Any study involving human or animal subjects will need ethical approval, which will usually be from the university’s ethics committee.There is likely to be a standard form to complete, which you may need to submit as part of your research proposal.The first step in any research is to identify the topic of interest.
Once you have defined your research questions, you need to set out broadly what you plan to do to answer them, and why.
Everything that you do should have a clear reason ‘I thought it might be fun’ is not considered good enough.
Once you have identified your field of interest, you can then start to identify one or more research questions to answer.
Again, a narrow question that you can research in detail is better than a broad one that you will not be able to cover in full.
Always check your university or grant-awarding body’s guidelines to make sure that you’ve included all the necessary information, and that this is in the required format.
It is extremely annoying to have something rejected, or have to rewrite it because of a formality like the font size.Your research question(s) should be ones that have not been fully answered in previous research so that you are adding to the literature.However, you want your literature review to have at least something to report, so an area where there is already plenty of research is better than a completely new topic.Your outline methodology should explain: This section is designed to show that you know what you’re going to do, and why.It will also serve to show whether you’re trying to do too much/too little, which your supervisor should point out to you at an early stage.If you are submitting a grant application, or research proposal to a university, you will probably have a maximum word count or be given an acceptable word count range. If the maximum is 2000 words, and you’ve written 500, you probably haven’t provided enough detail.On the other hand, if you’ve written twice as much as expected, then you’ll need to cut it down considerably.You can and should use your dissertation supervisor as a sounding board as you develop your thinking, although beware of bombarding them with enthusiastic and/or panicky emails.It’s usually better to ask for a meeting to discuss your ideas, rather than trying to have a discussion by email.Keep a note of ideas and questions, and then send a single email to your supervisor requesting an appointment, and setting out your broad thinking, preferably with your outline research questions.Your supervisor will soon make clear whether they think your ideas are too broad for study and will hopefully help you to narrow them down.