Dissertation

The Dissertation Title Appears in Title Case and is Centered Comment by GCU: American Psychological Association (APA) Style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing 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, 6th edition, second printing. For additional information on APA Style, consult the APA website: http://apastyle.org/learn/index.aspxNOTE: All notes and comments are keyed to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, second printing.GENERAL FORMAT RULES:Dissertations must be 12 –point Times New Roman typeface, double-spaced on quality standard-sized paper (8.5″ x 11″) with 1-in. 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 in. Use the tab key which should be set at five to seven 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. Comment by GCU: Formatting note: The effect of the page being centered with a 1.5″ left margin is accomplished by the use of the first line indent here. However, it would be correct to not use the first line indent, and set the actual indent for these title pages at 1.5″. Comment by GCU: 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 GCU: For example: Jane Elizabeth Smith

Equal Spacing

~2.0” – 2.5”

A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree

Doctorate of Education

Equal Spacing~2.0” – 2.5” Comment by GCU: Delete yellow highlighted “Helps” as project develops.

Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona

iii

December 31, 2015 Comment by GCU: Date of Dean’s signature. Until then, use the current date to fill this space. This page is counted, not numbered, and should not appear in the Table of Contents.

© by Your Full Legal Name (No Titles, Degrees, or Academic Credentials), 2015 Comment by GCU: NOTE: This is an optional page. If copyright is not desired, delete this page. The copyright page is included in the final dissertation and not part of the proposal. Comment by GCU: For example: © by Jane Elizabeth Smith, 2012This page is centered. This page is counted, not numbered and should not appear in the Table of Contents.

All rights reserved.

GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY Comment by GCU: The Signature Page is only included in the final dissertation and not part of the proposal.

The Dissertation Title Appears in Title Case and is Centered Comment by GCU: 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 GCU: For example: Jane Elizabeth Smith

Approved

December 31, 2015 Comment by GCU: Date of Dean’s signature. Until then, use the current date to fill this space. Upon final submission, this date should match the date on the title page.

DISSERTATION COMMITTEE:

Full Legal Name, Ed.D., DBA, or Ph.D., Dissertation Chair

Full Legal Name, Ed.D., DBA, or Ph.D., Committee Member

Full Legal Name, Ed.D., DBA, or Ph.D., Committee Member

ACCEPTED AND SIGNED:

________________________________________

Michael R. Berger, Ed.D.

Dean, College of Doctoral Studies

_________________________________________

Date

GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY Comment by GCU: This page is only included in the final dissertation and not part of the proposal. However the learner is responsible for ensuring the proposal and dissertation are original research, that all scholarly sources are accurately reported, cited, and referenced, and the study protocol was executed and complies with the IRB approval granted by GCU.

The Dissertation Title Appears in Title Case and is Centered

I verify that my dissertation represents original research, is not falsified or plagiarized,

and that I have accurately reported, cited, and referenced all sources within this manuscript in strict compliance with APA and Grand Canyon University (GCU) guidelines. I also verify my dissertation complies with the approval(s) granted for this research investigation by GCU Institutional Review Board (IRB).

_____________________________________________ ______________________

[Type Doctoral Learner Name Beneath Signature] Date Comment by Windows User: The learner needs to sign and date this page and insert a copy into the dissertation manuscript as an image or PDF text box. This page must be signed and dated to be eligible for AQR and dissertation committee review.

Abstract Comment by GCU: On the first line of the page, center the word “Abstract” (boldface)Beginning with the next line, write the abstract. Abstract text is one paragraph with no indentation and is double-spaced. This page is counted, not numbered, and does not appear in the Table of Contents. Abstracts do not include references or citations.The abstract should be between 150-250 words (or one page).The abstract is only included in the final dissertation and not part of the proposal.

The abstract is required for the dissertation manuscript only. It is not a required page for the proposal. The abstract, typically read first by other researchers, is intended as an accurate, nonevaluative, concise summary or synopsis of the research study. It is usually the last item completed when writing the dissertation. The purpose of the abstract is to assist future researchers in accessing the research material and other vital information contained in the dissertation. Although few people typically read the full dissertation after publication, the abstract will be read by many scholars and researchers. Consequently, great care must be taken in writing this page of the dissertation. The content of the abstract covers the purpose of the study, problem statement, theoretical foundation, research questions stated in narrative format, sample, location, methodology, design, data analysis, results, and a valid conclusion of the research. The most important finding(s) should be stated with actual data/numbers (quantitative) or themes (qualitative) to support the conclusion(s). The abstract does not appear in the table of contents and has no page number. The abstract is double-spaced, fully justified with no indentations or citations, and no longer than one page. Refer to the APA Publication Manual, 6th Edition, for additional guidelines for the development of the dissertation abstract. Make sure to add the keywords at the bottom of the abstract to assist future researchers.

Keywords: Abstract, assist future researchers, 150 to 250 words, vital information Comment by GCU: Librarians and researchers use the abstract to catalogue and locate vital research material.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
ABSTRACT

(Dissertation Only—Not Required for the Proposal)

The abstract is typically read first by other researchers and is an accurate, non-evaluative, concise summary or synopsis of the research study. The abstract provides a succinct summary of the study and MUST include the purpose of the study, theoretical foundation, research questions (stated in narrative format), sample, location, methodology, design, data analysis, and results, as well as, a valid conclusion of the research. Abstracts must be double-spaced, fully justified with no indentions. (one page)

The abstract provides a succinct summary of the study and MUST include: the purpose of the study, theoretical foundation, research questions stated in narrative format, sample, location, methodology, design, data analysis, results, and a valid conclusion of the research. Note: The most important finding(s) should be stated with actual data/numbers (quantitative) ~or~ themes (qualitative) to support the conclusion(s).
The abstract is written in APA format, one paragraph fully justified with no indentations, double spaced with no citations, and includes key search words. Keywords are on a new line and indented.
The abstract is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Dedication

An optional dedication may be included here. While a dissertation is an objective, scientific document, this is the place to use the first person and to be subjective. The dedication page is numbered with a Roman numeral, but the page number does not appear in the table of contents. It is only included in the final dissertation and is not part of the proposal. If this page is not to be included, delete the heading, the body text, and the page break below. If you cannot see the page break, click on the ¶Show/Hide button (go to the Home tab and then to the Paragraph toolbar).

Acknowledgments Comment by GCU: See formatting note for Dedication

An optional acknowledgements page can be included here. This is another place to use the first person. If applicable, acknowledge and identify grants and other means of financial support. Also acknowledge supportive colleagues who rendered assistance. The acknowledgments page is numbered with a Roman numeral, but the page number does not appear in the table of contents. This page provides a formal opportunity to thank family, friends, and faculty members who have been helpful and supportive. The acknowledgements page is only included in the final dissertation and is not part of the proposal. If this page is not to be included, delete the heading, the body text, and the page break below. If you cannot see the page break, click on the ¶Show/Hide button (go to the Home tab and then to the Paragraph toolbar).

Table of Contents List of Tables ix List of Figures x Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study 1 Introduction 1 Background of the Study 5 Problem Statement 5 Purpose of the Study 7 Research Question(s) and Hypotheses 8 Advancing Scientific Knowledge 11 Significance of the Study 12 Rationale for Methodology 13 Nature of the Research Design for the Study 15 Definition of Terms 16 Assumptions, Limitations, Delimitations 18 Summary and Organization of the Remainder of the Study 20 Chapter 2: Literature Review 22 Introduction to the Chapter and Background to the Problem 22 Theoretical Foundations and/or Conceptual Framework 24 Review of the Literature 25 Summary 32 Chapter 3: Methodology 35 Introduction 35 Statement of the Problem 36 Research Question(s) or Hypotheses 36 Research Methodology 38 Research Design 39 Population and Sample Selection 41 Instrumentation OR Sources of Data 43 Validity 45 Reliability 47 Data Collection and Management 48 Data Analysis Procedures 49 Ethical Considerations 51 Limitations and Delimitations 53 Summary 54 Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Results 56 Introduction 56 Descriptive Data 57 Data Analysis Procedures 60 Results 62 Summary 69 Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations 72 Introduction 72 Summary of the Study 73 Summary of Findings and Conclusion 74 Implications 76 Theoretical implications. 77 Practical implications 77 Future implications 77 Recommendations 79 Recommendations for future research 79 Recommendations for future practice. 80 References 82 Appendix A The Parts of a Dissertation 85 Appendix B IRB Approval Letter 88 Appendix C Informed Consent 89 Appendix D Copy of Instruments and Permissions Letters to Use the Instruments 90

(Note: once you automatically update the TOC, you will need to manually add a period after the Appendix letter (e.g., “Appendix A. xxx) per the example above.

List of Tables Comment by GCU: This is an example of a List of Tables “boiler plate.” Freely edit and adapt this to fit the particular dissertation. In Word, “overtype” edits and adaptations.The List of Tables follow the Table of Contents. The List of Tables is included in the Table of Contents and shows a Roman numeral page number at the top right. The page number is right justified with a 1 in. margin on each page. Dot leaders must be used. The title is bolded.On the List of Tables, single-space table titles, double-spaced between entries. See 5.01-5.19 for details and specifics on Tables and Data Display.All tables are numbered with Arabic numerals in the order in which they are first mentioned. [5.05]

Table 1. Correct Formatting for a Multiple Line Table Title is Single Spacing and Should Look Like this Example 59

Table 2. t Test for Equality of Emotional Intelligence Mean Scores by Gender 63

Table 3. The Servant Leader 66

Note: single space multiple-line table titles; double space between entries per example above. The List of Tables and List of Figures have been formatted as such in this template. You can update the List of Tables [Right click Update Field Update Entire Table] the table title and subtitle show up with the in-text formatting.

After you update your List of Tables, you will need to manually remove the italics from each of your table titles and also manually add a period after the table number (e.g., “Table 1. xxx), per the example above.

List of Figures Comment by GCU: This is an example of a List of Figures “boiler plate.” Freely edit and adapt this to fit the particular dissertation. In Word, “overtype” edits and adaptations.The List of Figures follows the List of Tables.The List of Figures is included in the Table of Contents and shows a Roman numeral page number at the top right. The page number is justified with a 1 in. margin on each page. The title is bolded.Figures include graphs, charts, maps, drawings, cartoons, and photographs [5.21]. In the List of Figures, single-space figure titles and double-space between entries. See 5.20-5.30 for details and specifics on Figures and Data Display.All figures are numbered with Arabic numerals in the order in which they are first mentioned. [5.05] The figure title included in the Table of Contents should match the title found in the text.

Figure 1. Correlation for SAT composite score and time spent on Facebook. 67

Note: single-space multiple line figure titles; double-space between entries per example in List of Tables on previous page. After you update your List of Figures, you will need to manually remove the italics per the example above.

41

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study Comment by GCU: This heading is tagged with APA Style Level 1 heading [3.03]. Comment by GCU: Word has a tool called “Styles.” What it does is format the way something is supposed to look (such as a level 1 heading, or “Heading 1”). When you use the style tool, you highlight that text that should be, for example, Heading 1, and click on that style. Easy. Here is a link that is set for Word 2013, it will also work for Word 2010 and probably for Word 2007: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/using-styles-in-word-RZ104244834.aspx?CTT=1&client=1. The GCU proposal and dissertation templates are set up with the correct styles. These are required for all proposals and dissertations. When the headings have been “styled” correctly, the TOC (and the List of Tables and List of Figures) can be automatically generated so that the text exactly matches the headings. The page numbers will also automatically be updated.

Introduction

This section describes the conceptual basis for what the researcher will investigate, including the research questions, hypotheses, and basic research design. The introduction develops the significance of the study by describing how the study is new or different from other studies, how it addresses something that is not already known or has not been studied before, or how it extends prior research on the topic in some way. This section should also briefly describe the basic nature of the study and provide an overview of the contents of Chapter 1.

Keep in mind that you will write Chapters 1 through 3 as your dissertation 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 dissertation manuscript. Often, after data analysis is complete, the first three chapters will need revisions to reflect a more in-depth understanding of the topic and to ensure consistency. Comment by GCU: Include one space after each period in the dissertation.

To ensure the quality of both your proposal and your final dissertation and reduce the time for AQR reviews, your writing needs to reflect doctoral level, scholarly writing standards from your very first draft. Each section within the proposal or dissertation should be well organized and easy for the reader to follow. Each paragraph should be short, clear, and focused. A paragraph should (1) be three to eight sentences in length, (2) focus on one point, topic, or argument, (3) include a topic sentence the defines the focus for the paragraph, and (4) include a transition sentence to the next paragraph. Include one space after each period. There should be no grammatical, punctuation, sentence structure, or APA formatting errors. Verb tense is an important consideration for Chapters 1 through 3. For the proposal, the researcher uses future tense (e.g. “The purpose of this study is to…”), whereas in the dissertation, the chapters are revised to reflect past tense (e.g. “The purpose of this study was to…”). Taking the time to ensure high quality, scholarly writing for each draft will save you time in all the steps of the development and review phases of the dissertation process so make sure to do it right the first time!

As a doctoral researcher, 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. Grand Canyon University also offers writing tutoring services through the Center for Learning Advancement on writing basics, however the writing tutors do not provide any level of dissertation editing. Your chair and your committee members are not obligated to edit your documents, nor will the AQR reviewers edit your proposal or dissertation. If you do not have outstanding writing skills, you may need to identify a writing coach, editor and/or other resource to help you with writing and editing. Poorly written proposals and dissertations will be immediately suspended in the various levels of review if submitted with grammatical, structural, and/or form and formatting errors.

The quality of a dissertation is not only evaluated on the quality of writing. It is also evaluated based on the criteria that GCU has established for each section of the dissertation. 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 each criterion contained in the table below the description. Use both the overall description and criteria as you write each section. It is important that each listed criterion is addressed in a way that it is clear to your chair and committee members. You should be able to point out where each criterion is met in each section.

Prior to submitting a draft of your proposal or dissertation or a single chapter to your chair or committee members, please assess yourself on the degree to which each criterion has been met. Use the criteria table at the end of each section to complete this self-assessment. The following scores reflect the readiness of the document:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions Are Required. Comment by GCU: Format with style “List Bullet.” Numbered or bulleted lists are indented .25 inch from the left margin. Subsequent lines are indented further with a hanging indent of .25” per the example in the text. Each number or bullet ends with a period. Bullet lists use “List Bullet” Style. Numbered lists use “List Number” Style.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions Required.

You need to continuously and objectively self-evaluate the quality of your writing and content for each section within the proposal or dissertation. You will score yourself using the learner column in the criteria tables as evidence that you have critically evaluated your own work. When you have completed a comprehensive self-evaluation of your work, then you may submit your document to your chair for review. Your chair will also review and score each section of the proposal and dissertation and will determine when it is ready for full committee review. Keep in mind the committee review process will likely require several editorial/revisions rounds, so plan for multiple revision cycles as you develop your dissertation completion plan and project timeline. You will notice in the tables that certain columns have an X in the scoring box. As mentioned above, your chair will score all five chapters, the abstract and the reference list; your methodologist is only required to score Chapters 1, 3, and 4 and the abstract; your content expert is only required to score Chapters 1, 2, and 5 and the abstract. Your chair and committee members will assess each criterion in their required chapters when they return the document with feedback.

Once the document has been fully scored and approved by your chair and committee, and is approved for Level 2 or 5 review, your chair will submit one copy of the proposal or dissertation document with the fully scored assessment tables and one copy of the document with the assessment tables removed for AQR review.

Refer to the Dissertation Milestone Guide for descriptions of levels of review and submission process.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
Introduction

This section provides a brief overview of the research focus or problem, explains why this study is worth conducting, and discusses how this study will be completed. (Minimum three to four paragraphs or approximately one page)

Dissertation topic is introduced and value of conducting the study is discussed.
Discussion provides an overview of what is contained in the chapter.
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Background of the Study Comment by GCU: 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 research focus. It provides a summary of results from the prior empirical research on the topic and identifies a gap, based on prior research which the current study will address. This section summarizes the Background section from Chapter 2.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
Background of the Study

The background section explains both the history of and the present state of the problem and research focus. It identifies the “gap” or “need” based on a summary of the current literature and discusses how the study will address that “gap” or “need.” (Minimum two to three paragraphs or approximately one page)

Provides a summary of results from the prior empirical research on the topic and identifies the need as defined by the prior research which this current study will address.
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Problem Statement Comment by GCU: Levels of headings must accurately reflect the organization of the paper [3.02–3.03].For example, this is a “Heading 2.”

This section clearly states the problem or research focus, the population affected and how the study will contribute to solving the problem. 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 Study 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 is______.

While the literature indicates ____________, it is not known in (school/district/organization/community) if __________. Comment by GCU: Numbered or bullets are indented .25 inch from the left margin, subsequent lines are indented further to .25 inches. Each number or bullet ends with a period.

It is not known how or to what extent ________________.

As you are writing this section, make sure your research problem passes the ROC test meaning your problem is Researchable, Original, and Contributory!

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
Problem Statement

This section includes the problem statement, the population affected, and how the study will contribute to solving the problem. This section is summarized in Chapter 3. This section of Chapter 1 should be a minimum of three to four paragraphs with citations from empirical research articles to support statements. (Minimum three or four paragraphs or approximately one page)

States the specific problem proposed for research by presenting a clear declarative statement that begins with “It is not known if and to what degree/extent…” (quantitative) ~or~ or “It is not known how/why and…” (qualitative)
Identifies the general population affected by the problem.
Suggests how the study may contribute to solving the problem.
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Purpose of the Study

The Purpose of the Study section of Chapter 1 provides a reflection of the problem statement and identifies how the study will be accomplished. It explains how the proposed study will contribute to the field. The section begins with a declarative statement, “The purpose of this study is…. .” Included in this statement are also the research design, population, variables (quantitative) or phenomena (qualitative) to be studied, and the geographic location. Further, the section clearly defines the dependent and independent variables, relationship of variables, or comparison of groups for quantitative studies. For qualitative studies, this section describes the nature of the phenomena to be explored. Keep in mind that the purpose of the study is restated in other chapters of the dissertation and should be worded exactly as presented in this section of Chapter 1. Refer to Creswell (2014) for sample purpose statement templates that are aligned with the different research methods (qualitative/quantitative/mixed method). Comment by GCU: Note: Each paragraph of the dissertation must 3-5 sentences at minimum, and no longer than one manuscript page [3.08].

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose statement section expands on the problem statement and identifies how the study will be accomplished. It explains how the proposed study will contribute to the field. This section is summarized in Chapter 3. (Minimum two to three paragraphs)

Presents a declarative statement: “The purpose of this study is….” that identifies the research methodology and design, population, variables (quantitative) or phenomena (qualitative) to be studied and geographic location.
Identifies research methodology as qualitative, quantitative, or mixed, and identifies the specific research design.
Describes the target population and geographic location for the study.
Quantitative: Defines the variables, relationship of variables, or comparison of groups.

Qualitative: Describes the nature of the phenomena to be explored.

Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Research Question(s) and Hypotheses Comment by GCU: Insert the correct heading based on the methodology for your study. Qualitative studies use the header “Research Questions”; Quantitative and Mixed Method studies use the header “Research Questions and Hypotheses”.

This section narrows the focus of the study and specifies the research questions to address the problem statement. Based on the research questions, it describes the variables or groups and their hypothesized relationship for a quantitative study or the phenomena under investigation for a qualitative study. The research questions and hypotheses should be derived from, and are directly aligned with, the problem and purpose statements, research methods, and data analyses. The Research Questions or Hypotheses 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.

If your study is qualitative, state the research question(s) the study will answer, and describe the phenomenon to be studied. Qualitative studies will typically have one overarching research question with three or more sub-questions. If your study is quantitative or mixed methods, state the research questions the study will answer, identify the variables, and state the hypotheses (predictive statements) using the format appropriate for the specific design. Quantitative studies will typically have three or four research questions and associated hypotheses; mixed method studies can use both depending on the design.

In a paragraph prior to listing the research questions or hypotheses, include a discussion of the research questions, relating them to the problem statement. Then, include a leading phrase to introduce the questions such as: The following research questions guide this qualitative study:

RQ1: This is an example of how a qualitative research question should align within the text of the manuscript. Indent .25 inches from the left margin. Text that wraps around to the next line is indented using the Hanging Indent feature at .5”. Comment by GCU: Indent .25 inches from the left margin. Text that wraps around to the next line is indented using the Hanging Indent feature at .25”. The style for this is “List RQ.” Note: For the GCU template, the research questions and hypotheses are double spaced and do not follow the APA number or bullet list format for line spacing.

RQ2: Add a research question here following the format above. Additional research questions should follow the same format.

Or for a quantitative study the research questions are formatted as below. The following research question and hypotheses guide this quantitative study:

RQ1: This is an example of how a quantitative research questions and hypotheses should align within the text of the manuscript. Indent .25 inches from the left margin. Text that wraps around to the next line is indented using the Hanging Indent feature at .5”.

H10: The null hypothesis that aligns to the research question is listed here.

H1a: The alternative hypothesis that aligns to the research question and null hypothesis is listed here. Repeat this pattern for each quantitative research question and associated hypotheses.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
Research Question(s) and/or Hypotheses

This section narrows the focus of the study by specifying the research questions to address the problem statement. Based on the research questions, it describes the variables and/or groups and their hypothesized relationship (quantitative study) or the phenomena under investigation (qualitative study). It describes how the research questions are related to the problem statement and how the research questions will facilitate collection of the data needed to answer the research questions. (Minimum two to three paragraphs or approximately one page)

Qualitative Designs: States the research question(s) the study will answer and describes the phenomenon to be studied.

Quantitative Designs: States the research questions the study will answer, identifies the variables, and states the hypotheses (predictive statements) using the format appropriate for the specific design.

This section includes a discussion of the research questions, relating them to the problem statement.
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Advancing Scientific Knowledge

The Advancing Scientific Knowledge section describes how the proposed research will advance the body of knowledge on the topic. This advancement can be a small step forward in a line of current research, but it must add to the current body of knowledge and align to the learner’s program of study. This section also identifies the “gap” or “need” based on the current literature and discusses how the study 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 study is built. It also describes how the study will advance that theory or model.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
ADVANCING SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE

This section specifically describes how the research will advance the body of knowledge on the topic. The study can yield a small step forward in a line of current research, but it must add to the current body of knowledge in the literature in the learner’s program of study. It identifies the “gap” or “need” based on the current literature and discusses how the study will address that “gap” or “need.” This section also identifies the theory(ies) or model(s) that provide the theoretical foundation for the study and how the study will contribute to the research on the theory(ies) or model(s). This section summarizes part of the Background (focused on identifying the “gap” or “need” from the literature) and Theoretical Foundations sections (expanded in Chapter 2). (Minimum two to three paragraphs)

Clearly identifies the “gap” or “need” in the literature that was used to define the problem statement and develop the research questions.
Describes how the study will address the “gap” or “identified need” defined in the literature and contribute to the body of literature.
Identifies the theory(ies) or model(s) that provide the theoretical foundations or conceptual frameworks for the study.
Connects the study directly to the theory and describes how the study will add or extend the theory or model.
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Significance of the Study

This section identifies and describes the significance of the study. It also discusses the implications of the potential results based on the research questions and problem statement, hypotheses, or the investigated phenomena. Further, it describes how the research fits within and will contribute to the current literature or body of research. Finally, it describes the potential practical applications from the research. This section is of particular importance because it justifies the need for, and the relevance of, the research.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
Significance of the Study

This section identifies and describes the significance of the study and the implications of the potential results based on the research questions, the problem statement, and the hypotheses or the investigated phenomena. It describes how the research fits within and will contribute to the current literature or body of research. It describes potential practical applications from the research. (Minimum three to four paragraphs)

Describes how the proposed research fits within the prior research and how the study will make an academic research contribution in the field of study.
Describes how the study will make a practical contribution in the field of study.
Describes how addressing the problem will add value to the population, community, or society.
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Rationale for Methodology

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

For qualitative designs, this section states the research question(s) the study will answer and describes the phenomenon to be studied. For quantitative designs, this section describes the research questions the study will answer, identifies the variables, and states the hypotheses (predictive statements) using the format appropriate for the specific design. Finally, this section includes a discussion of the research questions, relating them to the problem statement. This section should illustrate how the methodological framework is aligned with the problem statement and purpose of the study, providing additional context for the study.

Criterion*

(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
Rationale for Methodology

This section clearly justifies the methodology the researcher plans to use for conducting the study. It argues why the methodological framework is the best approach to answer the research questions and how it will address the problem statement. It uses citations from textbooks and articles on research methodology and/or articles on related studies to justify the methodology. (Minimum two to three paragraphs)

Identifies the specific research methodology for the study.
Justifies the methodology to be used for the study by discussing why it is the best approach for answering the research question(s) and addressing the problem statement.
Uses citations from seminal (authoritative) sources (textbooks and/or empirical research literature) to justify the selected methodology. Note: Introductory or survey research textbooks (such as Creswell) are not considered seminal sources.
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Nature of the Research Design for the Study

This section describes the specific research design to answer the research 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 research questions as compared to other designs. This section also contains a description of the research sample being studied, 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 research approach to answer the research questions and/or test the hypotheses.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
Nature of the Research Design for the Study

This section describes the specific research design to answer the research questions and affirms why this approach was selected. It describes the research sample being studied as well as the process that will be used to collect the data on the sample. It identifies the instruments or sources of data needed to answer the research questions. It provides citations from seminal sources such as research textbooks, research articles, and articles on similar studies.(Minimum three to four paragraphs or approximately one page)

Describes the selected design for the study.
Discusses why the selected design is the best design to address the problem statement and research questions as compared to other designs.
Briefly describes the target population, and the sample for the study, the data collection procedures to collect data on the sample, and the instruments or sources of data needed to answer the research questions.
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Definition of Terms

The Definition of Terms section of Chapter 1 defines the study constructs and provides a common understanding of the technical terms, exclusive jargon, variables, phenomena, concepts, and technical terminology used within the scope of the study. Terms are defined in lay terms and in the context in which they are used within the study. 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).

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 research and 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 study.” This is also a good place to “operationally define” unique phrases specific to this research. 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, p.123). Terms often use abbreviations. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), 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. APA also allows abbreviations that appear as words in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (2005) to be used without explanation [4.22-4.30]. Comment by GCU: All terms should be styled as Heading 4 (level 4 headings). Comment by GCU: It is vital to include page numbers with in-text citations: “p.” for a single page, “pp.” for more than one page (e.g., p.12, and pp. 123-124). NOTE: Page numbers are included only when using a direct quote.

Spaces. Do not use periods or spaces in abbreviations of all capital letters unless the abbreviation is a proper name or refers to participants using identity-concealing labels. The exception to this rule is that a period is used when abbreviating the United States as an adjective. Use a period if the abbreviation is a Latin abbreviation or a reference abbreviation [4.02]. Use standard newspaper practice when presenting AM and PM times, as in 7:30 PM or 6:00 AM.

Abbreviations. Do not use periods with abbreviated measurements, (e.g., cd, ft, lb, mi, and min). The exception to this rule is to use a period when abbreviated inch (in.) to avoid confusion with the word “in”. Units of measurement and statistical abbreviations should only be abbreviated when accompanied by numerical values, e.g., 7 mg, 12 mi, M = 7.5 measured in milligrams, several miles after the exit, the means were determined [4.27].

Time unitsOnly certain units of time should be abbreviated. Do abbreviate hr, min, ms, ns, s. 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*

(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
Definitions of Terms

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

Defines any words that may be unknown to a lay person (words with unusual or ambiguous meanings or technical terms) from the research or literature.
Defines the variables for a quantitative study or the phenomena for a qualitative study from the research or literature.
Definitions are supported with citations from scholarly sources.
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Assumptions, Limitations, Delimitations

This section identifies the assumptions and specifies the limitations, as well as the delimitations, of the study. An assumption is a self-evident truth. This section should list what is assumed to be true about the information gathered in the study. State the assumptions being accepted for the study 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 study:

It is assumed that survey participants in this study 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. Comment by GCU: Indent .25 inches from the left margin. Text that wraps around to the next line is indented using the Hanging Indent feature at .5”. Each number or bullet ends with a period. Bullet lists use “List Bullet” Style. Numbered lists use “List Number” Style.

It is assumed that this study is an accurate representation of the current situation in rural southern Arizona. Provide an explanation to support this assumption.

Limitations are things that the researcher has no control over, such as bias. Delimitations are things over which the researcher has control, such as location of the study. Identify the limitations and delimitations of the research design. Discuss the potential generalizability of the study findings based on these limitations. For each limitation and/or delimitation listed, make sure to provide an associated explanation. For example: The following limitations/delimitations were present in this study:

1. Lack of funding limited the scope of this study. Provide an explanation to support this limitation.

The survey of high school students was delimited to only rural schools in one county within southern Arizona, limiting the demographic sample. Provide an explanation to support this delimitation.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
Assumptions, Limitations and Delimitations

This section identifies the assumptions and specifies the limitations, as well as the delimitations, of the study. (Minimum three to four paragraphs)

States the assumptions being accepted for the study (methodological, theoretical, and topic-specific).
Provides rationale for each assumption, incorporating multiple perspectives, when appropriate.
Identifies limitations of the research design.
Identifies delimitations of the research design.
The Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Summary and Organization of the Remainder of the Study

This section summarizes the key points of Chapter 1 and provides supporting citations for those key points. It then provides a transition discussion to Chapter 2 followed by a description of the remaining chapters. For example, Chapter 2 will present a review of current research on the centrality of the dissertation literature review in research preparation. Chapter 3 will describe the methodology, research design, and procedures for this investigation. Chapter 4 details how the data was analyzed and provides both a written and graphic summary of the results. Chapter 5 is an interpretation and discussion of the results, as it relates to the existing body of research related to the dissertation topic. For the proposal, this section should also provide a timeline for completing the research and writing up the dissertation. When the dissertation is complete, this section should be revised to eliminate the timeline information. Comment by GCU: When it is necessary to divide a paragraph at the end of the page, two lines must appear at the bottom of the page (widow) and two at the top of the following page (orphan). This is called “widow/orphan” control, and has been set up on the Normal Style in this template.

Criterion*

(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
Chapter 1 Summary and Organization of the remainder of the study

This section summarizes the key points of Chapter 1 and provides supporting citations for those key points. It then provides a transition discussion to Chapter 2 followed by a description of the remaining chapters. The Proposal, but not the Dissertation, provides a timeline for completing the research and dissertation. (Minimum one to two pages)

Summarizes key points presented in Chapter 1.
Provides citations from scholarly sources to support key points.
Describes the remaining Chapters and provides a transition discussion to Chapter 2. For proposal only, a timeline for completing the research and dissertation is provided.
The Chapter is correctly formatted to dissertation template using the Word Style Tool and APA standards. Writing is free of mechanical errors.
All research presented in the Chapter is scholarly, topic-related, and obtained from highly respected academic, professional, original sources. In-text citations are accurate, correctly cited, and included in the reference page according to APA standards.
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Chapter 2: Literature Review Comment by GCU: This chapter should be an exhaustive review of the literature, minimum of 30 pages, but likely much longer as you need to continue to add and synthesize the most recent publications related to your research topic. Comment by GCU: Use INSERTPage Break to set new page for new chapter. Do not use hard returns to get there.

Introduction to the Chapter and Background to the Problem

This chapter presents the theoretical framework for the study and develops the topic, specific research problem, question(s), and design elements. In order to perform significant dissertation research, the learner must first understand the literature related to the research focus. A well-articulated, thorough literature review provides the foundation for a substantial, contributory dissertation. The purpose of Chapter 2 is to develop a well-documented argument for the selection of the research topic, to formulate the research questions, and to justify the choice of research methodology. A literature review is a synthesis of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. It is not an expanded annotated bibliography or a summary of research articles related to your topic.

The literature review will place the research focus into context by analyzing and discussing the existing body of knowledge and effectively telling the reader everything that is known, or everything that has been discovered in research about that focus, and where the gaps and tensions in the research exist. As a piece of writing, the literature review must convey to the reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and build an argument in support of the research problem.

This section describes the overall topic to be investigated, outlines the approach taken for the literature review, and the evolution of the problem based on the “gap” or “need” defined in the literature from its origination to its current form. Make sure the Introduction and Background section of your literature review addresses all required criterion listed in the table below.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
CHAPTER 2 INTRODUCTION (TO THE CHAPTER) AND BACKGROUND (TO THE PROBLEM)

This section describes the overall topic to be investigated, outlines the approach taken for the literature review, and argues the evolution of the problem based on the “gap” or “need” defined in the literature from its origination to its current form. (Minimum two to three pages)

Introduction: Provides an orienting paragraph so the reader knows what the literature review will address. X
Introduction: Describes how the chapter will be organized (including the specific sections and subsections). X
Introduction: Describes how the literature was surveyed so the reader can evaluate thoroughness of the review. This includes search terms and databases used. X
Background: Discusses how the problem has evolved historically into its current form. X
Background: Describes the “gap” or “need” defined in the current literature and how it leads to the creation of the topic and problem statement for the study. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Theoretical Foundations and/or Conceptual Framework

This section identifies the theory(ies) or model(s) that provide the foundation for the research study. It also contains an explanation of how the problem under investigation relates to the theory or model. The seminal source for each theory or model presented in this section should be identified and described.

For a quantitative study, the theory(ies) or models(s) guides the research question(s) and justifies what is being measured (variables), and describes how those variables are related. In a qualitative study the theory or model justifies the phenomena being investigated (qualitative). This section also includes a discussion of how the research question(s) align with the respective theory(ies) or model(s) and illustrates how the study fits within the prior research based on the theory(ies) or model(s). The learner should cite references reflective of the foundational, historical, and current literature in the field. Overall, the presentation in this section should reflect that the learner understands the theory or model and its relevance to the proposed study. The discussion should also reflect knowledge and familiarity with the historical development of the theory.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
theoretical foundations and/or conceptual framework

This section identifies the theory(ies) or model(s) that provide the foundation for the research. This section should present the theory(ies) or models(s) and explain how the problem under investigation relates to the theory(ies) or model(s). The theory(ies) or models(s) guide the research questions and justify what is being measured (variables) as well as how those variables are related (quantitative) or the phenomena being investigated (qualitative). (Minimum two to three pages)

Identifies a model(s) or theory(ies) from seminal source(s) that provide a reasonable conceptual framework or theoretical foundation to use in developing the research questions, identifying variables/phenomena, and selecting data collection instruments. X
Accurately cites the appropriate seminal source(s) for each theory or model. X
Includes a cogent discussion/synthesis of the theory or model and justifies the theoretical foundation/framework as relevant to the study. Connects the study directly to the theory and describes how the study will add or extend the theory or model. X
Builds a logical argument of how the research questions directly align to the theoretical foundation for the study. X
Reflects a deep understanding of the foundational, historical, research relevant to the theoretical foundation/framework. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Review of the Literature

This section provides a broad, balanced overview of the existing literature related to the proposed research topic. The Review of Literature identifies themes, trends, and conflicts in research methodology, design and findings. It provides a synthesis of the existing literature, examines the contributions of the literature related to the topic, and presents an evaluation of the overall methodological strengths and weaknesses of the research. Through this synthesis, the gaps in research should become evident to the reader.

Citations are provided for all ideas, concepts, and perspectives. The researcher’s personal opinions or perspectives are not included. Chapter 2 must be a minimum of 30 pages in length. However, it is important to note that a well-written comprehensive literature review will likely exceed this minimum requirement. The literature review must be continuously updated throughout the dissertation research and writing process. Chapter 2 needs to include a minimum of 50 peer-reviewed, empirical research articles, and 75% of all references within this chapter (and in proposal/dissertation) must be within the past five years. Seventy five percent (75%) of your sources must be dated within five years of the proposal defense date or dissertation defense date, and updated as appropriate at the time of the dissertation defense. Other requirements for the literature review include:

Quantitative study: Describes each research variable in the study discussing the prior empirical research that has been done on the variable(s) and the relationship between variables.

Qualitative study: Describes the phenomena being explored in the study discussing the prior research that has been done on the phenomena.

Discusses the various methodologies and designs that have been used to research topics related to the study. Uses this information to justify the proposed design.

Argues the appropriateness of the dissertation’s instruments, measures, and/or approaches used to collect data.

Discusses and synthesizes studies related to the proposed dissertation topic. This may include (1) studies describing and/or relating the variables (quantitative) or exploring related phenomena (qualitative), (2) studies on related research such as factors associated with the themes, (3) studies on the instruments used to collect data, (4) studies on the broad population for the study, and/or (5) studies similar to the proposed study. The themes presented and research studies discussed and synthesized in the Review of Literature demonstrates a deep understanding of all aspects of the research topic. The set of topics discussed in the Review of Literature must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the broad area in which the research topic exists.

Discusses and synthesizes the various methodologies and designs that have been used in prior empirical research related to the study. Must use authoritative sources information to justify the proposed design. Provides discussion and justification for the instrumentation selected for the study. This section must argue the appropriateness of the dissertation’s instruments, measures, and/or approaches used to collect data. Empirical research must be used to justify the selection of instrument(s).

Each major section in the Review of Literature includes an introductory paragraph that explains why the particular topic was explored relative to the dissertation topic.

Each major section in the Literature Review includes a summary paragraph(s) that (1) compares and contrasts alternative perspectives on the topic, (2) provides a synthesis of the themes relative to the research topic discussed that emerged from the literature, (3) discusses data from the various studies, and (4) identifies how themes are relevant to the proposed dissertation topic.

The types of references that may be used in the literature review include empirical articles, a limited number of dissertations (no more than 5) , peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles, and books (no more than 5-10) that present cutting edge views on a topic, are research based, or are seminal works.

Provides additional arguments for the need for the study that was defined in the Background to the Problem section.

The body of a literature review can be organized in a variety of ways depending on the nature of the research. Work with your chair and committee to determine the best way to organize this section of Chapter 2 as it pertains to your research design. Make sure you include a section for methodology and instrumentation (see the rubrics, below).

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 Reference section. Incorrectly citing and referencing sources is a serious scholarly and ethical violation, particularly at the doctoral level when writing the dissertation. As an emerging scholar you must demonstrate the capability and responsibility to properly cite and reference every single source that you reference in your literature review and in throughout your dissertation!

As a rule, if a direct quote comprises fewer than 40 words, incorporate it into the narrative and enclose it with double quotation marks. The in-text citation is included after the final punctuation mark [6.03]. The final punctuation mark in quoted text should be placed inside the quotation mark.

For a quote within a quote, use a set of single quotation marks. Here is an example of a direct quote within a quote integrated into the narrative. In the classic introspective autobiography, The Memoirs of a Superfluous Man, we read that, “one never knows when or where the spirit’s breathe will rest, or what will come of its touch. ‘The spirit breathes where it will,’ said the Santissimo Salvatore, ‘and thou hearest the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth.’” (Nock, 1943, p.187) [4.08]. Comment by GCU: Book titles, periodicals, films, videos, television shows, and non-English words and phrases appear in italics. [4.21]Names of the titles of short articles and essays appearing in periodicals are set off by quotation marks. Comment by GCU: In addition to non-English phrases, acts, wars and treaty names appear in italics. [4.21]

As a rule, if a quote comprises 40 or more words, display this material as a freestanding block quote. Start formal block quotes on a new line. They are indented one inch in from the left margin. The entire block quote is double-spaced. Quotation marks are not used with formal block quotes. The in-text citation is included after the final punctuation mark. [6.03]. Below is an example of a block quote: In an important biography, The First American: the Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin, historian H. W. Brands writes:

In February 1731, Franklin became a Freemason. Shortly thereafter, he volunteered to draft the bylaws for the embryonic local chapter, named for St. John the Baptist; upon acceptance of the bylaws, he was elected Warden and subsequently Master of the Lodge. Within three years, he became Grandmaster of all of Pennsylvania’s Masons. Not unforeseeable he–indeed, this was much of the purpose of membership for everyone involved–his fellow Masons sent business Franklin’s way. In 1734 he printed The Constitutions, the first formerly sponsored Masonic book in America; he derived additional [printing] work from his brethren on an unsponsored basis. (Brands, 2000, p. 113) Comment by GCU: Block quotes are indented .5 inches. To create a block quote, highlight the entire paragraph and click on the “increase indent” button.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

This section provides a broad, balanced overview and synthesis of the existing literature related to the proposed research topic. It identifies topics, themes, trends, and conflicts in research methodology, design, and findings. It describes the literature in related topic areas and its relevance to the research topic and research approach. It provides an overall analysis and synthesis of the existing literature examining the contributions of this literature to the field; identifying the conflicts; and relating the topics, themes, and results to the study topic and research approach. Accurate, empirical research citations are provided for all ideas, concepts, and perspectives. The researcher’s personal opinions or perspectives are not included. (Minimum 30 pages)

This section must be a minimum of 30 pages. The purpose of the minimum number of pages is to ensure that the overall literature review reflects a foundational understanding of the theory or theories, literature and research studies related to the topic. A well-written comprehensive literature review that reflects the current state of research and literature on the topic is expected and will likely exceed 30 pages. Literature review should be updated continuously. This is an ongoing process to dissertation completion. X
Quantitative Studies: Describes each research variable in the study discussing the prior empirical research that has been done on the variables and the relationship between the variables.

Qualitative Studies: Describes the phenomena being explored in the study discussing the prior research that has been done on the phenomena.

X
Themes or Topics (Required): Discusses and synthesizes studies related to the proposed dissertation topic. May include (1) studies describing and/or relating the variables (quantitative) or exploring related phenomena (qualitative), (2) studies on related research such as factors associated with the themes, (3) studies on the instruments used to collect data, (4) studies on the broad population for the study, and/or (5) studies similar to the proposed study. The themes presented and research studies discussed and synthesized in the Review of Literature demonstrates a deep understanding of all aspects of the research topic. X
Methodology Section (required): Discusses and synthesizes the various methodologies and designs that have been used in prior empirical research related to the study. Must use authoritative sources to justify the proposed design. X
Instrumentation Section (required): Provides discussion and justification for the instrumentation selected for the study. This section must argue the appropriateness of the dissertation’s instruments, measures, and/or approaches used to collect data. Empirical research must be used to justify the selection of instrument(s). X
Structures literature review in a logical order, includes actual data and accurate synthesis of results from reviewed studies as related to the learners own topic, not just a summary of the findings. X
Includes in each major section (theme or topic) within the Review of Literature an introductory paragraph that explains why the particular theme or topic was explored relative to the overall dissertation topic. X
Includes in each section within the Review of Literature a summary paragraph(s) that (1) compares and contrasts alternative perspectives on the topic and (2) provides a synthesis of the themes relative to the research topic discussed that emerged from the literature, and (3) identifies how themes are relevant to the proposed dissertation topic. X
Provides additional arguments for the need for the study that was defined in the Background to the Problem section. X
Ensures that for every in-text citation a reference entry exists. Conversely, for every reference list entry there is a corresponding in-text citation. Note: The accuracy of citations and quality of sources must be verified by learner, chair and committee members. X
Uses a range of references including founding theorists, peer-reviewed empirical research studies from scholarly journals, and government/foundation research reports. Note: A minimum of 50 peer-reviewed, empirical research articles are required for the literature review. X
Verifies that 75% of all references are scholarly sources within the past 5 years. The 5 year time frame is referenced at the time of the proposal defense date and at the time of the dissertation defense date. Note: Websites, dictionaries, publications without dates (n.d.), are not considered scholarly sources and should not be cited or present in reference list. X
Avoids overuse of books and dissertations. Books: Maximum of 10 scholarly books that present cutting edge views on a topic, are research based, or are seminal works. Dissertations: Maximum of 5 published dissertations. Comment by GCU: When citing books and dissertations this implies that you have read the entire book or dissertation. Be mindful of this as you select sources. Dissertations are not considered peer-reviewed research, so limit the number of referenced dissertations to 3-5 total. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Summary

This section succinctly restates what was written in Chapter 2 and provides supporting citations for key points. The summary section reflects that the learner has done his/her “due diligence” to become well-read on the topic and can conduct a study that will add to the existing body of research and knowledge on the topic. It synthesizes the information from the chapter to define the “gaps” in or “identified research needs” arising from the literature, the theory(ies) or model(s) to provide the foundation for the study, the problem statement, the primary research question, the methodology, the design, the variables or phenomena, the data collection instruments or sources, and the population to be studied. Overall, this section should help the reader clearly see and understand the relevance and importance of the research to be conducted. The criteria listed in the table below are required for this section. The Summary section transitions to Chapter 3 by building a case for the study, in terms of research design and rigor, and it formulates the research questions based on the gaps and tensions in the literature.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
Chapter 2 Summary

This section restates what was written in Chapter 2 and provides supporting citations for key points. The summary section reflects that the learner has done his/her “due diligence” to become well-read on the topic and can conduct a study that will add to the existing body of research and knowledge on the topic. It synthesizes the information from the chapter to define the “gaps” in or “identified research needs” arising from the literature, the theory(ies) or model(s) to provide the foundation for the study, the problem statement, the primary research question, the methodology, the design, the variables or phenomena, the data collection instruments or sources, and the population to be studied. It then provides a transition discussion to Chapter 3. (Minimum one to two pages)

Synthesizes the information from all of the prior sections in the Literature Review using it to define the key strategic points for the research. X
Summarizes the gaps and needs in the background and introduction describing how it informs the problem statement. X
Identifies the theory(ies) or model(s) describing how they inform the research questions. X
Justifies the design, variables or phenomena, data collection instruments or sources, and population to be studied. X
Builds a case (argument) for the study in terms of the value of the research and how the research questions emerged from the review of literature X
Reflects that the Learner has done his or her “due diligence” to synthesize the existing empirical research and write a comprehensive literature review on the research topic. X
Summarizes key points in Chapter 2 and transitions into Chapter 3. X
The Chapter is correctly formatted to dissertation template using the Word Style Tool and APA standards. Writing is free of mechanical errors. X
All research presented in the Chapter is scholarly, topic-related, and obtained from highly respected, academic, professional, original sources. In-text citations are accurate, correctly cited and included in the reference page according to APA standards. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Chapter 3: Methodology

Introduction

Chapter 3 documents how the study is conducted in enough detail so that replication by others is possible. The introduction begins with a summary of the research focus and purpose statement to reintroduce the reader to the study. This can be summarized in three to four sentences from Chapter 1. This section also outlines the expectations for this chapter.

Remember, throughout this chapter, that verb tense must be changed from present tense (proposal) to past tense (dissertation manuscript). Furthermore, consider what happened during data collection and analysis. Sometimes, the research protocol ends up being modified based on committee, AQR review, or Institutional Review Board (IRB) recommendations. After the research study is complete, make sure this chapter reflects how the study was actually conducted.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
CHAPTER 3 INTRODUCTION

This section includes both a restatement of the research focus and the Purpose Statement for the study from Chapter 1 to reintroduce reader to the need for the study and a description of contents of the chapter. (Minimum two to three paragraphs)

The Introduction summarizes the research focus, and the purpose statement to reintroduce the reader to the study. This section also outlines the expectations for this chapter. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Statement of the Problem

This section restates the research problem for the convenience of the reader. Then, edit, blend, and integrate this material into the narrative. Change future tense in proposals to past tense for dissertation manuscripts.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

This section restates the problem for the convenience of the reader. This section is a summary of the related section in Chapter 1. (Minimum one to two paragraphs)

The research problem is restated for the convenience of the reader. This section aligns to the related section in Chapter 1. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Research Question(s) or Hypotheses

This section restates the research question(s) and the hypotheses for the study from Chapter 1. For a quantitative study, it then presents the matching hypotheses and explains the variables. For a qualitative study, it then describes the phenomena to be understood as a result of the study. The section also briefly discusses the approaches to collecting the data to answer the research questions. For a quantitative study, it describes the instrument(s) or data source(s) to collect the data for each and every variable. For a qualitative study, it describes the instrument(s) or data source(s) to collect the data to answer each research question. It also discusses why the design was selected to be the best approach to answer the research questions, test the hypotheses (quantitative), or understand the phenomena (qualitative). Remember to change future tense to past tense for dissertation manuscripts.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND/OR HYPOTHESES

This section restates the research question(s) and the hypotheses or phenomena and explains why the selected design is the best approach to answer the research questions. Further, it defines the variables and/or groups. The section also discusses the approaches to collecting the data to answer the research questions. This section expands on the related section in Chapter 1. (Minimum one to two pages)

For a qualitative study, restates the research questions and the phenomena for the study from Chapter 1.

For a quantitative study, restates the research questions from Chapter 1, presents the matching hypotheses and operationalizes the variables. Research questions must align directly with the problem and purpose statements,

X
Describes the nature and sources of necessary data to answer the research questions (primary versus secondary data, specific people, institutional archives, Internet open sources, etc.).

For a quantitative study, the section describes the instrument(s) or data source(s) to collect the data for each and every variable.

For a qualitative study, The section describes the instrument(s) or data source(s) to collect the data to answer each research question.

X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Research Methodology

This section describes the research methodology for the study (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed) and explains the rationale for selecting this particular methodology. It also describes why this methodology was selected as opposed to the alternative methodologies. This section should elaborate on the Methodology section (from Chapter 1) providing the rationale for the selected research method (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed). Arguments are supported by citations from articles and books on research methodology and/or design. It is also appropriate in this section to outline the predicted results in relation to the research questions and hypotheses based on the existing literature.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

This section describes the research methodology for the study (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed) and explains the rationale for selecting this particular methodology as opposed to the alternative methodologies. (Minimum one to two pages)

Elaborates on the research methodology (from Chapter 1) for the study (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed). Provides the rationale for selecting the particular methodology supported by empirical studies in the research literature. Justifies why the methodology was selected as opposed to alternative methodologies. X
Uses authoritative source(s) to justify the selected methodology. Note: Do not use introductory research textbooks (such as Creswell) to justify the research design and data analysis approach. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Research Design

This section elaborates on the nature of the Research Design for the Study section from Chapter 1. It includes a detailed description of, and a rationale for, the specific design for the study. It also discusses the specific research design for the study (descriptive, correlational, experimental, quasi-experimental, historical, case study, ethnography, phenomenology, content analysis, exploratory, explanatory, embedded, triangulation, etc.) and describes how it aligns to the selected methodology indicated in the previous section. Additionally, it describes why the selected design is the best option to collect the data to answer the research needed for the study. It explains exactly how the selected design will be used to collect data for each and every variable (for a quantitative study), or how the selected design will be used to collect data to describe the nature of the phenomena in detail (for a qualitative study). It identifies the specific instruments and data sources to be used to collect all of the different data required for the study. Arguments are supported by citations from articles and books on research methodology and/or design. This section should specify the independent, dependent, and/or classificatory variables as appropriate. Be sure to relate the variables back to the research questions and/or hypotheses. A brief discussion of the type of data collection tool chosen (survey, interview, observation, etc.) can also be included in this section as related to the variables.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
RESEARCH DESIGN

This section describes in detail the specific design for the study and describes why it is the best design to collect the data to answer the research needed for the study. It explains exactly how the selected design was used to facilitate collection of data for each and every variable (for a quantitative study) or how the selected design was used to facilitate collection of data to describe the nature of the phenomena in detail (for a qualitative study). It identifies the specific instruments and data sources to be used to collect all of the different data required for the study. This section expands on the Nature of the Research Design for the Study section in Chapter 1. (Minimum one to two pages)

Elaborates on the research design from Chapter 1. Provides the rationale for selecting the particular research design supported by empirical references. Justifies why the design was selected as the best approach to collect the needed data, as opposed to alternative designs. X
Describes how the specific, selected research design will be used to collect the type of data needed to answer the research questions and the specific instruments or data sources that will be used to collect this data. For quantitative studies provide the variable structure and state the unit of analysis. X
Uses authoritative source(s) to justify the design. Note: Do not use introductory research textbooks (such as Creswell) to justify the research design and data analysis approach. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Population and Sample Selection

This section discusses the setting, general population, target population, and study sample. The discussion of the sample includes the research terminology specific to the type of sampling for the study. This section should include the components listed in the following table.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
POPULATION AND SAMPLE SELECTION

This section discusses the setting, general population, target population, and study sample. The discussion of the sample includes the research terminology specific to the type of sampling for the study as well as how the sample population and final sample will be protected. This section provides a detailed description of the population and sample which were identified in the Research Design for the Study section in Chapter 1 as well as research considerations relevant to the sample and population. (Minimum one to two pages)

Describes the general population (i.e., students with disabilities), target population (i.e. students with disabilities in one specific district – geographic location) and the study sample (students with disabilities in the district that participated in the study – actual study sample). X
Describes the study sample size. Provides evidence (based on the empirical research) literature that sample size is adequate for the research design and meets GCU required sample size requirements (listed in criteria below). X
Quantitative Sample Size Requirements:

Absolute Minimum: 50 cases or participants or 40 cases per cell. Applicable to studies that use frequencies/descriptive statistics and parametric statistical tests (t-tests, ANOVA, correlation, regression analysis)—additional requirements related to the use of certain statistical analysis procedures may increase that number. General rule of thumb on survey research = 10 subjects per survey question. An a-priori and/or post hoc Power Analysis is required to justify the study sample size based on the anticipated effect size and selected design.

Qualitative Sample Size Requirements:

Case Study: Minimum 10 participants or cases; Recommended Target=20 due to attrition; minimum of 3 sources of data; must demonstrate triangulation of the data. Case study interviews may include closed-ended questions with a dominance of open-ended questions; should be no less than 30 minutes; at least 15 pages of transcribed data, single spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman.

Phenomenology: 10-15 interviews; no closed ended questionnaires allowed; Interviews should be 60-90 minutes. There should be a minimum of 60 pages of transcribed data, single spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman.

Descriptive: 12-15 interviews or cases with at least 3 sources of data; 30-60 pages of transcribed data, single spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman.

Narrative or Grounded Theory: Minimum of 30 pages of transcribed data from interviews, open-ended questionnaire, or other data sources. Transcript to be 12 Point and single spaced. Studies typically have a minimum of 10-20 interviews or40-60 open-ended questionnaires. Interviews are 60-90 minutes in length. Grounded theory studies must yield a theory or model.

X
Defines and describes the sampling procedures (such as convenience, purposive, snowball, random, etc.) supported by scholarly research sources. Includes discussion of sample selection, and assignment to groups (if applicable), and strategies to account for participant attrition. X
Describes the site authorization process, confidentiality measures, study participation requirements, and geographic specifics. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Instrumentation OR Sources of Data Comment by GCU: For quantitative studies use Instrumentation for the heading. For qualitative studies use Sources of Data for the heading.

This section fully identifies and describes the types of data that will be collected, as well as the specific instruments and sources used to collect those data (tests, questionnaires, interviews, data bases, media, etc.). Discuss the specific instrument or source to collect data for each variable or group for a quantitative study. Discuss the specific instrument or source to collect information to describe the phenomena being studied for a qualitative study. Use the “Instrumentation” heading if you are conducting quantitative research. Use the “Sources of Data” heading if you are conducting qualitative research. Use appropriate APA level subheadings for each data collection instrument and place a copy of all instruments in an appendix.

If you are using an existing instrument, make sure to discuss in detail the characteristics of the instrument. For example, on a preexisting survey tool describe: how the instrument was developed and constructed, the validity and reliability of the instrument, the number of items or questions included in the survey, the calculation of the scores, and the scale of measurement of data obtained from the instrument. You must also obtain all appropriate use permissions from instrument authors. If you are developing your own instrument, describe in detail the process used to develop the instrument, how the validity and reliability of the instrument was established, and the characteristics of the instrument as described above. Please note that GCU does not recommend developing or modifying instruments for quantitative studies and permission to do so must be obtained from the Director of Dissertations.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
INSTRUMENTATION OR SOURCES OF DATA

This section identifies and describes the types of data that were collected as well as the specific instruments and sources used to collect those data. For quantitative studies it also describes the specific type of scale of measurement used in an instrument or used to define the different groups. (Minimum one to three pages)

Data Collection Instruments: Provides a detailed discussion of the instrumentation and data collection which includes validity and reliability of the data. Includes citations from original publications by instrument developers (and subsequent users as appropriate). X
Data Collection Instruments: Describes the structure of each data collection instrument and data sources (tests, questionnaires, interviews, observations data bases, media, etc.). Specifies the type and level of data collected with each instrument. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Validity

This section describes and defends the procedures used to determine the validity of the data collected. Validity refers to the degree to which a study accurately reflects or assesses the specific concept that the researcher is attempting to measure. Ask if what is actually being measured is what was set out to be measured. As a researcher, you must be concerned with both external and internal validity. External validity refers to the extent to which the results of the study are generalizable (quantitative) or transferable (qualitative) to the population. Internal validity refers to the rigor with which the study was conducted (study design, theory instrumentation, measurements, etc.). For this section, provide specific validity statistics for quantitative instruments, identifying how they were developed. Explain specific approaches on how validity will be addressed for qualitative data collection approaches.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
VALIDITY

This section describes and defends the procedures used to determine the validity of the data collected appropriate to the methodology conducted. (Minimum two to four paragraphs or approximately one page)

Quantitative Studies: Provides specific validity statistics for quantitative instruments, identifying how they were developed. Validated surveys cannot be used in part or adapted. Validated instruments borrowed by the learner must be included in the proposal/dissertation appendices as a pdf or jpeg document along with the learner’s word file of his/her version of the instrument (whose content should be identical with that of the original pdf). NOTE: Learners should not modify or develop quantitative instruments without permission from the Director of Dissertations.

Qualitative Studies: Establishes validity to ensure the data that is collected is true and certain. Processes include collection of multiple sources of data; triangulation; member checking; quasi-statistics; review of data analysis by others; expert panel review of developed instruments; and/or practicing interviews and observations.

X
Appendices must include copies of instruments, qualitative data collection protocols, codebooks, and permission letters from instrument authors (for validated instruments, surveys, interview guides, etc.) X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Reliability

This section describes and defends the procedures used to determine the reliability of the data collected. Reliability is the extent to which an experiment, test, or any measuring procedure is replicable and yields the same result with repeated trials. For this section, provide specific reliability statistics for quantitative instruments, identifying how the statistics were developed. Explain specific approaches on how reliability will be addressed for qualitative data collection approaches.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
RELIABILITY

This section describes and defends the procedures used to determine the reliability of the data collected appropriate to the methodology conducted. (Minimum two to four paragraphs or approximately one page)

Quantitative Studies: Provides specific reliability statistics for quantitative instruments, identifying how the statistics were developed. Explains specific approaches on how reliability will be addressed for qualitative data collection approaches.

Qualitative Studies: Establishes consistency and repeatability of data collection through in-depth documented methodology; detailed interview/observation/data collection protocols and guides; creation of research data-base; and/or use of triangulation.

X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Data Collection and Management

This section details the entirety of the process used to collect the data. Describe the step-by-step procedures used to carry out all the major steps for data collection for the study in a way that would allow another researcher to replicate the study. Think of this section of Chapter 3 as a recipe, that you need to carefully follow in order to produce the best possible study results (or “entrée”).

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
DATA COLLECTION AND MANAGEMENT

This section details the entirety of the process used to collect the data. It describes each step of the data collection process in such a way that another researcher could replicate the study. (Minimum one to three pages)

Quantitative Studies: Describes the procedures for the actual data collection that would allow replication of the study by another researcher, including how each instrument or data source was used, how and where data were collected, and recorded. Includes a linear sequence of actions or step-by-step of procedures used to carry out all the major steps for data collection. Includes a workflow and corresponding timeline, presenting a logical, sequential, and transparent protocol for data collection that would allow another researcher to replicate the study.

Qualitative Studies: Provides detailed description of data collection process that would allow replication of the study by another researcher, including all sources of data and methods used, such as interviews, member checking, observations, surveys, and expert panel review. Note: The collected data must be sufficient in breadth and depth to answer the research question(s) and interpreted and presented correctly, by theme, research question and/or instrument.

X
Describes the procedures for obtaining informed consent and for protecting the rights and well-being of the study sample participants. X
Describes (for both paper-based and electronic data) the data management procedures adopted to maintain data securely, including the length of time data will be kept, where it will be kept, and how it will be destroyed. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Data Analysis Procedures

This section provides a step-by-step description of the procedures to be used to conduct the data analysis. The key elements of this section include the process by which you prepared raw data for analysis and then subsequently analyzed that data. Overall, be sure that the language used to describe the data analysis procedure is consistently used in Chapters 4 and 5.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
DATA ANALYSIS PROCEDURES

This section describes how the data were collected for each variable or group (quantitative study) or for each research question (qualitative study). It describes the type of data analyzed, identifying the descriptive, thematic, inferential, and/or non-statistical analyses. This section demonstrates that the research analysis is aligned to the specific research design. (Minimum one to three pages)

Lists the research question(s). Also includes the null and alternative hypotheses for quantitative studies. X
Describes in detail the relevant data collected for each stated research question and/or each variable within each hypothesis (if applicable). X
Describes in detail the data management practice including how the raw data was organized and prepared for analysis, i.e., ID matching of respondents who may respond to more than one survey/instrument, coding/recoding of variables, treatment of missing values, scoring, calculations, etc. X
What: Describes, in detail, statistical and non-statistical analysis to be used and procedures used to conduct the data analysis. X
Why: Provides the justification for each of the (statistical and non-statistical) data analysis procedures used in the study. X
How: Demonstrates how the statistical and non-statistical data analysis techniques align with the research questions/design. X
Quantitative Analysis – states the level of statistical significance for each test as appropriate, and describes tests of assumptions for each statistical test.

Qualitative Analysis – evidence of qualitative analysis approach, such as coding and theming process, must be completely described and include the analysis /interpretation process.

X
Provides evidence that quantity and quality of data is sufficient to answer the research questions. This must be present in this section or in an appendix including data samples. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Ethical Considerations

This section should demonstrate adherence to the key principles of the Belmont Report (respect, justice and beneficence) in the study design, sampling procedures, and within the theoretical framework, research problem, and questions. You should clearly discuss how your data will be stored, safeguarded, and destroyed, as well as how the results of the study will be published. This section should also reference IRB approval to conduct the research, which includes subject recruiting and informed consent processes, in regard to the voluntary nature of study. Finally, the IRB approval letter with the protocol number, informed consent/subject assent documents, site authorization letter(s), or any other measures required to protect the participants or institutions, must be included in an appendix.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

This section discusses the potential ethical issues surrounding the research as well as how human subjects and data will be protected. It identifies how any potential ethical issues have been and will be addressed. (Minimum three to four paragraphs or approximately one page)

Provides a discussion of ethical issues related to the study and the sample population of interest. X
Describes the procedures for obtaining informed consent and for protecting the rights and well-being of the study sample participants. X
Addresses anonymity, confidentiality, privacy, strategies to prevent coercion, and any potential conflict of interest. X
Describes the data management procedures adopted to store and maintain paper and electronic data securely, including the length of time data will be kept, where it will be kept, and how it will be destroyed.

Note: Learners are required to securely maintain and have access to raw data/records for a minimum of three yearsIf asked by AQR reviewer or CDS representative, learner must provide all evidence of data including source data, Excel files, interview transcripts, evidence of coding or data analysis, or survey results etc. No dissertation will be allowed to move forward in the review process if data are not produced upon request.

X
Includes copy of IRB Informed Consent (Proposal) and IRB Approval letter (Dissertation) in an Appendix. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Limitations and Delimitations

While Chapter 1 addresses the broad, overall limitations of the study, this section discusses, in detail, the limitations related to the research methodology and design and potential impacts on the results. The section also describes any limitations related to the methods, sample, instrumentation, data collection process and analysis. Other methodological limitations of the study may include issues with regard to the sample in terms of size, population and procedure, instrumentation, data collection processes, and data analysis. This section also contains an explanation of why the existing limitations are unavoidable and are not expected to affect the results negatively.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
LIMITATIONS AND DELIMITATIONS

This section discusses in detail the limitations and delimitations related to the research methodology and design and potential impacts on the results. (Minimum two to three paragraphs)

Describes any limitations and delimitations related to the methodology, sample, instrumentation, data collection process and analysis. Explains why the existing limitations are unavoidable. Note: This section must be updated as limitations emerge in the data collection/analysis, and then incorporated in Chapter 5 the limitations overall and how the study results were affected. X
Presents strategies to minimize and/or mitigate the negative consequences of limitations and delimitations. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Summary

This section restates what was written in Chapter 3 and provides supporting citations for key points. Your summary should demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the overall research design and analysis techniques. The Chapter 3 summary ends with a discussion that transitions the reader to Chapter 4.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
CHAPTER 3 SUMMARY

This section restates what was written in Chapter 3 and provides supporting citations for key points. It then provides a transition discussion to Chapter 4. (Minimum one to two pages)

Summarizes key points presented in Chapter 3 using authoritative, empirical sources/citations. X
Presents alignment of the 10 strategic points, illustrating how the research questions align with the problem statement, methodology, design, instrumentation, data collection, procedures and data analysis approach. X
Demonstrates in-depth understanding/mastery of the overall research methodology, design and data analysis techniques. X
Ends Chapter 3 with a transition discussion to focus for Chapter 4. X
The Chapter is correctly formatted to dissertation template using the Word Style Tool and APA standards. Writing is free of mechanical errors. X
All research presented in the Chapter is scholarly, topic-related, and obtained from highly respected academic, professional, original sources. In-text citations are accurate, correctly cited and included in the reference page according to APA standards. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Results

Introduction

The purpose of this chapter is to summarize the collected data, how it was analyzed and then to present the results. This section of Chapter 4 briefly restates the problem statement, the methodology, the research question(s), hypothesis(es) or phenomena, and then offers a statement about what will be covered in this chapter. Chapter 4 should present the results of the study as clearly as possible, leaving the interpretation of the results for Chapter 5. Make sure this chapter is written in past tense and reflects how the study was actually conducted.

This chapter typically contains the analyzed data, often presented in both text and tabular, or figure format. To ensure readability and clarity of findings, structure is of the utmost importance in this chapter. Sufficient guidance in the narrative should be provided to highlight the findings of greatest importance for the reader. Most researchers begin with a description of the sample and the relevant demographic characteristics presented in text or tabular format. Ask the following general questions before starting this chapter:

Is there sufficient data to answer each of the research question(s)/hypothesis(es) asked in the study?

Is there sufficient data to support the conclusions you will make in Chapter 5?

Is the study written in the third person? Never use the first person.

Is the data clearly explained using a table, graph, chart, or text?

Visual organizers, including tables and figures, must always be introduced, presented and discussed within the text first. Never insert them without these three steps. It is often best to develop all of the tables, graphs, charts, etc. before writing any text to further clarify how to proceed. Point out the salient results and present those results by table, graph, chart, or other form of collected data.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
INTRODUCTION (TO THE CHAPTER)

This section of Chapter 4 briefly restates the problem statement, the methodology, the research question(s), and the hypotheses, or phenomena and offers a statement about what will be covered in this chapter. (Minimum two to four paragraphs or approximately one page)

Reintroduces the purpose of the research study. X
Briefly describes the research methodology and/or research questions/hypotheses tested. X
Provides an orienting statement about what will be covered in the chapter. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Descriptive Data

This section of Chapter 4 provides a narrative summary of the population or sample characteristics and demographics of the participants in the study. It establishes the number of subjects, gender, age, education level or employee classification, (if appropriate), organization, or setting (if appropriate), and other appropriate sample characteristics (e.g. education level, program of study, employee classification etc.). The use of graphic organizers, such as tables, charts, histograms and graphs to provide further clarification and promote readability, is encouraged to organize and present coded data. Ensure this data cannot lead to anyone identifying individual participants in this section or identifying the data for individual participants in the data summary and data analysis that follows.

For numbers, equations, and statistics, spell out any number that begins a sentence, title, or heading – or reword the sentence to place the number later in the narrative. In general, use Arabic numerals (10, 11, 12) when referring to whole numbers 10 and above, and spell out whole numbers below 10. There are some exceptions to this rule:

If small numbers are grouped with large numbers in a comparison, use numerals (e.g., 7, 8, 10, and 13 trials); but, do not do this when numbers are used for different purposes (e.g., 10 items on each of four surveys).

Numbers in a measurement with units (e.g., 6 cm, 5-mg dose, 2%).

Numbers that represent time, dates, ages, sample or population size, scores, or exact sums of money.

Numbers that represent a specific item in a numbered series (e.g., Table 1).

A sample table in APA style is presented in Table 1. Be mindful that all tables fit within the required margins, and are clean, easy to read, and formatted properly using the guidelines found in Chapter 5 (Displaying Results) of the APA Publication Manual 6.0. Comment by GCU: Each table must be numbered in sequence throughout the entire dissertation (Table 1, Table 2, etc.), or within chapters (Table 1.1, Table 1.2 for Chapter 1; Table 2.1, Table 2.2 for Chapter 2 etc.).

Table 1 Correct Formatting for a Multiple Line Table Title is Single Spacing and Should Look Like this Example Comment by Windows User: See 5.08 to 5.19 in the APA Manual for table layout guidelines Comment by GCU: Style for Table titles: “Table Title.” After the Table title, press SHIFT + RETURN and then type the table subtitle.

Variable Column A

M (SD) Comment by GCU: Statistical symbols in tables must be italicized. Comment by GCU: Text in tables should be Times New Roman, font size 10, single spaced with 2 pts. before and after.

Column B

M (SD)

Column C

M (SD)

Row 1 10.1 (1.11) 20.2 (2.22) 30.3 (3.33)
Row 2 20.2 (2.22) 30.3 ( 3.33) 20.2 (2.22)
Row 3 30.3 (3.33) 10.1 (1.11) 10.1 (1.11)
Note Adapted from “Sampling and Recruitment in Studies of Doctoral Students,” by I.M. Researcher, 2010, Journal of Perspicuity, 25, p. 100. Reprinted with permission. Comment by GCU: Permission must be obtained to reprint information that is not in the public domain. Letters of permission are included in the appendix. [See 5.16]

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
DESCRIPTIVE DATA

This section of Chapter 4 provides a narrative summary of the population or sample characteristics and demographics of the participants in the study. It establishes the number of subjects, gender, age, level (if appropriate), organization, or setting (if appropriate). The use of graphic organizers, such as tables, charts, and graphs, to provide further clarification and promote readability is encouraged. (Number of pages as needed)

Provides a narrative summary of the population or sample characteristics and demographics. X
Includes a narrative summary of data collected (e.g., for qualitative studies, samples of collected data should be included in an Appendix.) X
Uses visual graphic organizers, such as tables, histograms, graphs, and/or bar charts, to effectively organize and display coded data and descriptive data. For example:

Quantitative Studies: sample-level frequencies and descriptive or graphic comparisons of study-relevant groups. If the intended analysis involves parametric procedures, tests of assumptions are required to evaluate sample distribution (skewness and kurtosis data and charts) normality and homogeneity of variance. If nonparametric procedures are used, justification must be provided.

Qualitative Studies: number of interviews conducted, duration of interviews, #pages transcript; # observations conducted, duration, #pages of typed-up field notes, # of occurrences of a code, network diagrams, model created, etc.

X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Data Analysis Procedures

This section presents a description of the process that was used to analyze the data. If hypotheses or research question(s) guided the study, data analysis procedures can be framed relative to each research question or hypothesis. Data can also be organized by chronology of phenomena, by themes and patterns, or by other approaches as deemed appropriate according for a qualitative study.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
DATA ANALYSIS PROCEDURES

This section presents a description of the process that was used to analyze the data. If hypotheses or research question(s) guided the study, data analysis procedures can be framed relative to each research question or hypothesis. For a qualitative study, data can also be organized by chronology of phenomena, by themes and patterns, or by other approaches as deemed appropriate. (Number of pages as needed)

Describes in detail the data analysis procedures. For qualitative studies includes description of coding process, description of how codes are related to themes, examples of codes and themes with corresponding quotations, how codes were developed into themes. Provides evidence of initial codes and themes in an Appendix. X
Explains and justifies any differences in why data analysis section does not match what was approved in Chapter 3 (if appropriate). X
Provides validity and reliability of the data in statistical terms for quantitative research OR describes approaches used to ensure validity and reliability for qualitative data including expert panel review of questions, practice interviews, member checking, and triangulation of data, as appropriate. X
Identifies sources of error, missing data, or outliers and potential effects on the data. Discuss the limitations this places on the study results. X
Describe Power Analysis and Test(s) of Assumptions (as appropriate) for statistical tests. X
For a quantitative study: justifies how the analysis aligns with the research question(s) and hypothesis(es) and is appropriate for the research design.

For a qualitative study: justifies how the analysis aligns with the research question(s), and how data and findings were organized by chronology of phenomena, by themes and patterns, or by other approaches as deemed appropriate.

X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Results Comment by GCU: When reporting statistics in the narrative, be sure to italicize statistical and mathematical variables, e.g., F test, t test, population size N, p = .03. Use commonly accepted abbreviations for statistical symbols.

This section, which is the primary section of this chapter, presents a summary and analysis of the data in a nonevaluative, unbiased, organized manner that relates to the research question(s) and/or hypothesis(es). List the research question(s) as you are discussing them in order to ensure that the readers see that the question has been addressed. Answer the research question(s) in the order that they are listed for quantitative studies. You can organize your data in several different ways for qualitative studies including: by research question, by themes and patterns, or by other approaches deemed appropriate for the study.

The results must be presented without implication, speculation, assessment, evaluation, or interpretation. Discussion of results and conclusions are left for Chapter 5. Refer to the APA Style Manual for additional lists and examples. In quantitative dissertations, it is not required for all data analyzed to be presented; however, it is important to provide descriptive statistics and the results of the applicable statistical tests used in conducting the analysis of the data. It is also important that there are descriptive statistics provided on all variables. Nevertheless, it is also acceptable to put most of this in the appendix if the chapter becomes too lengthy.

Required components include descriptive and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics describe or summarize data sets using frequency distributions (e.g., to describe the distribution for the test scores in your class of 30 pupils) or graphical displays such as bar graphs (e.g., to display increases in a school district’s budget each year for the past five years), as well as histograms (e.g., to show spending per child in school and display mean, median, modes, and frequencies), line graphs (e.g., to display peak scores for the classroom group), and scatter plots (e.g., to display the relationship between two variables). Descriptive statistics also include numerical indexes such as averages, percentile ranks, measures of central tendency, correlations, measures of variability and standard deviation, and measures of relative standing.

Inferential statistics describe the numerical characteristics of data and then go beyond the data to make inferences about the population based on the sample data. Inferential statistics also estimate the characteristics of populations and test hypotheses about population parameters using sampling distributions, estimation, or hypothesis testing. Table 2 presents example results of an independent t test comparing Emotional Intelligence (EI) mean scores by gender.

Table 2 t Test for Equality of Emotional Intelligence Mean Scores by Gender

t test for Equality of Means
t df p
EI 1.908 34 Comment by GCU: Do not exceed 3 decimal points for numerical values in tables. .065

For qualitative studies, it is important to provide a complete picture of the constant comparative analysis conducted or of the coding pursued to arrive at a set of themes or conclusions about the subject. In qualitative studies, if thematic analysis is used, the questions to ask include the following:

1. What themes occur in interviews and field notes?

Does the study provide samples that the themes exist by using interviews or field notes?

What topics were mentioned most often?

What issues were most important to the people in the study?

How do the participants view the topic of research?

What kinds of relationships are apparent? (e.g. strict inclusion, cause-effect, function, sequence)?

How can the categories identified in the data be ordered into meaningful, grounded theories?

After completing the first draft of Chapter 4, ask these general questions:

1. Are the findings clearly presented, so any reader could understand them?

Are all the tables, graphics or visual displays well-organized and easy to read?

Are the important data described in the text?

Is factual data information separate from analysis and evaluation?

Are the data organized by research questions?

Chapter 4 can be challenging with regard to mathematical equations and statistical symbols or variables. When including an equation in the narrative, space the equation as you would words in a sentence: + 5 = a. Punctuate equations that are in the paragraph, as you would a sentence. Remember to italicize statistical and mathematical variables, except Greek letters, and if the equation is long or complicated, set it off on its own line.

Refer to your APA manual for specific details on representation of statistical information.

Basic guidelines include:

Statistical symbols are italicized (t, F, N, n)

Greek letters, abbreviations that are not variables and subscripts that function as identifiers use standard typeface, no bolding or italicization

Use parentheses to enclose statistical values (p = .026) and degrees of freedom t(36) = 3.85 or F(2, 52) = 3.85

Use brackets to enclose limits of confidence intervals 95% CIs [- 5.25, 4.95]

Make sure to include appropriate graphics to present the results. Always introducepresent, and discuss the visual organizers in narrative form. Never insert a visual organizer without these three steps.

A figure is a graph, chart, map, drawing, or photograph. Below is an example of a figure labeled per APA style. Do not include a figure unless it adds substantively to the understanding of the results or it duplicates other elements in the narrative. If a figure is used, a label must be placed under the figure. As with tables, refer to the figure by number in the narrative preceding the placement of the figure. Make sure a table or figure is not split between pages. Below is another example of a table that the characteristics of a servant leader. Comment by GCU: See 5.20-5.30 for details on correct APA style. Comment by GCU: You must reference tables and figures in the text prior to displaying the graphic.

Table 3 The Servant Leader Comment by GCU: In addition to numbering the table, name the table.

Trait Descriptors
Values People By believing in people

By serving other’s needs before his or her own

By receptive, non-judgmental listening

Develops People By providing opportunities for learning and growth

By modeling appropriate behavior

By building up others through encouragement and affirmation

Builds Community By building strong personal relationships

By working collaboratively with others

By valuing the differences of others

Displays Authenticity By being open and accountable to others

By a willingness to learn from others

By maintaining integrity and trust

Provides Leadership By envisioning the future

By taking initiative

By clarifying goals

Shares Leadership By facilitating a shared vision

By sharing power and releasing control

By sharing status and promoting others

Note. Derived from Laub, J. (1999). Assessing the servant organization: Development of the servant organizational leadership assessment (SOLA) instrument (Doctoral Dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Database. (UMI No. 9921922)

scatter-plot-example-negative-correlation.jpg

Figure 1. Correlation for SAT composite score and time spent on Facebook. Comment by GCU: In general, high quality graphics software handle the technical aspects of constructing figures.” [5.22]. Each figure must be numbered in sequence throughout the entire dissertation (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.), or within chapters (Figure 1.1, Figure 1.2 for Chapter 1; Figure 2.1, Figure 2.2 for Chapter 2, etc.). Comment by Dr Chess: Formatting Tip:The caption for each figure should be placed below the figure, and be “styled” as “Caption” (as this one is).

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
RESULTS

This section, which is the primary section of this chapter, presents an analysis of the data in a non-evaluative, unbiased, organized manner that relates to the research question(s) and/or hypotheses. List the research question(s) as you are discussing them in order to ensure that the readers see that the question has been addressed. Answer the research question(s) in the order that they are listed. (Number of pages as needed)

The data and the analysis of that data are presented in a narrative, non-evaluative, unbiased, organized manner by research question and/or hypothesis. X
Includes appropriate graphic organizers such as tables, charts, graphs, and figures. X
Findings are presented by hypothesis using section titles. They are presented in order of significance if appropriate. X
Sufficient quantity and quality of the data or information appropriate to the research design is presented in the analyses to answer the research question(s) and or hypotheses. Evidence for this must be clearly presented in this section and in an appendix as appropriate. Note: AQR reviewer may request to review raw data at any time during the AQR process. Additional data collection may be required if sufficient data is not present. X
Quantitative: Results of each statistical test are presented in appropriate statistical format with tables, graphs, and charts.

Qualitative: Results of analysis are presented in appropriate narrative, tabular, graphical and/or visual format. If using thematic analysis, coding and theming process must be completely described in the results presentation. Integration of quotes in the results presentation to substantiate the stated findings and build a narrative picture is required. Data analysis should include narrative story for narrative analysis; case study summary for case study; model or theory for grounded theory.

X
Quantitative:

· Inferential statistics, require tests of normality, tests of assumptions, test statistics and p-value reported for each hypothesis.

· Control variables (if part of the design) are reported and discussed.

· Secondary data treatment of missing values is fully described.

· Outlier responses are explained as appropriate.

Qualitative:

· Qualitative data analysis is fully described and displayed using techniques specific to the design and analytic method used.

· Data sets are summarized including counts AND examples of participant’s responses for thematic analysis. For other approaches to qualitative analysis, results may be summarized in matrices or visual formats appropriate to the form of analysis.

· Outlier responses are explained as appropriate.

· Findings may be presented as themes using section titles for thematic analysis, as stories for narrative designs, as models or theories for grounded theory, and as visual models or narrative stories for case studies.

X
Appendices must include qualitative or quantitative data analysis that supports results in Chapter 4 as appropriate (i.e. source tables for t test/ANOVA; or coding and theming process or codebook, if not included directly in Chapter 4). X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Summary

This section provides a concise summary of what was found in the study. It briefly restates essential data and data analysis presented in this chapter, and it helps the reader see and understand the relevance of the data and analysis to the research question(s) or hypothesis(es). Finally, it provides a lead or transition into Chapter 5, where the implications of the data and data analysis relative to the research question(s) and/or hypothesis(es) will be discussed. The summary of the data must be logically and clearly presented, with the factual information separated from interpretation. For qualitative studies, summarize the data and data analysis results in relation to the research question(s). For quantitative studies, summarize the statistical data and results of statistical tests in relation to the research question(s)/hypothesis(es). Finally, provide a concluding section and transition to Chapter 5.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
SUMMARY

This section provides a concise summary of what was found in the study. It briefly restates essential data and the data analysis presented in this chapter, and it helps the reader see and understand the relevance of the data and analysis to the research questions or hypotheses. Finally, it provides a lead or transition into Chapter 5 where the implications of the data and data analysis relative to the research questions and/or hypotheses will be discussed. (Minimum one to two pages)

Presents a clear and logical summary of data. X
Separates the factual information from interpretation. X
Quantitative: Summarizes the statistical data and results of statistical tests in relation to the research questions/hypotheses.

Qualitative: Summarizes the data and data analysis results in relation to the research questions. Summarizes data across research questions for case studies, narratives, and grounded theory.

X
Discusses limitations that emerged based on data analysis and how the interpretation of results may be effected by the limitations. Data limitations are added to Chapters 1, 3, 5 and discussed as appropriate. X
Provides a concluding section and transition to Chapter 5. X
The Chapter is correctly formatted to dissertation template using the Word Style Tool and APA standards. Writing is free of mechanical errors. X
All research presented in the Chapter is scholarly, topic-related, and obtained from highly respected academic, professional, original sources. In-text citations are accurate, correctly cited and included in the reference page according to APA standards. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations

Introduction

This section introduces Chapter 5 as a comprehensive summary of the entire study. It reminds the reader of the importance of the topic and briefly explains how the study intended to contribute to the body of knowledge on the topic. It informs the reader that conclusions, implications, and recommendations will be presented.

Chapter 5 is perhaps the most important chapter in the dissertation manuscript because it presents the researcher’s contribution to the body of knowledge. For many who read research literature, this may be the only chapter they will read. Chapter 5 typically begins with a brief summary of the essential points made in Chapters 1 and 3 of the original research proposal and includes why this topic is important and how this study was designed to contribute to the understanding of the topic. The remainder of the chapter contains a summary of the overall study, a summary of the findings and conclusions, recommendations for future research and practice, and a final section on implications derived from the study.

No new data or citations should be introduced in Chapter 5; however, references should be made to findings or citations presented in earlier chapters. The researcher can articulate new frameworks and new insights. The concluding words of Chapter 5 should emphasize both the most important points of the study and what the reader should take from them. This should be presented in the simplest possible form, making sure to preserve the conditional nature of the insights.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
INTRODUCTION

This section introduces Chapter 5 as a comprehensive summary of the entire study. It reminds the reader of the importance of the topic and briefly explains how the study intended to contribute to the body of knowledge on the topic. It informs the reader that conclusions, implications, and recommendations will be presented. (Minimum two to four paragraphs or approximately one page)

Provides an overview of why the study is important and how the study was designed to contribute to our understanding of the topic. X
Reminds the reader of the problem, purpose and research questions, and the main issues being researched. X
Provides a transition, explains what will be covered in the chapter and reminds the reader of how the study was conducted. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Summary of the Study

This section provides a comprehensive summary of the overall study that describes the content of the study to the reader. It should recap the essential points of Chapters 1-3, but it should remain a broad, comprehensive view of the study. It reminds the reader of the research question(s) and the main issues being researched, provides a transition, and explains what will be covered in the chapter and reminds the reader of how the study was conducted.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
SUMMARY OF STUDY

This section provides a comprehensive summary of the overall study that describes the content of the study to the reader in the simplest possible terms. It should recap the essential points of Chapters 1-3, but it should remain a broad, comprehensive overview. (Minimum two to four paragraphs or approximately one page)

Provides an overview of why the study is important and how the study was designed to contribute to our understanding of the topic. X
Reminds the reader of the problem, purpose and research questions, and the main issues being researched. X
Provides a transition, explains what will be covered in the chapter and reminds the reader of how the study was conducted. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Summary of Findings and Conclusion

This section of Chapter 5 is organized by research question(s)/hypothesis(es), and it conveys the specific findings of the study. The section presents conclusions made based on the data analysis and findings of the study and relates the findings back to the literature, significance of the study in Chapter 1, Advancing Scientific Knowledge in Chapter 1. Significant themes/ findings are compared and contrasted, evaluated, and discussed in light of the existing body of knowledge. The significance of every finding is analyzed and related to the significance section and advancing scientific knowledge section of Chapter 1. Additionally, the significance of the findings is analyzed and related back to Chapter 2 and ties the study together. The findings are bounded by the research study parameters described in Chapters 1 and 3, are supported by the data and theory, and directly relate to the research question(s). No unrelated or speculative information is presented in this section. This section of Chapter 5 should be organized by research question(s), hypothesis(es), theme, or any manner that allows summarizing the specific findings supported by the data and the literature. Conclusions represent the contribution to knowledge and fill in the gap in the knowledge. They should also relate directly to the significance of the study. The conclusions are major generalizations, and an answer to the research problem developed in Chapters 1 and 2. This is where the study binds together. In this section, personal opinion is permitted, as long as it is backed with the data, grounded in the research methods and supported in the literature.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

This section is organized by research question/hypothesis, and it conveys the specific findings of the study. It presents all conclusions made based on the data analysis and findings of the study. It relates the findings back to the literature, referring to the literature discussed in the Advancing Scientific Knowledge section and the Significance of the Study section in Chapter 1. It also discusses the significant themes and findings relative to the body of knowledge covered throughout Chapter 2. (Minimum three to five pages)

Organizes Chapter 5 using the same section titles as Chapter 4, by research question(s)/hypothesis(es) or by themes. Significant themes/ findings are compared and contrasted, synthesized and discussed in light of the existing body of knowledge covered in Chapter 2 X
Summarizes study findings. Compares, contrasts and synthesizes study findings in context to prior research on the topic (Chapter 2). Provides a cogent discussion on how the study is aligned to and/or advances the research on the topic. X
Illustrates that findings are bounded by the research study design described in Chapters 1, 2 and 3. X
Illustrates how findings are supported by the data and theory, and how the findings directly align to and answer the research question(s). X
Discusses significance (or nonsignificance) of findings and relates each of the findings directly to the Significance of the Study section and Advancing Scientific Knowledge section of Chapter 1. X
Refrains from including unrelated or speculative information in this section. X
Provides a conclusion to summarize the findings, referring back to Chapter 1, and tying the study together. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Implications

This section should describe what could happen because of this research. It also tells the reader what the research implies theoretically, practically, and for the future.

Additionally, it provides a retrospective examination of the theoretical framework presented in Chapter 2 in light of the dissertation’s findings. A critical evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the study and the degree to which the conclusions are credible given the methodology, research design, and data, should also be presented. The section delineates applications of new insights derived from the dissertation to solve real and significant problems. Implications can be grouped into those related to theory or generalization, those related to practice, and those related to future research. Separate sections with corresponding headings provide proper organization.

Theoretical implications. Theoretical implications involve interpretation of the dissertation findings in terms of the research question(s) and hypothesis(es) that guided the study. It is appropriate to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the study critically and include the degree to which the conclusions are credible given the method and data. It should also include a critical, retrospective examination of the framework presented in the Chapter 2 Literature Review section in light of the dissertation’s new findings. Comment by GCU: This is “Heading 3 (APA Style Level 3, i.e., 12 pt. Times New Roman, Indented, Boldface, Lowercase Heading). [See 3.03]

Practical implications. Practical implications should delineate applications of new insights derived from the dissertation to solve real and significant problems. These implications refer to how the results of the study can be applied in professional practice. Comment by GCU: This is “Heading 3 (APA Style Level 3, i.e., 12 pt. Times New Roman, Indented, Boldface, Lowercase Heading). [See 3.03]

Future implications. Two kinds of implications for future research are possible: one based on what the study did find or do, and the other based on what the study did not find or do. Generally, future research could look at different kinds of subjects in different kinds of settings, interventions with new kinds of protocols or dependent measures, or new theoretical issues that emerge from the study. Recommendations should be included on which of these possibilities are likely to be most fruitful and why. Comment by GCU: This is “Heading 3 (APA Style Level 3, i.e., 12 pt. Times New Roman, Indented, Boldface, Lowercase Heading). [See 3.03]

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
IMPLICATIONS

This section should describe what could happen because of this research. It also tells the reader what the research implies theoretically, practically, and for the future. (Minimum one to four pages)

Theoretical implications. Provides a retrospective examination of the theoretical framework presented in Chapter 2 in light of the dissertation’s findings. X
Theoretical implications. Connects the findings of the study back to the theoretical framework/conceptual framework and the study results are discussed in context to how the results advance a practitioner’s knowledge of that theory, model or concept. X
Practical Implications and Future Implications. Connects the study findings to the prior research discussed in Chapter 2, and develops practical and future implications for research based on new insights derived from the research and how the results advance practitioners knowledge of the topic and how the results may influence future research or practice. X
Strengths and Weaknesses. Indicates all limitations of the study, critically evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the study, and the degree to which the conclusions are credible given the methodology, research design, and data analysis and results. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Recommendations

This section allows you, the learner, to add recommendations for future study based on the results of their authentic dissertation research. In this section, summarize the recommendations that result from the study. Each recommendation should be directly linked to a conclusion.

Recommendations for future research. This section should present recommendations for future research, as well as give a full explanation for why each recommendation is being made. Additionally, this section discusses the areas of research that need further examination, or addresses gaps or new research needs the study found. The section ends with a discussion of “next steps” in forwarding this line of research. Recommendations relate back to the study significance and advancing scientific knowledge sections in Chapter 1. Comment by GCU: This heading is tagged with APA Style > Level 3, i.e., 12 pt. Times New Roman, Indented, Boldface, Lowercase Heading. [See 3.03]

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH

This section should contain a minimum of four to six recommendations for future research as well as a full explanation for why each recommendation is being made. The recommended research methodology/design should also be provided. (Minimum one to two pages)

Lists a minimum of four to six recommendations for practitioners and for future research. X
Identifies and discusses the areas that need further examination, or that will address gaps or new research needs the study found. X
Provides recommendations that relate back to the study significance and advancing scientific knowledge sections in Chapter 1 and theoretical foundation section in Chapter 2 X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Recommendations for future practice. This section outlines recommendations for future practice based on the results and findings of the study, as well as, a full explanation for why each recommendation is being made. It provides a discussion of who will benefit from reading and implementing the results of the study and presents ideas based on the results that practitioners can implement in the work or educational setting. Unrelated or speculative information that is unsupported by data is clearly identified as such. Recommendations should relate back to the study significance section in Chapter 1. Comment by GCU: This heading is tagged with APA Style > Level 3, i.e., 12 pt. Times New Roman, Indented, Boldface, Lowercase Heading. [See 3.03]

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE PRACTICE

This section should contain 2-5 recommendations for future practice based on the results and findings of the study as well as a full explanation for why each recommendation is being made. (Minimum three to four paragraphs or approximately one page)

Lists two to five recommendations for future practice. X
Discusses who will benefit from reading and implementing the results of the study. X
Discusses ideas based on the results that practitioners can implement in the work or educational setting. X
Omits unrelated or speculative information that is not unsupported by data. X
Provides recommendations that relate back to the study significance section in Chapter 1. X
The Chapter is correctly formatted to dissertation template using the Word Style Tool and APA standards. Writing is free of mechanical errors. X
All research presented in the Chapter is scholarly, topic-related, and obtained from highly respected academic, professional, original sources. In-text citations are accurate, correctly cited and included in the reference page according to APA standards. X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

References Comment by GCU: The Reference list should appear as a numbered new page at the end of the dissertation. The Reference heading is centered at the top of the page and is bolded.The Reference list provides necessary information for the reader to locate and retrieve any source cited in the body of the text. Each source mentioned must appear in the Reference list. Likewise, each entry in the Reference list must be cited in the text.This page must be entitled “References.” This title is centered at the top of the page. All text should be in 12-point Times New Roman font and double-spaced. NOTE: References must use a hanging indent of 0.5” and be double-spaced. Examples of common references are provided below. See APA 6.0 Edition Chapter 7, 6.22 for specific reference formatting instructions. For more information on references or APA Style, consult the APA website: at http://apastyle.org

Barzun, J., & Graff, H. F. (1992). The Modern researcher: A classic work on research and writing completely revised and brought up to date. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Comment by GCU: After completing the Reference list, it is important to cross-reference the in-text citations with the items in the Reference list to be certain that all in-text citations are in the Reference list and all items in the Reference list have an in-text citation. Using the Ctrl-F function helps to search for references within the dissertation.

Brands, H. W. (2000). The first American: the life and times of Benjamin Franklin. New York: Doubleday.

Calabrese, R. L. (2006). The elements of an effective dissertation & thesis: a step-by-step guide to getting it right the first time. Lanham, MD: Roman & Littlefield Education.

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches, 4th edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc.

Hacker, D., Somers, N., Jehn, T., & Rosenzweig, J. (2008). Rules for writers. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Nock, A. J. (1943). The memoirs of a superfluous man. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. (2010). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. (6th edition) (ISBN 10: 1-4338-0559-6; ISBN 13: 978-1-4338-0561-5; ISBN 10: 1-4338-0561-8). Comment by GCU: NOTE: If the author is not named, list the reference by the title.

Sprague, J., & Stuart, D. (2000) The speaker’s handbook, Harcourt College Publishers.

Squires, D. A., & Kranyik, R. D. (1995). The comer program: changing school culture. Educational Leadership53(4), 29-32.

Strunk, W. I., & White, E.B. (1979). The elements of style. New York: Macmillan Publishing, Inc.

Criterion

*(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score
QUALITY OF SOURCES & REFERENCE LIST

For every in-text citation a reference entry exists; conversely, for every reference list entry there is an in-text citation. Uses a range of references including founding theorists, peer-reviewed empirical research studies from scholarly journals, and government/foundation research reports. The majority of all references must be scholarly, topic-related sources published within the last 5 years. Websites, dictionaries, and publications without dates (n.d.) are not considered scholarly sources and should not be cited or present in the reference list. In-text citations and reference list must comply with APA 6th Ed.

Ensures that for every in-text citation a reference entry exists. Conversely, for every reference list entry there is a corresponding in-text citation. Note: The accuracy of citations and quality of sources must be verified by learner, chair and committee members. X X
Uses a range of references including founding theorists, peer-reviewed empirical research studies from scholarly journals, and government /foundation research reports. Note: A minimum of 50 peer-reviewed, empirical research articles are required for the literature review. X X
Verifies that 75% of all references are scholarly sources within the last 5 years. The 5 year time frame is referenced at the time of the proposal defense date and at the time of the dissertation defense date. Note: Websites, dictionaries, publications without dates (n.d.), are not considered scholarly sources and should not be cited or present in reference list. X X
Avoids overuse of books and dissertations.

Books: Maximum of 10 scholarly books that present cutting edge views on a topic, are research based, or are seminal works.

Dissertations: Maximum of 5 published dissertations.

X X
Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X X
*Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale:

0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required.

1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required.

2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required.

3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required.

Reviewer Comments:

Appendix A The Parts of a Dissertation Comment by Dr. Chess: FORMATTING TIP: after the Appendix Title use SHIFT + RETURN to create a “soft return.” This will ensure the title and subtitle have the same heading style (e.g., Heading 1), and will ensure the subtitle automatically shows up in the TOC. See note below the TOC in this Template. Comment by GCU: The appendices follow the reference list and typically include materials relevant to the research and referenced in the main text, (e.g. raw data, letters of permission, institutional review authorization, surveys or other data collection materials).Each appendix must begin with a new page, have its own letter designation A, B, C…etc., and a descriptive title. The appendix heading is centered, with a 1” top margin and is upper and lower case.The content or text for each appendix follows right after the title and must fit the dissertation margins specifications: 1.5” left, 1” top, right, and bottom.Text spacing for appendix content depends on the nature of the appendix material. The format of the material should be clean and consistent.

GCU uses the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition for its dissertation formatting and style guide. The GCU dissertation template complies with APA 6.0 with exceptions as noted in the template and in this formatting guide. A dissertation has three parts: preliminary pages, main text, and supplementary pages. Some preliminary or supplementary pages may be optional or not appropriate to a specific project. The learner should consult with his or her dissertation chair and committee regarding inclusion/exclusion of optional pages.

Preliminary pages. The following preliminary pages precede the main text of the dissertation.

Title Page

Author’s Name

Copyright Page (optional)

Committee and Deans Approval Page

Learner Signature Page

Abstract

Dedication Page (optional)

Acknowledgements (optional)

Table of Contents

List of Tables (if you have tables, a list is required)

List of Figures (if you have figures, a list is required)

Main text. The main text is divided into five major chapters. Each chapter can be further subdivided into sections and subsections based on the formatting requirements for each college.

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Chapter 3: Methodology

Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Results

Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

Supplementary pages. Supplementary pages follow the body text, including reference materials and other required or optional addenda.

References (required)

Appendices (required)

IRB Approval Letter

Informed Consent Form

Copies of Instruments and Permission Letters

· Appendices (optional)

Data analysis, tables and charts if referenced in Chapter 4

Lengthy tables or large figures if referenced in other chapters

Photographs, artifacts or media related to study results

Vitae (optional)

Glossary (optional)

List of Abbreviations (optional)

Keep in mind that most formatting challenges are found in the preliminary and supplementary pages. Allocate extra time and attention for these sections to avoid delays in the electronic submission process. Also, as elementary as it may seem, run a complete spell and grammar check of your entire document before submission.

Appendix B IRB Approval Letter

This is a required Appendix.

Appendix C Informed Consent

This is a required Appendix.

Appendix D Copy of Instruments and Permissions Letters to Use the Instruments

This is a required Appendix.

V7_4_2_15_Final 2015

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