12 Timeline

A final step that you might need to take to convince your professor that the research is do-able is presenting the timeline of activities that you intend to do over the course of the research. Think carefully about what you can do and the specific order in which you plan to do it. Your potential supervision will use your proposed timeline to help ascertain whether the proposed project is idealistic or whether you can actually get it done. It is best to present a written outline of each essential activity and the months within which you will undertake each. Please note that you can work on two activities simultaneously. Here are some typical activities that researchers carry out (depending on your research you might have more or less activities):

  1. Research and write the literature review
  2. Write and submit application
  3. Write methodology
  4. Recruit participants and collect data
  5. Analyze Data
  6. Write up results
  7. Edit paper
  8. Submit final paper

In addition to explaining each step and the period within which you will do them, it is also a good idea to visually represent your timeline. This will give your reader a quicker sense of what is involved in your research and will help them evaluate what is needed to make it successful. It will also indicate whether the research is do-able within the timeframe proposed. Gantt charts have become a popular way to depict schedules, showing the start and end date for each component of your research. Below is an example of how you might present your timeline on a Gantt chart.


Table 2.3 - Illustration of an Undergraduate Project Timeline
Activities Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
Write and submit ethics application X
Research and write the literature review X X
Write methodology X X
(Recruitment and) Data collection X X
Data analysis X X
Write up results X
Edit and submit final paper X X

Table 2.4 - Sample Undergraduate 6 Page Research Proposal Template
Section Brief Explanation Estimated Length
Introduction Title. Short outline of the problem and its importance. 1 Page
Literature Review Short history of other investigations into the problem. 2 Page
The Purpose Fulfill the gap in the literature and reiterate the significance of the study. 1/2 Page
RQ's A summary of the questions or thesis that you expect to guide your research. 1/4 Page
Method(s) A summary of and argument for the methods you will use to answer that research question 1 Page
Data Analysis A summary of how you intend to make sense of what you found 1/2 Page
Summarize, Engage Limitations, and Implicate Provide an overview of your study and its significance. Recognize the potential limitations before highlighting the contribution.

3/4 Page
References Attach
Adapted from Petrina, Stephen. (2009). “Thesis Dissertation and Proposal Guide For Graduate Students.” https://edcp-educ.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2013/08/researchproposal1.pdf


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Practicing and Presenting Social Research by Oral Robinson and Alexander Wilson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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