chapter  4
13 Pages

Developing a research proposal


Most prescriptions for the research process describe it as a series of sequential steps, beginning with the identification of a research problem or question, then moving (via a review of the existing literature) to a statement of a conceptual model, data collection and finally to analysis and a conclusion. However, this is a somewhat idealized statement of the process. In reality, the process is often much less clear, because research is a learning and iterative process in which ‘later steps’ clarify ‘earlier steps’, allowing the latter to be modified or at least stated more clearly. For example, the specific focus of the research will often be finetuned in the process of carrying out the research, leading to a rephrasing of the topic in later drafts.