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Veena Poonacha
Research Centre for Womens Studies


is an exciting process of
discovering new knowledge
It also requires hard work
The research proposal/outline is the first
step in the road towards the Degree
It provides the road map for your research
Subsequent changes in the research
framework will require the permission of the
Research Recognition Committee of the
Take time in planning your research topic


familiarity with the area of research

you wish to undertake
This requires background reading on the area
of research, relevant theories and possible
Find out if similar studies have been
undertaken by other scholars.


identify the gaps in the available

body of knowledge in the area of study
Clearly identify the kind of research you wish
to undertake: 1) Is it aimed at testing
existing theories; 2) Is it aimed at developing
new theoretical insights; 3) Is it exploratory;
or 4) field research with policy implications;


the time and resources required for

the study
Limit the scope of your study
Be prepared for critical appraisal of the
proposal by your guide, the Department
Research Committee and the Research
Recognition Committee of the University


of the proposal and capacity of

the student to undertake the study


and originality


proposal is not an essay, it is a road map

indicating the research framework- the scope

of the study, the theories, methods, data
analysis techniques, limitations of the study

The proposal comprises several clearly

delineated sections


the considerations of timeline and costs

in mind

Nature and scope of the problem (where the problem

is coming from)

What is currently being done about it (or where is

the problem right now)?

What would you like to do about it?

Be simple, direct, to the point and intelligible

The proposal provides a concise picture of the

substance objectives and design

Avoid need to define terms, polemics and jargon


title should be brief, arresting, concise and

The title flags the substance of the study
There should be parity between the images
invoked by the title and the opening pages of
the proposal
The title defines and limits the study
Should not exceed two lines in length
Avoid needless words such as Aspects of,
Investigation of or Analysis of
The title is the first contact with the reader

The review of literature is an important component

of research

The review is a critical engagement with other

researchers to identify gaps in the existing body of

knowledge, developing hypothesis and asking
research questions

Planning the research design, selecting methodology

and delimiting the topic

Literature review is not listing of books you have


The tools and techniques of research

investigation is determined by the research
question, objectives and hypothesis


defines the procedure for data collection


of quality

Determines the time line and cost of the

research study

Aims and objectives

Review of literature
Rationale and significance of the study
Research questions
Hypotheses (if any)
Methodology sample size, data analysis, etc.
Chapter scheme
Please note: while these items are important,
there has to be a logical and coherent
connections between these sections of the

Critically revise the proposal for

needless repetition


Spelling and grammar corrections

suitable subtitling and logical delineation of

Submit a neat proposal
Good Luck