A brief taxonomy of academic research with special reference to the research proposal at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)

27 Mar 2015

This article explains a number of general observations about academic research and research in general. An in-depth discussion of the institutional research proposal follows, including reference to the requirements of the Higher Degrees Committee (HDC) as well as the general format that is used by the institution for research proposals. Particular attention is devoted to the format of the proposal, such as the title, the problem statement, the key questions, the objectives of the research, the significance of the research, demarcation of the study field and a glossary of terms. Mention is made of the literature search and extracting of normative criteria from the literature as part of theory discovery. The empirical survey is explained, including methods of data collection, questionnaires, the total research population (universe), the target population (the sample) and the response population (the number of respondents that completed the questionnaire). Reference is made of statistical analysis, interpretation of the results of the statistical analysis as well as the description of the findings. The programme of study is briefly referred to, as well as a number of suggestions to simplify the research process for the novice researcher.