The Research Proposal: An Explanatory Template for BUS8105/BUS8110 and Chapters 1 – 3 of the Dissertation



Submitted to South University

College of Business

In partial fulfillment of the requirements

for the degree of

Doctor of Business Administration



Insert Name Here

Month Year








An abstract is a brief, comprehensive summary of the entire proposal, typically ranging from 150 to 250 words. The APA manual notes the type of information that should be included in abstracts for different types of studies. In general, the abstract outlines the major headings: the research question, theoretical framework, research design, sampling method, instrumentation, and data and analysis procedures. In a final dissertation, the abstract also outlines key findings and interpretations. A reader should gain a high-level understanding of the entire document from its abstract. Do not add any information in the abstract that is not discussed throughout the proposal. Because it highlights the entire proposal, researchers often write the abstract after the remainder of the document. Writing an abstract is an important skill requiring the ability to be concise. In publications, the abstract is often the first thing potential readers review to determine whether to continue reading your work.




The table of contents outlines your study for the reader. The easiest way to create the table of contents is to use the levels of heading feature in Microsoft Word. For example, this template has already been set up using headings (in Microsoft Word editing utilities) for the major portions of the outline. Subsequently, Microsoft Word will automatically create the table of contents, which has been started below, by using the Table of Contents feature in the references tab of Word (although note, different versions of Word sometimes locate options in different places).

Table of Contents Abstract 2 Chapter 1 – Introduction 5 Purpose of the Study 5 Statement of the Problem 6 Definition of Terms 6 Theoretical Framework 6 Research Questions and Hypotheses 6 Scope of the Study 7 Significance of the Study 7 Summary 7 Chapter 2 – Literature Review 9 1st Heading 11 1st Subheading 11 2nd Subheading 11 2nd Heading 12 Summary 12 Chapter 3 – Methodology 13 Research Design 13 Population and Sample 13 Instrumentation 14 Instrument #1 14 Instrument #2 14 Research Procedures 15 Data Analysis 15 Protection of Human Rights 15 Delimitations and Limitations 16 Assumptions, Risks and Biases 16 Significance of the Study 16 Summary 16 References 18




Chapter 1 – Introduction

The chapter one draft submitted at the end of BUS8100 should already contain an introduction. For BUS8105 and BUS8110 you will update and add to your introduction based upon the work you complete for chapters 2 and 3 for your dissertation proposal. Remember, every APA document includes an introduction in the first paragraphs following the title. An APA introduction briefly answers three key questions: What is the topic? Why is it important? What are the key ideas that will be discussed? After reading the introduction, the reader should understand why the researcher is conducting the study and how this research contributes to the academic community and to professional practice. In summary, the proposal introduction should grab the reader’s attention, introduce the topic at hand, and provide a brief outline of the theory and method of the study. After reading your introduction, your audience should know what you are asking (umbrella research question), why you are asking it (problem, gap, purpose), why it is important (significance), the key theories, the research questions or hypotheses, and a summary of the method to be used. For a final draft of the dissertation, the introduction may also briefly report key findings of the study.

Purpose of the Study

You should already have a clear purpose section from your work in BUS8100. You may need to update and add to your purpose statement based upon your work in chapters two and three. Specifically, you should also summarize the specific inquiry methods to be used. For example, a summary methods statement like the following can offer the reader a snapshot of where your research is headed: to make the determination about the intrinsic motivation relationship with job satisfaction, the research will use a cross-sectional, self-report survey of 100 employees in a small, Midwestern manufacturing facility. You won’t include a lot of detail about method in this section. Rather, just enough to provide a glimpse of your research process.

Statement of the Problem

You should already have a strong statement of the problem based upon your work in BUS8100. However, as you have conducted a fuller review of the literature for chapter two of your dissertation, you may have revised your understanding of the problem and the key literature. Make the necessary updates for your work for BUS8105 and BUS8110.

Definition of Terms

Continue to add to the definition of key terms section. Clarify any terminology that may be confusing. If you are using any terms in ways that are contrary to the discipline’s body of knowledge provide a very brief justification for the alternative usage in the definitions. Provide a fuller justification in the body of your work.

Theoretical Framework

Although your work in BUS8100 developed a theoretical framework for your study, an important principle is to let the literature speak. While completing the chapter one draft for BUS8100, the research typically reviews 20 – 25 sources. However, the exhaustive literature review for chapter two of the dissertation will review 75 or more sources. Because researchers should approach the literature with openness, it is possible that information will surface questioning the need for the research you are proposing or suggesting substantial revisions to the direction you are heading. Accordingly, after completing your full literature review, you may need to make substantive modifications to every section, including the theoretical frame, of the chapter one draft you completed.

Research Questions and Hypotheses

Similar to previous sections, your research questions and hypotheses may need updating. As you completed a more exhaustive review of the literature, you may have found answers to some of your questions, discovered new gaps or questions, located different variables and hypothesized relationships, or even changed the direction of your research completely. Revise this section of chapter one accordingly.