The Reference in a Research Proposal
The reference section is arguably the most essential part of a research proposal. It is an essential part of a research proposal in that it provides a systematic way to maintain validity as the proposal progresses. It becomes virtually impossible for the reader to disregard your research proposal once they’ve read the reference.
Contrary to popular belief, a reference does not signify that your research has been previously published, as the proposal may have been cited from somewhere else.
It is worth considering that referencing has two elements. On the one hand, it carries a draft of the document that is in progress.
On the other hand, it acts as a gateway to all ideas, formulas, discoveries, and all other material you may have discovered during your research.
As a student, it is critical that you clearly understand the reference section in your research proposal.
Structuring Your Reference Section
The reference should follow a structured format. The bibliography covers all the primary sources used in the paper. It is not a qualitative or quantitative bibliography.
There is no requirement for the text you include in your reference to be formatted in a particular alphabetical order.
The abstract introduces the reader to the topic of study and its direction. It should not exceed one paragraph.
An appendix contains any material you believe to be essential for the proposal’s future development. Its size will depend on your academic level and your research proposal’s scope.
It should be brief, preferably between one paragraph and a half a page in length. Its importance is to offer citations for your material and allow you to highlight any significant findings you may have made. The appendix should also have an active link to a site or website where the material you have cited can be found.
The next section is the introduction, and it should be made as brief as possible. It should introduce the target audience to your topic of study. The reader should feel free to ask any questions they may have regarding the subject of study.
The third section is the methodology. It should be short, preferably under one or two paragraphs. Its purpose is to explain how you obtained your information to enable the reader to gain new insight into your research.
Just like any other research, you need to seek permission from your professors before you begin your research. This is because some institutions do not allow students to pursue research without their explicit approval.