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How to write a Research Proposal: Common mistakes to avoid

Common mistakes to avoid

Not following your department’s specific criteria and format for writing research proposals

The research topic is too broad, too narrow or just poorly expressed.

Failure to be concise; without providing context to show a clear sense of purpose.

The research topic is not well justified.

Failure to provide the proper context to frame the research question.

The research aims, objectives and questions do not align.

Failure to cite landmark/seminal works and authors in the relevant discipline, field of study/research area, in your literature review.

Failure to accurately present the theoretical and empirical contributions by other researchers and as a result the study has a weak theoretical foundation.

The research design is not articulated well enough.

Failure to delimit the contextual boundaries of your research.

Failure to develop a coherent and persuasive argument for the proposed research.

Failure to stay focused on the research problem; going off on unrelated tangents.

Sloppy or imprecise writing, or poor grammar.

Too much detail on minor issues, but not enough detail on important issues.