Your research proposal should consist of two key pieces of content:
- Thesis Statement The key ideas explored in your research project
- Methodology How you will go about exploring those key ideas
A guide for structuring your research proposal.
Develop your research topic as a question, as it suggests a process of investigation. What are you trying to find out? If a question is not appropriate, a topic is also fine.
Background to research question and ideas
Describe the context of your investigation and your own personal and intellectual history. What led you to your current research interests?
Aims of research
Specify the aims of your investigation. What do you hope to explore and achieve?
Explain your research methodology. Suggestions include: close textual analysis, archival research, fieldwork, interviews, practical experiments or performance analyses. You may wish to include a practical component to either inform, enrich, illustrate or complement other aspects of the research methods.
Relevant comparative research, literature and examples
Demonstrate that you are (at least a little) familiar with the field you wish to research. A list of six relevant texts you wish to explore is a good start. A literature review may be one of the first tasks of your research project.
Research paper chapters
If you already have an idea of how you wish to write your research paper, include a breakdown of the chapter structure. List the chapter titles and a few sentences on the argument and/or content of each. This can of course be changed at a later stage as the research progresses.
Your research proposal should be no longer than three pages.
Before submitting your final research proposal to the school, we strongly recommend sharing your draft research proposal with your preferred research supervisor. They can provide feedback and suggestions for strengthening your proposal.
Faculty of Arts guidelines to preparing a research proposal.