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Five Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Research Proposal
If you are interested in furthering your education and decide to undertake a PhD then you can expect to have to produce a high quality research proposal in order for your application to be accepted. Application for PhD's across all faculties is very competitive and as such only the best students can expect to be selected. With this in mind it is important that you understand some of the common mistakes that applicants make on their research proposals. It is hoped that by reading the information below that you can avoid these errors and submit a successful research proposal.
Before you begin researching and writing a proposal, it is very important that you take the time to check there is a professor or other suitably qualified teacher at the University of your choice that shares similar research interests. Ideally your research proposal will share some similarities with the teaching expertise of someone within the school. It is amazing how many students do not check this small fact, but every year candidates are rejected not on the basis of their work, but by the fact that no-one is qualified to supervise their thesis.
The basis of your thesis will be constructed within your research proposal and so it is important to make sure that it is well written, is grammatical correct and expresses succinctly the key points of the proposal. So many research proposals are rejected because the applicant failed to take the time to present a balanced view of the existing literature within the area of research. Moreover, they are also unable to argue the need for further research.
Perhaps the most common mistake that students make is a complete misjudgment of the importance of the topic that they want to study. In other words, your research needs to demonstrate why it is important for further study to take place. What does the original research miss and what questions remain unanswered? You do not have to discover a ground-breaking theory or create controversy with your research, just consider the evidence and then present a logical and well argued proposal for further research.
Many students will find that the methodology that they plan to use is not suitable for the type of research that is available. Often, a research proposal is rejected because the candidate does not understand the importance of the methodology, nor do they grasp the need to fully demonstrate how they plan to test the hypothesis that they have declared within the proposal.
It is therefore important that you fully research what kind of methodology is available for the proposed study and if you are unsure you should seek advice from someone within the faculty.
The last mistake that many students make centers on the conclusion. If you write a short and vague conclusion that fails to link the previous research and the need for further study then you can expect the research proposal to be rejected. A conclusion needs to review the important parts of the proposal so that the reader can logical see how you have understood the debates and the existing research, identified a need to develop this and finally demonstrated how you plan to achieve your results. This last section is crucial as it must avoid any ambiguity about what it is that you intend to research.
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