Undertake an initial literature review in a chosen area to identify a topic that is of interest to you and that is worth investigating as a research problem; Undertake a critical literature review and produce a 2500-word report of this knowledge and understanding of the topic in a structured and informative manner. A critical literature review of literature relevant to a topic under consideration including articles published in peer-reviewed journals, textbooks, proceedings of conferences, technical reports and dissertations.
The structure of your research proposal should include:
Title: A clear and concise title that informs the reader of the topic area. Abstract:
The abstract (circa 250 words) is a concise single paragraph summary of your research. Quickly, a reader should be able to grasp the rationale behind the study, the general approach used to examine and review the topic, the summary of the related findings, and important conclusions and recommendations and/or perhaps new question(s). It is best to leave preparation of the abstract until your proposal is nearly complete; it is not a plan of action; it is a description of what you have achieved.
Introduction: This is a rationale (circa 350 words) as to why your research is important. This should include:
– Reference to three or four key sources that demonstrate there is a problem, controversy, misunderstanding or simply confirm it’s a subject of interest and the topic is worth investigating; and.
– Main aim: a single clear statement of what you want or intend to achieve after completion of your research, and
– Objectives: three key objectives following SMART+C criteria.
Are the objectives SMART+C?
- Specific (focused)
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
- Achievable (attainable)
- Realistic (reasonable, resourced, results-based ),
- Timely (time-based, time-limited: fit within the timescale for the research).
Critical review of relevant literature: In your literature review (circa 1100 words) you should analyse and evaluate relevant work that has been done on your topic. You need to point out areas where much research has been done, as well as areas where more research still needs to be done. It’s also important to compare sources with each other, pointing out where they agree or disagree with one another. Finally, you need to draw conclusions from your findings, describing what the literature suggests about your topic. A review that is completely descriptive in nature will be judged as of a lower quality compared to one that demonstrates a critical analysis and clear understanding of the topic.
Conclusion: In your conclusion (circa 300 words) you draw together all the key points derived from your literature review and use them to address the objectives and eventually the main aim that you set yourself in the Introduction
Methodology: (Circa 500 words) Write a brief description about your methodology that you may apply to collect and analyse data. You need to justify why you think that the chosen method(s) is appropriate among other possible methods.
References: Your research proposal should list in alphabetical order all citations and references to the research sources used and must follow the Harvard system. Consistency throughout is a key.