How to write a good research proposal

1º Does it meet your institution requirements? Be sure of identifying your institution´s assessment criteria. You might develop a great research in the eyes of some journal or different institution, but if you really want to graduate or obtain a good grade, following your supervisor requirement might be crucial. For instance, some of them could emphasize the need of major theory framework, while others a more pragmatic approach. Though in many cases, the decision lies on the own students.

2º Is it linked to theory? In future posts we will emphasize the importance of linking your research to theory. So far, just take into account that regardless you are thinking of a more low-theoretical relevance research, a minimum theory makes the difference, but mainly because will allow you to meet the requirement that derives from the next question.

3º Does it provide fresh insights into the topic? In other words, to what extent your research provides new knowledge into your research topic. For this reason, having knowledge of the existing theory is crucial to know in what you may contribute.

4º Is the topic clearly stated? The research question and objectives must be formulated clearly, explaining, at the same time, which exactly insights your research contribute in.

5º Does it match you career goals? Doing your own research is doubtless a great opportunity to develop your particular area of interest, academic branch or industry sector or, in case you don´t even have it, a chance to find it.

6º Are you fascinated with it? A topic in which you are just vaguely interested will be an obstacle to do your best. What are your discipline or branch of interest?, what about your personal interests? What make you happy? (see also)

7º Is doable in the available time? Assure that your project is doable within the time provided by your instructor.

8º Is realistic in financial terms? As student, and unless you are provided with a considerable amount of funds, such methods as telephone survey are unaffordable while others like interviews or secondary data might be more appropriate.

9º Do you own the skills to do it? Or would you be able to acquire such skills in the time allowed by the course of study? It is desirable that you develop as many skills as you can throughout the course. However, be aware that some skills like those related to languages or very sophisticated software could be out of your capability in a short term.

10º Do you have access to data? It is likely to be the reason that makes many researchers reformulates some of the research objective throughout the research process. Not always the information required exists or has public access. Try to make a previous assessment of the access to data when formulating your research topic.

10References

Becker, H. S. (2007). Writing for social scientists: How to start and finish your thesis, book, or article University of Chicago Press.

Camino, J. R. (2011). Cómo escribir y publicar una tesis doctoral ESIC Editorial.

Lewis, P., Saunders, M. N. K., & Thornhill, A. (2009). Research methods for business students Pearson.

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2 thoughts on “How to write a good research proposal”

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