Do you also find writing a research paper a dreadful task?
To write a successful research paper, you need to know how to write a research proposal in a way that it passes through the thesis committee.
A research proposal is a concise summary of your research paper. It creates the general idea of your research by highlighting the questions and issues you are going to address in your paper.
For writing it, demonstrate the uniqueness of your research paper. This is the first draft that demonstrates your skills to conduct research.
To clarify the concept further, it is the is the most important document as it tells if you can successfully conduct complex research by communicating your clear and concise ideas.
A detailed definition is,
“A research proposal is a document written with the goal of presenting and justifying your interest and need of conducting research on a particular topic. It must highlight the benefits and outcomes of the proposed study, supported by persuasive evidence. ”
Sometimes students don’t realize how important a research paper is and just end up putting all the information together without following the basic outline or thinking this through.
To summarize its importance, if you want a successful research project, you need to write a great proposal for it.
Before starting with the outline, you need to understand the basic components. It goes without saying that a clear outline is important when it comes to literature and writing.
It might seem like a dreadful task and especially for the students who are new to this. It requires good writing as well as research skills. Here is a sample template to further explain the outline.
Research Proposal Template (PDF)
Continue reading to know more about proposal writing.
Your proposal proposal should have enough data and information to persuade and convince your readers regarding the significance of your research. Here is a basic format you can follow while writing your proposal.
Now you have the basic outline you can follow. Let’s discuss how to write it following the format mentioned above.
Your proposal title should be concise and clear to indicate your research question. The title is the first thing that your reader is going to read. A catchy yet informative title will attract readers.
Your readers should know what to expect in the paper after reading the title. Your title should clearly indicate the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Avoid writing titles in a general perspective or phrases like “An investigation of …” or “A review of …”
The abstract is a short summary that is around 100-250 words. The abstract should include the research question, hypothesis of your research (if there is any), the research methodology and findings.
If the proposal is detailed then it will require a section of table of contents after the abstract.
You need to start with a strong introduction. The introduction is written to provide a background or context related to your research problem. It is important to frame the research question while writing the proposal.
Your entire proposal will revolve around your research question. If the research question is not specific and has a very general literature review, then your proposal might seem insignificant. A specific research question will make your research focused.
However, there is no one way to frame your research question. Start the introduction with a general statement related to the problem area you are focusing on and the justification for your study.
The introduction usually covers the following elements.
Have a very clear and concise idea related to your research to make sure you do not deviate from the boundaries set for your study. A clear idea will help you craft a perfect thesis. Here is how you can create a crisp and interesting thesis introduction along with a basic guideline.
As per the requirements of your instructor, you can incorporate the literature review in the introduction or create a separate section for the review. A separate section dedicated to literature review will allow you to conduct extensive background research and support your research question with ample proof from credible sources and researches.
Following are the basic purposes of the literature review.
A literature review is an important component. However, there are some common mistakes that students make while reviewing the literature.
Keep your literature review organized by adding a subheading to maintain a smooth flow in the content. Reading literature review might seem boring to a few people. Try not to bore your readers and your instructor, or the committee.. Write it in an engaging manner.
This section explains how you are going to conduct your research and the method you choose for your research question. Explain why the specific method is suitable for your research and how will it help you attain your research goals. Your research methodology will give you an organized plan for the research.
Mention sufficient information regarding your research methodology for readers to understand how you are conducting your research. It must contain enough information regarding the study for another researcher to implement it.
Choose the type of research methodology that is suitable for your research. Quantitative research is suitable for projects involving collecting and analysis of statistical data like that in social sciences, medicine and psychology. Qualitative type is used in theoretical type of research like that in literature. Some research involves both; if your research topic also involves analysis of both the statistical data and theory, then make sure that you use them appropriately.
For a qualitative approach, the method section of your proposal needs to be more detailed and elaborate as compared to the one in quantitative approach. How you will collect your data and analyze it according to the qualitative approach should be described with great care.
When you choose a quantitative approach for your research, the method section should contain answers to the following elements.
Design – Is it a laboratory experiment or a survey?
What is the sample size and the subject of your study?
What is the procedure of your study and how will you carry out the activities involved in it?
Describe your questionnaire or the instruments you will be using in the experiment.
Have detailed knowledge of all the research methodologies to justify your approach towards the research problem.
You won’t be having any results of your experiment while you are writing the proposal. In this section, you can describe how you will analyze your research question; present hypothesis based on the data you have collected in the research.
Describe what will be the potential impact of your research and highlight the reasons of choosing the respective topic. Don’t exaggerate the merits of your research just to enhance the significance in the eyes of the readers.
Also, mention the limitations of your study in terms of lack of time, resources and budget; mention its scope for future study.
Don’t forget the citation section.You don’t want to get blamed for plagiarism. Always give references to the authors and the literature you have studied for your research.
There are two ways to cite your sources.
Reference – List the literature that you have used in your proposal.
Bibliography – List everything that you have cited while doing your study or while writing.
Follow a specific format for the citation section as instructed by your supervisor. It can be written in APA, MLA, Chicago or Harvard style. Both references and bibliography included in it.
An analysis of 500 rejected proposals allowed us to identify the common blunders made in them.
These blunders caused the rejection of otherwise promising research.
These are the common ways that result in rejection.
If you desire to make it shine, stick to your instructor’s guidelines and stay away from committing these mistakes. They will kill the purpose and effort you put in your proposal and tarnish your reputation also.
None wants the proposal to be rejected in the first place. The acceptance gives you a head start.
Your writing style is significant in this regard; it will decide if your proposal is accepted or not.
Always proceed to establish a declarative writing format. Never use informal vocabulary or overused idioms and passive verbs. Typos, spelling mistakes and poor grammar casts a negative impact on the professor.
If you don’t have perfect grammatical skills, you can never write a brilliant piece of paper.
Many students prefer not to proofread the proposal after completion, which is a grave mistake If you proofread the paper on your own, you may fail to identify the mistakes. Use online tools or have a helping hand from your friend to give it a good read.
In the end, edit the document as per the needs.
To clarify the concept, here is an example following the outline mentioned above.
Here is another complete sample to help you write a research proposal.
To write your proposal in APA format, review the following example.
You can take ideas for your topic from books, journals, previously done researches and dissertations.
Here are a few topics you can choose from.
If you want to know more about finding a topic for your research paper and research paper topic examples, here is how you can choose a topic for research paper.
They can be critical requiring great attention.
If you are inexperienced, you are likely to suffer.
In a worst case scenario, your proposal may get rejected.
But there is a solution to this complex problem.
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