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GER102 Research Skills Guide: Developing your research proposal

Step 4: Develop a plan for your research proposal

Your Subject Outline asks you to define the aims and objectives; methodology, ethics and timelines that would be involved in your research proposal. 

Locate information about different research methodologies in the modules in your Interact site, in Primo Search, online and in SAGE Research Methods Online which is a database dedicated to research methods. 

Use the Research Project Planner in SAGE Research Methods Online for a step-by-step guide on planning a research proposal, and explore the resources in the database to further develop your understanding of the research process in general.


Please refer to your Subject Outline for more comprehensive instructions. Be sure to read your Subject Outline carefully, as well as any information about the assignment provided by your Subject Coordinator.

Locating information about research methods

SAGE Research Methods Online can help you locate information about qualitative and quantitative research methods. Search for keywords, use the Browse by Discipline option or explore the Methods Map to discover content relevant to your research proposal.  

Tip  Think carefully about the suitability of the research method/s you propose. Locate journal articles about projects that are similar to yours to see which methodologies they choose and why.

Locating information about research ethics

A discussion about ethics is often an important part of a research project. Most books about project planning and research design in the Library collection will have information or a chapter on research ethics. Conduct some keyword searches in SAGE Research Methods Online or Primo Search to conduct books about research methods in general, and navigate to the section/chapter about ethics. 

You could also try specifically searching for ethics in SAGE Research Methods Online and Primo Search. Employing search techniques will enable you to refine the search results to more relevant resources. Also consider adding keywords represent your topic. For example:

  • "research ethics"
  • ethics AND research
  • ethics AND "social work research"
  • ethics AND gerontolog*

See the Search Strategies page in the Identify section for more search techniques.


Tip   Are there any ethical issues related to your research proposal that might require approval? If so, be sure to include these in your timeline. 

Qualitative and quantitative research

Additional Resources