It demonstrates that you know your field, who the key research players are in it, what has been said in the past and what is being said at the moment.
You will want to mention, and where appropriate quote from, key works in your area.
50-1000 words depending on the nature of your research. Which ones hold the books and documents you will need? Panda Tip: Probably less than 200 words, unless you have a very detailed plan already in mind. It is surprisingly important, as it shows that you can recognise the limited scale of your work.
This is where you explain how and where you plan to carry out your research. Note: this is like a preliminary contents page, but it does not need to be very specific, and can suggest sections rather than chapters at this stage, but the academics reading your proposal will be impressed to know that you have some idea how you may wish to present your work, and that you have some way in mind of translating your research to paper. Every project needs distinct limiting factors in order to be manageable. This section is optional, but may be helpful to show your potential supervisors that you are being realistic and recognise that your project has limits.
But if you are addressing a wider audience, you need to assume that they have less existing knowledge.
In any case, it is important to keep your tone formal and academic, while still being as clear and simple you can in your language.Panda Tip: One sentence for each question/assertion.This is really part of the ‘notion of original research’ section. State whether you will plan to use different methods of data collection, and if so what they will be. Will you be using qualitative or quantitative collection of data?Each section includes example notes and guidance on the suggested length and content.Some sections also include suggested content templates to be filled in, but given the nature of a research proposal as academic, this can unfortunately only be limited.Many people writing research proposals make the mistake of trying to over-complicate their language with the idea that it will make them sound academic / impressive.What is most impressive is having an idea that is worthy of academic research whilst remaining comprehensible.Please also note, the abstract, contents page, introduction and references should always appear on new pages on a printed document. Panda Tip: This should be clear and concise, while leaving the reader in no doubt as to your field of study.A good title structure can often be “Short Title: Longer Explanation of Your Field”.Panda Tip: Please note that the nature of a research proposal will vary depending on your specific audience.If, for example, you are addressing only academics in your precise field, you can be quite specific about your area of study and assume a high degree of existing knowledge.