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The Concept Paper lays the foundation for the applied dissertation process, providing an introductory form of communication between the doctoral student and the doctoral committee.Essentially, the Concept Paper acts as a tentative proposal; it allows the doctoral student the opportunity to define a research focus and obtain early feedback on the research idea.
Words should serve a useful purpose; avoid words that do not add substance or words that are misleading.A well-planned Concept Paper will capture the interest of the dissertation committee and establish a clear plan for the student’s dissertation. The Research Concept Paper is completed prior to the dissertation proposal and serves as a development tool and summary of the planned dissertation. Depending upon the requirements of the specific school or academic program, the Concept Paper may range from as few as 2-3 pages to as many as 10-20 pages.The essential point of the Concept Paper is to explain the importance of a particular research project.This section is one of the most important sections of the Concept Paper; it serves to gain the reader’s attention and support.You care about the research, but the reader may need some convincing.Finally, consider the theoretical and practical implications involved in your research project (APA, 2010).A well-developed, concise, and clear problem statement will lay the foundation for a strong Concept Paper and the dissertation that follows.This section of the Concept Paper introduces the problem under investigation, addresses why the researcher wants to investigate this problem, and how the research findings may help address the problem.Supporting documentation, including statistical data if available, should be used to emphasize the need for this research.The Concept Paper, although highly abridged, is comprised of many of the same items found in a dissertation.The specific elements of the Concept Paper may vary depending upon the academic program and the chosen degree.