Dissertation Timeline | Section 2 – Research Plan/SMR

Prospectus/Concept Paper
Research Questions

The research plan is an abbreviated introduction and methodology chapters. In an introduction, the researcher states: the purpose of the study and how the study examines the research problem; the significance of the study, which should explain why this study is important; and the study’s research questions, which sit at the heart of the What that the study seeks to examine. Additionally, the research plan addresses the approach of the study, which is either qualitative or quantitative, the research design, the methodological model, and the rationale of the study. The introduction also identifies the theoretical framework, the constructs and variables in the study, and any definitions used in the study.

Typical time to completion: 60 – 90 days

Best resources:

Tools & Templates

Directory of Survey Instruments 


The Myth of Mixed Method Dissertations 

Research Design

Scientific Merit Review (SMR): Constructs, Variables, and Operational Definitions 

Capella University and the Scientific Merit Review

The Capella Research Plan and Your Literature Review

Capella Research Plan Section 2.4: Methodology and Basic Overview

Sections 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3 of the Capella Quantitative Research Plan

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