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BASIC ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH PROPOSAL
(Up to 25 words) (Working title will be refined at a later stage to be the Title for the Thesis report)
Introduction will in the thesis report correspond to Chapter 1. The Introduction covers
i. Background to study (up to 4 pages) (survey the context of the problem giving the historical and situational backgrounds to the study)
ii. Problem statement
iii. Objective or Research question (½ a page).
In qualitative research proposals, the research objectives might be sufficient to provide a conceptual framework for the study. However, in studies which are quantitative in nature, the candidate might be expected to develop hypotheses to be examined in the study.
iv. Thesis statement (expected result of study),
v. Definition of terms/key words, and description of concepts,
vi. Scope of the study,
vii. Significance of study (up to 1 page), and
viii. Milieu of study.
Review of literature
One (1) page for this may be considered adequate. Review of literature corresponds to Chapter 2 of thesis report. This is the theoretical framework for the thesis (Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship, 2005).
The theoretical framework is sometimes called the conceptual framework, and describes the theories or concepts to be covered or addressed in the research. The framework is often presented as a diagram and includes a depiction of the variables to be examined and their hypothesized relationships to each other. The framework will include a consideration of the dependent and independent variables and any moderating or intervening variables that may be considered.
Reference of all authorities cited in your research proposal (main body and appendix include the name(s) of author(s) or editor(s), date of the work, title of the work, name of publisher and city, date of publication, and year of publication).
Materials & Methodology
Consider two (2) pages for this section. Methodology will correspond to Chapter 3 of the thesis report and should cover your research design, collection and editing/collating of data, analysis of data:
i) State what research approach(s) being employed for the research design: qualitative or quantitative?
ii) Data collection strategy: Questionnaire and interview schedule, literature or experience survey as appropriate,
iii) Social unit and study area,
iv) Sample description and sample scope,
v) Sampling method,
vi) sample treatment where necessary for experimental research,
vii) Statistical tools and analysis, validities to test, and
viii) Presentation of data and results. Two (2) pages for this may be considered adequate.
All the literature consulted and cited up to the time of writing the research proposal. Consider,
i. Author, title of book, publishers address and year of publication, and ii. 5-7 books mentioned will be adequate at this stage.
The rundown done above helps student researchers to conceptualize their work and also market it. By the Research Proposal, researcher engages the attention of potential supervisors for their work. Definitely a Research Proposal is a must for student’s research work and students must adhere to its basic elements. Academic departments must also develop a format if they don’t have one and make it available to student long before they embark In
Conclusion we may say that, Research proposal is an engagement strategy the candidate uses to get the attention of the academic advisor or prospective thesis supervisor; and market their research project for prospective supervisor to buy into it, and consider if they would be willing to supervise your piece of work. The process of proposing a research project helps candidate to conceptualize their research project, crystallize their own thoughts about their thesis, and give evidence of some independence, capacity (resource) and capability (readiness) to work. Research proposal may be described as an executive summary of your project endeavour without which a research may not start. Indeed, no proposal no project.
The research proposal document should be produced in a hardcopy and comb bound. Keep a soft copy. You will need it for further work when your proposal has been accepted by your academic advisor or tutor, approved by academic department’s thesis committee, and assigned to a supervisor. They would very much be interested in how you conceptualize your work and how researchable it is within whatever time, cost, risk and quality constraints they may have set. This they would decide in 1-3 minutes of encountering your research proposal. The rest is between you and your supervisor.
Prospective supervisors look for clarity in your proposal and not completeness or correctness per se. The rundown done above helps student researchers to conceptualize their work and also market it. By the Research Proposal, researcher engages the attention of potential supervisors for their work. Definitely a Research Proposal is a must for student’s research work and students must adhere to its basic elements. Academic departments must also develop a format if they don’t have one and make it available to student long before they embark on their research work itself. To embark on a research project without a research proposal is a blind leap into a maze. Have your research proposal done and done well to proceed confidently!