How to write a research proposal

Essay by jjtmlUniversity, Bachelor's March 2004

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1.You should write a proposal of your theory-oriented (or policy-oriented) empirical research. In any sort of empirical research, your question should be answerable with observable pieces of information. Your answer should not be based on your value judgment. The following questions are, although important, unanswerable objectively.

*Will Iraq be a democratic country in five years?

*Should Japan sign a FTA with China?

*What should the government of Singapore do to improve political stability in Southeast Asia?

2.It is important to understand that you do not need to present evidence (or data) supporting your answer to your question. In other words, you do not need to do research in this assignment. You only propose to do research; namely, you present your question and your hypothetical/possible answer (i.e., your hypothesis) to your question.

3.A research proposal should answer the following five questions (ref: Van Evera).

(1) What question do you address?

(2) Why does it matter?

(3) What previous literature has been written on your question?

(4) What hypothesis will you explore?

(5) How will you test your hypothesis?

4.The most important requirement in writing your research proposal is that you clearly state your question and hypothesis (i.e., an expected answer to your question). Explaining the importance of your research question (i.e., why it matters) is equally important.

5.Explaining the body of existing studies (i.e., what previous literature has been written on your question) and your research design (i.e., how to test your hypothesis) are important in a "real" research proposal. In this exercise, however, they are less important than the other requirements.

6. In doing the literature review, you should use the online references and journals to source for information. Enter some key words and you should be able to find some relevant articles...