Your references should provide the reader with a good sense of your grasp on the literature and how you can contribute to it.
Rather, it should show critical reflection in the selection of appropriate texts.
Quite often, students who fit the minimum entrance criteria fail to be accepted as Ph D candidates as a result of weaknesses in the research proposal. (1997): Supervising the Ph D, (Open University Press, Milton Keynes).
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.
We encourage you strongly to identify a prospective supervisor and get in touch with them to discuss your proposal informally BEFORE making a formal application, to ensure it is of mutual interest and to gain input on the design, scope and feasibility of your project.