Edith Cowan University
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
Research proposal – an example
The following is a suggested format for a research proposal. Cover Page
The cover page should show:
the student’s name and student number;
the name of the University;
the name of the degree sought;
the name of the principal supervisor; and
the date of submission.
The abstract should be self contained, concise, readable, and one page or less. It should outline what you intend to do, why you believe it needs to be done and what the results will mean in theory and in practise. Introduction
The Background to the Study
This section sets the scene for a naive reader who knows nothing about your research. The Significance of the Study
This section states why it is important to do the research.
The Purpose of the Study or a Statement of the Problem
This section states, in about a paragraph, what you expect to achieve by doing this research or what problem gave rise to the research. This problem statement may be presented in broad terms in qualitative studies. Research Questions
These are unambiguous questions that the research is designed to answer. Hypotheses
These are clear statements that the research is designed to test. Definitions of Terms or Operational Definitions
Define any important terms used in the research questions or elsewhere in the thesis. Review of the literature
The first phase of the literature review should be brief but give the reader enough information to understand the context of the proposed research. It may include references to previous findings and specific studies similar to the current study, and to relevant methodology.
A good literature review:
includes all literature that is relevant to justifying the proposed research; does not include literature that is irrelevant to justifying the proposed research; supports undertaking the proposed research;...
References: Students should consult their Supervisor regarding the choice of the most appropriate referencing style for their
discipline. It is recommended that students use the EndNote or other bibliographical software so that the
reference list is generated automatically by the software.
Appendices may include a time lime, a budget or draft instruments.
Telephone: 134 ECU (134 328) Email: email@example.com
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