Content and Structure of your Research Proposal Brief and Guidelines
1. Institution and Department
2.Proposed Dissertation Title:
For the submission of the proposal you will need a working title which indicates clearly the subject area of the Dissertation. You may adjust the wording of the title up to the point of final submission after discussion with your tutor.
– Your topic must be feasible and focused. When you select a topic make sure it satisfies the following conditions:
1. You can access data
2. You have the skills and interest to pursue it to completion
3. The scope is tight enough that it can be achieved within the given time and length constraints.
4.It is related to Business Administration and Management
3. Student’s Name
The purpose of this section is to present a short abstract that outlines the essence of the research project. It describes the purpose and motivation for the study and the statement of the problem, the data collection methodology and analysis, and the significant results and implications of the research.
Table of Contents
Lists the sections of the research proposal (headings and indented sub-headings) and the corresponding page numbers.
This part can begin with two introductory paragraphs and the primary goal is to catch the attention of the reader. These paragraphs set the stage for the research aiming to identify a business problem/topic of interest related to the Business Administration and/or the courses taught or discuss issues/matters concerning an organization or an industry.
The introduction provides background information for the research (i.e. the problem being addressed) and is typically structured from general information to narrow or focused ideas; whereupon your research question/s are presented. The Introduction includes a brief review of relevant literature or knowledge in the field, so that you can present the gap in the existing knowledge and, therefore, the significance and originality – the purpose and aim – of your research.
The introduction of a research proposal needs to include:
1. Clear Statement of the Problem
2. Purpose of the Study
3. Background of the study: Key terms and Definitions from related theories
4. Significance of the Investigation
5. Research Questions
Research QuestionsHypotheses (sub-section in the Introduction):
This sub-section in the Introduction, states the purpose of your study and the research questions. In this sub-section, you have to underline the reasons for which your study is significant and how will contribute to the research and add knowledge to the field of study. What is the primary question you are trying to solve?
Research Aim and Objectives (sub-section in the Introduction): Aim
The aim is a general statement of the intent or direction for the research; what are you trying to achieve?
Objectives are specific and clear statements of the intentions and outcomes of your research. What are you trying to achieve? Objectives should be followed by the justification (justification is the rationale for doing the research; why the research needs to be done).
In this section you summarise the key literature that you have so far read and state how the ideas or findings within them have relevance to your work. The main aim is to demonstrate exactly how your research will contribute to conversations in the field:
• Compare and contrast: what are the main theories, methods, debates?
• Be critical: what are the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches?
• Show how your research fits in: how will you build on, challenge, or synthesize the work of others?
Your literature review section must provide support for the research question that you intend to investigate. It is recommended that you provide at least 10 – 15 key academic literature references with your proposal as an indicative reference list. These must be journal papers or books. It is expected that your final Dissertation will cite between 30 to 40 relevant and credible references. You must use the APA-style reference system in both the body of the text and your Reference section.
This section presents your proposed research method. You should state whether you intend to undertake qualitative or quantitative research methods for your secondary data analysis and justify your decision. The method should be clearly explained, giving details of your intended sample, research instrument and data collection method.
You should make clear your intended data analysis technique(s) and how you intend to present your findings.
Identify any potential practical and ethical implications in relation to your research activity.
Expected ResultsPotential Implications
This chapter details any expected results that you may have. It is important to relate these results to the critical framework of your intended research.
Additionally, the purpose of this section is to argue how you anticipate that your research will refine, revise, or extend existing knowledge in the area of your study. Depending upon the aims and objectives of your study, you should also discuss how your anticipated findings may impact future research. For example, is it possible that your research may lead to a new policy, theoretical understanding, or method for analyzing data? How might your study influence future studies? What might your study mean for future practitioners working in the field? Who or what might benefit from your study? How might your study contribute to social, economic, or environmental issues?
Timetable – Research Schedule
The timeline will help you to organize and arrange your program in order to complete everything on time. Also, it will be useful for any other stakeholders such as tutors, supervisors, or clients to know what to expect. It lists the stages of the research project in the timeline, spreadsheet, or tabular format, and the deadlines for completion of these stages or tasks. You should include any challenges to completion that you anticipate facing.
A basic structure of your timeline could be the following (The activities can change according to your project):
Research topic &
Research philosophy and
Indicative References sources
The reference section is the section of all the documents you have cited in your project and it is found at the end of the body of your work, but before your appendices. In this section, if you refer to work by another author (including theories, models, measurement scales, or diagrams) you must cite the original author and source. References are included within the text to enable any reader who is interested to be able to find the complete details of the work you have drawn upon.
The University requires that you use the APA System of referencing, both within the body of your work and also within your reference list at the end of your work. These are listed in alphabetical order. The reference section is useful to those marking your work to see the scope of your reading in the preparation of your project. It is also useful for future readers to access your cited references.
Appendices normally contain secondary, or supporting material, whose inclusion in the main body of the research proposal would either make the project difficult to read, or is not very important. If there is more than one appendix they should all be numbered with capital letters, e.g., Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.
Revision and Proofreading
As in any other piece of academic writing, it’s essential to redraft, edit and proofread your research proposal before you submit it.
• Font: Times New Roman
• Size: 12
• Line spacing: 1 ½
• Your Research Proposal must have page numbers (bottom center is recommended).
• The word limit of your research proposal is 1500-2000 (±10%) words (not including tables, diagrams, appendices and references).
• The submission of the research proposal is due by the end of Week 2, Sunday 11:59 pm (23:59 hours) VLE (UTC) time on the due date at the latest.
• This assignment is formative (not graded); however, you are encouraged to submit your research proposal as you will receive constructive feedback from your tutor that will help you when developing and drafting your Dissertation.
• The research proposal will be submitted in PDF format.
• This is an individual assessment, not a group task.
• Your assignment should reflect scholarly writing and APA Referencing standard. Be sure to adhere to Academic Integrity Policy by avoiding plagiarism through text-citing and acknowledging other author's work.
• Academic Integrity Policy: Students are expected to demonstrate academic integrity by completing their own work, assignments, and other assessment exercises. Submission of work from another person, whether it is from printed sources or someone other than the student; previously graded papers; papers submitted without proper citations; or submitting the same paper to multiple courses without the knowledge of all instructors involved can result in a failing grade. Incidents involving academic dishonesty will be reported to university officials for appropriate sanctions. Furthermore, students must always submit work that represents their original words or ideas. If any words or ideas used in an assignment or assessment submission do not represent the student’s original words or ideas, all relevant sources must be cited along with the extent to which such sources were used. Words or ideas that require citation include, but are not limited to, all hard copy or electronic publications, whether copyrighted or not and all verbal or visual communication when the content of such communication originates from an identifiable source.
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