The Topic Proposal
The purpose of this assignment is to develop a strong, working foundation for your capstone project while demonstrating the ability to target a researchable problem/issue within a broader topic. For this assignment, you will explore topics of interest, select one for your paper, and draft a topic proposal.
Recommended: Before you begin, review chapter 2 in Research Techniques for the Health Sciences.
Your topic proposal should be 2 – 3 pages and should include the following items and address the following questions.
APA formatted title page
The topic you wish to pursue. (1 paragraph)
- One paragraph describing the overall topic you wish to explore.
- It may be somewhat broad at this point and it may imply a problem. Use the resources in your course materials to help you search for ideas.
Identify your purpose: Why are you interested in this topic? (2-3 paragraphs)
- Specifically explain what it is that fascinates you or draws you to this topic.
- Clearly describe the relevance of the topic in the field today.
- Identify a purpose for a paper on this topic:
- What might exploration of this problem accomplish?
- What is your intended goal?
- To evoke change
- To make new connections (new cause and effect)
- To introduce a new theory, solution, idea
- Is this goal realistic?
Define and describe your intended target audience. (1 paragraph)
- Be specific: identify age, gender, and educational, socioeconomic and cultural demographics as relevant.
- Who will benefit most from knowing about this topic? Remember, those who think differently about the topic may be the audience you need to address.
- Identify only one target audience to address in the paper. (This will help you maintain focus.)
Provide a list of 4 – 8 research questions. (list 4-8 questions)
While you have not done any formal research on the topic yet, explore databases and websites to help you identify questions that are being asked by others and to help you articulate questions of your own within the current dialog. Use the resources in your course materials to help you search.
- Identify questions that you can answer through research.
- Questions about morality and beliefs, while worthy, are not research questions.
- Pose questions worth exploring.
- Not too narrow, not too broad.
- Keep them intellectually challenging, not too basic.
Identify a problem within the topic and draft an initial problem statement (this is your thesis). (1 sentence)
- Identify a problem from your research questions and state it as a statement.
- The problem statement should be specific in nature and indicate the focus of your paper.
- Not too narrow, not too broad
- Intellectually challenging
- Take special care to narrow the topic you started with by locating a very specific problem or argument within the larger scholarly discussion you have explored.
Draft a hypothesis (1 paragraph)
“A hypothesis is a logical supposition, a reasonable guess, or a suggested answer to a problem statement or research question. A hypothesis provides further direction for the research effort by setting forth a possible explanation for an occurrence.” (Research Techniques for the Health Sciences, 5th Edition, p.18)
- State your hypothesis clearly and concisely.
- Explain how it expresses a relationship between two or more variables (identify the variables).
- Suggest how it can be tested.
Adhere to APA formatting throughout.