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How to Write An Action Research (Proposal)
Action research is a type of research that involves the systematic and reflective study of one’s own practice in order to improve it. It is a practical and collaborative approach to problem-solving that can be used by individuals or groups in various settings. In this guide on How to Write An Action Research , we will outline the steps to writing an action research paper.
Step 1: Select a Problem or Issue
The first step in writing an action research paper is to identify a problem or issue that you would like to address. The problem or issue should be relevant to your area of work or interest and should be specific and measurable. Once you have identified the problem or issue, you can begin to formulate a research question that will guide your inquiry.
Step 2: Review the Literature
The next step is to review the literature on the problem or issue you have identified. This will help you to understand what has been done in the past and what the current state of knowledge is. You should look for both academic and practical sources of information and use them to inform your research question.
Step 3: Develop a Research Plan
The third step is to develop a research plan. This should include a description of the problem or issue, the research question, the data collection methods, and the analysis plan. You should also identify any potential ethical considerations and address them in your plan.
Step 4: Collect Data
The fourth step is to collect data. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as surveys, interviews, observations, and document analysis. The data you collect should be relevant to your research question and should be analyzed using appropriate methods.
Step 5: Analyze the Data
The fifth step is to analyze the data you have collected. This can be done using both quantitative and qualitative methods, depending on the type of data you have collected. The analysis should be guided by your research question and should help you to identify patterns, trends, and relationships in the data.
Step 6: Reflect on the Findings
The sixth step is to reflect on the findings of your analysis. This involves thinking about what the data means in relation to your research question and how it can be used to address the problem or issue you identified at the beginning of the research process.
Step 7: Develop an Action Plan
The final step is to develop an action plan . This should outline the steps you will take to address the problem or issue you identified. The action plan should be based on the findings of your research and should be practical and achievable.
In conclusion, writing an action research paper requires a systematic and reflective approach to problem-solving. It involves identifying a problem or issue, reviewing the literature, developing a research plan, collecting and analyzing data, reflecting on findings, and developing an action plan.
By following these steps on How to Write An Action Research , you can use action research to improve your practice and make a positive impact in your field.
Jevannel is passionate about teaching and learning about anything. She loves to share her words with the world, hoping for readers to get something from her works. She specializes in Science Education and Research and she also writes poetry and many other things.
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Linking Research to Action: A Simple Guide to Writing an Action Research Report
What Is Action Research, and Why Do We Do It?
Action research is any research into practice undertaken by those involved in that practice, with the primary goal of encouraging continued reflection and making improvement. It can be done in any professional field, including medicine, nursing, social work, psychology, and education. Action research is particularly popular in the field of education. When it comes to teaching, practitioners may be interested in trying out different teaching methods in the classroom, but are unsure of their effectiveness. Action research provides an opportunity to explore the effectiveness of a particular teaching practice, the development of a curriculum, or your students’ learning, hence making continual improvement possible. In other words, the use of an interactive action-and-research process enables practitioners to get an idea of what they and their learners really do inside of the classroom, not merely what they think they can do. By doing this, it is hoped that both the teaching and the learning occurring in the classroom can be better tailored to fit the learners’ needs.
You may be wondering how action research differs from traditional research. The term itself already suggests that it is concerned with both “action” and “research,” as well as the association between the two. Kurt Lewin (1890-1947), a famous psychologist who coined this term, believed that there was “no action without research; no research without action” (Marrow, 1969, p.163). It is certainly possible, and perhaps commonplace, for people to try to have one without the other, but the unique combination of the two is what distinguishes action research from most other forms of enquiry. Traditional research emphasizes the review of prior research, rigorous control of the research design, and generalizable and preferably statistically significant results, all of which help examine the theoretical significance of the issue. Action research, with its emphasis on the insider’s perspective and the practical significance of a current issue, may instead allow less representative sampling, looser procedures, and the presentation of raw data and statistically insignificant results.
What Should We Include in an Action Research Report?
The components put into an action research report largely coincide with the steps used in the action research process. This process usually starts with a question or an observation about a current problem. After identifying the problem area and narrowing it down to make it more manageable for research, the development process continues as you devise an action plan to investigate your question. This will involve gathering data and evidence to support your solution. Common data collection methods include observation of individual or group behavior, taking audio or video recordings, distributing questionnaires or surveys, conducting interviews, asking for peer observations and comments, taking field notes, writing journals, and studying the work samples of your own and your target participants. You may choose to use more than one of these data collection methods. After you have selected your method and are analyzing the data you have collected, you will also reflect upon your entire process of action research. You may have a better solution to your question now, due to the increase of your available evidence. You may also think about the steps you will try next, or decide that the practice needs to be observed again with modifications. If so, the whole action research process starts all over again.
In brief, action research is more like a cyclical process, with the reflection upon your action and research findings affecting changes in your practice, which may lead to extended questions and further action. This brings us back to the essential steps of action research: identifying the problem, devising an action plan, implementing the plan, and finally, observing and reflecting upon the process. Your action research report should comprise all of these essential steps. Feldman and Weiss (n.d.) summarized them as five structural elements, which do not have to be written in a particular order. Your report should:
- Describe the context where the action research takes place. This could be, for example, the school in which you teach. Both features of the school and the population associated with it (e.g., students and parents) would be illustrated as well.
- Contain a statement of your research focus. This would explain where your research questions come from, the problem you intend to investigate, and the goals you want to achieve. You may also mention prior research studies you have read that are related to your action research study.
- Detail the method(s) used. This part includes the procedures you used to collect data, types of data in your report, and justification of your used strategies.
- Highlight the research findings. This is the part in which you observe and reflect upon your practice. By analyzing the evidence you have gathered, you will come to understand whether the initial problem has been solved or not, and what research you have yet to accomplish.
- Suggest implications. You may discuss how the findings of your research will affect your future practice, or explain any new research plans you have that have been inspired by this report’s action research.
The overall structure of your paper will actually look more or less the same as what we commonly see in traditional research papers.
What Else Do We Need to Pay Attention to?
We discussed the major differences between action research and traditional research in the beginning of this article. Due to the difference in the focus of an action research report, the language style used may not be the same as what we normally see or use in a standard research report. Although both kinds of research, both action and traditional, can be published in academic journals, action research may also be published and delivered in brief reports or on websites for a broader, non-academic audience. Instead of using the formal style of scientific research, you may find it more suitable to write in the first person and use a narrative style while documenting your details of the research process.
However, this does not forbid using an academic writing style, which undeniably enhances the credibility of a report. According to Johnson (2002), even though personal thoughts and observations are valued and recorded along the way, an action research report should not be written in a highly subjective manner. A personal, reflective writing style does not necessarily mean that descriptions are unfair or dishonest, but statements with value judgments, highly charged language, and emotional buzzwords are best avoided.
Furthermore, documenting every detail used in the process of research does not necessitate writing a lengthy report. The purpose of giving sufficient details is to let other practitioners trace your train of thought, learn from your examples, and possibly be able to duplicate your steps of research. This is why writing a clear report that does not bore or confuse your readers is essential.
Lastly, You May Ask, Why Do We Bother to Even Write an Action Research Report?
It sounds paradoxical that while practitioners tend to have a great deal of knowledge at their disposal, often they do not communicate their insights to others. Take education as an example: It is both regrettable and regressive if every teacher, no matter how professional he or she might be, only teaches in the way they were taught and fails to understand what their peer teachers know about their practice. Writing an action research report provides you with the chance to reflect upon your own practice, make substantiated claims linking research to action, and document action and ideas as they take place. The results can then be kept, both for the sake of your own future reference, and to also make the most of your insights through the act of sharing with your professional peers.
Feldman, A., & Weiss, T. (n.d.). Suggestions for writing the action research report . Retrieved from http://people.umass.edu/~afeldman/ARreadingmaterials/WritingARReport.html
Johnson, A. P. (2002). A short guide to action research . Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Marrow, A. J. (1969). The practical theorist: The life and work of Kurt Lewin . New York, NY: Basic Books.
Tiffany Ip is a lecturer at Hong Kong Baptist University. She gained a PhD in neurolinguistics after completing her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and linguistics. She strives to utilize her knowledge to translate brain research findings into practical classroom instruction.
Universitas Kristen Indonesia
Sharing in English Education
Action Research Proposal Outline
In this section you need to present three items: (1) a brief introduction to the general area to be addressed by the study; (2) the problems to solve or condition to improve and their urgency to deal with; and (3) reason(s) for choosing the topic.
In one to two paragraphs, introduce the general area to be addressed by the study. Use the description to create a sense of interest in the topic. In ELT research, these introductory paragraphs are usually written by showing the high importance of mastering English. The following example hopefully helps you write an introductory paragraph for your action research report.
Triggered by the globalization era, English has been ‘elected” the most important language to master around the world. To help Indonesian young generation master the language, it has been made one of the compulsory subjects taught in primary school, high school and some semesters at university. In some regions, it has even been taught in kindergarten. It is expected that the sooner the children study English the better their mastery will be.
Reveal the real problems and show why it is urgent to solve them. Use factual data (obtained by researcher’s observation or quoted from valid references) to support the urgency of carrying out studies to solve the problem. Relevant results of previous researches are also good to write here. Check these paragraphs.
However, facilitating children study English sooner alone cannot guarantee better mastery. If the teaching of English to the young learners is not provided with well-designed curriculum, good teachers, appropriate media, and conducive learning environment the program will fail. Johan’s (2008) survey conducted in Jakarta reveals that 95% of 360 senior high school students who began learning English in primary school could not communicate better in English than their classmates who started English learning in senior high school. Shamira’s (2005) study indicates that the major reason why senior high school students in Jakarta could not communicate in English was their poor vocabulary, and Wawan’s (2006) study exposes that the students in 25 primary schools felt that vocabulary learning is uninteresting due to the monotonous techniques and boring media.
The present writer’s observation in SD Laut Teduh Jakarta revealed the same condition. The students are unenthusiastic to study English, including vocabulary. Their poor vocabulary causes them unable to comprehend simple sentences with simple words, not to mention to orally express something in English. In relation to these phenomena, the urgency for providing young learners’ English classes with interesting techniques and media is very obvious. If we don’t solve the problems, our students will never have appropriate amount of English vocabulary. This, in turn, will make them unable to communicate in English, as Nation (2001) stated that language learners need to know very large numbers of words to enable them to communicate in the language.
Orlova (2003) noted that for the last two decades, the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) methodology has been actively considering the possibility of using music and songs in class. Based on her 10-year experience of incorporating songs in the language teaching, she claims the use of songs in language classes puts students at ease, makes them more attentive and can increase their desire to learn a language. Based on his longitudinal study, Lynch (2005) concluded that songs can offer an enjoyable speaking, listening, vocabulary and language practice. In line with them, Beare (2010) reported that using music in the beginning of a lesson is a great way to introduce new vocabularies to students.
Before closing this background section, provide reason(s) for choosing the topic. Write a paragraph to accommodate this. The following sample might inspire you to write your own.
Vocabulary teaching and learning is an integral part in the English Language Curriculum used in SD Laut Teduh . However, most students face difficulties when they read even simple sentence and communicate in English because they lack the needed English vocabulary. To help these students, it is significant to explore deeper on these difficulties as well as provide innovative ideas in order to improve the teaching and learning of vocabulary. In addition, as a student of English teaching study program, I have a great interest in this problem. Find solutions for the problem is very challenging to me.
B. Problem (s) Statement
List 1 or 2 problems identified from the background in interrogative sentences. See the following.
The problem to be tackled in this study is specifically formulated as follows:
1. Can songs effectively improve the students’ vocabulary mastery?
2. How do songs improve the students’ vocabulary mastery in teaching and learning process?
C. Research Objectives
Write down the specific, clear and to the point statements of intended outcomes from the research to undertake. Do this transforming the questions in the problem statement section into positive form. Look at the followings.
The goal of this study is:
1. To see whether songs can effectively improve the students’ vocabulary mastery.
2. To investigate whether the students are interested in the use of blogs to develop writing skills.
D. Research Significances
List what advantages could be expected from the research’s result to as many parties as possible, e.g. to students involved in the study, to teaching practice, to ELT theories, and to the researchers themselves.
E. Research Scope
In one or two paragraph, describe the reason(s) for limiting the research factors. Then, describe the exact area of the research, such as period of time, the participants, unit of analysis (e.g., policy, programs, activities, actual behaviors etc.), method and instrument of data collection. Keep in mind that those items should be in line with the title. Finally, explain the impact of those limitations to the results and their applicability
F. Operational Definitions
Take some words from the title which you think could possibly be multi-interpreted by different readers (three to five terms will do) and define each of the words in accordance with the context of the study.
LITERATURE REVIEW, CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK, AND HYPOTHESIS
Start with an introductory paragraph in which you introduce what to present in this chapter.
A. Literature Review
Summarize relevant concepts provided by experts as references to the undertaken study.
In this section you need to cite from some external scientific works which will add credibility to your ideas. However, any time you cite from external materials, you are required to identify the sources in the form of systematic references. However, any time you cite from external materials, you are required to identify the sources in the form of systematic references. This identification will not only give credit to the ideas and work of other scientists (and thus, prevent plagiarism) but also provide the readers with access to these sources. To get a guidelines for doing this, see “Citing and Referencing in Research Papers.”
B. Conceptual Framework
In one to two paragraphs relate the background to the problems and show how the action research conducted will hopefully provide solutions to the problems.
C. Action Hypothesis (optional)
State the action hypothesis in the form of if-conditional statement. See the following example:
If songs are used in vocabulary teaching, the students’ achievement will increase.
A. Research Method
Briefly but concisely describe (two paragraph will suffice) the research method used i.e. action research.
B. Research Setting and Subjects Features
Explain where and how long the action research was conducted. Include description of the students group (the students’ year/class level, male and female composition, their families’ economical background, level of related language skills mastery, and any other aspects relevant to the study.
C. Research Variables
In this section, determine the variables that provided answers to the problems. The variables could be (1) the ‘inputs’ related to the students, teachers, teaching materials, evaluation procedure, learning environments, etc.; (2) matters related to the teaching and learning process, such as classroom management, students learning strategies, teaching methods, etc.; or (3) ‘output’ variables, like students’ ability to apply skills they have studied, students’ willingness to initiate further learning, etc.
D. Action Plan
In this section, describe the actions to be implemented, including the plan, action/implementation, observation, and reflection/analysis phases. The plan description includes the preparation of pre-test, lesson plan (teaching scenario), equipments preparation, and alternative solutions to be implemented. The action/ implementation description reveals the actions to be conducted, corrective action scenario, and the procedure of carrying out the action. The observation describes the procedure for collecting and interpreting the data. The description of reflection/analysis includes the data analysis procedure and the criteria and plan for conducting the next cycle.
E. Data Collection Instrument and Technique
In this section, describe how the data will be collected, including the specific technique, its procedure and the instruments for collecting data. If, for instance, the data will be collected using tests, describe the feature of the tests and how they will be administered. Do the same to questionnaire, observation and interview if they will also be used.
F. Data Analysis Technique
Briefly but concisely describe the research data analysis technique to be used i.e. descriptive analysis and the statistical analysis (e.g. t-test)—if one will be used.
G. Data Triangulation
Describe each of the data triangulation techniques to be used to guarantee the data validity. If, for instance, theoretical and time triangulation will be used, provide the rationale of employing them.
H. Success Indicator
Set up relevant and realistic success indicator for the action research. To do this, you should perceive as many as possible factors that affect the research. Setting up a too ambitious indicator may drive you into frustrated condition. On the other hand, if the indicator is too low, your action research will seem trivial. Look at the following.
The success indicator of this 3 cycles reading comprehension development action research (taking place in about four months) is that at the end of the study the class achieves mean score of ≥ 7.5. This indicator determination is based on the fact that the class had never achieved mean score of ≥ 6.0 for reading comprehension.
Increasing the mean-score of a class in reading comprehension from ≥ 6.0 to ≥ 7.5 is still reasonable, especially if the students’ aptitude is good, the learning facilities are sufficient, and the planned intervention in the action research is theoretically effective for enhancing reading comprehension skills.
I. Research Procedure
List the general steps of conducting the action research, beginning from the step of forming the research teamwork, asking permission from the school headmaster (if necessary), conducting the research, and writing the report.
APA format should be used to cite references within the paper. Guide for using APA format could be accessed at http://www.apastyle.org/learn or http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_apa.html To get a practical guide for writing references using APA style, see the Referencing Style for JET .
Really it is a fantastic way of explaining the components of action research. Thank you a lot.
This article was extremely helpful and walked me right thru the action research process, thank you also sir!
This is very helpful. It has assisted me a lot.
This is very concise and helpful to me. Thank you.
Very useful to me especially while doing my final action research proposal. I don’t know how to write an introduction and the literature review for the action research proposal . Thank you sir ,
Glad to know it’s useful for you.
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Thank you Sir for this very informative article of yours. I will be doing action research and I didn’t know how to start. I wound also like to ask how Action Research Proposal differ from Final Action Research? Thank you so much.God bless
Very helpful as I did not know where to start.Thank you so much.
Thank you very much sir. It has helped me alot.
Sir, can we use the word ‘me’ which refers to the author as it is mentioned in the example of reason why the author do the research?
“In addition, as a student of English teaching study program, I have a great interest in this problem. Find solutions for the problem is very challenging to me.”
Hi Gita, Thanks for asking this very good question, because it reminds me to explain a point I never mention in our classes. One of the special features of scientific writing is impersonality . Thus, you should not normally write in the first person. So you cannot use ‘I’, ‘my’ or ‘me’ (first person singular) or ‘we’, ‘our’ or ‘us’ (first person plural). However, there is an exception when you need to report your action or reflection in your manuscript. So instead of writing, ‘To get the data, a group of students was observed …’ you can write ‘I observed a group of students…’. Then, instead of writing, ‘In the first cycle, the participants seemed …’ you can write ‘In the first cycle I have learned that…’ Since reporting action and reflection are common in action research and ethnography, you can write in the first person in both types of research. But do not use it in an experimental research because reporting action and reflection are not common in such research! I hope this brief explanation satisfies your curiosity.
It is really helpful to make my action research prosal better. Thank you, Sir… 🙂
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9+ SAMPLE Action Research Proposal in PDF | MS Word
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