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Tips for Writing a Research Proposal and Coursework

What is a Research Proposal for a Master's Project?

The 1st assessment of this module is in the format of a research proposal. The research proposal is an integral part of your individual Master’s project. Based on preliminary research, you should be able to identify a specific and manageable subject relevant to your programme, acertain the knowledge gap in your chosen research area, establish your research aim and objectives, and outline your research plan. This is to ensure that you are on the right direction for your research project.

The basic principles are:

·Don’t pass off anyone else’s work as your own, including work from “essay banks”. This is plagiarism and is viewed extremely seriously by the University.

·Don’t submit a piece of work in whole or in part that has already been submitted for assessment elsewhere. This is called duplication and, like plagiarism, is viewed extremely seriously by the University.

·Always acknowledge all of the sources that you have used in your coursework assignment or project.

·If you are using the exact words of another person, always put them in quotation marks.

·Check that you know whether the coursework is to be produced individually or whether you can work with others.

·If you are doing group work, be sure about what you are supposed to do on your own.

·Never make up or falsify data to prove your point.

·Never allow others to copy your work.

·Never lend disks, memory sticks or copies of your coursework to any other student in the University; this may lead you being accused of collusion.

By submitting coursework, either physically or electronically, you are confirming that it is your own work (or, in the case of a group submission, that it is the result of joint work undertaken by members of the group that you represent) and that you have read and understand the University’s guidance on plagiarism and cheating.

You should be aware that coursework may be submitted to an electronic detection system in order to help ascertain if any plagiarised material is present. You may check your own work prior to submission using Turnitin at the Formative Moodle Site.  If you have queries about what constitutes plagiarism, please speak to your module tutor or the Centre for Academic Success.

It is your responsibility to ensure that work submitted in electronic format can be opened on a faculty computer and to check that any electronic submissions have been successfully uploaded. If it cannot be opened it will not be marked. Any required file formats will be specified in the assignment brief and failure to comply with these submission requirements will result in work not being marked.  You must retain a copy of all electronic work you have submitted and re-submit if requested.

At the end of the first semester, you need to submit a research proposal to outline your research plan. Your research proposal should include the following contents:

·The rationales of choosing your research subject – what is your research question, why it is a problem

·Preliminary literature review on your chosen research subject – what has been done in your chosen area, where is the knowledge gap (i.e. what has not been researched)

·Your research aim and objectives – please clearly identify 1 research aim and 4 – 5 research objectives (the steps you are going to take in order to achieve your research aim). Please start your research aim and objectives with an appropriate verb.

·Your research plan – what are the proposed research methods and your justification of your choice, and a timetable of your research (probably in a Gantt chart)

·Possible problems and potential solutions

Fit to Submit:

Are you ready to submit your assignment – review this assignment brief and consider whether you have met the criteria. Use any checklists provided  to ensure that you have done everything needed.

Checklists for Research Proposal:

? Have you identified a specific topic for your research?

? Is your research topic relevant to your programme?

? Have you established a clear research aim and coherent research objectives?

? Have you identified the knowledge gap through your preliminary literature review?

? Is your work within the 3000 words limit (excluding references)?

? Is your work’s Turnitin similarity level below 20%?

? Have you used Harvard references correctly and sufficiently?

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