By now you should have a clear idea of your chosen research topic and should have approached someone in the university department in which you hope to study for advice and guidance.
Your research proposal frames your original idea, locates it, delimits it and specifies not just what you are studying but how you will actually carry it out and what you might find. For these reasons, a research proposal often turns out to be an invaluable resource and planning tool for your period of study. The process of preparing a research proposal is not a short or easy one. Often it is at this very stage that key elements of your study are decided. However, keep in mind that changes can and might be made in the future - for example the exact corpus of material may change as your work develops.