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Assignment Briefs 11-08-2022

Introduce the area of research and provide a brief summary of the main points and conclusions of your proposal

Summative assignment: Short research proposal (maximum 3000 words +/-10%, excluding bibliography) - 100% of the overall mark for the module (Dissertation part 1)

A research proposal will:

  • clearly define the topic you’re interested in
  • show your understanding of your research area
  • show you have started to identify and (at least tentatively) developed an original and interesting research question
  • demonstrate you understand how to conduct research
  • be well-structured and clear
  • include a bibliography and in-text referencing

Please note that the word limits associated with the respective sections are guideline limits – you may use some discretion in terms of the word count of these sections (the total word count is 3000, +/-10%, plus bibliography).

NOTICE:

Proposal (Part 1)

The Proposal - Part 1 assessment structure document instruction (available on Moodle):

"Short research proposal (maximum 3000 words +/-10%, PLUS bibliography)".

PLEASE NOTE THAT:

All elements of the research proposal (3000 words) submitted as a summative assessment in Semester 1 (Dissertation Part 1/Proposal) can be carried over to (and used in) the summative assessment in Semester 2.

N.B. Using the same elements will not be treated as self-plagiarism. It is however advisable to improve on the work already submitted rather than re-submitting the same material verbatim. Introduce the area of research and provide a brief summary of the main points and conclusions of your proposal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Structure:

RESEARCH PROPOSAL

Title of Topic/Project Proposal

This needs to be well defined, precise and clearly written. It may well contain phrases such as;

‘An investigation into ...’

‘A critical analysis/appraisal of ...’

‘An investigation to establish/analyse the impact of ...’

‘A comparison between ...’

A) Introduction

  • Introduce the area of research and provide a brief summary of the main points and conclusions of your proposal

(approx. 250 words)

B) Theoretical background and research focus

  • Review key publications and themes (briefly)
  • Include hypotheses (if applicable)
  • Your aims and objectives, and research questions

(approx. 1000-1200 words)

C) Justification and contextualization

  • Why is your research important?
  • Why is it important to find what you are trying to find?
  • How will it build on the existing body of evidence?
  • Is it timely? Does it respond to an existing need? What makes it so?

(approx. 600 words)

D) Methodology

How will you achieve the research aims? Present the proposed research methodology (e.g. research paradigm, methodological approach, methods, techniques, sample size, target populations, equipment and data analysis, if applicable) and explain why is it the most appropriate way to effectively answer the research question. Have you considered (and disregarded) any alternatives? (approx. 600 words)

The methodology section should also include a brief ‘Access and ethics’ section, which discusses what you consider to be the key ethical implications of your work and it should also explain how you will gain access to the research field, i.e. how you will find the information you need (approx. 100 words).

It will also comprise ‘limitations’ section: Are there any limitations or downsides of your selected research strategy? How are they counterweighting the advantages? (approx. 100 words)

(approx. 800 words altogether)

E) Bibliography

Assessment Grid

Assessment category and its contribution to the overall mark.

 

80-100

 

70 -79

 

60-69

 

50 -59

 

40 -49

 

Fail

 

Theoretical background

20%

Selective and clearly focussed elaboration of the academic issues underpinning the research.

Critiques the relevance of the material drawn from extensive reading.

Selective and clearly focussed elaboration of the academic issues underpinning the research. Evidence of extensive reading around the topic.

A substantial elaboration of academic material underpinning the research question.

Good use of academic sources.

Just sufficient use of relevant sources.

Lack of focus on research question.

Limited academic support for the research question.

Some irrelevant material.

Over-use of general internet sources.

Use of only one or two sources (or none).

 

The relevance of the research question (to society and to your discipline) and how it links with the theoretical background

40%

Excellent and original research question very clearly embedded in the existing literature and addressing a well defined issue of high importance.

Clear and original research question embedded in the existing literature and addressing a well defined issue. Introduce the area of research and provide a brief summary of the main points and conclusions of your proposal

Relatively clear research question, to some extent embedded in the existing literature and addressing a well defined issue. There is room for improvement, however.

Research question is made explicit, and an attempt to embed it in the existing literature is made, however it is not very clear what issue is being addressed (or its importance is not clearly stated).

 

Research question is not well embedded in the existing literature and does not address any important issue in any clear way.

Research question is very unclear and it is disconnected from the literature, or the research question is non-existing.

 

Methodology

25%

Methodology is very consistent with the research question and the presented understanding of the methodological issues (such as research paradigms, alignment between methodology and methods chosen for the research) is excellent. Very clear and concise discussion of limitations and ethical issues is present.

Methodology is consistent with the research question and the presented understanding of the methodological issues (such as research paradigms, alignment between methodology and methods chosen for the research)  is very good. Clear and concise discussion of limitations and ethical issues is present.

Methodology is generally consistent with the research question, however certain aspects of the link between them could have been better explained.  The presented understanding of the methodological issues is appropriate. Discussion of the limitations and ethical issues is present.

Methodology is somewhat consistent with the research question, however there remain question marks regarding how certain aspects of the question will be addressed by the selected methodology. The presented understanding of the methodological issues is mostly adequate, however with multiple areas for improvement. Some attempt at discussing limitations and ethical issues.

Methodology is not fully consistent with the research question, and numerous doubts arise regarding how the question will be addressed by the selected methodology. The presented understanding of the methodological issues is mostly inadequate. The discussion of limitations and ethical issues is either too brief or incomplete.

Methodology is not consistent with the research question, thus it is doubtful that the question will be addressed by the selected methodology. The presented understanding of the methodological issues is mostly inadequate. No attempt to discuss limitations and ethical issues.

 

Structure and clarity of expression

Referencing and bibliography

15%

Excellent.

Flawless.

Fluent, clear. Correct use of terminology and English. Careful proofreading.

Correctly cited and listed.

Mostly clear. Very few grammatical or spelling errors.

Minor flaws and omissions.

Some points unclear. Most words correctly spelt.

Adequate but some omissions.

Many points unclear. Some misuse of  words and grammatical errors. Careless proof reading.

Poor and incomplete.

 

Difficult to understand. Spelling grammar and general use of English needs urgent attention.

None.

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