The purpose of a research proposal is to present and justify the need to study a research problem and to present the practical ways in which the research should be conducted. All research proposals should address the following questions:
What do you plan to accomplish?
Why do you want to do it?
How are you going to do it?
Research proposals are written for a variety of reasons, including, budget requests for the research or certification requirements for research.
The main elements of a research proposal are:
A literature review is a thorough and methodical study of existing research information on a specific topic.
The purpose is to:
• identify key information relevant to a topic
• assess the quality of existing research
• examine support for alternative theories or arguments
• evaluate research methods used in past research
Whether you are writing a thesis by research or by publication, you will need to explore previous and current literature.
Consult your Subject Librarian for help on starting your literature review.
Select a Research Topic
The topic you select should:
• Be of interest to you, so you stay motivated throughout the research.
• Be achievable given the resources and/or data available.
• Make a significant contribution to your area.
Review the Literature
• Reading relevant literature will be important throughout your research.
• Background reading will help establish the context of the research.
• The literature review should include a current, credible materials published in your area.
Focus your Research
Progressing your research from a general concept to a specific query will:
• Identify the general area for investigation.
• Set clear objectives for the research.
• Determine the approach to the research.
Primary Sources: Primary sources are original materials.
Secondary Sources: Secondary sources describe or analyse the primary sources.
Tertiary Sources: Tertiary sources are indexes and/or textual consolidations of primary and secondary sources.
• Is the information reliable and error-free?
• Is there an editor or someone who checks the information?
• What are the author’s qualifications for writing on this subject?
• What are the topics included in the work?
• Is the content of the work up-to-date?
• Is the publication date clearly labelled?
• Broken links are one measure of an out-of-date page
• Is the information presented with a minimum of bias?
• To what extent is the information trying to sway the opinion of the audience?