A colleague of mine is applying for masters (by research) course . She explained to me that the course is asking for a research proposal. But she has not published any papers as such. She asked my help in writing a research proposal in this pretext.
Without helping to completly write her research proposal I explained to her that a good research proposal has the following sections:
- Introduction: which explains why you are performing this research
- Questionnaire: outlining what kind of questions and subjects you want to ask during your survey. This is not the actual questionnaire, which will be a separate part
- Sampling: who is your target group, how many of those do you want to ask and where are they
- Methodology: what is the set up of the research, is this face to face interviews, postal / online questionnaires, focus groups, etc.
- Analysis: what are you going to measure, how do you measure it, what kind of statistical analysis are you performing to validate your data and use as foundation for your conclusions
- Ethical appendix: in this section you have to think about any problems that might occur when asking your questions, are there any possibilities that people might not want to participate.
- Literature review: what research has already been performed in your area, what does this mean to your proposal, are those studies useful or not and why
- Project Plan: outline of what you are going to do when
Based on the above headers I supported her in writing her proposal. She got started with the course and received good grade for her proposal, and I received a nice bottle of wine for the help!