UMAA Education and Poverty Presentation

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Each group will submit the first part of their research proposal to
the folder on D2L. This part should be 3 to 5 pages (single-spaced) and should contain the
following two sections:

1. Research Problem. In this section, you define the broad question that your research will
address and the context within which you will investigate it. You need to convince readers:
a) that the question is important in terms of its contribution to theory; and
b) that the context you have chosen is appropriate.
Question: This should not be purely descriptive (i.e., “what is out there?” “how does it
work?”), but should be about how a social process works and should have demonstrable links
to theory.
Explain to the reader where existing theory about a social process stops short, breaks down, or
is in need of revision and how your project will contribute to fixing the situation. [one-half
page to one page].
Context: Explain why you expect to learn something novel and interesting from this case.
Remember that you cannot argue that your single example is “typical” (that we can generalize
from it). Rather, you should show how its special characteristics will provide unique insights
into the social process. Why is this a good window into the processes you are interested in?
[one-half page to one page].

2. Literature Review. In this section you explain at greater length the relationship of your
research problem to the current state of knowledge in a given field.
You need to demonstrate your knowledge of previous research on this topic (or closely related
topics) that lays the groundwork for your study.
You need to consider: a) works involved in building or reconstructing the same theory (but
perhaps in different settings); and b) works on the same phenomenon or process that you are
studying that have used other theoretical perspectives.
Depending on your topic, there will be a greater or lesser depth of material, and you will need to
develop a way of deciding which works are most directly relevant. [You only need to write
two to three pages]

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