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Any study involving human or animal subjects will need ethical approval, which will usually be from the university’s ethics committee.There is likely to be a standard form to complete, which you may need to submit as part of your research proposal.Check the university’s requirements, and if necessary consult your supervisor about what to include.
Whether or not you are required to submit a research proposal before your dissertation, it is good practice to summarise what you plan to do, and why, before you start as it will help to keep your research on track.
A research proposal is a document in which you outline the case for undertaking the research project, your dissertation or thesis, and present your plans for carrying out the work.
Summarise the texts that you read and group ideas into themes as you go, not forgetting to reference very carefully.
It is much easier to take irrelevant text and references out later than to add them in and remember where the ideas came from.
As a general principle, it is better to research a narrow topic in more detail than a broad one in very little detail.
Start to write up your research proposal as you read around your subject.
Then start to read around those subjects to narrow down the field of interest.
Now is a good time to identify a possible supervisor and talk to them about whether they would be prepared to supervise you and help you narrow down your research topic.
You can and should use your dissertation supervisor as a sounding board as you develop your thinking, although beware of bombarding them with enthusiastic and/or panicky emails.
It’s usually better to ask for a meeting to discuss your ideas, rather than trying to have a discussion by email.