Most beginning researchers and university students do not fully understand what a research proposal means and why it is important for their academic career. Research proposal can make or break your research grant, PhD or scholarship application. Writing a research proposal is a challenging task and there is no single format for this type of academic writing because every research project is different. In this article, you will find an easy guide to writing a research proposal where we will discuss its purpose, structure, format, and will present to you some writing advice from professional writers of an educational portal . Go on reading and discover how you can make the best possible impression.
What Is a Research Proposal?
The goal of any research proposal is to prove other people that you have a worthwhile idea for your research project and that you are competent enough and have a plan how to do it right. A focused and well-written research proposal should present a concise and coherent summary of your proposed research. It has to set out and justify the need to study a certain research problem. Any research proposal should include all the essential elements of a research process and give enough information for readers to evaluate the proposed future study. You should consider your research proposal as an initial outline that can evolve in as the work progresses.
The layout and formats may vary but regardless of your research area and the methods that you choose, all research proposals must explain what you plan to achieve, why you are willing to do it, and how you are planning to conduct your research.
You should provide sufficient information for your readers to convince them that your research idea is important, that you have performed a good investigation of the relevant literature and the key issues and that you have chosen a sound methodology.
Your research proposal will be assessed by the quality and originality of your ideas, your critical thinking skills, and your expertise in the area in which you want to conduct a research.
Structuring a Research Proposal
Research proposals are typically 1,500 – 3000 words in length and contain such parts:
- The title should be short (up to ten words and 60 characters), descriptive, and comprehensive and it should clearly indicate the subject of investigation. Make sure that you have included some important key words in it. But the title can be revised as your research progresses.
- The abstract is a concise summary of your intended research (approximately 300 words). This part should include your research question, your hypothesis if you have any, the methodology, and the key findings.
- The introduction should provide information about your aims and objectives for the proposed research and provide necessary background for your research problem and explain its significance. You have to state the research problem and present the rationale for your proposed study, explain how you plan to conduct a research, and provide definitions of key terms.
- The literature review is a section where you have to discuss the theories, models, and works that influence your research question. You should demonstrate your understanding of theoretical and research issues that are related to your research question. You should convince your audience that you propose a research that will make a significant contribution to the literature.
- The methodology section should outline how you are going to do your research and provide your work plan. Your goal here is to convince your reader that your research design will address the problem correctly and that your methods will be appropriate to effectively interpret the potential results.
- The timetable is the section where you have to identify how long you’ll need to complete each step of your future research.
- The bibliography section should provide a list of the most significant appropriate sources. You should demonstrate a critical reflection in the selection of appropriate texts.
Your research proposal is an opportunity to communicate your passion in the subject area and to provide a persuasive argument about what your research can accomplish. That’s why your research proposal should include an outline of your proposed project but you should also approach it as a persuasive essay and do your best to focus on your topic and to make a coherent and persuasive argument for the proposed research. You should show your enthusiasm for conducting the study and make your readers feel that it is an exciting idea.
An effective research proposal is assessed on the quality of your writing so it’s crucial that your writing is clear and compelling. You should use a clear and easy-to-read structure and use appropriate headings. Before submitting your research proposal, you should do a final check and make sure that it conforms to academic standards and doesn’t have any grammar or spelling mistakes or typos.