Guidance for structured literature review and project proposal.
For each section, summary guidance on the type of information needed is provided. You must clearly arrange your work according to the structure provided below. The total word count (excluding cover sheet, in-text citation and reference list) must not exceed 1500 words.
1. Title (20 words maximum)
COPD suffers have significantly higher average values of cholesterol than non-COPD suffers.
2. Introduction and relevance (250 words maximum)
Explain why the subject you are proposing is relevant to the degree programme you are studying. Why is it an interesting and relevant topic? Is it a current/topical issue? Is there a need to explore the topic further? Do you have any personal interest/motivation in the subject area?
3. Key research (500 words maximum)
What is known already about the subject that you are proposing? What are the key studies that have been done in the area? Show that you are up-to-date with the latest knowledge in the area. This can include research in closely allied areas to your own topic if the research in your own topic is sparse. If there is a lot of existing research in the area then you will need to be highly selective in what you choose to discuss. You should try to evaluate the work you are reviewing, not just uncritically list what has been done.
4. Justification of proposal (300 words maximum)
Based on the key research presented in part (3) what aspect of knowledge/research do you feel is lacking? Are there questions that remain unanswered? Have you identified a gap in knowledge? Are there situations that you think the existing knowledge could be tested in a better or different way? Justify the need to undertake more research in the chosen area.
5. Aims (50 words maximum)
Having identified a gap in knowledge, as discussed in part (4), what specific aims do you have? Please summarise in around 3 bullet points.
6. Your proposed plan of action (300 words maximum)
How will you achieve the aims set out in part (5)? Outline the methods that you will use. What information will you collect? How will your investigation take place? Provide details of sampling/collection/analysis of data. Will your work be literature based only? Do you intend to do laboratory experiments? Will you undertake a survey/field work? Will you use questionnaires/interviews? In writing your plan consider its achievability as a potential dissertation topic.
7. Ethical issues (50 words maximum)
Do you foresee any ethical issues arising from your research proposal? If not, say why not. If so, what are they and how might you address them?
8. References (as guidance, at least 15 references would be expected to be cited, with no upper limit)
Provide a full list of works that you have cited according to university citation regulations. Most of these, although not exclusively, will be from part (3).
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