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(Source: Brynard & Hanekom (1997): Introduction to research in Public Administration and related academic disciplines; J L van Schaik Academic Publishers, Pretoria, pages 24- 26)

Research encompasses various components which need to be explained or described in a research proposal. The term "research proposal" indicates that a specific course of action will be followed.

The following components can be regarded as steps in the writing of the research proposal. They are important and should be followed for the actual composition of the proposal:

1. Title page of the research proposal
A research proposal should be submitted with a title page on which full particulars pertaining to the following appear: the name of the researcher; student number; course; and the following wording:

Research proposal in preparation of a research project with the following proposed detail:"..... " (For example: "The education in Public Administration of chief directors employed in provincial government departments")

2. Introduction
Emphasise the importance of the proposed research and describe the research topic or theme. This is usually done in one or two paragraphs. In all cases it should be stated whether a relationship exists between the proposed research and research undertaken before. If no such research has been undertaken previously, this should be pointed out.

3. Motivation
Present, as clearly as possible, the source of interest in the topic or theme. Also motivate why the topic justifies the research. Indicate what is proposed with the research. For example, the topic was selected because of practical problems experienced in the particular field.

4. Preliminary survey/scrutiny of relevant literature
Indicate that a literature survey was undertaken and that it enabled the researcher to demarcate the research problem clearly. Explain that relevant publications (books, legislation, documents, files, etc.) have...
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