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Dissertations - Skills Guide: Research Proposal

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Research Proposal

What is it?

A research proposal is a brief document that outlines the rationale and plan for your research project. In some subjects you might be asked to submit a research proposal before your dissertation. 


Why do I need to do it?

There are multiple reasons for writing a research proposal, one being that you might need to 'sell' your research project, another is for planning. Any project needs a plan. The proposal will show that you have planned the your project based on research and thought carefully about the timing. 


How do I do it?

There are different structures expected of a research proposal, but a typical structure may include:

  • Title
  • Rationale to demonstrate the significance of your research
  • Aims and objectives
  • Research methods (including design, sample, data collection analysis, ect.)
  • Project plan (e.g. timeline)
  • Ethics
  • Limitations
  • Reference list
  • Bibliography