13. Include a title on your proposal. I'm amazed at how often the title is left for the end of the student's writing and then somehow forgotten when the proposal is prepared for the committee. A good proposal has a good title and it is the first thing to help the reader begin to understand the nature of your work. Use it wisely! Work on your title early in the process and revisit it often. It's easy for a reader to identify those proposals where the title has been focused upon by the student. Preparing a good title means:
Obtaining a Masters degree sometimes involves writing and presenting a thesis paper, which includes the outcomes of the student’s thesis work plus references to current and prior research in the field of study. To obtain a PhD, one must usually contribute something original and important to existing research, so the final paper (which is the length of a book) includes both references to existing prior research and, more importantly, a detailed discussion and analysis of the PhD candidate’s research contributions in her or his field.
Writing a research proposal may be a requirement of your faculty, but it can be a valuable personal process too. It will help you to structure your thoughts and your proposed project. It will allow you to focus on the research question and its purpose, what is involved in the project, as well as providing you with a clear plan of how each stage of the research will be undertaken, and the anticipated outcomes. This initial piece of writing will also help you to identify problems that you may encounter along the way, and direct you to think about how you will manage those kinds of issues.