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The Research Proposal Writing Guide

July 31, 2018


Writing a research proposal is significant for people intending to undertake further studies of a particular subject area. Students are often asked to come up with research proposal projects by their instructors to evaluate their knowledge of a topic of study. For one to come up with a perfect proposal, it`s necessary to have a guideline that will help you develop the paper.



Topic Actuality

As you begin writing, you should first select the topic you will be addressing in your proposal. Choosing a relevant title requires you to be well founded in the field. Using your insight and books on the subject, you can find some topic ideas.

The quality of the topic will determine the value of your research; therefore, it should align with the research study. Focus on what you find interesting as this will motivate you to write. As much as it is important to go with the topic you are passionate about, you should also ensure it has adequate sources to back it up. Good research topics are concise and viable to the readers.


Purpose of Research Proposals

Research proposal writing is part and parcel of the obligations that students have to handle. Writing these documents may contribute to the final mark of their academics. The main objective of writing a proposal is to show your understanding of the research paper to your teacher.

The proposal is used to set the tone of the paper by justifying it and providing information about the research topic. Before one is given the go-ahead to write a certain research paper, it is essential that they develop a proposal which the instructor will use to consider as to whether the actual research should be written.


What Should the Proposal Include

A research proposal is considered to be incomplete if it does not include the following;

•  The title

Come up with an interesting proposal topic that will spike the attention of your reader. A quality title is concise and relevant to the discipline. It takes time to come up with a good topic, therefore, one should research and uncover the best topic for their study. The topic you choose to work on should be based on facts and have reliable resources to support it.

•  Introduction

In this part, you address the central objectives of your proposal. The introduction should give the audience analysis of what to expect in the actual research. It also portrays the overall theme of the research proposal.

•  Background of the research problem

Giving background information on the issues will aid in laying the foundation of your research. It will give the audience an idea of what your paper entails. The background will look into the previous studies done on the topics and will also present what was concluded.

It will also include what your research brings to the table that was not discussed in the other works. The research background will enable you to develop research questions that will assist in setting the line of argument for your proposal. The questions aid in developing the basis of the paper and its direction.

•  Literature review

This part includes all the work analyzed related to the research. The literature review will present the significance of the research topic and its relevance by looking at research done previously associated with the topic. One can also compare various researches done by others. The literature review is a framework that gives an overview of the study an individual intends to write.

•  Research methods

These are the techniques that you will use to accomplish the objectives presented in the introductions. You can start by identifying the ways you will answer the research questions. Find the resources that will be important for your research and explain their effectiveness. Look at the modes of analysis that are relevant to your research.

•  Bibliography

Once you have completed the research proposal, you should list all the sources utilized in the proposal. Any articles, books, and sites used as references are included in the bibliography using the Harvard citation style.


Research Proposal Volume

Research proposals may differ in terms of length depending on the instructions given by the teacher. Guidelines are given to specify the word limit of the proposal to be written. In case no details are provided, it is advisable to stick to approximately three thousand words.


How to Start a Research Proposal

For one to complete an effective research proposal, they should dedicate time and effort into developing the project. You can then identify a relevant topic for your search. You can write some of the topics that interest you and narrow down to the topic that is most relevant to the study.

You will assemble all the sources that you will use in the research. The resources you choose should be related to the topic and enable you to find adequate information to support your proposal.

Once you have gathered all the books, conduct in-depth research on the topic. Make notes the information related to the topic. Find the suitable approach you will use to present the information in your proposal.

The angle you choose to analyze your topic should be interesting and catchy to the instructor. Before you start the writing process formulate a plan that will guide you. Ensure that all the essential main parts of the proposal are included in the plan. The plan will help you remain on schedule and also help you stick to the main topic.


Outline of the Research Objectives

Research Objetives

After you have come up with the research questions for your proposal, the next step is to list your goals. The purpose of these objectives is to explain how the research questions will be answered.

While presenting the objectives of the research proposal ensure that you state them briefly and concisely.

It is important that you are realistic with regard to your environment. As you phrase them, ensure you use operational terms to show what you will do. Infinitive verbs will assist you in formulating the objectives. The research problem should be well covered by your hypothesis.