Abstract The proposal should include a concise statement of your intended research of no more than words.
This may be a couple of sentences setting out the problem that you want to examine or the central question that you wish to address. Research Context You should explain the broad background against which you will conduct your research. You should include a brief overview of the general area of study within which your proposed research falls, summarising the current state of knowledge and recent debates on the topic.
This will allow you to demonstrate a familiarity with the relevant field as well as the ability to communicate clearly and concisely. Research Questions The proposal should set out the central aims and questions that will guide your research.
Before writing your proposal, you should take time to reflect on the key questions that you are seeking to answer. Many research proposals are too broad, so reflecting on your key research questions is a good way to make sure that your project is sufficiently narrow and feasible i.
You might find it helpful to prioritize one or two main questions, from which you can then derive a number of secondary research questions. The proposal should also explain your intended approach to answering the questions: will your approach be empirical, doctrinal or theoretical etc? Research Methods The proposal should outline your research methods, explaining how you are going to conduct your research.
Your methods may include visiting particular libraries or archives, field work or interviews. Most research is library-based. If your proposed research is library-based, you should explain where your key resources e. An ill-conceived proposal dooms the project even if it somehow gets through the Thesis Supervisory Committee. A high quality proposal, on the other hand, not only promises success for the project, but also impresses your Thesis Committee about your potential as a researcher.
A research proposal is intended to convince others that you have a worthwhile research project and that you have the competence and the work-plan to complete it.
Generally, a research proposal should contain all the key elements involved in the research process and include sufficient information for the readers to evaluate the proposed study. Regardless of your research area and the methodology you choose, all research proposals must address the following questions: What you plan to accomplish, why you want to do it and how you are going to do it. The proposal should have sufficient information to convince your readers that you have an important research idea, that you have a good grasp of the relevant literature and the major issues, and that your methodology is sound.
The quality of your research proposal depends not only on the quality of your proposed project, but also on the quality of your proposal writing. A good research project may run the risk of rejection simply because the proposal is poorly written. Therefore, it pays if your writing is coherent, clear and compelling. This paper focuses on proposal writing rather than on the development of research ideas. Title: It should be concise and descriptive.
For example, the phrase, "An investigation of. Often titles are stated in terms of a functional relationship, because such titles clearly indicate the independent and dependent variables. However, if possible, think of an informative but catchy title. Abstract: It is a brief summary of approximately words.
It should include the research question, the rationale for the study, the hypothesis if any , the method and the main findings. Descriptions of the method may include the design, procedures, the sample and any instruments that will be used. Introduction: The main purpose of the introduction is to provide the necessary background or context for your research problem. How to frame the research problem is perhaps the biggest problem in proposal writing.
If the research problem is framed in the context of a general, rambling literature review, then the research question may appear trivial and uninteresting.
However, if the same question is placed in the context of a very focused and current research area, its significance will become evident. Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules on how to frame your research question just as there is no prescription on how to write an interesting and informative opening paragraph.
A lot depends on your creativity, your ability to think clearly and the depth of your understanding of problem areas. However, try to place your research question in the context of either a current "hot" area, or an older area that remains viable.
Secondly, you need to provide a brief but appropriate historical backdrop. Thirdly, provide the contemporary context in which your proposed research question occupies the central stage. Finally, identify "key players" and refer to the most relevant and representative publications.
In short, try to paint your research question in broad brushes and at the same time bring out its significance. The introduction typically begins with a general statement of the problem area, with a focus on a specific research problem, to be followed by the rational or justification for the proposed study.
The introduction generally covers the following elements: State the research problem, which is often referred to as the purpose of the study. Provide the context and set the stage for your research question in such a way as to show its necessity and importance. Present the rationale of your proposed study and clearly indicate why it is worth doing. Briefly describe the major issues and sub-problems to be addressed by your research.
You will fully describe the problem as it related to your topic of research. It will answer the question "Why does this research need to be done? Purpose of the Study a. You will need to provide a well rounded, intelligent and substantial statement on why the research that you are doing needs to be done. It will disclose the hypothesis that needs to be tested and any questions surrounding it.
It will normally begin with the statement "The purpose of this academic research study is…" d. It will provide a detailed discussion of whether you will be doing quantitative or qualitative research and the instruments of research survey, interview, questionnaire, etc. Literature Review a.
This will discuss the information that is already known about the project. It will review any pressing and pertinent research that is in anyway tied to the hypothesis debunking it. It provides a research strategy - as in what sources will you use. Research Questions or Hypotheses a.
Most students' literature reviews suffer from the following problems: Lacking organization and structure Lacking focus, unity and coherence Being repetitive and verbose Failing to cite influential papers Failing to keep up with recent developments Failing to critically evaluate cited papers Citing irrelevant or trivial references Depending too much on secondary sources Your scholarship and research competence will be questioned if any of the above applies to your proposal. How to Approach Writing a Research Proposal Your professor may assign the task of writing a research proposal for the following reasons: Develop your skills in thinking about and designing a comprehensive research study; Learn how to conduct a comprehensive review of the literature to ensure a research problem has not already been answered [or you may determine the problem has been answered ineffectively] and, in so doing, become better at locating scholarship related to your topic; Improve your general research and writing skills; Practice identifying the logical steps that must be taken to accomplish one's research goals; Critically review, examine, and consider the use of different methods for gathering and analyzing data related to the research problem; and, Nurture a sense of inquisitiveness within yourself and to help see yourself as an active participant in the process of doing scholarly research.
However, if possible, think of an informative but catchy title. Literature Review a. You need to communicate a sense of enthusiasm and confidence without exaggerating the merits of your proposal. Try to tell it in a stimulating and engaging manner. Be sure to answer the "So What? Methods: The Method section is very important because it tells your Research Committee how you plan to tackle your research problem.