This paper should be a brief prospectus for a study that would be appropriate for a dissertation and which uses a qualitative research design. The purpose of the paper is two-fold: 1) to provide practice in articulating clearly and concisely an idea for a research study and how to proceed to undertake that study; and 2) to provide a basis for a focussed discussion on the last day of class which looks at course material in relation to your own research. It is due no later than the start of class on 24 June 2010.
In 1500-2000 words (6 - 8 pages, double spaced, one inch margins all around, and 12 pt font), present the following:
1) A research question (including a justification and context) that is answerable by qualitative data and analysis;
2) A reserach design and method that is appropriate for answering the question -- be as specific as is necessary for providing the reader an understanding of how you intend to proceed.
3) Identify and discuss the inherent limitations or weaknesses of the design -- in other words, what problems would you anticipate and how would these influence the data, the findings, the integrity of the study, and/or the practical value of the study.
4) Identify and discuss solutions to the problems you have identified, and where these is no solution discuss how you will deal with the problem (i.e., is the study not-doable, is the study of only limited value, is the study inappropriate for a qualitative approach, is there need for methodological triangulation).
In the ideal, this prospectus will be your first stab at a dissertation
topic/proposal. On a practical level, it will force you to think concretely
about qualitative methods and analysis.
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