This tutorial is designed for graduate students who are required to submit a research proposal as a condition of their candidature or who wish to write one for their own purposes.
The purpose of this tutorial is to help you develop an approach for writing a clear and focused research proposal.
The review should summarise, analyse, categorise and compare the most significant works - it does not need to cover everything that has been written on the topic.
Most importantly, it should clearly demonstrate the gap or problem that your research project will address by outlining both the strengths and the limitations of previous research.
Finally, anticipate any potential barriers that you will face in carrying out your research design.
No method is perfect, so you need to describe what the shortcomings will be and explain how you will address them.It should also contain a statement of the progress that you have made to date.The timeline should also factor in other research related activities such as conferences and publications (if applicable).The following questions will help you to formulate your study/project design.You might find it useful to organise your responses into a table, mind-map, or flow-chart (see example below).It does not show a complete study design for this project.It illustrates the advantages of mapping out goals, sources and theories as a means of planning your study design.It will also help you to foresee problems that you may encounter during your candidature and prompt you to think about how you will manage them when they arise.Writing a research proposal engages a number of skills.These skills can be grouped into three clusters: The proposal gives you an opportunity to exhibit your mastery of subject knowledge and familiarity with current research trends.A good research proposal displays evidence of advanced analysis, evaluation and synthesis skills, as well as creativity and the ability to combine vertical and lateral thinking.