WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL Dr. Ahmad Jusoh
On what criteria are research proposal judged? • Do you have a clear idea of what you plan to research? Does your proposal have focus? • Is it a topic worthy of academic study and significance? • Do you demonstrate an adequate understanding of the debates in the literature on this topic? • Is the project feasible? Do you have a realistic idea of how you are going to tackle the investigation? • Is it doable within the time constraints? • Does the bibliography and referencing conform to accepted conventions? Is it technically faultless?
The format of a research proposal:Chapter 1: Introduction • Research Background (introduction) • Research Problem and Research Questions • The engine of your thesis • How to identify Research Problem? • Literature Driven. • READ, READ, READ & NO SHORT-CUT • Demonstrate that you are familiar with the academic debates on the issues chosen. • It should focus on a gap in the debates /a puzzle / an ambiguity • You should be able to explain why it is a problem and why it is worthy of study. • If the answer to the question is already known, or one on which there is scholarly consensus, then the question is not worth pursuing. • Questions can start with “can?”, “should?”, “is?”, “how?”, “what?”, “why?” etc.
Chapter 1: Introduction • Research Objectives • Derived from research questions • Objective: Which is the problem your thesis hopes to address and aimed at an academic audience. • Your thesis must have an academic aim as its central aim. • Consider starting your objectives with words like “To…: explore, investigate, analyze, determine, understand, compare, evaluate, assess. • Significant of the study • Academic/ theoretical i.e; To understand the phenomena • Strategic/practical i.e; To provide recommendation for policy makers. • Definitions of Terms
Chapter 2: Literature Review A review of the relevant literature • The literature review is crucial to formulating the framework of the research. • Examine past and recent studies that act as a basis for proposed study. • Begin from comprehensive perspective moving to more specific studies (that relate to your problem). • Discuss the current status of your topic • Avoid the inessential literature. • Emphasize on the: • importance results, most recent findings and conclusion of other studies. Any contradict findings? • trend from previous research • In what context is most of the literature located • Methodologyor design (that could be duplicated or should be avoided)
Chapter 2: Literature Review • Emphasize on the .. (conti.) • The interpretation of the key concepts • What theoretical model relates to your research topic? • Demonstrate that you have some sense of the debates in literature around the topic. • Must show relationship between literature & Problem Statement. • Discussion of the relationship between the important variables provide basis for hypothesis development. • The literature review help you to formulate the framework of the research.
Chapter 3: Methodology • Describe “How you are going to do”-> Research design. • Unit of analysis (respondents): individual? Company? Provide justification!! • Purpose of study: Exploration? Description? Hypothesis testing? • Research Design: • Sampling Procedure…Justification!!! • Data Collection Method: • Quantitative? Survey / secondary data.. Justification!!! • Qualitative?? Structured or semi structured Interview?/ Participant Observation?.. Justification!!! • Reliability & validity of the instrument • Result of the pilot test • Data Analysis techniques: Parametric/non-parametric/qualitative? … Justification!!!