Prior starting the dissertation, it is imperative to first write down the research proposal. This is required irrespective of the level and different subjects the researchers are studying. The candidate is needed to submit a proposal to the department in order to get approval of topic of dissertation. Even though some fine tuning of the topic is available during the dissertation writing process. Numbers of reasons are being involved for the submission of the proposal. The most important reason is that the department or the committee should be convinced that the subject which candidate has wished to study is feasible in nature. In other words, it can be said that he or she should know that the breadth of the topic being proposed is not too small and too wide. Each and department wants their candidates or students to perform and well and thus, they try to render help in the direction before the actual written work is being started.
Other than this, the next reasons as to why dissertation proposal is required, candidates need some experts to mark the work. Therefore, the proposal is just a snapshot of the proposed topic that allows the department to allot an appropriate tutor to the candidate who has knowledge about the particular topic. After deciding the general areas for the research, the next important thing is to write a title in the proposal document. It can be written just by narrowing the focus of the research. In addition to this, the research proposal also comments upon various issues, which are quite general and needs the researcher or candidate to write merely 1,000 words. Bibliography is not included in this word count. Normally, the researcher is needed to write the in the future tense, since it that work, which is not yet started. Within the dissertation proposal document, the following sections should be addressed; however the exact list may vary according the subject or topic under study.
The Proposed Dissertation Title
The researcher need not to be worried; if the title is somewhat vague or it alters while writing the actual piece of work. The proposal is exactly that a proposal and therefore, it is a statement of objective, somewhat than an absolute guarantee. In simpler words, each and everything being mentioned in the proposal will be included by the researcher in the final dissertation.
Introduction and Background
It is very much significant for the researcher to make their department understand that why the work is vital and why he or she has chosen that particular subject area. For instance, if the candidates are writing in regards with the Master’s level and undergraduate than it is unlikely that they will be breaking ground in a fundamental manner or determining something innovative. Relatively, it is more likely that they will be going to interpret the existing information in a slightly different manner. Further, researchers might be searching for a specific issue and relating knowledge that already exists in relation with the chosen topic. The reason as to why the researchers want to undertake the research as well as the background of the subject area should be summarized in just 150 words. Than after this, they are required to explain the approach that will be adopted in the study in next 150 words. In addition to this, research methodology such as data collection sources, analysis of the existing literatures, surveys, questionnaire, and interviews will be undertaken or not should be included as an introduction in the proposal.
Research Methodology and Ethical Considerations
There are many dissertations, which does not include this section such as law dissertations. The researcher needs to check this whether the particular chapter have to be included in the dissertation or not. If it is not, than the word count can be used to boost up the other chapters of the proposal. On the other hand, if the particular section has to be comprised in proposal than it should contain 250 words approximately on research methodology and ethical considerations. The research methodology will throw light on various techniques that the researcher is intended to use. The main research techniques are qualitative and quantitative, primary as well as secondary. Furthermore, the methodology section of the proposal should make reference to a number of key books on the subject and it should also put remark on the research approach that the researcher will take. Here, he or she should specify the reason as to why the other research approaches are not included. Talking about the ethical consideration, it may or may not exist in the research study. For instance, if the researcher is writing a dissertation related to subject history i.e. on the wool trade in 14th century Suffolk than it is dubious that he or she will be going to face any ethical considerations. However, on the other side of the coin, if the researcher is studying in regards with the patients being receiving the cancer treatment presently in the ward than there might be number of ethical considerations that will be needed to address. Some of the considerations might be that the researcher should deliberately show that he or she will maintain the confidentiality of the document of participants and will ensure proper secrecy of their sensitive documents and answers being collected through interviews. Further, the researcher should make some reference to the code of ethical conduct that is being operated by his or her university.
This is considered as the most important section, as it significantly highlights some of the existing knowledge about the subject or topic as well as relation between them. He should also depict or show that the current research study will add into the existing body of knowledge and his work is also grounded in the existing outlook. Taking about the proposal, the literature review should be of around 300 to 500 words only. It can also vary on the basis of subject, topic and course being undertaken. It is essential to remember that review section should be referenced as per the system being preferred by the University i.e. Oxford, Harvard, APA, MLA etc. direct quotes should be not included and if it is, than it must be kept minimum.
Draft Chapter Structure
The content of the draft chapter vary depending upon the subject area, topic, course, and place of study. However, the main purpose of the draft chapter remains the same i.e. to make the lecturers aware that how the chapters, sections and the whole work are being structured. It is not at all necessary that the researcher has to follow the draft structure being submitted by him; rather it can be just treated as a guide at the time of writing the dissertation and will remind him about the actual word counts required in a particular section. The generalized draft of the chapter structure is being discussed below:
- 1. Introduction and background: Introduction, background, research questions, aims, objectives and rationale
- 2. Research methodology: Discussion in relation with the qualitative and various quantitative approaches, the suitability of closed and open-ended questions and issues related to the administration of the questionnaires, ethical considerations of the research
- 3. Literature Review: It should include the evaluation of the existing literature and how they all are related with the current piece of work. It should include all the specific points being addressed by the current dissertation
- 4. Discussion and analysis: Herein, examination of the findings or outcomes of the research study is being discussed. Analysis of the data can be performed by adopting several qualitative as well as quantitative techniques.
- 5. Conclusion:This chapter is the final part of the dissertation and thus, must summarize the points being made in the argument. This will encompass the evaluation of the study, research limitation and recommendations
Draft Timetable of Research
It becomes imperative for the researcher to encompass the details related to how the time will be spent, if it is assumed that the researcher will take 10 to 2 months in order to write the dissertation. Again, it is not necessary that the researcher follows the time table being written in the proposal document. There can be some items which will take less time and others might become too longer. But, seeking help from the draft time table the lecturer will be able to comment that whether the suggestions are realistic or not.
It is quite important to remember that the initial bibliography is not included in the word count. Researcher should make effort to encompass at least 20 journal articles as well as books in the draft bibliography. He or she should not include more than 3 to 4 online sources i.e. websites. The proposed bibliography must also offer some suggestion related to the key texts that the researcher will be going to use. He or she must include those texts, which they have cited in the literature review of the proposal’s document, methodology as well as ethical considerations.
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