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Many people writing research proposals make the mistake of trying to over-complicate their language with the idea that it will make them sound academic / impressive.What is most impressive is having an idea that is worthy of academic research whilst remaining comprehensible.The abstract needs to be entirely your own words, as every abstract will be completely different depending on your topic.
Panda Tip: Depending on the length of your research proposal, you may wish to include a contents page for the proposal itself (not for your main research project: suggested contents for this is included in your Proposed Chapter Outline, section 9), as follows (add page numbers / subsections when you know them, depending on your research).
As you introduce sub-sections into your different sections, number them accordingly e.g.
Example Naturally, the scope of this project is limited. It also will help you to know the scale of your work in the preliminary stages of planning, and help you to have realistic expectations of yourself.
Panda Tip: The reference list should always begin on a new page.
A good way of making your research aim clear is to state a clear research question, and back it up with 2-4 specific assertions or objectives. Do you have the necessary skills and qualifications to undertake your research (for instance foreign languages, statistical analysis, laboratory training, etc)? Once you have collected your data, what do you plan to do with it?
Example My central research question is as follows: Panda Tip: Approx. If not, what are your plans to acquire these skills (note: many postgraduate institutions offer considerable support in the acquisition of new skills necessary to perform research, but this will need discussing at the proposal stage)? Again, depending on the nature of your research, this section could be anywhere from one or two sentences to several paragraphs. This section states everything you won’t be able to do in your research.50-1000 words depending on the nature of your research. Which ones hold the books and documents you will need? Panda Tip: Probably less than 200 words, unless you have a very detailed plan already in mind. It is surprisingly important, as it shows that you can recognise the limited scale of your work.This is where you explain how and where you plan to carry out your research. Note: this is like a preliminary contents page, but it does not need to be very specific, and can suggest sections rather than chapters at this stage, but the academics reading your proposal will be impressed to know that you have some idea how you may wish to present your work, and that you have some way in mind of translating your research to paper. Every project needs distinct limiting factors in order to be manageable. This section is optional, but may be helpful to show your potential supervisors that you are being realistic and recognise that your project has limits.But if you are addressing a wider audience, you need to assume that they have less existing knowledge.In any case, it is important to keep your tone formal and academic, while still being as clear and simple you can in your language.Panda Tip: One sentence for each question/assertion.This is really part of the ‘notion of original research’ section. State whether you will plan to use different methods of data collection, and if so what they will be. Will you be using qualitative or quantitative collection of data?A good way of presenting a literature review coherently is in the form of a narrative, which can either be chronological or thematic.Example There has been a Panda Tip: Length varies, but probably similar length to literature review.Please also note, the abstract, contents page, introduction and references should always appear on new pages on a printed document. Panda Tip: This should be clear and concise, while leaving the reader in no doubt as to your field of study.A good title structure can often be “Short Title: Longer Explanation of Your Field”.