Dr. Drissia CHOUIT
Moulay Ismail University
Study Skills and Research Methods
HOW TO WRITE A RESEARCH PROPOSAL
The Research proposal should not be more than two pages long. It should explain succinctly –in a brief, precise, and clear way- your goal as a researcher, the questions that drive your research, and the scope
and nature of your research. Research proposals should include the following elements:
- Title: It should be clear and concise.
- Research Question: This shows your goals as a researcher and the aims and objectives of your research.
- Rationale: This should provide a clear, brief, and convincing explanation
about the motivations behind selecting such topic, explaining why you think your topic is interesting.
- Scope and Nature of Research: The nature and scope of your research are very important in the sense that they
determine (1) how you will undertake your study, (2) the kinds of sources you will need, and (3) the time that should be allotted to the research process. A research paper which includes field work will, for instance, necessitate more time and diversification
of resources and approaches.
- Approach (How you plan to proceed with the analysis):
- For Research Papers in Literature:
- If you are taking a particular text as your subject
of study, you should be specific: you should mention what text it is, its genre, and how you intend to approach the analysis. If you rely on particular secondary sources about these texts such as explanations by specialists in the field or previous research
by Master or Ph.D. students, you should mention them.
- If you depend on a particular theory to analyze your text(s), you should mention it. You should also justify the relevance and pertinence of the
theory in question.
- For Research Papers in Linguistics, Media and Communication:
- Data Collection (specifying which type of data
you will use: case studies, questionnaires, interviews, etc. )
- Data Analysis: Specify the methods you will use in your analysis (quantitative method, qualitative method, or both? Discourse Analysis?
- Statistical Representation of Data (quantitative method, qualitative method, or both?)
- If you need a theory to analyze the
data, you should specify the theoretical framework you have adopted to undertake your study. You should justify the validity and pertinence of the theory in question.
You should remember that the research proposal should show that you know WHAT you are going to study and HOW you are going to do it. You should raise the main
questions driving your research, but you should not give answers at this stage. The research proposal will help you stay focused when you consult sources and collect data. You should also know that you can revise your research proposal and amend it if you
find out or come across new interesting ideas/ information relevant to your topic.
I hope you will enjoy your research and wish you the best of luck.
 Students under my supervision should know that FIELD WORK IS COMPULSORY. The research papers
are in general divided into two main parts. Part One, theoretical part, deals with literature review or presentation of the theoretical framework adopted for the analysis, and Part Two, practical part, deals with field work –questionnaires, interviews
or both- and data analysis. This gives students the opportunity to have a personal contribution and to enjoy research.