Study topic selection and problem formulation are prerequisites in preparing a proposal for conducting research. Writing a research proposal to conduct research (for the first time) is a daunting task for (social work) students. The challenge is enormous despite numerous modules that introduce research to social work students. These problems were noted when student social workers presented their research proposals for the first time: broad and unclear research topics, difficulty in formulating research problems, and conflation of research approaches (qualitative and quantitative). Document analysis method was adopted in order to scrutinize research proposals to identify three key challenges such as topic selection, problem formulation, and research approach at proposal writing stage. A total of 10 fourth year social work students’ research proposals were scrutinized. Thematic analysis was used to interpret findings. The study was qualitative in nature and informed by grounded theory as well as socio-cultural theory framework. Recommendations are proffered to mitigate the challenges experienced by social work students.
Part of the book: Global Social Work