Throughout the course you have learned about the importance of research in counseling and how empirically based interventions help inform how counselors practice.  The Research Proposal Paper will expound upon your topic selection along with your annotated bibliography, in hopes to formulate a research study that can be used in counseling.


You will answer the questions below, in a narrative, illuminating the current literature and how the literature informs your proposed study.  Then, you will detail the appropriate methods that would be needed in order to conduct the study. Finally, you will conclude your paper with the implications that this study could have upon the counseling field and integrate a biblical perspective in light of these implications.


Please follow the steps below, answering all the questions in each section.  Your section headings will include: Introduction (with subheadings as needed), Methods (with subheadings: Population and Sampling, Instrumentation, Procedures, and Analysis), and Integration (subheadings as needed). You must also have a Title Page, Abstract, and Reference page in current APA format.



Introduction (No more than 2 pages)


The purpose of the introduction is to make a compelling case for the study (i.e. the research topic/question that you are proposing). Each assertion must be supported by a citation. The introduction must be no more than 2 pages and must include at least 5 citations and references from peer-reviewed literature in current APA format (you will/can use the source identified in your annotated bibliography).  3 out of the 5 citations must be published within the last 5 years.  Conclusions from peer-reviewed articles must be provided to make a compelling case for the significance of the problem. In addition, relevance to the counseling field must be established, and the introduction must include an articulation of how the proposed study fills a gap in the peer-reviewed literature. You will need to demonstrate scholarly writing skills, paraphrasing the literature with NO QUOTATIONS.  The introduction portion of your research proposal must explain the following:

  • What is the problem statement (gap identified in the literature) this research addresses? This must be stated clearly, using citations to tell the narrative.
  • What is the purpose of the research proposal (how this study fills the gap)? This must be stated clearly.
  • What is (are) the research question(s)?
  • What is the researcher’s hypothesis?
  • What is the null hypothesis?
  • Why is this research question important?
  • How will this research investigation contribute to the field of counseling?


Methodology (3-4 pages)

The methods section of the proposal is a description of what will be done to conduct the study.

Population and Sampling

This section is used to discuss the population that will be studied, and how a sample will be obtained from that population.

  • Describe the population to be studied (attributes, diagnoses, demographics, etc.).
  • What sampling method will be used?
  • Rationale for choosing that sampling method (cite the course textbook or relevant peer reviewed literature for rationale).
  • Inclusion and exclusion criteria for becoming a participant.
  • Briefing of participants.
  • What was the setting for the research (i.e. classroom, counseling agency, etc.)?
  • Any other procedures or processes related to obtaining a sample


The assessment instruments that will be used to measure the variable(s) of interest in the proposed study must be described in detail (for example, if you are measuring depression symptoms, you can use the Beck Depression Inventory-II). In addition, the reliability and validity of each assessment instrument must be included, as well as support from the peer-reviewed literature for using the proposed assessment instruments with your population of choice. The assessment instruments must be on the public domain. You cannot make up your own assessment instrument for this assignment. The proposed study must have at least 1 assessment instrument, but no more than 2. This portion of the paper addresses the following:

  • What kind of reliability has been established for each instrument (test re-test? Split-half? Etc.)? (hint: go to the original article and you can find the psychometric properties there)
  • What kind of validity has been established for each instrument?
  • What are the numerical values for reliability and validity (as appropriate) for each instrument?
  • How does peer-reviewed literature support this instrument?
  • What is the rationale for your selection of this instrument, based on the peer-reviewed literature?
  • What are some of the sample questions on each instrument?
  • What type of data does the instrument yield (nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio)?
  • Include a copy of the instrument in the appendix of the paper. You must also include a citation for permission to reuse the instrument (if you cannot locate information regarding permissions, then your appendix must include a copy of the email that you sent to the author of the assessment requesting permission to include it in your research Proposal Paper).

Hint: One of the best sources for finding instruments is the library database, “Pro-Quest Digital Dissertations” because all students writing a dissertation or thesis must to include a copy of the instrument in the appendix. Information about obtaining permission must also be included.

Hint: The Jerry Falwell Library includes a database called The Mental Measurements Yearbook. This is a good source for learning what instruments are available at no charge, and to find details about the assessment instrument.


The procedures describe the details of how the study itself will be conducted and what participants will experience. This section will be based on the design of the research study.

  • Describe and name the design of the proposed study (single case design, between groups design, pre-test/post, test design, etc.).
  • What variables will be measured? Keep consistent with the assessments discussed above.
  • When will data be collected?
  • What controls will be used?
  • How do those controls impact the internal and external validity of the study?


The analysis section discusses how the data will be collected during the proposed study and how that data will be analyzed.

  • What type of data will be generated (nominal, ordinal, interval or ratio)?
  • What statistical test will be used for analysis?
  • What is the rationale for using this statistical test for analysis?
  • How will the results of the analysis be used to evaluate the hypotheses?


Integration (No more than 1 page)


Conclude your paper with a one paragraph section discussing the implications that this study could have upon the counseling field and integrate a biblical perspective in light of these implications.


  • Identify one biblical principle/scripture that can be seen in the development of this proposal
  • Using at least one scholarly source, discuss how the implications of this research study furthers that biblical principle (for example, a proposal that discusses Hope Focused Marriage Counseling provides a framework for the biblical principle of forgiveness and therefore brings healing to the relationship; or a proposal that discusses cost-effective treatment for lower-income Latino families furthers the biblical principle of Proverbs 19:17, “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.”)

**There is no right or wrong answer in this section, but rather, reflect on how your proposal integrates Christian principles and briefly expound on them**


Please keep in mind that the Online Writing Center is a wonderful resource for you.  The center can give you feedback on assignments before they are submitted for grading.  You can submit papers and receive tutoring here.


Your final Research Proposal Paper will be submitted through Safe Assign and is due at 11:59pm on Sunday of Module/Week 7.



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