It should build on the thinking that you have done in defining your research problem; on the discussions that you have had with your supervisor; and on early reading that you have done on the topic.
A comprehensive research proposal will make you think through exactly what it is that you are going to do, and will help you when you start to write up the project.
You may, for example, discover that the data you were hoping to analyse is not available, or you may encounter a new piece of information or a new concept while undertaking a literature search, that makes you rethink the basis of your research problem.
You should always talk to your supervisor before you make any substantial revision to your plans, and explain why you think you need to make the change.
You will usually be asked to generate a topic for yourself; to plan and execute a project investigating that topic; and to write-up what you did and what your findings were.
Important stages in the dissertation process include: While some students come to their research project with a clear research question to address, many others arrive at this point with several ideas, but with no specific research question.
Provided they feel that they know enough about the subject to supervise it, and provided that it can be interpreted as falling within the broad fields of your degree subject, academic staff are generally open to suggestions.
You should think realistically about the practical implications of your choice, in terms of: For example, a project on coal mining in the North East of England may require you to visit Newcastle’s Record Office, or to interview coal miners from the region.
A research proposal is a more detailed description of the project you are going to undertake.
Some departments require you to submit a research proposal as part of the assessment of your dissertation, but it is worth preparing one even if it is not a formal requirement of your course.