TOPIC SELECTION AND PROBLEM
InstructionConsult the Acceptable Topics and Methods and Project Plan Guide provided by your program for specific expectations for the following sections. Be sure to update the reference list as you add resources to support your project development. Use the Project Plan Template to structure your assignment
Describe the specific topic to be studied. Provide a brief synthesis of recent literature on the topic and clearly identify the target population, variables, and/or concepts under study. Ensure that the topic is grounded in a problem and aligned with your program of study.
Describe the significance of this topic to your program or field (business, counseling, education, technology, public service leadership, psychology, social work, and so on) and your specialization within your program if applicable.
Correctly form the topic.
Use appropriate language for key concepts/phenomena addressed by the topic.
Clearly specify relationships among the foundations (quantitative method).
Identify and define the specific concepts or foundations to be explored (qualitative method).
Name the target population.
Focus the concepts appropriately.
Write a brief statement regarding the need for the study that fully describes the problem or need being addressed. The need for the study is often referred to as the project or research problem. Correctly state the problem:
Summarize existing literature and key findings.
Clearly formulate gaps in the existing literature or problems in practice.
Explicitly state, rather than imply, the project or research problem.
State the theoretical or conceptual framework with source.
In simplified terms, the project or research problem might take this form: “The scholarly literature on _________ indicates that ________ is known and __________ is known, but what is not known is ______________.” Write out the problem statement and theoretical foundation.
Qualitative problem statement example: “The proposed study will seek to ________ (understand, describe, develop, discover) how [concepts/theory foundations] have addressed the ________ (central phenomenon, experience/event, process) for _______ (the target population). The tenets of Y theory (citation) will serve as the conceptual framework of the proposed study.”
Example: “This qualitative generic inquiry study will explore how Maslow’s hierarchy of needs’ foundations of physiological and safety needs are associated with the perceptions of post-Covid 19 unemployed job seekers toward job hunting.”
Use your Project Plan Template and guide to complete the following:
Explain how the proposed study will add or contribute to a better understanding of the theoretical foundation of the problem or contribute to a better understanding of practice.
Explain the proposed gap supported by scholarly literature or the practical implications of the proposed study.
Synthesize a review of the scholarly literature to expose, explain, and analyze previous scholarly efforts to address the project or problem.
List one or more project questions that align with the topic, problem, and supporting evidence within the program.
Include a list of terms and definitions that relate to the program, topic, problem, gap, program, and project framework.
Describe your target population.
Describe the background for your study and how your question relates to the background of the study. Discuss previous studies and demonstrate exactly how your project (answering the question, applying to practice) will advance the scientific knowledge base on this topic. Consider the following guidance:
Questions should be appropriate for the knowledge gap and current state of knowledge (supporting evidence).
Questions are cast using the variables or phenomena under study. The variables or phenomena in the questions are identical to the variables discussed in the problem and specific theory gap.
Questions are explicit in naming the type of relationship or phenomenon under study.
When answered, questions will make a contribution to theoretical or practical foundations. The contribution to the academic field and to the theoretical foundation must speak to how the relationship among the variables or to the phenomenon addresses the knowledge gap previously identified.
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