For some, composing the research questions may be the most difficult part of the research project, or possibly the most difficult aspect of writing the Concept Paper.
The questions will direct everything that will be done; therefore, it is important that they are focused to the main research problem.
The Concept Paper, although highly abridged, is comprised of many of the same items found in a dissertation.
The specific elements of the Concept Paper may vary depending upon the academic program and the chosen degree.
This part of the Concept Paper tells the reader “who, what, and when” regarding the research goal.
Research Questions — provides a preliminary view of the questions the student will investigate.Questions are based on theory, past research, and need.These questions will direct the research methodology; their inclusion in the Concept Paper links the research problem with the methodology.A well-planned Concept Paper will capture the interest of the dissertation committee and establish a clear plan for the student’s dissertation. The Research Concept Paper is completed prior to the dissertation proposal and serves as a development tool and summary of the planned dissertation. Depending upon the requirements of the specific school or academic program, the Concept Paper may range from as few as 2-3 pages to as many as 10-20 pages.The essential point of the Concept Paper is to explain the importance of a particular research project.Title page — provides a tentative title for the dissertation.The title of the Concept Paper should be a stand-alone statement that can fully describe the project by summarizing the main idea of the manuscript.A strong Concept Paper is based on a wide-range literature review that is condensed into a summary of key points.Goal Statement — provides a broad or abstract intention, including the research goals and objectives. The Concept Paper lays the foundation for the applied dissertation process, providing an introductory form of communication between the doctoral student and the doctoral committee.Essentially, the Concept Paper acts as a tentative proposal; it allows the doctoral student the opportunity to define a research focus and obtain early feedback on the research idea.