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A 750 word research proposal in the Faculties of Arts and Education, Business & Law, or Health is required ( a 300 word proposal is required in Science & Technology and other Institutes) as part of your application.
A good proposal will demonstrate to the university that you have a clear vision of what you want to study, why this is an interesting topic, and how you will approach the research question. In preparing the Proposal you may seek the advice and assistance of the academic with whom you have discussed your proposed topic.
Any reader of the proposal will be asking themselves the following questions, in roughly this order.
What is the focus of your research, the fundamental question? Be sure that your title reflects this.
Why is it important? You need to define the context of the research, its background and significance.
What are the relevant gaps in existing knowledge? Demonstrate your understanding of this by referring to the literature or statements by experts. This should be a brief but critical assessment.
How will your research potentially fill these gaps in our knowledge? What is novel or unique about your proposal? Does it follow on from research that you have already been involved in?
What is your research plan? This section should clearly enunciate the aims of the project and the design or methodology that you will use. This section may occupy a significant proportion of the proposal.
What is the scope of your project? That is, is it narrowly focused on a particular issue or will it seek to answer broad questions? This is where you define the breadth of the project and speak to any limitations or potential obstacles. Remember that the research must be completed within the finite amount of time allowed for your research degree.
What outcomes do you expect from the project? That is, what changes to our understanding might come out of it, and/or who will benefit?
Ensure you write the proposal in clear, simple terminology, and be aware that this is an opportunity to inspire interest in your reader.