A research proposal will:
- clearly define the topic you’re interested in
- show your understanding of your research area
- show you have started to identify and (at least tentatively) developed an original and interesting research question
- demonstrate you understand how to conduct research
- be well-structured and clear
- include a bibliography and in-text referencing
Please note that the word limits associated with the respective sections are guideline limits – you may use some discretion in terms of the word count of these sections.
The Proposal – Part 1 assessment structure document instruction (available on Moodle):
“Short research proposal
All elements of the research proposal (3000 words) submitted as a summative assessment in Semester 1 (Dissertation Part 1/Proposal) can be carried over to (and used in) the summative assessment in Semester 2.
N.B. Using the same elements will not be treated as self-plagiarism. It is however advisable to improve on the work already submitted rather than re-submitting the same material verbatim.
Title of Topic/Project Proposal
This needs to be well defined, precise and clearly written. It may well contain phrases such as; ‘An investigation into …’
- A) Introduction
- Introduce the area of research and provide a brief summary of the main points and conclusions of your proposal
- B) Theoretical background and research focus
- Review key publications and themes (briefly)
- Include hypotheses (if applicable)
- Your aims and objectives, and research questions
- C) Justification and contextualization
- Why is your research important?
- Why is it important to find what you are trying to find?
- How will it build on the existing body of evidence?
- Is it timely? Does it respond to an existing need? What makes it so?
- D) Methodology
How will you achieve the research aims? Present the proposed research methodology (e.g. research paradigm, methodological approach, methods, techniques, sample size, target populations, equipment and data analysis, if applicable) and explain why is it the most appropriate way to effectively answer the research question. Have you considered (and disregarded) any alternatives?
The methodology section should also include a brief ‘Access and ethics’ section, which discusses what you consider to be the key ethical implications of your work and it should also explain how you will gain access to the research field, i.e. how you will find the information you need. It will also comprise ‘limitations’ section: Are there any limitations or downsides of your selected research strategy? How are they counterweighting the advantages?
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