Writing a Research Proposal: How to Write a Research Proposal!

Is writing a research proposal a daunting task for you? If so, then we are here to help you with that!

For writing a successful research proposal, it is important for you to know how to write it in the right way so that the thesis committee will accept and approve it.

In this article, we will assist you to uncover the most efficient approach to write a clear and focused research proposal. From examing the purpose to the general requirement, this guide includes everything that you need to know about research proposals. We have also broken down the core aspects and examined them individually for your better understanding.

So let’s get started!

What is a research proposal?

A research proposal is a written document that comprises the summary of your research work, presenting and justifying your interest and need to carry out research on a particular topic. You need to give a general idea and demonstrate the uniqueness of your research paper through the proposal by highlighting the questions and problems that you will address in your piece, supported by compelling evidence.

It can be considered as the first draft that demonstrates your research skills.

To further clarify the concept, it is the most important document, as it explains how you will successfully handle, manage, and conduct complex research by expressing your ideas clear and concise.

What is the objective of a research proposal?

objective of a research proposal

The major purpose of a research proposal is to:

  • Propose a research work that follows in a notable contribution to knowledge.
  • Formulate a comprehensive project plan that includes a methodological approach and theoretical framework.
  • Explain that you have the relevant knowledge and experience to undertake the project.
  • Guarantee that the proposed research can be carried out in the required time and with the available resources.

Even if creating a research proposal is not a condition of your application, it is always a good choice to prepare one as it will help and encourage you to define your goals and key ideas. Along with that, you get the opportunity to think through each stage of the research process that develops a clear and detailed plan. It will also help you anticipate obstacles you may confront during your candidacy and urge you to think about how you will control them when they actually arise.

What includes in the outline of the research proposal?

Often it is seen that students do not realize the significance of a research proposal and tend to gather all data that they find from various sources without following the basic outline or thinking about it.

To sum up, if you want a successful and thriving research paper, you need to write a great proposal for it!

So, before you get started with the format, it is crucial that you understand the basic components involved in it. It goes without saying that a clear and precise outline for your research proposal is an asset for presenting the literature review and writing the full piece of content.

Why is the research proposal template critical?

It can seem like a terrible job, particularly for students who are new to this. However, it necessitates good writing and research skills. Hence, while writing a research proposal, ensure to choose the right template that makes your paper look more appealing and engaging.

What is the format of a research proposal?

Your research proposal should contain sufficient data and information that helps the reader to persuade and convince about the importance of your study.

Below we have mentioned a basic format that you can follow while writing your proposal.

format of a research proposal

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Research methodology
  • Outcome
  • Discussion
  • Citation

What skills are required for a research proposal?

Writing a research proposal involves several skills that can be classified into three groups:

  • Critical thinking skills – A good research proposal presents evidence of high-level analysis, research, evaluation, and synthesis skills, along with creativity and the capability to consolidate vertical and lateral thinking.
  • Research skills – The proposal gives you the opportunity to exhibit your mastery of subject knowledge and your familiarity with current research trends.
  • Communication skills – The proposal showcases your ability to express yourself in precise and concise language.

What does the content and structure of the research proposal cover?

The content and structure that is required to write a research proposal vary from one field of study to another. Therefore, you should consult closely with your supervisor or the person who assigned you the task so that you are aware of all the particular requirements in your field of study. However, in general, a research proposal consists of the following elements:

  • Background of the topic
  • Importance of the problem
  • Research objectives and questions
  • Literature review
  • Study/project design
  • Chronology
  • Expected results/impact

How to write a research proposal?

This is the most vital part of your research proposal process. It is now that you need to utilize the basic outline of your content. Let’s analyze how to write it following the format mentioned above.

Title –

The title of your proposal should be concise and clear enough to indicate the information included in the research paper. Make sure the title is engaging and captivating as it is the first thing your audience will read. A catchy but informative headline will surely make your readers read the entire proposal.

The first that needs to come in your reader’s mind when they read the title is what to expect in the content as it needs to establish a relationship between the independent and dependent variables.

Avoid writing titles in an overview or phrases like “An investigation of …” or “A review of …” etc. Strive to make it concise and well defined.

Abstract –

The abstract of your research proposal is a short summary of between 100 and 250 words, including the research question, your hypothesis (if any), the methodology, and the findings.

If your proposal is detailed and long, it is important to add an index section after the abstract for your reader’s convenience.

Introduction –

Your introduction needs to have a start with a solid presentation. The introduction is written to provide background or context to your research problem with an insight into the current scenario.

Remember that it is vital to frame the research question while you are writing the proposal as your entire proposal will be deal with the question. If your research question is not very specific and has a very extensive literature review, your proposal may seem insignificant. A precise research question will focus your research and make it more informative.

However, there is no single way to ask your research question. Begin the introduction with a general statement related to the problem area you are focusing on and the rationale for your study.

The introduction commonly includes –

  • Purpose of your research or study.
  • Background information and importance.
  • Research proposal question, highlighting its significance.
  • Briefly mention the topics.
  • Identify the independent and dependent variables.
  • Mention if there is a hypothesis or theory related to your research.

Have a short idea associated with your research to ensure you do not deviate from the limits set for your study that will assist you in developing a perfect thesis.

Literature review –

Depending on your requirements, you can incorporate the literature review into the introduction or create a different segment for it. A separate section will enable you to carry out extensive background research and back up your research question with ample evidence from credible sources.

What are the fundamental purposes of the literature review?

  • Help build an accurate and explicit research question.
  • Persuade the reader about the importance of your research.
  • Refer to researchers whose study has been part of your research.
  • Evaluate information from previous literature, supporting the research.
  • Understand the research problems relevant to the topic.

The literature review can be considered as one of the important components of your proposal. Make sure to keep it organized by adding a subtitle to keep your content flowing. Write it in an interactive and engaging way to not to bore your readers, your instructor, or the committee.

Value of research –

The importance of your research will recognize the significance of your work. You need to state and highlight your main points in the introductory paragraph and make sure your audience understands why your research is beneficial for the development of science and society in general. Similarly, you can also indicate your contribution to the field both in the broadest and in the narrow sense.

Research methodology –

This section explains how you will carry out your research and the methods you will follow to reach the solution, conduct your research, and choose your research question. Give a description of why you choose the specific method for your research and how it will help you achieve your research goals. This will help you give an organized plan for your research proposal.

It should contain enough information about your research methodology so that your audience comprehend how you are directing your research and for other researchers to implement it.

How to choose the right type of research methodology for your research?

research methodology

Quantitative research is suitable for projects involving those with the collection and analysis of statistical data such as that from the social sciences, medicine, and psychology. Where when it comes to the qualitative approach, you need to focus on a type of theoretical research such as that in literature. For a qualitative approach, the methodology segment, you need to have more details of aspect and elaborate the topic more than the quantitative approach. Some research involves both; analysis of both statistical data and theory. This is where you need to super careful while choosing the research methodology. How you will collect your data and evaluate it according to the qualitative approach should be described very carefully.

When choosing a quantitative approach to your research, the method section should contain the answers of –

  • What are the sample size and topic of your study?
  • What is the procedure you will carry out for the activities involved in it?
  • Design: is it a laboratory experiment or a survey?
  • What is the question for your research proposal?
  • What are the methodologies you used for your approach to the research problem?

Goals of the investigation –

The objectives of your research need to be properly mentioned to make the readers understand what the writer is trying to accomplish. Furthermore, these purposes and objectives must be achievable and measurable, framed based on –

  • Infrastructure
  • Available time
  • Research proposal topic
  • Other crucial resources.

It is advantageous to go through all the developments in the domain and find research gaps before picking on your goal. It will help you find proper goals for your projects.

Ethical considerations –

It is an essential part of your scheme as researchers must acknowledge ethical values ​​when carrying out research work. Moreover, you must also be very cautious in the data gathering process, and you must respect the rights of the associates. They must not be subject to harm in any way. Similarly, your full consent must be obtained prior to the study.

Finally, it is a moral duty of the writer to promise total confidentiality so that they feel comfortable sharing information.

Limitations of the investigation –

Listing the limitations confers your honesty and deep knowledge of the topic. Research limitations show flaws and deficiencies in your research. These may include:

  • Shortness of availability of resources.
  • Inadequate sample size
  • Incorrect methodology

Result –

Well, you won’t get any results while writing a research proposal. Hence, this section should include a description of how you will analyze your research question. You can present a hypothesis based on the evidence you have collected in the investigation.

Discussion –

Explain what the potential impact of your research will be and highlight the reasons for choosing the respective topic. Do not make it a lengthy one by exaggerating the merits of your research.

Also, mention the boundaries in terms of lack of time, resources, and budget; discuss its scope for future studies.

Citation –

Don’t skip this section as you surely don’t want to be blamed by someone for plagiarism. Always give references to the authors, literature, and sources from where you have collected information for your piece of content.

Below we have mentioned the two ways through which you can cite your sources –

Reference: List the sources you have used in your proposal.

Bibliography: List everything you have studied, cited, or not while doing your study or while writing.

Proofreading – 

Many students opt not to proofread their research proposal after completing it, which is a serious mistake. If you review the document yourself, you may not be able to identify the errors. Use online tools or ask your friend to help you read it well.

In the end, edit the document as needed.

How to end the research proposal?

Conclude your research proposal by symbolizing the expected results. Your audience will understand that these are projected results based on the scope of research at the time of writing this article and that they will almost certainly change in light of more research. However, you must give the reader an idea of ​​the conclusions that can be drawn. This will allow your reader to think and further assess the importance and validity of your research paper. It will also show that you have thought ahead and estimated the possible results and implications of your research.

To avoid repeating the description of the goals and importance of your research earlier in the proposal, focus on how you think your research will contribute to the debates and trends in your field. What impact could your findings have on how the problem is perceived? What impact could your methods have on how research is done in the future?