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The goal of this assignment is to produce a professional standard academic/research proposal that shows
how you would go about examining and investigating a topic of your choice. The term ‘professional’ is used
because this report will be very much like those that are produced for postgraduate research and in private
research organisations.
Your main assessment is the detailed proposal of how you will investigate and examine this problem in more
detail in the future. In summary, it will include and examination of the methods you will use to gather
information, a succinct literature review, a proposal of time it will take for each task, possible problems that
you will have to tackle, what you hope your will achieve, and why it will be useful. This will have a word count
of 3500 words maximum.
‘Research Project Proposal’.
Worth 100% of the assessment marks.
All headings will be supported with supplementary documents and indicative examples on Moodle. You are
expected to submit drafts and can do so up to five times. Every 10% over each section word count is a
reduction of 5 (five) percent for that part.
1. Abstract.
This is a summary of your planned research proposal.
250 words and 5% of the marks
2. Literature review.
This outlines the background against which you will conduct your research by summarising the current state
of knowledge and recent debates on the topic. The objective is to demonstrate an understanding of the field
and to place your project in the context of the existing state of knowledge and debates.
1000 words, 30% of the marks
3. Research questions.
Try and focus on just one or two key questions, though they may then have related secondary questions that
derive from them. Research questions are the ‘breakdown’ of your overall hypothesis.
50 words, 10% of the marks
4. Research methodology.
Outline your research methods, explaining how you are going to conduct your research, and cite your
methods based on academic literature that has used these methods. Broadly you need to consider if you
want to undertake a quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods approach. It is advised to start with the line
“This proposal will adopt a quantitative/qualitative/mixed methods approach…” (or something similar) and
take it from there. You also need to explain the practicalities of your chosen methods, not just the reason for
choosing it/them. For example, if you are going to do any field work or collect raw data (e.g. interviews,
opinion surveys) provide details of what you intend to do, why and how (who will you interview? How many
interviews will you conduct? Will there be problems of access? How will you ‘code’ them?). If your proposed
research is primarily library or archive based, explain where your key resources are located and how you will
access them (considering the time needed). Crucially you must explain how you are going to analyze your
research findings/what methods you will use to interpret data collected and this has to be fully cited. Before
you start this unit, you won’t necessarily know this, but there is a vast wealth of methods available to you.
You are also expected to provide a budget for all this.
1500 words 30% of the marks
5. A Gantt chart.
This is a graphic representation of the time you think you need to complete stages of the project.
50 words 10% of the marks f
6. Significance and contribution.
Explain how your finished project will add to our understanding of the subject area you are examining, and
ideally what wider impact it will have, ideally a public impact. Why the public should care, and how it would
benefit them matters.
650 words 10% of the marks
7. Bibliography.
Provide a short bibliography identifying the most important sources for your project.
No word count, 5% of the marks
We are not assessing the research project itself, just whether you can preliminary plan and work out
how you might tackle a research problem.

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