The Honors in the Major program requires students to submit a research proposal to the Office of Honors Research prior to enrolling in the Thesis semester.
Generally, a scientific research proposal will include a brief introduction to the research topic, a literature review, and a methodology that will explain how the student plans to meet the objectives of the research. A proposal in the Arts and Humanities will generally include an introduction and a creative work (e.g. screenplays, short stories, artwork) or theoretical analysis.
Students will create a signature cover page for the thesis proposal that will list the entire committee, Department Chair (or HIM Department Coordinator, if applicable). Thesis proposal cover page template found here.
The following are examples of substantially researched, properly formatted research proposals and their respective signature pages. These examples should be used for reference only and not necessarily as templates. Students should his or her Thesis Chair and committee regarding the structure of the proposal, information that should be present, and documentation style.
Remember to do the following when writing your Methodology:
- explain what methods you intend to use when researching and developing your report.
- use a descriptive writing approach. It is important to explain what research methods you used to collect your info.
- Do not include your questionnaires, interview transcripts, etc. -these go in the dissertation’s appendices.
- Discuss with your project supervisor the extent and level of detail required; original research will obviously require a more detailed description than a project based solely on secondary research.
Example of a methodology statement
The following sample statements are intended to give a flavour of the approach one could take but they are not to be assumed to represent a complete methodology.
Secondary data will be reviewed initially through the university library using a range of information sources such as the OPAC system, academic and commercial abstracts, bibliographic databases, and Internet search engines.
To aid the search, a table of key terms will be constructed and the sources located will be correlated with this. A secondary cross-reference table will be developed so that data can be viewed from different perspectives.
Data collection and sampling
To test current practice against the historical record an on-line survey will be conducted to gather primary source data from companies currently engaged in the export of goods related to heavy engineering projects.
The survey will collect quantitative data on the range of goods requiring an end-user licence. A systematic yet random sample of companies will be drawn from members of the British Business Register.
As the number of companies, engaged in the defined activity, has yet to be established the data analysis method has not yet been decided. However, it is anticipated that a commercial spreadsheet package such as MS Excel would be suitable, although more sophisticated analysis software such as SPSS is available within the university’s IT centre should this be required.
If someone else chooses to carry out the same or a very similar type of study, they should be able to understand and copy your methods from your descriptions.