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Week 12 Assignment: Research Problem Development

**Replace this line with your full name** Comment by Research: How to use this template: Where you see text or information bracketed by asterisks, you must replace that text with your updated information; your own work.

**Replace this line with your EDD/EDS specialization**

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Walden University


Working Title


Background 1 paragraph


In this section, write one good paragraph that sets the stage for your research problem. Use the MEAL plan for organizing the paragraph to pursue doctoral-level standards for scholarly writing. The mnemonic MEAL has four letters, so all scholarly paragraphs will have a minimum of four sentences.

· M – Your first sentence must be a topic sentence that states the m ain idea of the paragraph.

· E – The next e vidence sentence(s) reports 3 references to research that substantiate(s) the main idea. Because they report evidence, all sentences in the evidence paragraph element require APA citations with references.

· A – Provide at least one a nalysis sentence in your own words. Do not use quotations. Analysis sentences connect the evidence back to the main idea of the paragraph. The best analysis sentences are also cited with references.

· L – Let’s conclude. Finally, end your paragraph let’s conclude sentence. Start the sentence with “Therefore…” or “So…” or similar. This does not require citations. Review the Exemplar paper to see a background paragraph that was scored high on the assignment rubric.** Comment by Research: When your instructor reads your paragraph, s/he will be looking to fit each sentence into one of these four MEAL plan elements, and in the proper order. Author opinions communicate bias; an APA taboo, and they do not fit any of the MEAL plan elements. Do not include your opinions!

Problem Statement

(with 3-5 citations to evidence that the problem exists)


One paragraph – write one straightforward, sentence stating the problem. Make it clear, specific, & unambiguous. By “specific” we mean as narrow a problem as practical. Then provide 3-5 references to evidence that the problem exists in the current research literature. Explain in your own words, no quotations, please. If the problem is that the apples have worms in them, give evidence that the apples have worms in them. Don’t write about the benefit of apples, the cost of apples, or anything else about apples. Give evidence that the problem exists…that the apples do, indeed, have worms in them. The more cited evidence sentences you provide, the stronger case you build for studying the problem.

Evidence from the Local Setting (Level 2 APA Heading)


One paragraph – Use local evidence, not evidence from the literature unless it is a study in the local context. Use personal communications, local test scores, or etc.)

The Gap in Practice (or the gap in the literature about practice) (Level 2 APA Heading)

One paragraph – Describe research from the past 2 to 3 years to discover what has been discovered about your problem and discuss what still needs to be researched or discovered. What do researchers say still needs to be researched or discovered?

Purpose Statement (1 – 2 paragraphs)


To address your stated research problem, what is the purpose of your study? Will you describe, compare, determine, explore, examine, etc.? Complete the purpose sentence below and be sure to clarify your variables/concepts of interest. Your purpose statement should reflect and align* to your problem statement.

Write this: “The purpose of this __________________[qualitative or quantitative] study is to ___________ _________________ _______________________[Replace this text with your response.]”

This statement should tell us the methodology, the population, and the geographic location if applicable. For this assignment, please choose either a qualitative or quantitative study. Next, finish the paragraph by telling us why such a study would be important. Include three citations to support your idea.

Theoretical or Conceptual Framework (1-2 paragraphs)


What theory(ies) and/or concept(s) support (frame) your study and who are the original author(s)? Provide an in-text citation with your response. Summarize the key propositions/constructs of the theory or concept. Please note that a conceptual framework aligns with a qualitative study, a theoretical framework only aligns with a quantitative study, and for a mixed method study it may be either or both depending on the design. For this assignment, please choose either a qualitative or quantitative study.

Follow this outline:

1. What is the theory or conceptual framework?

2. Why is it appropriate for the study?

3. How does it guide the purpose, data collection, and data analysis?

4. Review 1 or 2 recent education studies that used your framework.


Research Question(s)


List only 1 or 2 research question(s) that you plan to use to address your applied education problem. Your question(s) must be able to address the problem, align with your purpose statement, and be appropriate for the study approach. For a quantitative study, also note the corresponding hypotheses (null and alternative).

QN Relationship (Correlation) Boilerplate


RQ1: What is the relationship between **your first variable of interest** and **your second variable of interest** among **your population of interest**?

H01: There is no statistically significant difference between **variable 1** and **variable 2** among **the population of interest**.

Ha1: There is statistically significant difference between **variable 1** and **variable 2** among **population of interest**.

Boilerplate for QL research questions

RQ 1: How do **participants** perceive/understand/experience **central phenomenon**in a **research site**? Comment by Research: Choose the best verb for your study. The word perceive is most commonly used in QL research.

Methodology (1 – 2 paragraphs)

What systematic approach (qualitative or quantitative) and research design (basic qualitative, case study, quasi-experimental, correlational, etc.…) do you plan to use to address your research question(s)? Justify your choice of approach and design, with citations from the literature, and discuss how your methodology aligns to your problem, purpose, and research questions.

It is very important that the method fit the other components of the paper. The method must provide a valid answer to the RQ! Be specific, detailed, and precise. Explain how the chosen methodological design flows naturally from the problem, purpose, and questions. In other words, how is it aligned with the study? Review the guidance in the Prospectus Guide and the exemplar.


Possible Types and Sources of Information or Data


Present and explain the possible types and sources of data that could be used to address the proposed research question(s), such as test scores from college students, employee surveys, observations, and/or semistructured interviews with practitioners,



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