RESEARCH PROPOSAL ASSIGNMENT (ASA FORMAT FOR REFERENCES) A research proposal identifies a research question or hypothesis, shows how it follows from previous research and theory, and outlines the procedures to be implemented to investigate it. For purposes of this assignment, your proposal will contain two major sections: (1) a theoretical section that defines the problem, presents a rationale for doing the research, places the proposed study in the context of other theoretical and empirical work, and generally tells the reader the research question or hypothesis you intend to investigate (literature review); (2) a methods section that tells the reader precisely how you intend to carry out the investigation. In any proposal, the researcher should not only describe in detail what he or she plans to do but also justify the key decisions. Your primary goal is to develop a proposal that, if carried out, would lead to valid interpretations of the social world. But, as with any proposal, you also must consider what is feasible and practical. Ethical considerations and available resources invariably affect what researchers choose to do.