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This is of major importance in nearly all proposals and requires careful attention.It is a key element that associations such as AERA and APA look for in proposals.
It is essential in all quantitative research and much qualitative research.
Effective problem statements answer the question Why does this research need to be conducted.
Sometimes, obscure and poorly formulated problems are masked in an extended discussion.
In such cases, reviewers and/or committee members will have difficulty recognizing the problem.A Table of Contents (including headings and page numbers) and Acronyms/Abbreviations section (e.g.explaining that WHO stands for World Health Organization) are optional.The Introduction should contain the following sections: The Literature Review can either be a separate section or be part of the problem statement.It is an extensive, systematic and critical review of all the relevant publications dealing with the topic/problem being investigated.Much qualitative inquiry, however, also aims to test or verify theory, hence in these cases the theoretical framework, as in quantitative efforts, should be identified and discussed early on.It is important in a proposal that the problem stand outthat the reader can easily recognize it.Its purpose is to establish a framework for the research, so that readers can understand how it is related to other research (Wilkinson, 1991, p. If a researcher is working within a particular theoretical framework/line of inquiry, the theory or line of inquiry should be introduced and discussed early, preferably in the introduction or literature review.Remember that the theory/line of inquiry selected will inform the statement of the problem, rationale for the study, questions and hypotheses, selection of instruments, and choice of methods.I teach quantitative research proposal writing to public health students.By using lectures, a case study and discussion of presentations of the students own research proposals, I try to familiarize them with the contents of a research proposal for a quantitative study.