Social Marketing proposal

9.       THE PROPOSAL

 

9.1     PURPOSE

 

The purpose of the proposal is to ensure that you have identified a suitable topic for your research project – and this is supported by a preliminary investigation. Or to put it another way – the proposal is a request to undertake research, and in it you need to convince your supervisor that you have a proper grasp of the topic and how it can be researched.

 

Without this we will not know whether your subsequent efforts will yield dividends or become a graveyard for your degree aspirations. As part of this process you also need to demonstrate a sufficient familiarity with the relevant (applied) literature – sufficient to justify a design for primary research.

 

 

 

 

 

9.2     REQUIREMENTS

 

The proposal should be about 2000 words. Layout of the proposal should follow the guidelines for the final report. The following is a suggested structure for the proposal:

 

  1. Title Page

 

  1. Contents Page (if deemed appropriate). This is not always so relevant for what should be a relatively brief document.

 

  1. Introduction to the issue/problem – What it’s about. Perhaps a little background here about the organization (where relevant) or why you have chosen your topic of interest (but don’t personalise).

 

  1. Aim(s) & Objectives. The Aim(s) should be a brief statement / paragraph. The Objectives should set out what you hope to achieve – and should be reflected in the preliminary literature review and the proposal for primary research. On completion of the Dissertation we should be able to tick-off your findings against your objectives.

 

  1. Scope of project/Terms of Reference – what you’re going to look at and what you are not going to look at. The Research Question – What exactly you will be researching.

 

  1. Preliminary Literature Review. What have you found out about the problem? In this you should cite specific references using current journal & news paper articles, the trade press, text books etc. Demonstrate you have a working knowledge of previous research and current knowledge and how this informs your understanding of the research question.
  2. Research Methodology – Proposed primary (field work) research methods (and perhaps a little more about secondary [desk] research methods) – why, what, where, when and how research could be conducted? Justify the methods chosen. Mention any possible problems there could be in obtaining data and how you would try to overcome them. This section is primarily designed to show that based upon your knowledge of the literature you have a relevant and realistic approach to how your working hypotheses / propositions could be explored and tested.

 

Issues that can be covered here are the population to be sampled, sample size, the measuring instrument (e.g. questionnaire & design, data recording etc), the means of getting respondents to co-operate, data collection methods (e.g. face to face, post, telephone, e-mail etc). To what extent would you use quantitative and / or qualitative approaches?

  1. Time Plan. Leave enough time for each part and stick to your plan – don’t leave everything to the end!
  2. References. Make sure you use the Harvard method.

 

This, of course, is not a definitive guide, and you could find it useful to check out the proposal mark sheet. But whatever structure you adopt make sure it has continuity, coherence and flow. Above all, make sure it reads well and is free from grammatical errors. Try reading it aloud. Does it make sense? Useful texts to help you in this process are listed in the References section at the end of the Handbook. More guidance on the literature review and methodology sections follows.

 

 

9.3     ASSESSMENT & MARK

 

The proposal is worth 10% of the total marks awarded for the module (up to 2000 words).

 

 

 

 

Marking Guidance for the Proposal (10% module marks)

 

Student Name:…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Title of Dissertation:………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Proposal Marker:………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Mark Awarded:………………………………………………………   Date:………………………………………………

 

    WeightVery weakWeakSatis-     factoryGood       Very GoodExcell-ent  
1) BACKGROUND / ISSUE

Statement of problem; opportunity; reason for investigation. Topic of study.

15%0-34-67-89-1011-1213-15
2) AIMS & OBJECTIVES

Purpose of dissertation. Expected outcomes. Are these achievable? Research question.

15%0-34-67-89-1011-1213-15
3) PRELIMINARY LITERATURE REVIEW

Brief review of relevant literature. Does the literature underpin the proposed field work? Hypotheses or research propositions? Have a suitable range of sources been suggested?

30%0-67-1314-1718-2021-2425-30
4) RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

How could the problem be investigated? Is the methodology appropriate? Use of research language.

20%0-45-89-1112-1314-1617-20
5) OVERVIEW

Quality of structure; thoroughness of evaluation; flow; time plan.

10%0-23-45-6789-10
6) PRESENTATION

Visual impact; grammar; language; references.

10%0-23-45-6789-10
ALLOCATING MARKS

Supervisors – This marking schedule offers a rough guide to allocating marks. Put a cross in the box that seems most relevant. Total up the marks (the marks shown are already weighted). Does the overall mark seem about right? Reflect. Perhaps try again – until the marks on the sheet and your overall impression correspond. Comments should be made on the proposal and the feed-back sheet that comes with the proposal.

       

 

 

 

 

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