Project Proposal The proposal for your dissertation should be roughly about 1000 words and include the following: A Working TitleIntroduction and Background: what is the general area and topic of your dissertation?Aim and Objectives: what is the overall aim and objective of your work, what is your research question or hypothesis?Literature: you should already have one or two key literature sources, such as books or journal articlesMethodology: how do you intend to conduct your research – case study, questionnaire, interviews, literature based etc.? You should provide quite a lot of detail here. Results and Outcomes: you should try to anticipate the sort of data you might collect and how you will analyse itConclusions and Recommendations: similarly, you should try to anticipate the sort of outcomes from your analysis and what your conclusions might be. Timeline: you should also provide an estimate of timescales for your work. In particular, when do you expect to be submitting your first draft? Below is an excerpt from the dissertation handbook about the process of writing your proposal. 4.2 Initial Project Outline This is a very important element of your Masters dissertation. The project outline is an integral part of the overall dissertation. The outline should be approximately 1400 words without the references. Writing a project outline is a crucial part of any research process. If you were to carry out research for a commercial client, it is unthinkable that you would go ahead without a clear proposal that you would submit for approval. Writing a good project outline is extremely challenging. This is because you have to think through your proposed work prior to commencing it. So it becomes clear that it is impossible to write a good project outline without doing a considerable amount of background work. The project outline helps you organise your ideas and clarifies precisely what you will be doing. In other words, it helps you plan your work. By thinking through what you will be doing and by explaining how you plan to go about it, you are helping to ensure that it is achievable. All Masters research students find writing a project outline difficult. This is because you cannot write a good project outline until you yourself really know and understand what you are going to do. In writing any project outline your main aim is to give the reader (a) a clear idea of what you indent to do (b) why it needs to be done (c) how it will be carried out (d) how the data will be analysed and (e) the likely outcomes of the research. Indeed, the research proposal is rather like a ‘mini’ dissertation; in other words: introduction, aims and objectives, methodology and an idea of how the study will conclude. The time and effort spent on the outline will be worth it as this forms the basis of the dissertation in terms of assisting and clarifying your thinking.
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