Main Assignment – Individual Research Practice (70% weighting)
Term 1, Academic Year 2020-21, By Prof James Gao
You are required to write a proposal of a small-scale research project. The project should be in the
subject area that you are studying and should be completed within the period of 6 months by 1
researcher (yourself, full-time). The assignment is designed to help you plan your final MSc project,
but the proposed project does NOT have to be your final MSc project.
PART ONE [30 marks]
§ Write an abstract (or executive summary) of your proposed project with a project title .
§ Write an introduction to the research area , problems to be addressed  and potential benefits
to industry and/or the society .
§ Describe the aims , objectives  and scope of your project .
§ Describe the novel points of your research (i.e., contribution to knowledge) .
PART TWO [40 marks]
When you write this part of the assignment report, do not follow the style of the ‘Background’ section
of the example proposal used during lectures. You should follow the instructions below:
§ Obtain copies of 10 references that are of direct relevance to your project. Review the references
and write your comments. For each reference, you should write one paragraph about its main
contribution to knowledge , and one paragraph about its shortcomings . You should not
take the Abstracts and Conclusions directly from the references.
§ Do NOT include the actual copies of the references in your report, use the Harvard referencing
system to list the references at the end of your report, and cite the references in the main text .
§ Based on your comments on the 10 references, write an overall summary of research gaps. 
PART THREE [30 marks]
§ Describe the approaches and techniques (e.g., case studies, data collection methods) to be use in
your project 
§ Make a work plan by defining the tasks  to be carried out during your project, and scheduling
the tasks into phases  with milestones and deliverables  in a Gantt Chart . You should
give full explanation  to the Gantt Chart.
§ List key deliverables of the project  and potential risks .