Your research proposal should include the following:
- Title page: with your name, project title, date and names of advisory committee members.
- Introduction: Literature Review and Problem Statement. A Problem Statement identifies a research need, based on your literature review and other information.
- Hypothesis/Questions/Predictions: A hypothesis is a statement of cause and effect (X causes Y) that is based on your literature review and that will be tested in your research. A hypothesis is most appropriate for an experiment; other types of research may be better started with a Question. Predictions are outcomes that should be logically observed if the hypothesis is correct, or that you expect to observe while answering a question.
- Information Needed: a list of observations you will need to answer your question(s) and test the predictions, including specifics (types, amounts, frequency, duration).
- Proposed Methods: (how you plan to collect the needed information). This may include your Experimental Design, Sampling Design, Data Collection Methods, and Data Analysis (including statistics, if appropriate).
- Anticipated Results and Significance: The Significance portion should explain why this research is needed—what benefit will be obtained by your efforts?
- Proposed Schedule: This is important for you and your committee. You can evaluate how long this effort will take, and your committee can evaluate how realistic you are about the scope of your proposed research.
Once approved by your advisory committee, this prospectus represents a commitment between you and your committee. You agree to work on and complete the problem and your committee agrees to help you reach your goal. Major departures must be approved by the committee.