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Action Research - Master's Seminar in TESOL : The Assignment

This guide is designed to provide students with an introduction to action research within the field of education. Students using this guide will learn about the action research and the research process overall.

Project Timeline

1. Project Proposal: Due - September 29

Your project proposal is the introduction and methodology sections of your masters’ project.  It should include: an introduction to the topic, a research question, a rationale for the study, the setting of your study, and your proposed methods of data collection and analysis.

2. Literature Review: Due - October 23

Your literature review is an organized presentation of the published literature that is relevant to your research question.  Include a reference section in APA format and make sure that you follow all referencing conventions in your paper.  Your literature review must include 12-15 current articles or books on your topic.

3. Data Analysis Presentation: Due - October 30 or November 6

For your data analysis presentation, you will prepare a handout for all class members with approximately 2-4 pages of raw data.  You will develop questions about your data, so that class members can help you to interpret your data and how it informs your research question.


4. Findings Section: Due - November 20

This section of your master’s paper describes the data that you have collected to answer your question.  You should give illustrative examples of each category, theme, or pattern that you have noted in your data.

5. Conclusion and Abstract: Due - December 4

The conclusion should offer an analysis of your findings, the conclusions of the study and its limitations, as well as recommendations for further practice and research. The abstract is a 100 word summary of the main points of your paper.

6. Final Paper: Due - December 11

This is a benchmark assignment.  You should turn in your completed master’s paper and the graded drafts of assignments #1-4.  Please see the rubric for this assignment at the end of this syllabus.  This rubric will be used for evaluation of your paper and is designed to clarify expectations for the assignment.  

7. Poster Presentation: Due - December 11 or 18

You will create a poster presentation to share the main findings of your action research project with class participants and other invited guests.



  • Demonstrate an understanding of the connection between research and practice

  • Engage in a review of literature relevant to a particular aspect of educational practice

  • Design and develop an action research project

Reflective Practice

  • Reflect on your experiences as an action researcher

Social Justice

  • Develop an understanding of the responsibility of teachers to continuously reflect on their practice to improve student learning

  • Design an action research project which demonstrates respect and empathy for language learners

  • Meet ethical standards when conducting research