Guidelines for writing a research proposalThe research proposal is central to your application to undertake further study in the School of History, Art History and Philosophy (HAHP).
As a description of your proposed topic, it should enable the selector to evaluate the scope and importance of your project As part of the application for admission onto our MJur, MPhil and PhD programmes, you must prepare a research proposal outlining your proposed area of study .
You should read the following guidelines carefully to ensure that your proposal includes the information we need to assess your application. The proposal should be up to 2,000 words in length, including a short bibliography. The aim of the research proposal is to demonstrate that you have a project both worth doing and manageable within the timescale of the degree you are applying for.
To be worth doing, your project must be well-founded, and must also make a large enough contribution to understanding in its field. To make clear that your project is manageable within the relevant period, you need to show that you understand the scale of the issues and problems you are addressing. In order to do these things, your proposal should include:a) Titleb) IntroductionUse this section to introduce the questions and issues central to your research.
Identify the field of study in broad terms and indicate how you expect your research to intervene in the field. c) Research background and questionsUse this section to expand your Introduction.
What are the key texts and approaches in the field, and how does your proposal differ from existing lines of argument? What does your project contribute to existing work in the field? How does it extend our understanding of particular questions or topics? You need to set out your research questions as clearly as possible, explain problems that you want to explore and say why it is important to do so About us · Business and Arts and culture A research proposal provides evidence of the development of your research ideas and preparedness Following a successful application, the proposal will help to focus your early research and .
In other words, think about how to situate your project in the context of your discipline. d) Research methodsThis section should set out how you will achieve what you set out to do in Research background and questions. This will obviously depend very much on your research topic.
What sources will you use? In other words, does your project involve archival sources, particular databases or specialist libraries? Is your study interdisciplinary? What theoretical resources do you intend to use and why? What forms of textual, historical or visual analysis are relevant to your topic/field? How will you set about answering your research questions?e) Schedule of workUse this section to show that you have a realistic plan for completion of the study within three to four years (full time). You need to think here about dividing the proposal into sections (not necessarily chapters at this stage) and giving an indication of how you plan to research and write up each section. f) BibliographyInclude a bibliography, in a standard format such as Harvard, listing the books and articles to which you refer in the proposal.
Some of these sections will be easier to write than others at this very preliminary stage. The selectors who read your proposal know that it is a provisional statement and that your ideas, questions and approaches will change during the course of your research. You should treat the proposal as an opportunity to show that you have begun to explore an important area of study and that you have a question, or questions, that challenge and develop that area.
It is also necessary to demonstrate that you can express your ideas in clear and precise English, accessible to a non-specialist.