6.1 Introduction to Developing a Research Proposal
A research proposal is generally a requirement in a third-year psychology or sociology methods course because it teaches students how to investigate an area of interest, design a research methodology, and communicate ideas through a detailed report. A research proposal is the starting point for what may later become an honour’s thesis or an advanced independent study project. The proposal includes a working title, an introduction and literature review, a method section, an anticipated outcome section, and prospective references. Since it includes all the main research components except for the collection, analysis, and discussion of actual data, a research proposal may be sent to a research ethics board or a funding agency for consideration before the study commences. This chapter describes the main parts of a research proposal and outlines ethical concerns involving research with human participants.