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shortthesisguide2.gif November 2007

Chapter 2: Qualitative Master's Thesis

Section 2.2: Guidelines for writing the qualitative/creative thesis proposal

Subsection 2.2.1: Components of a Qualitative Thesis Proposal

Many fields of study use differing qualitative model formats. Be sure to work closely with your advisor to select the relevant components for your proposal. For example, qualitative research theses may use all these components while creative theses may use only the first four components or may involve alternative formats depending on the nature of the work. Note: items 8-12 below are more relevant to theses that use data collection rather than those that are critical analyses involving texts.

  1. Title Page - including the preliminary title of the study, the student's name, and the institution double-spaced and centered one-third of the way down the page (see sample page)
  2. Introduction - brief overview explaining the background and importance of the study
  3. Statement of Problem - specifically what the researcher wants to know; format to be determined by the department
  4. Purpose of the Study - explanation of the problem and what the researcher hopes to achieve by conducting the study
  5. Theoretical framework, research questions, or objectives - used to guide the direction of the research; format to be determined by the department
  6. Definition of Terms - clarification of any terminology in the study that may not be commonly known; provides a similar interpretation for all readers of the study
  7. Review of the Literature - sufficient review of the relevant research to demonstrate an understanding of the subject and major components
  8. Research Design - describes the methods that will be used to collect data or organize creative products. May include the following depending on the department:
    1. Description of the design
    2. Criteria for judging credibility and trustworthiness of results (where relevant)
  9. Sampling - describe the aspects of the cases on which data collection and analysis will focus (where relevant)
    1. Indicate how access to the study population will be achieved
  10. Variables - describe aspects of the cases on which data collection and analysis will focus (where relevant)
  11. Methods of Data Collection - explain how each variable will be measured (where relevant)
  12. Data Analysis Procedures - describe the use of interpretational, structural, or reflective methods (where relevant)
  13. Timeline - provide a timeline listing the order for all the major steps of the study and indicate the approximate amount of time needed for each step
  14. Texts/ historical events/ case studies to be analyzed, with some sense of the conclusions that the writer might be tending toward and of the manner in which the argument/ analysis is positioned in relation to existing scholarship on the subject

17 Jan 2008