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Why are you choosing to research problem 'x' or issue 'y'?Here you need to demonstrate an understanding of the current research climate for your area of interest.Could it be that you're interested to see how a particular theoretical approach could be adapted or extended, tried or tested in new and innovative ways?
Another reason why prospective candidates are required to submit a research proposal as part of an application for admission is because it formally outlines your intended research.
That means you also need to provide details on how you will go about your research, including your approach and methodology, timeline and feasibility, as well as any other considerations that must be made to progress your research, such as resources.
Providing context for your research topic through a literature review shows the assessor that you understand what is currently being discussed about your topic and what has already been published.
Demonstrate you have a strong understanding of the key topics, important studies, notable researchers etc in your area of research and how these have contributed to the current landscape.
Why is your research question or hypothesis worth asking?
How is the current research lacking or falling short?
Before you read on to learn what's required from a strong research proposal, ask yourself why you've decided to pursue a Ph D or research master's degree.
Is it because you have a passion for a particular subject and have noticed a gap in the current research?
What impact will your research have on the discipline?
Will you be extending an area of knowledge, applying it to new contexts, solving a problem, testing a theory, or challenging an existing one?