If you have completed your undergraduate studies, and you are interested in undertaking further studies to advance your academic career and qualifications, then the next stage of your assessment may include a master’s research proposal.
What Is a Master’s Research Proposal?
A master’s research proposal aims to demonstrate that you have identified a research subject that is worthy of investigation and study. It is also essential that you demonstrate that the research subject that you are considering is something that is manageable within the timescale that you would have available. The criteria that you need to consider is that your proposed research project would make a significant contribution to the understanding of that subject or the field in which you are studying.
In this article, we will walk through some of the key elements that you need to include or consider in your master’s research proposal.
Step 1 – Title
While at this stage of the process, the title that you give your research proposal is provisional only, it is important that you are clear and concise in your title, make sure that the reader can immediately understand the subject that you are proposing to study.
Step 2 – Introduction
In the introduction, you should immediately highlight the questions that are central to the research that you are proposing. You need to be able to articulate the contribution that your research will make to the chosen field of study.
Step 3 – Background
In this ‘background’ section, you are essentially taking the questions that you identified in your introduction and expanding on them, giving more depth and context. Try and set out your research questions in as much detail as possible. Explain to the reader the specific areas that are going to be exploring and why it is important that these areas are explored. Reinforce the contribution that this research will make to your academic discipline.
Step 4 – Research
In this section, you need to set out the research methods that you will be using in this piece of work. Detail the sources that you intend to use, detail the analysis that you will need to complete. Also, make it clear where you are going to access the information that you need. Ensure that you are able to explain how this research is going to help you answer the research questions that you have identified in the introduction.
Step 5 – Schedule
This part of your paper is particularly important for demonstrating that you have considered whether this project is manageable within the time period that you have available. This type of masters research is expected to take three or four years. Map out the work involved and demonstrate how you will be able to deliver your research within the time available.
Step 6 – Bibliography
Any reference points that you have used in this proposal need to be properly documented in the bibliography part. This is the basic academic practice. Use a standard bibliography format that is accepted by your academic institution.
A successful Master’s research proposal is an important step when taking your academic studies to the next level. Make sure that you consider all of the different requirements and give yourself the best chance for success.