Social Research Proposal

A research problem is distinct from a topic in that it is more specific and orients research toward an analysis or solution. If you already know the answer to the question, or if it can be obtained through a few simple inquiries, it is not an adequate research problem.

A research proposal informs the reader (your advisor) about the scope and scale of the issue or idea that you wish to explore in your project.

Your proposal should include the following sections: Research is not a summary of what is available on a given topic but an original analysis of a specific problem.

Ideally this timetable should be presented in three month segments. Quality is more important than quantity, demonstrating engagement with relevant literatures - both subject-specific and methodological - as appropriate.

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You may also want to refer to other exemplary empirical studies from which you have taken your inspiration.

You should identify the method or methods you propose to use, and justify these choices - i.e., explain why this method is being used in preference to others.Finally you may also indicate the status of the data you will gather – e.g., to what extent will these data capture or mirror the 'reality' of the phenomena under examination?how objective can you as a researcher expect to be? You will certainly need to refer to the literature on research methods.Your research questions/aims can appear in any form, and certainly do not need to be expressed in the form of testable hypotheses.Do ensure however that they are sufficiently narrow – one of the reasons why many research degree applications are not successful is because the terrain outlined in the relevant proposal is simply too broad for a doctoral project.Please also remember that the research degree thesis is first and foremost an academic endeavour, not a consultancy or applied research project.(Suggested Word Count: 100-300) This section should outline the empirical work you plan to undertake, if relevant.You may want to use a title and a subtitle separated by a colon.(Suggested Word Count: 15) Explain the academic context from which your research emerges.Theoretical research typically involves an analysis of a chosen research issue/question which engages critically with appropriate theorists or theoretical traditions.You should explain what these traditions or theorists are and why they have been selected to address your research question.


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