Research Question and Design

NURS 500

Research Proposal: Research Question and Design Assignment Instructions


Framing a research study is crucial to its success. Most of the work that a researcher will do is found early on as they identify an area to study, develop a question that frames the study, and then develop a design that can effectively investigate the question. This is all an iterative process to make sure all parts work together effectively. At this stage you are building the foundation for your study.


1. Write a 4 – 5-page paper that includes a fully developed specific research question/ hypothesis. Provide supportive information that includes the background and significance for the research question.

2. Clearly describe the key variables.

3. Within the paper, select the appropriate research design for the research question/hypothesis.

4. The page requirement excludes the title and reference pages

5. Utilize current APA format.

6. A minimum of 4 scholarly references is required (excluding the textbook and Bible) to support/justify your topic and provide enough background information to make your idea(s) clear to the reader.

Developing a Research Question/Hypothesis:

Clearly identify the research topic for this proposal. It should be based on previous assignments, and then expound on your topic by providing background information along with a scholarly explanation as to its significance and contribution to nursing research. This paper must also include a research question or a hypothesis. The research proposal does NOT need to include a research hypothesis, but in the absence of a hypothesis, your research question and purpose must be clearly defined.

The research question or hypothesis must include the key concepts/variables that you are interested in studying. In addition, the group/population of interest must be included in the research question or hypothesis. The following is an example of a research question:

“Do pregnant women who are obese develop more obstetric complications than pregnant women who are of normal body weight?”

The key variables are:

1. Obesity status, which is the independent variable or “cause;” and

2. Obstetric complications, which is the dependent variable or “effect.”

The population of interest is pregnant women.

The purpose of this research question is to determine if there is a relationship between obesity status and obstetrical complications. Weight status needs to be defined.

How would the researcher determine the obesity status of the subjects? Also, what is meant by “obstetrical complications?” How will the researcher determine who experiences obstetrical complications? How will complications be measured?

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