5 minute self test
1. How long should a research proposal be?
a. 1 – 3 pages
b. 3 – 7 pages
c. 7 – 15 pages
d. 15 – 20 pages
2. Which of the following is NOT needed in a research proposal?
a. a research question
b. a list of references
c. a detailed literature review
d. a research timetable
3. How can proposed research be justified?
a. a gap in the literature needs to be addressed
b. an unusual or improved methodology is to be used
c. the research may benefit policy and practice
d. all of the above
4. The research plan:
a. should commit you to a plan of action
b. should be a substantial part of the proposal
c. should show your project is well organised and achievable
d. is the same as the research timetable
Check your answers on Page 8
Use this sheet to help you:
understand the main elements that comprise a research proposal
prepare a well-structured and well-written research proposal
This publication can be cited as: Davies, W. M. (2007),
Research Proposals, Teaching and Learning Unit, Faculty
of Business and Economics, the University of Melbourne.
Further credits: Beaumont, T. (content changes and
editing), Pesina, J. (design and layout).
The importance of the research proposal
A research proposal is a document of usually three to seven pages that informs others of
a proposed piece of research. This proposed research is usually a Masters or Doctorate
by thesis, but it can also be work for a corporate purpose. University students usually
write research proposals for academics who may eventually supervise the work based
on the proposal.
A research proposal can be rejected as unsuitable or poorly designed and on the basis
of this, a piece of research can be rejected. The proposal is, therefore, an important
document; one that is worth spending some time on to get right.
Another reason to get the proposal right is that this can save you time in the long run. If
the proposal is well-designed, it can form