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The first paragraph is devoted to the discussion of the objectives of the task; the second should present and summarize issues related to the topic under discussion, or arguments in support of a particular opinion.
You should also provide details of your proposed sample/s (numbers of respondents and type of sample) and/or secondary data sets, and again offer justification for these choices.
Further you should indicate how and why you will achieve empirical access, if this is a pertinent issue.
Your research questions/aims can appear in any form, and certainly do not need to be expressed in the form of testable hypotheses.
Do ensure however that they are sufficiently narrow – one of the reasons why many research degree applications are not successful is because the terrain outlined in the relevant proposal is simply too broad for a doctoral project.
In other words, it should establish the rationale for your proposed thesis, and should therefore proceed smoothly into Research Questions or Aims.
(Suggested Word Count: 750-1,000) Provide a statement of your research question/aim, ideally in the form of a central over-arching question/aim and two or three sub-questions/aims.
The important thing to establish here is the extent to which your proposed thesis research makes a contribution - i.e., adds something theoretical, conceptual, methodological and/or empirical which is not already offered in this literature(s).
This section should therefore introduce the issues that will be addressed by your research questions, and explain the importance of the research to others.
Theoretical research typically involves an analysis of a chosen research issue/question which engages critically with appropriate theorists or theoretical traditions.
You should explain what these traditions or theorists are and why they have been selected to address your research question.