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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.
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.
This is the section that requires the most preliminary research: make sure you spend some time in an academic library and using search engines for relevant academic papers before presenting this.
You do not need to discuss every work in your area, but you need to present a competent outline, and, especially if this is a proposal for doctoral research, you need to be sure that no-one else has already done the same project.
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.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.The abstract needs to be entirely your own words, as every abstract will be completely different depending on your topic.Like the rest of the document, apart from block quotations, it should be double-spaced and laid out clearly.Panda Tip: Please note that the nature of a research proposal will vary depending on your specific audience.If, for example, you are addressing only academics in your precise field, you can be quite specific about your area of study and assume a high degree of existing knowledge.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.It demonstrates that you know your field, who the key research players are in it, what has been said in the past and what is being said at the moment.You will want to mention, and where appropriate quote from, key works in your area.