Assessment 1 Guidelines
The word count for your research proposal is 1,500 words.
Your research proposal should include the following:
- Your research question
You need to come up with a clearly formulated and answerable question that provides the basis for your piece of work. Your question should be well defined and focussed.
You can use the same question (perhaps with the associated aims and objectives) included in the research proposal that you submitted in your second year for the Research Approaches unit.
You can also change your question. You can use the feedback you received to refine your question. Meetings with your supervisor will also provide opportunities to develop your ideas further. After you have presented your question, you will need to discuss how you modified your question from the original proposal (e.g. it may be that an element of your original idea now interests you more, or you may find that there was a lack of relevant high quality research to answer the question in its original form, or you may have received feedback that the original question was too broad or too ambitious).
Be aware, you cannot simply submit your previous year’s proposal; this is regarded as a failure to attempt the task. You can, however, rewrite your previous proposal with additional supporting evidence.
- A related set of aims and objectives.
The aim(s) is/are a statement of your overall intention that underpins the question. Objectives are more detailed steps which will enable you to achieve your aim. So, an aim relates to your overall goal whereas objectives are the steps you are going to take to achieve your aim.
The aims and objectives will be to:
• Demonstrate a critical understanding of the most appropriate theoretical perspectives which can be adopted to study your chosen topic;
• Refine and develop the research question identified to produce an answerable question with a clear focus, set aims and objectives and discusses relevant ethical considerations.
• Produce a strategy for deciding what to search for, to identify the most relevant research or resource and then implement it.
• Propose and justify a potentially appropriate method and methodology to collect secondary data that could address the research question within prescribed resource parameters.
• Your proposal should be supported by referenced academic research and appropriate open resource materials.
- Background and context
Once you have decided your question, aims and objectives, you need to provide justification or rationale – why did you choose your research topic? Why is it important to research your topic? Rather than writing about your personal experience and preferences (e.g. I chose this topic because I am interested in this topic), explain to the reader why your research topic and question is interesting and important. For example, you can describe current situation (e.g. trends, statistics) or outline recent changes or policy developments.
You must select the most suitable theory, or combination of theories, related to your research topic/question and briefly explain in your research proposal how you are going to apply theory in your Independent Project.
You need to explain the methodology you have decided to utilise. You need to outline your methodology and then set out how you intend to develop it. This could relate to your search terminology, inclusion/exclusion criteria, where you are searching or other factors relevant to your question. You can also briefly discuss ethics in this section.
- Completion plan
The Independent Project is a largely self-directed piece of work. In order to complete it successfully, and deal with all of the other requirements in your third year, it will be important for you to work out what you are going to do and when. In this section of your proposal, set out what you intend to do in each of the months leading up to submission – these steps will link closely to your objectives. Key points to consider are:
• Refining and implementing searches for relevant pieces of research
• When you will stop searching and settle on your final selection of sources
• When and how you will critically analyse each of your sources
• When you will write up your independent project. Break your project down into sections and set deadlines for each section.
• When you will see your supervisor
• Proof reading arrangements
In summary, your proposal should contain the following elements:
- A clearly formulated and answerable question that provides the basis for your piece of work. Your question should be well defined and focussed, with a related set of aims and objectives and a discussion relating to the above that provides a rationale or justification (background/context).
- A brief description of your theory an how you are going to apply theory in your research
- How your methodology was developed, again providing a rationale or justification for it.
- Your completion plan.
- References. Make sure that you refer to the new university referencing guide
You need to provide an accurate list of references at the end of your report that match your in text references.
Type of service: Academic paper writing
Type of assignment: Dissertation
Academic level: Undergraduate
Paper format: Harvard
Line spacing: Single
Language style: UK English