Write a research proposal
A research proposal is a short document written to inform others about the proposed area of the research. Generally, you will be required to write a research proposal for acceptance into research degree candidature. In some departments this document is called a transfer report.
This is the document that determines the potential significance and viability of your project for a PhD and whether you, the candidate have the capacity to undertake the study.
It is advisable to write your research proposal with the guidance of your supervisor. That way you will be made aware of any particular requirements in your field of study.
How Will Writing a Research Proposal Help YOU?
Writing a research proposal may be a requirement of your faculty, but it can be a valuable personal process too. It will help you to structure your thoughts and your proposed project. It will allow you to focus on the research question and its purpose, what is involved in the project, as well as providing you with a clear plan of how each stage of the research will be undertaken, and the anticipated outcomes. This initial piece of writing will also help you to identify problems that you may encounter along the way, and direct you to think about how you will manage those kinds of issues.
Before you start writing the proposal, ask yourself:
The Purpose of a research proposal
A suggested format for an effective research proposal
(Check with your supervisor whether there is a particular format that is recommended in your discipline)
Present the context for the proposed research by outlining the background field and by reviewing some of the existing research. Establish the need for further research and in particular for the project that you are proposing.
Clearly state aims of the research project. What will you achieve in this research project? Identify the value, significance and contribution of the proposed work. The findings will need to extend knowledge in the field.
Consider some possible implications of the findings.
Review relevant previous studies. This will be a brief overview, not a comprehensive review of the literature like the one that you will present in your thesis. It will serve to provide a context within which your research will be situated, and whereby you can demonstrate the need for your particular research. Describe the theoretical framework you have chosen to use in your project.
Provide a careful plan of the proposed research to demonstrate that the project is feasible, can be completed within the required time, and will provide useful evidence to achieve the research aims.
The plan may include the following sections:
Stages in the Research
Scope and Problems
Remember, your research proposal is an important preliminary work which will form a framework for your final project. Moreover, it is the document that may determine your acceptance into or continuation in the doctoral program.
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