If you are carrying out a small piece of research to inform an essay or other assignment, you will not need to draw up a full-scale research proposal. However, you will need to identify your research question or hypothesis, the theories you think you will need to use, and key literature. You will also find it useful to develop a time and action plan to work out what parts of the research you need to carry out when and to make sure you get started with your writing as soon as possible. This is a small-scale version of the longer research proposal explored in this chapter, so reading about such a longer proposal for a longer, more complex piece of research will give you some idea of the research planning process, ready for when you undertake your own project or dissertation, normally in the third or final year.
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