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ADE Essentials: Guides, Templates, & Rubrics

Overarching Alignment of Doctoral Project/Dissertation-in-Practice Components

  Section 1 Section 2 Section 3
Problem Statement

The problem statement is the foundation of your entire dissertation. The problem should be something scholars agree on that needs to, and can be, addressed.  

A gap in the literature may help discern the problem, but a gap in and of itself is not a problem.   

Evidence should be supported by recent (last three years) literature. 

The problem statement generates key topics that you will include in your literature review that describe and provide evidence-based support for the importance of studying the problem. 

The problem statement dictates the Research methodology and Design. Ask yourself if the methods chosen will get answers to the questions to help address the problem. 

The problem statement should remain the foundation of the study and all Results/Findings should demonstrate aspects of the problem and potential solutions.

The Evaluation of the Outcomes section and Implications and Recommendations for Practice and the Recommendations for Future Research should address the problem statement. 

Purpose Statement The purpose statement should explicitly state the purpose of the study, “The purpose of this (type) study is to …”.  The purpose should investigate a potential way to address the problem.  The purpose statement aligns with the problem statement and prompts the Research Methodology and Design. Ask yourself if the methodology and design chosen will get answers to the research questions to help address the problem.  The purpose statement should directly connect to the study Results/Findings. The Evaluation of the Outcomes section will consistently address the purpose statement of the research study. 
Research Questions The research questions must directly align with the problem and purpose statements. Ask yourself if the answers to the research questions will help address the problem and purpose.  The research questions guide your choices for Research Methodology and Design.

The research questions provide the structure for your Section 3 Results/Findings and Evaluation of Outcomes sections. Each research question is a sub-heading in the section, under which the data collected are presented.

The Evaluation of the Outcomes provides the answers to your research questions. 

Conceptual/Theoretical Framework In section 1, include an overview of framework(s) you have chosen to support your research. Continue with a thorough review of the literature about your chosen framework (s).  Include related research that supports the use of the framework(s) for your research topic. Include a rational for the selection. Ensure you demonstrate how the framework(s) aligns with your problem and purpose.  The framework(s) provide integral support for how you collect data. The framework(s) inform your data collection instruments.  When you analyze the data the framework(s) inform your analysis strategies. Your Evaluations of the Outcomes, Implications and Recommendations for Practice, and Conclusions should demonstrate how the framework(s) addressed and supported a potential solution to your research problem.