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CJS4030 Criminal Justice Research Methods (Sabot): Research Proposal

Things to Accomplish

  • Identifying a topic
  • Developing a bivariate (or multivariate) hypothesis or research question
  • Clearly conceptualizing your variables
  • Conducting a review of the literature regarding your topic
  • Operationalizing your variables
  • Identifying the most appropriate research design for your research
  • Discuss the data collection and data analysis plan for your research
  • Using SPSS, conduct bivariate tests to assess the correlations of your variables
  • Identify ethical considerations that may have/or could enter into your research

*From Professor Sabot's Handout*

What is it?

The goal of a research proposal is to present and justify the need to study a research problem and to present the practical ways in which the proposed study should be conducted. The design elements and procedures for conducting the research are governed by standards within the predominant discipline in which the problem resides, so guidelines for research proposals are more exacting and less formal than a general project proposal. Research proposals contain extensive literature reviews. They must provide persuasive evidence that a need exists for the proposed study. In addition to providing a rationale, a proposal describes detailed methodology for conducting the research consistent with requirements of the professional or academic field and a statement on anticipated outcomes and/or benefits derived from the study's completion.

Things to Avoid

  • Failure to be concise; being "all over the map" without a clear sense of purpose.
  • Failure to cite landmark works in your literature review.
  • Failure to delimit the contextual boundaries of your research [e.g., time, place, people, etc.].
  • Failure to develop a coherent and persuasive argument for the proposed research.
  • Failure to stay focused on the research problem; going off on unrelated tangents.
  • Sloppy or imprecise writing, or poor grammar.
  • Too much detail on minor issues, but not enough detail on major issues.