Learning Outcomes being assessed:
Knowledge and Understanding
1.Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of social changes in relation to culture and identity.
4.Apply theories, concepts, evidence, and research methods to a range of issues relating to sociology.
5 Analyse research methods to present arguments/make judgements/draw conclusions.
Key Skills and Employability Skills
|Write a research proposal on the topic of:
How family shapes a young person’s identity.
How to write a research proposal
The research proposal is in two parts. Part 1 is an explanation and justification of the choice of topic, where you will explain why the topic is interesting, important and worth studying. Part 2 is where you will explain which research method/s you would use and why, including a consideration of the problems and issues which may arise from the research method and topic.
As a research proposal is an explanation of how you intend to carry out research it should be written in the first person.
An appropriate referencing system should be used throughout.
What needs to be included in the research proposal and how should it be structured?
The research proposal must contain the following information and you can structure your proposal in the order presented below.
Part 1: Choice of Topic
· An explanation of why this research topic is socially significant: why would researchers be interested in studying it; what impact the research might have.
· A clear research question or focus. This should be more narrow and specific than the broader research topic given above.
· A brief literature review – a brief summary of what has already been written on this topic. This summary should have at least one academic reference linked to the research topic which can include reading from journals or books and should be firsthand sources as far as possible (i.e. not just a general website summary of research). On-line journals are permitted. These references should be linked to the research proposal and help to explain why the topic is socially significant.
· A brief discussion of the theoretical framework of your research (for example, Positivism or Interpretivism), explaining why it is appropriate for your topic.
Part 2: Choice of Method:
An explanation of the reasons for your choice of research method which should include:
· What type of data you would collect and why you want this type of data (primary, quantitative, qualitative, valid, or reliable?)
· Why your chosen research method would be appropriate for the research topic.
· The advantages of your chosen research method compared to alternative research methods.
· How your chosen theoretical framework fits in with your chosen method and data.
· When and where you would carry out the research.
· How many people would you include in your research, how will gather a sample and why.
· The practical issues which may arise in your research and how you could attempt to minimise them.
· The ethical issues which may arise in your research and how you could attempt to minimise them.
Throughout your entire research proposal, you need to be specific and not general. So, if you are proposing a questionnaire, be specific about how many questionnaires you would ideally like to be returned. If you are conducting interviews consider how you would impact the interview – write your proposal as if you are the researcher – how would your age, gender, nationality affect the interview? Avoid generalisations as much as possible. This is not an essay about the topic, it is a research proposal about how YOU would research the topic.
Conclusion: Your research proposal should finish with a conclusion which should be a brief explanation of how your research would benefit yourself and society.
Supporting Information should also be included in your research proposal:
You should also attach sample interview questions or a sample questionnaire in your proposal. Providing some sample questions allows you to demonstrate how the research would work in the real world. So if you are proposing an interview then provide some sample interview questions. You do not need to include a full list of possible questions; consider providing approximately 6-8 questions to sufficiently demonstrate that you know what kind of questions to ask in an interview to gather the data you require.
If you are proposing a questionnaire then please include some sample questions for a questionnaire and please ensure that you set these questions out to look like a questionnaire – with boxes to tick and lines to write on, just like a real questionnaire.
Any other relevant supporting material may also be included, for example a sample of your proposed consent form.
See assignment rubric in the appendix of this brief (final page).
Ensure you make use of all the material on Learn Ultra, particularly week 2 on identity and weeks 3 – 5 on research methods. In addition, you may find the following helpful. You are also required to research the topic and research methods yourself.