Below outlines individual components of your methods section. You should rely on Section 2.06 of your APA Manual (APA, 2010) for examples and guidance on crafting this section as well. For this assignment, you should provide the a detailed outline of the methods needed to hypothetically conduct your research study. You may provide the following information in either a bulleted list OR paragraph form, however regardless of the method you present the information you should use subheadings for each of the sections identified below.
The following cover the key components your assignment must cover, although it is not exhaustive – you may include additional information as needed for your individual projects:
Start your outline off by restating your research question(s).
Where will you conduct your proposed study? If you propose to conduct your study in one county or state for example, how will you assure your sample is representative of the community at large? Be specific – you should clearly identify the location(s) where you will do your research.
Use this section to describe the proposed sample for your research study. Will you limit the study to a particular population? Why? Is your sample a protected population according to the Institutional Review Board? Be specific – identify exactly who will be in your study, how many participants, how you will identify them, etc. What sampling strategy will you use to select participants?
Will you need any questionnaires or measures to collect data? Will you have to design your own questionnaire to collect data? Will you use existing questionnaires/measures to collect your data? Will you need to develop a survey packet or interview protocol? Be specific – you need to actually identify the questions that you will ask on a survey or interview for example. If doing observations, clearly identify the behaviors you will observe. You must make it clear to the reader how you will collect the information you need to answer your research question. What is your independent variable? What is your dependent variable?
What is your research design? Is this an experiment? Quasi-experiment? Qualitative study?
Describe the process of conducting the study. How would you recruit participants? Will you compensate participants? What will participants do? What order will they take part in research activities? How will you gain access to your study site or participants? For example, how would you gain access to inmates within a prison? What method will you use to obtain the data you need to conduct your study? You should describe the study in enough detail that another research could conduct the same procedures and replicate it just by reading this portion of your paper. This should be a very detailed description of your study.
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