Step by Step Process to Finding a Topic for your Prospectus:
1. Think of a general social phenomenon that interest you. (Could be anything that can be explored, measured or tested with humans such as education, culture, abuse, drug rehabilitation, disorders etc…)
2. Research it: Use googlescholar, google, Trine’s ELibrary or any browser to find articles, books, studies, anthologies etc.. (Hint: It is very helpful and time saving to look at the reference sections of sources. Usually it can help you find sources relatable to your topic.)
3. Try to find a research problem. Usually researchers will state limitations in their study where you can conduct yours or they mention future studies needed in their conclusions that need further measuring, testing or exploring.
4. Familiarize yourself with the Prospectus templates below. It seems overwhelming but section by section it will all come together.
5. Once you have identified a research problem, research it and depending on your topic and what you find, decide which method would be best to conduct a study with.
6. Start writing your Prospectus.

Prospectus Sections and Rubric: 40 Points Total
Your paper will consist of the following 7 sections in this order. Move at your own pace, just make sure to email me if you want me to look over anything or have any questions and make sure to submit it to TurnItIn by Tuesday April 28th of finals week.
APA Formatting: 2pts
• Font Sze: 12 Times New Roman
• 1 Inch Margins
• Doubled Spaced
• Title Page: Prospectus, Paper Title, Name, Degree (B.A. or B.S.), University (Trine)
• Reference Page and In-text Citations (See examples)
• Prospectus Title on top of your Problem Statement: (See examples)
• Paper Length: N/A Depends on topic, method, design and writing quality.
Sections and Rubric for QUALITATIVE STUDIES:
• Problem Statement: 5pts
o Do some research in your general area of social interests and try to identify a research problem or something in need of exploring for meaning, testing or measuring.
o Provide a one or two paragraph statement explaining the following:
 A logical argument for the need to address an identified gap in the research literature that has current relevance to the discipline and area of practice. Make sure to clarify the problem that led you to the gap.
 Preliminary evidence that provides justification that this problem is meaningful to the discipline or professional field. Provide at least FIVE key citations that support the relevance and currency of the problem. These references should be from reputable sources, such as national agency, databases, peer-reviewed journals or scholarly books, and should ideally be from the past 10 years.

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• Purpose Statement: 5pts
o Provide a short sentence or two at the end of your Problem Statement stating the Purpose or Intention of your study. In qualitative studies, describe the need for increased understanding about the issue to be studied, based on the identified gap or problem.

• Significance Statement: 5pts
o In 1 or 2 paragraphs, tell me how and why your study will be significant or CONTRIBUTIONAL to the following:
 Filling the gap identified in the problem statement: What original contribution will this study make?
 How this research will support professional practice or allow practical application in your field or any other field: Answer the So what? question.
 How the claim aligns with the problem statement to reflect the potential relevance of this study to society: How might the potential findings lead to positive social change?

• Background: 5pts (See Examples)
o Provide:
 A representative list of at least FIVE scholarly findings that support and clarify the main assertions in your problem statement. For each source, highlighting their relationship to the topic. Some of these resources may have already been mentioned in the first sections of the prospectus and can be included here.

• Theoretical Framework: 5pts (see examples)
o In a paragraph, describe the framework (Model or Theory) that guides or demonstrates an understanding of the process or concepts relevant to your topic. Align the framework with the problem, purpose, research questions, and background of your study. Your framework is the basis for understanding, designing, and analyzing ways to investigate your research problem.
 Example: Cultural Dissonance Theory states that people who do not have a strong ethnic sense of identity experience internal conflict or discomfort with oneself. In other words, they way they feel, think and behave are inconsistent with their environment. This theory will be used to guide my ethnographic study exploring the cultural adaptations of GooGoo immigrants living in America. (Go on to explain how it will do so and cite the ORIGINAL source).

• Research Questions: 5pts (see examples)
o List the question or a series of related questions that are informed by the purpose of study, which will lead to the development of what needs to be done in this study and how it will be accomplished. Make sure question(s) target your Purpose and are aligned with your Theoretical Framework. (Keep in mind research questions in Qualitative studies try to explore WHY and How questions, not answer them. Check the PowerPoints, book and notes.)

• Nature of Study: 5pts (see examples)
o Explain the method and design that will be used and why you think it is the best approach to address the research questions.
o Explain how your method and design is appropriate for the Research Problem.

• Reference Page: 3pts (see examples)
o APA Reference Format:
 First line flushed left, all other lines below the first line is indented.
 Citing Order Example:
• Author’s Last name, middle and first initial, publication year, title, publication source or company, where it was retrieved (make sure it’s the homepage if it’s a link).
o Here is a link to citing other sources on the reference page as well as in-text citations in your paper: search the tabs on the left for specifics.

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