction, I suggest a ‘4 Ps’ view of the proposal – Phase, Process, Product, Plan.1 Thus: the research proposal is a phase of the overall research process – the phase which launches the project, and therefore a very important first phase; developing a research proposal is a process of planning, designing and setting up the research, including placing it in context and connecting it to relevant literature; the finished proposal is a product, where the proposal is formally presented as a document; that document contains the proposed plan for the execution of the research.cover next page Page ii Series Editor: Keith F Punch, University of Western Australia A series of short practical ‘how-to’ books aimed at the beginning researcher.The books will cover a central topic, including the main methods, approaches and analytic techniques in social research, from developing a research topic through to writing and presenting research results.


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