For postgraduate students, finding a topic for their research proposal to work on their master’s thesis or dissertation is the quintessential part of their coursework and it can also be very time-consuming. The research proposal and project are not only essential for passing the course, but also define the students’ abilities to pass the test, show critical thinking skills and how they work independently and on research-based projects.
The Research Proposal and Its Purpose
Postgraduate research projects are usually written in the form of a thesis or dissertation and are of such high importance that graduate students may find this is the one are where they need to compile the most important information that’s well organized and precise. Master’s students should know that their research proposal will be brief and contain general information.
A research proposal can typically be about 500 words and up to about 1,000 words in length. The purpose of the research proposal will be to cover the essential areas that the research project will further explore. The first step in drafting a research proposal is choosing the appropriate topic. This should be a topic the student identifies with and one that is practical enough to research within the specific time frame.
Format for Writing Research Proposals – Is There a Standard?
Yes, there is a standard. The research proposal template is a standard that all students use and it should be clear and concise. It should also be well-structured and follow a chronology. It must also be achievable and realistic as there are time constraints that should be observed. Close attention should be paid to relevant documentation, all supporting statements, and a clear coherency about the subject matter. The research topic that is chosen should also address any existing gaps that might be encountered within the scope of the relevant literature.
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Steps for Starting a Research Proposal
Once a research topic has been selected, the student will then use it to formulate a research proposal. As we previously mentioned, the research proposal may be about 500 words in length up to 1,000 words in length. The proposal will also include a title, a research question, a brief explanation detailing why that particular topic is relevant, the literature reviewed, the methodology and the time frame. The goal with the proposal is to submit a clear structure and outline that will further expand on the knowledge base about that particular research field. This is why students should seek a topic and research question they are curious and/or passionate about, not just one where they can easily get the approval of the course director.
The next step after the approval is to then start on the research project. The student will then go about carrying out the stages of assembling the research project in strategic stages and cycles that are relevant to all research projects. The student will work on conducting a comprehensive literature review based on the research question, they will define and set up a detailed methodology and test whether it will work. The student will also start to collect their research data and analyze it so they can then draw conclusions defined by their data analysis. The student will also describe the research steps they utilized in depth in their research project.
How to Write a Research Proposal – What’s the Process?
The research project is an important step in completing a student’s coursework. It will show a clear and well-thought plan as a final project. When you write your research proposal format, it’s a summary that will explain what you plan on examining in your research project. It will also explore how the student will go about collecting their data and analyzing it. The proposal will give a general direction the student plans to take with their thesis/dissertation.
For specific requirements such as overall length and the specific information the course director may be looking for and the time frame, the student should refer to the specific requirements that the course director outlines. As the student sets up the proposal, it will have a specific outline and areas to work on. These include:
The Introduction. The introduction states the research question and gives the research plan background information on the subject. It may also give insight to broader issues that may surround the topic.
The Methodology. The methodology outlines the sources the student will use to gather their research and whether they will collect quantitative data or qualitative data. The student will also include how they will analyze their data and if there are any biases in their research.
The Objectives. The objectives the student hopes to achieve will be mentioned here. This is a good area for the student to state the outcomes they may anticipate and goals they hope to achieve with their research.
Literature Reviewed. The literature reviewed will define the various citations the student used for their research. The student may also utilize works from other researchers and mention any differences or similarities they found. This is also an area to give an analysis of the work that others have completed.
Constraints in Research. This last section details any constraints the student may have come across in their research. Some topics may be too broad or have more complex issues related to them and the student can clearly state any constraints they came across in their understanding of the work.
Where to Get Ideas for a Research Proposal?
The student can find several sites online to help them come up with a research proposal idea. To find help online, the student can use the following resources to help them:
- Research Proposal Topic Resources
- Books (Primary and secondary sources)
- Journals (Professional associations, trade journals, magazines)
- Newspapers (New York Times, Wall St. Journal)
- Video Recordings (Documentaries, films)
- Governmental Reports (Census Data, Dept. of Public Health, etc.)
- Other Dissertations and Dissertation Abstracts
Topics for Research Proposals
Here are several ideas for the graduate student in need of proposal topics for their Ph.D. dissertation or Masters Thesis; they are categorized by several of the more popular departments (English, Political Science, History, etc.) and by difficulty, the more simplistic topics most appropriate for a Masters Thesis.
- The Lasting Influence of the Beat Generation: How Their Literature Speaks to Posterity
- Decadence in American Literature
- The Macabre of Edgar Allen Poe
- How the English Language Has Evolved Over the Last 20 Years Due to Improvements in Technology
- Sexuality in Contemporary English/American Literature
- Masochism and Sadism in British Gothic Literature
- The Pointlessness of Poetry in the 21st Century
- The Long-Lasting Effects of Individualism in British Romantic Literature
- Environmental Ethics in American and American Indian Literatures from the 17th Century to the Present
- The Pretentiousness of British Literature and its Exclusion of the American Reader
- How History Helps Humanity Avoid Making the Mistakes of Old
- Women’s Right and Women’s Suffrage
- Imperialism through Asian Eyes
- The Geographical Limitations of the Roman Empire
- The Fall of the Roman Empire
- Eastern Europe Before, During and After Communism
- Comparison of FDR and Winston Churchill During World War II
- Inner-Workings of the European Union
- Changes in Diplomacy After World War II
- The History of Diplomacy Since the Middle Ages
- Malaysian Foreign Policy in the Post-Mahathir Era, (2003-Present)
- The Haitian Crisis of 1991-1994: Constraints and Asymmetry in United States-Latin American Relations
- Christianity in the American South
- Buddhism in the 21st Century
- Spirituality of the Native American Indian
- Interpreting the Bible in the 21st Century
- The Diverging Views of Christianity in Europe
- Advantages and Disadvantages to Standardized Testing the United States
- 21st Century Approaches to Education
- Job-embedded Learning: How Teachers Learn from One Another During the Workday
- A Review and Analysis of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
- Applications and the Relevance of Existentialism in the 21st Century
- Deficient Causation in Leibniz
- Rational Hope in Kant’s Moral Religion
- Heidegger’s Critique of the Cartesian Problem of Skepticism
- The Prescriptivity of Conscious Belief
- Aristotle on Modality and Determinism
- The Effect of Positive Thinking on Life Success
- Identifying Predictors of Aggression in Children
- Anger, Aggression, and Irrational Beliefs in Adolescents
- Emotional Intelligence as a Predictor of Victimization Among Adolescent Males
- Rational Emotive Behavior Play Therapy vs. Client Centered Therapy
- Utilizing a Psycho-Educational Intervention to Reduce the Effects of Exposure to Media Images on Body Image in Young Adolescent Girls
- Adolescent Deviance Within Families and Neighborhoods
- Procedural Justice During Police-Citizen Encounters
- Meta-Analysis of Early Life Influences on Behavior in Criminals
- The Effects of Individual Vulnerability and Lifestyle/Routine Activities on Fear of Crime and Perceptions of Risk in the School Setting
- The Adoption of Crime Prevention Technologies in Public Schools
- A Look at How Objective Journalism and Free Speech Sustains Democracy – and How the Absence of Both Promotes Autocracy
- Publicity Matters: How Promotional Journalism and Public-Relations Marketing Can Go Hand in Hand
- New Journalism: How the Incorporation of Narrative and Fiction Techniques Brought Forth an Innovative Approach to Conveying the News and News-Worthy Topics
- The Transition from Print Media to Online/Digital Media and the Role of Both Moving Forward
Once students have chosen a topic, they will want to ensure it’s suitable for their field of study and narrow enough that they will be able to complete it in the time frame given by their course director. For students that need dissertation or thesis help, contact Essay Masters, the World’s Best Writing Service. With knowledgeable writers that have thorough experience with dissertations, writing a master’s thesis and Ph.D.’s, we can help you with your assignment today. Essay Masters has over 200 Ph.D. level researchers and 1,800 MBA level writers ready to help you with your research project. Contact us today!