How to Write a Research Proposal
The main purpose of a research proposal is to provide a comprehensive and clear description of what topic you investigate and why it is so significant for you. Besides, when writing a research paper proposal, it is important to highlight how exactly you conduct a study. All these aspects make it so essential for a student to know how to write a research proposal. Apart from content, one needs to pay specific attention to the paper format, which varies across different educational establishments and subject areas.
Still, even if you have not received any specific instructions on how to organize and format the proposal, keep in mind that any proposal should have the following constituents:
- A title page.
- An introductory chapter.
- A literature review section.
- Discussion of the research design.
- A bibliography.
Depending on instructions and specific discipline, the sections may differ in their names and their order of appearance in the paper. Still, the underlying goals are the same. The main aim of this article is to provide you with a research proposal template that contains fundamental elements needed for a winning proposal.
Purpose of Research Proposal Writing
Students often need to submit research proposals when they are applying for a grant or scholarship of their research project. Another reason is when students need to approve their dissertation or a thesis paper and thus have to submit a proposal to their academic supervisors or professors.
Whatever the overall purpose is, the ultimate aim is to convince the target reader that your research project is significant as well as worth funding and attention.
Research Proposal Core Aims
|Be relevant||Persuade the target audience that the research is worth attention, is interesting in content, is authentic, and is significant.|
|Fit into context||Demonstrate that you are well acquainted with the overall research field and are aware how to write a research proposal. You need to keep up-to-date with the current state of research.|
|Demonstrate serious approach to research||Provide a practical case based on the methods that you have outlined. Demonstrate your in-depth knowledge in the tools and strategies that can be applied for your specific case.|
|Feasibility||Show that your research project is possible to be fulfilled.|
How Long Should a Research Proposal Be?
Research proposal length is also a criterion that varies depending on the requirements and the discipline. The first aspect that poses an impact on the paper length is the academic complexity level: a research proposal of a Bachelor’s level is shorter than that of a Master’s level.
The main difference between a research proposal and research paper is that a research paper contains the discussion, results and conclusion chapters.
Regardless of whether you are writing a thesis paper or a dissertation, the cover page will have the same components:
- Name of your research project.
- Full name of the student.
- Professor’s name.
- Name of the educational establishment and department.
This is the very first part of the paper that attracts attention of your readers to the topic, so make it concise and brief:
- Introduce the main paper subject.
- Provide the topic background.
- Put forward the problem statement.
- Formulate the research questions.
Questions that may guide you through the introduction writing process:
- Who may be interested in the research?
- What is already known about the topic?
- What gaps are existent within the realm of the subject?
- What are the possible implications of your research and its contribution?
- What is the significance of your research?
How to Write a Research Proposal Literature Review Section?
Familiarize yourself with the topic by studying scholarly sources from libraries and online databases. The literature review should contain credible and convincing information about the subject area and it should inform readers about any context or background of the topic.
Use the evidence from the literature sources to demonstrate topic significance:
- Provide a comparison and contrast of the underlying theories and methodologies.
- Apply your critical thinking skills and evaluate the pros and cons of different research approaches.
- Pinpoint to how your research fits into the whole realm of the subject area.
Research Methodology and Design
After you closely investigate literature, outline the main research aims and objectives. Thus, you will have to use research methods that will help you in attaining the aims they are described in this research proposal writing help.
How to Write a Research Paper Proposal Methodology Section?
|Identify the research type||
|Get credible sources||
|Mention research methods||
|Discussion of practical information||
Further Research Implications
Some of the most effective research proposal guidelines is to finish your paper with some food for thought. As such, do not merely conclude the paper with a summary of findings but identify the possible implications and prospects for the future. Among the aspects that might be worth mentioning are:
- improvement areas within the subject area;
- improvement of the objectives;
- strengthening the research model or the theories that have been put forward;
- questioning research assumptions;
- forming a solid background for the future studies.
How to Write a Research Proposal Bibliography?
A bibliography or a reference list are a must in any research paper since it is obligatory to use and consult sources. As such, cite each source you have consulted within the text and also include them in the list of references.
A bibliography list includes those sources that were merely consulted in the process of research preparation, and a reference list contains only those sources that were cited in the body of research.
When working on a research paper, many students are required to provide a project timeline, where they add all short-term and long-term goals and all the stages they need to move through. A sample research schedule:
|Providing a research background and writing a literature review||
|Research design planning||
|Collect data and prepare data analysis||
|Analyze the data||
Research Paper Budget
Apart from identifying a time frame for completing the assignment, you also need to plan a budget. Be specific and pinpoint to how much money each research stage will take.
Provide the following aspects:
- Cost: outline the overall cost of the project.
- Justify your financial needs: why is the money necessary for the research project completion?
- Sources: what helped you calculate the amount?
When you are specifying the budget, analyze the following information:
- Travel costs: whether you need to travel somewhere to extract the information.
- Materials utilized: whether you need access to some paid sources of information.
- Assistance: whether you need help from research assistants’ for completing your study.
- Time: whether you need some breaks from your ordinary working process.
Revising and Proofreading the Text
Editing and proofreading are inseparable components of the revision process, so make sure you go through it before you submit it.