Rationale - contextualise your questions/aims in a broader field of study, identifying the main literature that you are addressing.
There is no set formula for your research proposal in terms of length or what you include in it.
It is quality, not quantity, that counts to demonstrate that you have a clear and concise way of thinking.
An ideal proposal should leave the reader feeling in no doubt that you have done some preliminary research about your subject and that you are knowledgeable and ready to tackle the challenges of a Ph D. Always ask someone else to read your proposal before you submit it, and to offer you some critical but supportive feedback.
Give your proposal your utmost attention and time, but also be realistic ‐ you are not expected to know everything at this stage. Remember that a research proposal is about what you want to study; it immediately reflects your initial understanding of, and commitment to, Ph D study.
You should discuss the intellectual importance of your work, its contribution to your subject area, and its originality, which, in time, form three of the four main criteria for assessing your Ph D.
Set out your terms of reference clearly and precisely.Your research proposal needs to outline the nature of your proposed research project and give some indication of how you will conduct your research.It is an integral part of the postgraduate research application process, so it is certainly worth investing time and energy into it.A research proposal can and should make a positive and powerful first impression about your potential to become a good researcher.Importantly, the main purpose is to enable the university to assess whether you are a good ‘match’ for our supervisors and our areas of research expertise.These may cover what you intend to achieve by the research in general and, more specifically, how the research fits the background and the outcomes from the project.Methods and techniques – Explain how your approach to collecting and analysing information will help you satisfy your aims and objectives.This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, Ph D.Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas.It is for this reason that prescribing a ‘one-size-fits-all’ method for research proposal writing is a difficult task, but the strongest proposals are likely to contain many of the following: Background – You should establish the context to, and rationale for, your research based on a reading of the relevant academic and/or practitioner literature.Where possible, cite relevant authors and studies, and explain how this research builds on your previous academic work or professional experience.