The purpose of writing the proposal is to demonstrate to the examiners (the department) that (1) you have an important (research) question to study, (2) the question is not answered yet by other researchers, and (3) you are capable of answering the question.
An effective written proposal is the one that can convince the readers (examiners) that you have achieved the three purposes above. Demonstrate them clearly and logically.
The information the examiners usually want to know in the proposal is:
The title should reflect the focus and location of the research (reflect the research question).
Introduction (chapter I)
The research question
A good research question should be important, not answered yet by other researchers (can contribute to the development of human knowledge_, and researchable.
The background of study (sometimes titled ‘Statement of the problem’)
- What makes the answering of the stated research question deemed necessary? (e.g. because there is a problem in the society that cannot be solved (at least part of them) without knowing the answer to the research question.)
- The background of study should directly related to the research question (don’t go around and around).
Objectives of the study
Basically, to find out the answer to the research question.
Significance of the study
Why is this research very important? Why is anwering the research question is very important for the society (readers)? What benefit will the readers (society) get if the research question is answered?
Scope and limitation of the study
What are covered in the research and what are not?
Definition of key terms
Should define only those important terms used in the research which may confuse the readers if not defined because of different interpretation.
Review of related literature (Chapter II)
- To show (prove) that the proposed research questions are not yet answered by other researchers studying the same topics (to show the gaps in the human knowledge about that topic).
- To give background information about the (unfamiliar) theory used in the analysis of the collected data in the study.
The review of related literature should be written thematically showing their relevance to the proposed study and their scope and limitations.
Research methodology (Chapter III)
The function of this chapter is, basically, to tell the readers how you are going to answer your proposed research question. Usually this chapter consists of:
How do you design your research?
- The data you need to answer your proposed research wuestion
What kind of data do you need to answer your proposed research question?
- The source of data
- Where do you plan to get the data from? (people or/and non-people)
- Are the sources of data valid and reliable?
- The location of the research
Where do you plan to conduct your study?
- Procedures for collecting the data
- How do you plan to collect the data?
- Do you plan to use an instrument in collecting the data? What is it (are they)?
- Are the instruments valid and reliable? How do you prove it?
- How do you use the instruments to guarantee that they can produce valid and reliable data? Explain in detail so that the readers can follow (repeat) them exactly.
- Procedures for analyzing the collected data
- How do you plan to analyze the data you have collected?
- Do you plan to use statistics in analyzing the data? What statistics do you plan to use? Is the statistics appropriate for analyzing the data?
- What is the procedures for analyzing the collected data? Explain in details so that the readers can follow them repeat the exactly.