Rationale for Methodology

Rationale for Methodology

The Direct Practice Improvement Project Title Appears in Title Case and Is Centered Comment by Author: NOTE: All notes and comments are keyed to the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. American Psychological Association (APA) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, footnotes, and the reference page. For specifics, consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. For additional information on APA Style, consult the APA website: http://apastyle.org/learn/index.aspxGENERAL FORMAT RULES:Manuscripts must be 12-point Times New Roman typeface, double-spaced on quality standard-sized paper (8.5″ x 11″) with 1-inch margins on the top, bottom, and right side. For binding purposes, the left margin is 1.5 in. [8.03]. To set this in Word, go to:Page Layout > Page Setup>Margins > Custom Margins> Top: 1” Bottom: 1” Left: 1.5” Right: 1” Click “Okay”Page Layout>Orientation>Portrait>NOTE: All text lines are double-spaced. This includes the title, headings, formal block quotes, references, footnotes, and figure captions. Single-spacing is only used within tables and figures [8.03]. The first line of each paragraph is indented 0.5 inch. Use the tab key which should be set at 5 to 7 spaces [8.03]. If a white tab appears in the comment box, click on the tab to read additional information included in the comment box.Please note: The section citations to APA Manual are provided in brackets throughout template. These brackets are not to be modeled for APA formatting. The information is included to help you locate material. Comment by Author: If the title is longer than one line, double-space it. As a rule, the title should be approximately 12 words. Titles should be descriptive and concise with no abbreviations, jargon, or obscure technical terms. The title should be typed in uppercase and lowercase letters [2.01].

Submitted by

Insert Your Full Legal Name (No Titles, Degrees, or Academic Credentials) Comment by Author: For example: Jane Elizabeth Smith

 

 

Equal Spacing

~2.0” – 2.5”

 

 

 

Direct Practice Improvement Project Proposal

Doctor of Nursing Practice

 

 

Equal Spacing

~2.0” – 2.5”

 

 

Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona

 

 

December 31, 2018

 

 

 

 

GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY

 

The Manuscript Title Appears in Title Case and Is Centered Comment by Author: If the title is longer than one line, double-space it. The title should be typed in upper and lowercase letters.

 

by

Insert Your Full Legal Name (No Titles, Degrees, or Academic Credentials) Comment by Author: For example: Jane Elizabeth Smith

 

 

Proposed Comment by Author: Please note that this page will change with your final DPI manuscript development. Make sure you begin to use the DPI Project Template after obtaining IRB approval.

 

[Insert Current Date]

 

 

DPI PROJECT COMMITTEE:

Full Legal Name, EdD, DBA, or PhD, Manuscript Chair

Full Legal Name, EdD, DBA, or PhD, Committee Member

Full Legal Name, EdD, DBA, or PhD, Committee Member

 

Abstract Comment by Author: The abstract is an accurate, nonevaluative, concise summary or synopsis of the research project. It is not an introduction, and is usually the last thing written. The purpose of the abstract is to assist future investigators in accessing the project material and other vital information contained in the practice improvement project. Although only a relatively few people typically read the full practice improvement project after publication, the abstract will be read by many scholars and investigators. Consequently, great care must be taken in writing this section of the practice improvement project. The abstract is a concise statement of the nature of the project and content of the practice improvement project. The content of the abstract covers the problem statement, clinical questions, methodology, design, data analysis procedures, location, sample, theoretical foundations, results, and implications. The abstract does not appear in the Table of Contents and has no page number. Abstracts must be double-spaced and no longer than 1 page. The abstract must be fully justified with no indentions and no citations. Refer to the APA Publication Manual, 6th Edition, for additional guidelines for the development of the practice improvement project abstract.

Rationale/Background: Provide one to two statements describing the nature of the project topic and introducing the problem.

Purpose: State the purpose of the project. Please make sure your purpose statement is the same throughout the manuscript.

Theoretical Framework: Include approximately one to two statements summarizing the theoretical framework.

Project Method and Design: Include approximately two to four statements summarizing the methodology and design.

Data Results: Identify the population and the sample size. Briefly describe the approach for data analysis and results of statistical tests. State whether the results were statistically significant and include numeric values.

Implications: Conclude the abstract with one to two statements describing how the results of your project directly impacted practice at your site, and recommendations for what should be done in the future based on the findings of the project. Comment by Author: You may use these headings to separate the content, or you may remove the headings and make the abstract one single paragraph.

Keywords: Abstract, assist future investigators, 150 to 250 words, vital information Comment by Author: Make sure to add the keywords at the bottom of the abstract to assist future investigators.

 

Table of Contents Chapter 1: Introduction to the Project 1 Background of the Project 4 Problem Statement 5 Purpose of the Project 6 Clinical Question(s) 8 Advancing Scientific Knowledge 10 Significance of the Project 11 Rationale for Methodology 12 Nature of the Project Design 13 Definition of Terms 14 Assumptions, Limitations, Delimitations 16 Summary and Organization of the Remainder of the Project 18 Chapter 2: Literature Review 20 Theoretical Foundations 22 Review of the Literature 24 Theme 1. You may want to organize this section by themes and subthemes. To do so, use the pattern below. 26 Theme 2. Chapter 2 can be particularly challenging with regard to APA format for citations and quotations. Refer to your APA manual frequently to make sure your citations are formatted properly. It is critical that each in-text citation is appropriately listed in the References section. 27 Summary 30 Chapter 3: Methodology 33 Statement of the Problem 34 Clinical Question 34 Project Methodology 35 Project Design 36 Population and Sample Selection 38 Instrumentation or Sources of Data 40 Validity 41 Reliability 41 Data Collection Procedures 42 Data Analysis Procedures 44 Ethical Considerations 46 Limitations 48 Summary 49 Appendix A 52 Appendix B 54

 

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Revised 10/26/2018 DNP Team (Learner: Please remove this footer)

 

 

 

Chapter 1 : Introduction to the Project Comment by Author: This heading is tagged with APA Style Level 1 heading [3.03].

The Introduction section of Chapter 1 briefly overviews the project focus or practice problem, states why the project is worth conducting, and describes how the project will be completed. The introduction develops the significance of the project by describing how the project translates existing knowledge into practice, is new or different from other works and how it will benefit patients at your clinical site. This section should also briefly describe the basic nature of the project and provide an overview of the contents of Chapter 1. This section should be three or four paragraphs, or approximately one page, in length.

Keep in mind that you will write Chapters 1 through 3 as your practice improvement project proposal. However, there are changes that typically need to be made in these chapters to enrich the content or to improve the readability as you write the final practice improvement project manuscript. Often, after data analysis is complete, the first three chapters will need revisions to reflect a more in-depth understanding of the topic, change the tense to past tense, and ensure consistency.

To ensure the quality of both your proposal and your final practice improvement project and reduce the time for Academic Quality Review (AQR) reviews, your writing needs to reflect standards of scholarly writing from your very first draft. Each section within the proposal or practice improvement project should be well organized and presented in a way that makes it easy for the reader to follow your logic. Each paragraph should be short, clear, and focused. A paragraph should (a) be three to eight sentences in length, (b) focus on one point, topic, or argument, (c) include a topic sentence the defines the focus for the paragraph, and (d) include a transition sentence to the next paragraph. Include one space after each period. There should be no grammatical, punctuation, sentence structure, or American Psychological Association APA formatting errors. Verb tense is an important consideration for Chapters 1 through 3. For the proposal, the investigator uses present tense (e.g., “The purpose of this project is to…”), whereas in the practice improvement project, the chapters are revised into past tense (e.g., “The purpose of this project was to…”). Taking the time to put quality into each draft will save you time in all the steps of the development and review phases of the practice improvement project process. It will pay to do it right the first time. Comment by Author: Consider where you are in the process when determining past or present tense. If your project has been implemented, and you have finished your data collection, then the entire manuscript should be written in past tense.

As a doctoral investigator, it is your responsibility to ensure the clarity, quality, and correctness of your writing and APA formatting. The DC Network provides various resources to help you improve your writing. Neither your chairperson nor your committee members will provide editing of your documents, nor will the AQR reviewers provide editing of your documents. If you do not have outstanding writing skills, you will need to identify a writing coach, editor, or other resource to help you with your writing and to edit your documents.

The quality of a practice improvement project is not only defined by the quality of writing. It is also defined by the criteria that have been established for each section of the project. The criteria describe what must be addressed in each section within each chapter. As you develop a section, first read the section description. Then review the criteria contained in the table below the description. Use both the description and criteria as you write the section. It is important that the criteria are addressed in a way that it is clear to your chairperson, committee, and an external reviewer to illustrate that the criteria have been met. You should be able to point out where each criterion is met in each section. Prior to submitting a draft of your proposal or practice improvement project, or a single chapter to your chairperson, please assess yourself on the degree to which criteria have been met. There is a table at the end of each section for you to complete this self-assessment. Your chairperson may also assess each criterion when returning the document with feedback. The following scores reflect the readiness of the document:

· 3 = The criterion has been completely met. It is comprehensive and accurate. The section meeting the criterion is comprehensive and clear. The criterion information is very well written. The section addressing a criterion is located in a single spot; it is not distributed across various paragraphs. The criterion is immediately obvious to an external reviewer. In terms of writing, the section is perfect and ready to go into a journal article.

· 2 = The criterion is very close to being completely met. The section meeting the criterion is comprehensive, but may need to be further clarified. The criterion information is fairly well written, but may need minor editing. The section addressing a criterion is located in a single spot; it is not distributed across various paragraphs. It may not be obvious to an external reader and so may require some clarification. In terms of writing it is near perfect, but may need minor edits for clarity or APA formatting.

· 1 = The criterion is present, but the section needs significant work to completely meet expectations. The section meeting the criterion is not comprehensive and may need to be further clarified. The criterion information is fairly well written, but may need minor editing. The section addressing a criterion is not clearly located in a single spot; it appears to be distributed across various paragraphs. It may not be obvious to an external reader and requires some clarification. It needs some changes to structure, flow, paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.

· 0 = The criterion is not addressed because it is missing or is not appropriate.

Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Criterion Comment by Author: All of the criterion tables must be removed prior to all AQR, IRB, and final submissions. Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Introduction

This section briefly overviews the project focus or practice problem, why this project is worth conducting, and how this project will be completed. (Three or four paragraphs or approximately one page)

     
Practice improvement project topic is introduced.      
Discussion provides an overview of what is contained in the chapter.      
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.      
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

 

Background of the Project Comment by Author: This heading is tagged with APA Style Level 2 heading [3.03].

The background section of Chapter 1 explains both the history of and the present state of the problem and the DPI project focus. This section summarizes the Background section from Chapter 2 and is two or three paragraphs in length.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Background of the Project

The background section explains both the history and the present state of the problem and project focus. This section summarizes the Background section from Chapter 2. (Two or three paragraphs)

     
This section provides an overview of the history of and present state of the problem and project focus.      
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.      
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

 

Problem Statement

This section of the final manuscript is two or three paragraphs long. It clearly states the problem or project focus, the population affected, and how the project will contribute to solving the problem. This section of Chapter 1 should be comprehensive yet simple, providing context for the practice project.

A well-written problem statement begins with the big picture of the issue (macro) and works to the small, narrower, and more specific problem (micro). It clearly communicates the significance, magnitude, and importance of the problem and transitions into the Purpose of the Project with a declarative statement such as “It is not known if and to what degree/extent…” or “It is not known how/why and….”

Other examples are:

· It is not known_____.

· Absent from the literature ______.

· While the literature indicates ____________, it is not known in _________. (school/district/organization/community) if __________.

· It is not known how or to what extent ________________.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Problem Statement

This section includes the problem statement, the population affected, and how the project will contribute to solving the problem. (Two or three paragraphs)

     
This section states the specific problem for investigation by presenting a clear declarative statement that begins with “It is not known if and to what degree/extent…,” or “It is not known how/why and….”      
This section identifies the need for the project.      
This section identifies the broad population affected by the problem.      
This section suggests how the project may contribute to solving the problem.      
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.      
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

 

Purpose of the Project

The Purpose of the Project section of Chapter 1 should be two or three paragraphs long, provide a reflection of the problem statement, and identify how the project will be accomplished. It explains how the project will contribute to the field. The section begins with a declarative statement, “The purpose of this project is….” Included in this statement are also the project design, population, variables to be investigated, and the geographic location. Further, the section clearly defines the dependent and independent variables, relationship of variables, or comparison of groups for quantitative studies. Keep in mind that the purpose of the project is restated in other chapters of the practice improvement project and should be worded exactly as presented in this section of Chapter 1.

Creswell (2003) provided some sample templates for developing purpose statements aligned with the different project methods. Please see the template for quantitative method as follows: Comment by Author: Please note that most DPIs are quantitative. You may see reference to qualitative and mixed methodologies throughout the curriculum and in the templates as there are rare exceptions. Please consult with your chair if you feel your project is qualitative or mixed methods so that appropriate approvals may be obtained.

The purpose of this quantitative ___________ (correlational, descriptive, etc.) project is to ____________ (compare or see to what degree a relationship exists) between/among ______________________ (independent variable) to ___________________ (dependent variable) for ________________ (participants) at ___________________ (project site/geographical location). The ________ (independent variable) will be defined/measured as/by _______ (provide a general definition). The (dependent variable) will be defined/measured as/by ______ (provide a general definition).

 

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Purpose of the Project

The purpose statement section provides a reflection of the problem statement and identifies how the project will be accomplished. It explains how the project will contribute to the field. (Two or three paragraphs)

     
This section presents a declarative statement: “The purpose of this project is….” that identifies the project design, population, variables (quantitative) or phenomena (qualitative) to be investigated, and geographic location. Comment by Author: Please note that most DPIs are quantitative. You may see reference to qualitative and mixed methodologies throughout the curriculum and in the templates as there are rare exceptions. Please consult with your chair if you feel your project is qualitative or mixed methods so that appropriate approvals may be obtained.      
This section identifies project method as qualitative, quantitative, or mixed, and identifies the specific design.      
This section describes the specific population group and geographic location for the project.      
This section defines the dependent and independent variables, relationship of variables, or comparison of groups (quantitative). Describes the nature of the phenomena to be explored (qualitative).      
This section explains how the project will contribute to the field.      
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.      
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

 

 

Clinical Question(s) Comment by Author: Make sure you customize this. It is either Clinical Question or Clinical Questions depending on whether or not you have more than one.

This section should be two or three paragraphs in length, narrow the focus of the project, and specify the clinical questions to address the problem statement. Based on the clinical questions, the section describes the variables or groups. The clinical questions should be derived from, and are directly aligned with, the problem and purpose statements, methods, and data analyses. The Clinical Questions section of Chapter 1 will be presented again in Chapter 3 to provide clear continuity for the reader and to help frame your data analysis in Chapter 4.

In a paragraph prior to listing the clinical questions, include a discussion of the clinical questions, relating them to the problem statement. Then, include a leading phrase to introduce the questions such as: The following clinical questions guide this quantitative project:

Q1:

Q2:

Q3:

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Clinical Question(s)

This section narrows the focus of the project and specifies the clinical questions to address the problem statement. Based on the clinical questions, it describes the variables or groups for a quantitative project or the phenomena under investigation for a qualitative project. (Two or three paragraphs) Comment by Author: Please note that most DPIs are quantitative. You may see reference to qualitative and mixed methodologies throughout the curriculum and in the templates as there are rare exceptions. Please consult with your chair if you feel your project is qualitative or mixed methods so that appropriate approvals may be obtained.

     
This section states the clinical questions the project will answer, identifies the variables, and predictive statements using the format appropriate for the specific design.      
This section includes a discussion of the clinical questions, relating them to the problem statement.      
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.      
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

 

Advancing Scientific Knowledge

The Advancing Scientific Knowledge section should be two or three paragraphs in length, and specifically describe how the project will advance population health outcomes on the topic. This advancement can be a small step forward in a line of the current clinical site practice, but it must add to the current body of knowledge in the literature. This section also identifies the gap or need based on the current literature and discusses how the project will address that gap or need. This section summarizes the Theoretical Foundations section from Chapter 2 by identifying the theory or model upon which the project is built. It also describes how the project will advance that theory or model.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Advancing Scientific Knowledge

This section specifically describes how the project will advance population health outcomes on the topic. It can be a small step forward in a line of current project, but it must add to the current body of knowledge in the literature. It identifies the gap or need based on the current literature and discusses how the project will address that gap or need. This section summarizes the Theoretical Foundations section from Chapter 2. (Two or three paragraphs)

     
This section clearly identifies the gap or need in the literature that was used to define the problem statement and develop the clinical questions.      
This section describes how the project will address the gap or identified need in the literature. .    
This section identifies the theory or model upon which the project is built.      
This section describes how the project will advance the theory or model upon which the project is built.      
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.      
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Significance of the Project

This section identifies and describes the significance of the project. It also discusses the implications of the potential results based on the clinical questions and problem statement. Further, it describes how the project fits within and will contribute to the current literature or the clinical site practice. Finally, it describes the potential practical applications from the project. This section should be three or four paragraphs long and is of particular importance because it justifies the need for, and the relevance of, the project.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3)
Significance of the Project

This section identifies and describes the significance of the project and the implications of the potential results based on the clinical questions and problem statement. It describes how the project fits within and will contribute to the current literature or the clinical site practice. It describes potential practical applications from the project. (Three or four paragraphs)

   
This section provides overview of how the project fits within other current literature in the field, relating it specifically to other studies.    
This section describes how addressing the problem will impact and add value to the population, community, or society.    
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.    
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Rationale for Methodology

The Rationale for Methodology section of Chapter 1 clearly justifies the methodology the investigator plans to use for conducting the project. It argues how the methodological framework is the best approach to answer the clinical questions and address the problem statement. Finally, it contains citations from textbooks and articles on the DPI project methodology or articles on related studies.

This section describes the clinical questions the project will answer and identifies the variables using the format appropriate for the specific design. Finally, this section includes a discussion of the clinical questions, relating them to the problem statement. This section should be two or three paragraphs long and illustrate how the methodological framework is aligned with the problem statement and purpose of the project, providing additional context for the project.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Rationale for Methodology

This section clearly justifies the methodology the investigator plans to use for conducting the project. It argues how the methodological framework is the best approach to answer the clinical questions and address the problem statement. It uses citations from textbooks and articles on DPI project methodology or articles on related studies. (Two or three paragraphs)

     
This section identifies the specific project method for the project.      
This section justifies the method to be used for the project by discussing why it is the best approach for answering the clinical question and addressing the problem statement.      
This section uses citations from textbooks or literature on the DPI project methodology to justify the use of the selected methodology.      
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.      
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

 

Nature of the Project Design

This section describes the specific project design (descriptive, correlational, quasi-experimental, case project, etc.) to answer the clinical questions and why this approach was selected. Here, the learner discusses why the selected design is the best design to address the problem statement and clinical questions as compared to other designs. You should be focusing on the design rather than the methodology in this section. Briefly describes how the design supports the intervention and solution to the practice problem. This section also contains a description of the project sample being investigated, as well as the process that will be used to collect the data on the sample. In other words, this section provides a preview of Chapter 3 and succinctly conveys the project approach to answer clinical questions.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Nature of the Project

This section describes the specific project design to answer the clinical questions and why this approach was selected. It describes the project sample as well as the process that will be used to collect the data on the sample.

     
This section describes the selected design for the project.      
This section discusses why the selected design is the best design to address the problem statement and clinical questions as compared to other designs.      
This section briefly describes the specific sample and the data collection procedure to collect information on the sample. Briefly describes how the design supports the intervention and solution to the practice problem.      
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.      
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

 

Definition of Terms

The Definition of Terms section of Chapter 1 defines the project constructs and provides a common understanding of the technical terms, exclusive jargon, variables, phenomena, concepts, and sundry terminology used within the scope of the project. Terms are defined in lay terms and in the context in which they are used within the project. Each definition may be a few sentences to a paragraph in length. This section includes any words that may be unknown to a lay person (words with unusual or ambiguous meanings or technical terms) from the evidence or literature. It provides a rationale for each assumption and defines the variables.

Definitions must be supported with citations from scholarly sources. Do not use Wikipedia to define terms. This popular “open source” online encyclopedia can be helpful and interesting for the layperson, but it is not appropriate for formal academic scholarly writing. Additionally, do not use dictionaries to define terms. A paragraph introducing this section prior to listing the definition of terms can be inserted. However, a lead in phrase is needed to introduce the terms such as: “The following terms were used operationally in this project.” This is also a good place to operationally define unique phrases specific to this project. See below for the correct format:

Term. Write the definition of the word. This is considered a Level 3 heading. Make sure the definition is properly cited (Author, 2010). Comment by Author: This is how each of your terms should be listed in this section.

Terms often use abbreviations. According to APA (2010), abbreviations are best used only when they allow for clear communication with the audience. Standard abbreviations, such as units of measurement and names of states, do not need to be written out.

Only certain units of time should be abbreviated. Abbreviate hr (hour), min (minute), ms (millisecond), ns (nanosecond), or s (second). However, do not abbreviate day, week, month, and year [4.27]. To form the plural of abbreviations, add “s” alone without apostrophe or italicization (e.g., vols., IQs, Eds.). The exception to this rule is not to add “s” to pluralize units of measurement (12 m not 12 ms) [4.29].

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Definitions of Terms

This section defines the project constructs and provides a common understanding of the technical terms, exclusive jargon, variables, phenomena, concepts, and sundry terminology used within the scope of the project. Terms are defined in lay terms and in the context in which they are used within the project. (Each definition may be a few sentences to a paragraph in length.)

     
This section Defines any words that may be unknown to a lay person (words with unusual or ambiguous means or technical terms) from the evidence or literature.      
This section defines the variables for a quantitative project.      
Definitions are supported with citations from scholarly sources.      
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.      
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Assumptions, Limitations, Delimitations

This section identifies the assumptions and specifies the limitations, as well as the delimitations, of the project. It should be three or four paragraphs in length. An assumption is a self-evident truth. This section should list what is assumed to be true about the information gathered in the project. State the assumptions being accepted for the project as methodological, theoretical, or topic-specific. For each assumption listed, you must also provide an explanation. Provide a rationale for each assumption, incorporating multiple perspectives, when appropriate. For example, the following assumptions were present in this project:

1. It is assumed that survey participants in this project were not deceptive with their answers, and that the participants answered questions honestly and to the best of their ability. Provide an explanation to support this assumption.

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