You are required to submit an individual Research Proposal (1000 words excluding references – reference list is not included in the 1000 words).

The research proposal will need to include key elements/sections and will inform the basis for a systematic review dissertation.

The elements/sections to include (in the order highlighted below);

A brief introduction to a chosen topic along with links to literature key policy, current literature (400 words).
A specific research question
Clear aim & objectives
Why methodological frameworks are used?
Use of PICO or PEO (support choice as to why).
A Reference list (Using Harvard Referencing).

Additional information and guidance are provided below relating to the different sections of the Research Proposal. Please present your Research Proposal using the appropriate headings.


The introduction should demonstrate an understanding of the issue/topic. The paragraphs you include should outline the topic of your study and introduce your reader to the dissertation. It is advisable to write this section upon completion of thorough reading of relevant literature, as at this point you will be aware of what you are introducing. You should provide background information of your research topic, provide an analysis of key issues and ensure that your work is appropriately supported.

As the dissertation is based on reviewing the existing material available on the topic you need to be sure that there are sufficient academic sources you can draw on to answer your question.

Research Question

Getting the research question focused is crucial to a high quality dissertation. The research question is simply the question you intend your study to answer. If the question is too broad, unclear, has too many sub-parts or contains reference to something so obscure, you will find it very difficult or impossible to answer and you will end up with a final dissertation that is ambiguous and potentially disjointed. A dissertation with a research question that does not relate to your final discussion will appear incoherent so remember to repeatedly re-visit your dissertation research question, aim and objectives.

Aim & Objectives

The aim should be realistic and clearly explain what you hope and intend to achieve by having produced the dissertation. Please ensure that you refine your dissertation to one broad aim that is then fulfilled by individual objectives.

The objectives are the research steps you take to achieve the aim. The objectives have to relate to your overall aim and you should continually re-visit your aim and objectives throughout the execution of your work. Keep the objectives concise and restricted in number. Long lists of objectives result in (or from) confusion and often do not get done.

Why methodological frameworks are used

This should include an overview of specific frameworks and why they are appropriate within the topic/issue you have selected. You maybe undertaking a qualitative or quantitative study therefore it will outline what approach/framework is suitable.

PICO or PEO (including information to support your choice). Examples are provided below.

Before you start your search, it is important to have a well-built question. One way to construct a well-built question is to use the PICO model. PICO stands for patient/population, intervention, comparison and outcomes. 
Patient/Population Intervention Comparison Outcomes
Who is your patient?
Age, sex, race or patient
Primary problem
Health status What do you plan on doing for the patient?
Diagnostic test
Procedure What alternative are you considering?
Another test, medication or procedure
Watchful waiting What do wish to accomplish?
Accurate diagnosis
Relieve or improve symptoms
Maintain function

PEO is another framework that is especially useful when investigating a prognosis or likelihood of developing a certain condition as a result of a pre-existing condition or exposure. 
Patient/Population:  how would you describe the patient or population of interest? 
Exposure:  what pre-existing conditions does the patient/population have or what has the patient/population been exposed to?
Outcome:  the outcome of interest; unlike in PICO, the outcome is almost always used in the search terms with the PEO framework.

References (using the Harvard Referencing style)

Type of assignment: Academic paper writing
Type of assignment: Research paper
Subject: Nursing
Pages/words: 4/1000
Number of sources: 10
Academic level: Bachelor
Paper format: Harvard
Line spacing: Double
Language style: UK English

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