The Research Proposal

The Research Proposal-20
By the time you have finished developing your research question(s), they should be tight and carefully defined, including a clear idea of the sector or area of study, study population, and what someone will know after reading your research.Once you have a topic, and research question(s), then you can decide on a title, which should broadly cover your research question(s) and summarise what you are going to do.

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Your research question(s) should be ones that have not been fully answered in previous research so that you are adding to the literature.

However, you want your literature review to have at least something to report, so an area where there is already plenty of research is better than a completely new topic.

Check the university’s requirements, and if necessary consult your supervisor about what to include.

An example ethical committee approval form may include questions such as: Will you provide written information to participants indicating the nature and purpose of the research, that their participation is voluntary, that they may withdraw at any time, and provide contact details for further information about the study?

As a general principle, it is better to research a narrow topic in more detail than a broad one in very little detail.

Start to write up your research proposal as you read around your subject.

If you are submitting a grant application, or research proposal to a university, you will probably have a maximum word count or be given an acceptable word count range. If the maximum is 2000 words, and you’ve written 500, you probably haven’t provided enough detail.

On the other hand, if you’ve written twice as much as expected, then you’ll need to cut it down considerably.

You can and should use your dissertation supervisor as a sounding board as you develop your thinking, although beware of bombarding them with enthusiastic and/or panicky emails.

It’s usually better to ask for a meeting to discuss your ideas, rather than trying to have a discussion by email.

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