1. Writing a sound proposal
PROF. DR. MOHAMED AMIN EMBI
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
2. Task 1:
Individually, write your own definition of
In groups, list at least THREE characteristics /
attributes of Scientific Research
3. Characteristics of Scientific Research
• Objectivity – unbiased, open-minded, not
• Precision – validity & reliability in
measurement, research design, statistical
• Verification – the results can be confirmed or
revised in subsequent research.
4. Characteristics of Scientific Research
• Empiricism – guided by evidence obtained
from systematic research methods rather than
• Logical Reasoning – using prescribed rules of
logic (through deduction or induction).
5. Guiding Principles of Scientific Inquiry
• Pose significant questions.
• Link research to theory.
• Use appropriate methods.
• Provide coherent reasoning.
6. Pose Significant Questions That Can be
• Have an impact on the current state of knowledge.
• Fill a gap in prior knowledge.
• Seek new knowledge.
• Identify the cause(s) of some phenomenon.
• Formally test a hypothesis.
• Reframe a prior research problem in light of newly
available methodological or theoretical tools.
7. Link Research to a Relevant Theory or
• CF or theory guides the entire research
• CF or theory suggests possible questions or
answers to questions posed.
• CF influences the research process in the
selection of what & how to observe.
8. Use Methods That Allow Direct
Investigation of the Research
• Method used must fit the question posed.
• The link between question & method used
must be clearly explained & justified.
• Scientific claims are strengthened when they
are tested by multiple methods.
• Different methods should be used in different
parts of a series of related studies.
9. Provide a Coherent & Explicit
Chain of Reasoning
• A logical chain of reasoning is important.
• Validity of inferences is strengthened by
identifying limitations & biases.
• Detailed descriptions of procedures and
analyses are crucial.
11. Research Process
• Select a General Problem
• Review the Literature on the Problem
• Decide the Specific Research Problem,
Question, or Hypothesis
12. Research Process
• Determine the Design & Methodology
• Collect Data
• Analyze Data & Present the Results
• Interpret the Findings & State Conclusions/
Summary regarding the Problem
13. Research Problem
• How clearly is the problem stated?
• Does it have sufficient practical or theoretical
value to warrant study?
• Does it have a rationale?
• Has the problem been studied before?
• Is the study likely to provide additional
14. Statement of the Problem
• Statement of the problem introduces the
importance of the problem, significance of the
study & the research questions or hypotheses
15. Hypotheses or Questions
• Are any assumptions advanced with respect to
the hypotheses or questions?
• Are hypotheses consistent with theory or
• Are the hypotheses testable?
• Do the hypotheses provide expected results?
16. Questions Formulation
• Descriptive RQ – asks What is? and imply a
• Relationship RQ – asks What is the
relationship between 2 or more variables? &
imply a correlational design.
• Difference RQ – asks Is there is difference
between 2 groups or 2 or more treatments
17. Hypotheses Formulation
• RH is a tentative statement of the expected
relationship between 2 or more variables.
• RH should state the direction of the
• RH should be testable.
• RH should offer a tentative explanation based
on theory or previous research.
• RH should be concise & lucid.
18. Purpose of Literature Review
• Define & limit the problem.
• Place the study in proper perspective/context.
• Avoid unintentional & unnecessary
• Select promising methods & measures.
• Relate the findings to previous knowledge &
suggest further research.
• Develop research hypotheses.
19. Steps in Writing Literature Review
• Analyze the problem statement to identify
concepts & variables that suggest topic areas
& key terms to search.
• Read secondary literature to define the
problem in more precise terms and to locate
• Decide the search strategy for primary
20. Steps in Writing Literature Review
• Transform the problem statement into search
language & conduct a search.
• Evaluate the pertinent primary literature for
inclusion in the review.
• Organize & logically group selected literature.
• Write the review.
21. Review of Literature
• How adequately has the literature been surveyed?
• Does the review critically evaluate previous findings &
studies, or is it only a summary of what is known?
• Does the review support the need for studying the
• Does the review establish a theoretical framework for the
• Does the review relate previous studies to the research
22. Methodology/ Methods & Materials
• Are the procedures, design & instruments
employed to gather the data described with
sufficient clarity to permit another researcher
to replicate the study?
• Is the population described fully? Did the
researcher use the total population, or was
there a sample used? If a sample is used, is it
representative of the population from which it
23. Methodology/ Methods & Materials
• Is evidence presented about the validity &
reliability of the scores?
• Was a pretest used? Was there a pilot study?
• Are there any obvious weakness in the overall
design of the study?
24. Task 4:
In groups, identify the main
elements/components of a postgraduate
25. Components of a Proposal
• Statement of the Problem
• Research Objectives
• Research Questions
• Research Hypotheses (Correlational Research)
• Operational Definitions
26. Components of a Proposal
• Literature Review
• Conceptual Framework
• Methodology/ Methods & Materials
Sample & Sampling Technique
Data Collection & Analysis Procedures