- What is the problem that needs to be solved?
- Look at some of the big issues facing South Africa and the world and think about the context of your project.
- Does it address any of these?
- Background: what do we know (literature) and what don’t we know – what are the gaps?
- How will your project contribute to solving the problem/addressing the gaps?
- Being vaguely linked is not enough – it must directly contribute.
- Make sure that you have a clearly stated:
- Aim (i.e. a broad statement of overall purpose or desired outcomes)
- Objectives (i.e. specific research issues the project plans to investigate)
- Break down the aim into specific investigations required to address the aim.
- The objectives usually result in the production of the outputs.
- A point about the objectives – these are not activities, but specific, defined targets that align with the aim.
- Objectives must be realistic – achievable within the scope of the project.
- Check – does each objective contribute to the aim? Will I be able to achieve the objective?
- Is there a gap between my objectives and what is required to achieve the aim?
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