Research Proposal Structure

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Please check carefully with each department to find out whether a specific template is provided or required.

In general, however, the following elements are crucial in a good research proposal: This can change, but make sure to include important ‘key words’ that will relate your proposal to relevant potential supervisors, funding schemes and so on.

Be sure to include specific techniques, not just your general approach.

This should include: kinds of resources consulted; methods for collecting and analyzing data; specific techniques (ie statistical analysis; semi-structured interviewing; participant observation); and (brief) rationale for adopting these methods.

Make sure that your title goes beyond simply describing the subject matter – it should give an indication of your approach or key questions.

In this section you should provide a short overview of your research and where it fits within the existing academic discourses, debates or literature.Moreover, they are used to assess and assign appropriate supervision teams.If you are interested in the work of a particular potential supervisor – and especially if you have discussed your work with this person – be sure to mention this in your proposal.Think very carefully about the scope of your research and be prepared to explain how you will complete it within this timeframe.Research proposals are also used to assess your expertise in the area in which you want to conduct research, you knowledge of the existing literature (and how your project will enhance it).(1999): Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-time Researchers in Education & Social Science, (Oxford University Press, Oxford). The goal of a research proposal is to present and justify the need to study a research problem and to present the practical ways in which the proposed study should be conducted. Approach it with the intention of leaving your readers feeling like--"Wow, that's an exciting idea and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!Remember that this is not simply a bibliography listing ‘everything written on the subject’.Rather, it should show critical reflection in the selection of appropriate texts. The design elements and procedures for conducting the research are governed by standards within the predominant discipline in which the problem resides, so guidelines for research proposals are more exacting and less formal than a general project proposal. "In the real world of higher education, a research proposal is most often written by scholars seeking grant funding for a research project or it's the first step in getting approval to write a doctoral dissertation.Research proposals contain extensive literature reviews. They must provide persuasive evidence that a need exists for the proposed study. Information for Students: Writing a Research Proposal. Even if this is just a course assignment, treat your introduction as the initial pitch of an idea or a thorough examination of the significance of a research problem.

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