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Remember that this is not simply a bibliography listing ‘everything written on the subject’.
Be sure to include specific techniques, not just your general approach.
This should include: kinds of resources consulted; methods for collecting and analyzing data; specific techniques (ie statistical analysis; semi-structured interviewing; participant observation); and (brief) rationale for adopting these methods.
Potential supervisors, admissions tutors and/or funders use research proposals to assess the quality and originality of your ideas, your skills in critical thinking and the feasibility of the research project.
Please bear in mind that Ph D programmes in the UK are designed to be completed in three years (full time) or six years (part time).
Your research proposal creates the general idea of your research by highlighting the questions and issues you are going to address in your paper.
To write a research proposal, demonstrate the uniqueness of your research paper.
You should also use this section to make links between your research and the existing strengths of the department to which you are applying.
Visit appropriate websites to find out about existing research taking place in the department and how your project can complement this.
Quite often, students who fit the minimum entrance criteria fail to be accepted as Ph D candidates as a result of weaknesses in the research proposal. (1997): Supervising the Ph D, (Open University Press, Milton Keynes).
To avoid this, keep the following advice in mind: Bell, J. (2001): How to Research, (Open University Press, Milton Keynes). (2000): The Research Student's Guide to Success, (Open University, Milton Keynes).