project paper what is

How to write your project paper

Mar 1, 2019 | Writing , paper writing

project paper what is

In college, students perform different tasks all of which are necessary for their studies. Some tasks are more complex and carry if they are a partial fulfillment for graduation. When the student is approaching the end of his studies, he is supposed to write a project paper hat is research-based. However, this varies from one program to the next. This paper is so important such that the preparation for it starts very beforehand. The student has to submit a topic for approval, after which he has to develop a proposal detailing why he should be allowed to carry out research in that field.

The process of writing that proposal takes time, and the student has to pay attention to the kind of information and reasons he puts forward. After the approval, the student can go to the field to conduct research. As such, this makes the project paper, a research project. Now, the student must have the requisite skills to do this project. First, he must know the steps in writing a project or research paper because the success of this project depends on it. More so, the student must also think about the topic he has to choose. For one, choosing a broader topic may make the paper too long. On the other hand, choosing a very narrow topic can present problems in filing information.

As such, the student was supposed to choose a topic that will not bring problems during the project paper writing process. Remember that he is garnering for the best score because without the project paper writing , he is unlikely to graduate. Some students have even enlisted the services of online writers who can write these project papers in good detail and within the specified deadline. The idea of using online writers is not welcome to everyone, but students still use it. In most cases, this is driven by the pressure that comes with the process of project paper writing or the inadequate skills in research writing that most students have. Either way, the steps in writing a project or research paper remain the same.

When it comes to the preparation, a student is supposed to have thought of the best topic that he will use for his final projects. The preparation ought to start early on, especially during the onset of the final academic year. This helps the student in planning for the project proposal, which usually takes time. After the approval, the student is now ready to obtain all the necessary information, analyse the data, and write the final report. The best thing to do while doing project paper writing is to stay in touch with the lecturer or the supervisor in every step if the way.

For instance, if you are done with chapter one of the project, you can consult your supervisor to establish if you have followed every rule. This way, he can correct you where necessary, and as you proceed, you will be aware of the mistakes to avoid. This keeps your work within the required limits, and you are able to finish the paper without too many problems. Even when you are using online writers, you have to consult for you to make sure the writer is following every requirement of the assignment. Final projects are very crucial, and they partly demonstrate what you have been learning, and the skills that you have acquired over the years that you have been in college. As such, we have to delve on the steps in writing a project or research paper.

A project paper is a formal document, which presents and discusses the results of your in-depth research. It follows some predefined guidelines, which are necessary for the entire project paper writing process . As earlier stated, project papers are mostly research papers that are used to explore and identify scientific, technical and social issues. Since this is your final project, you are familiar with the steps in writing a project or research paper, which makes it less daunting. However, there are students who still do not have the requisite skills to write this paper.

If this is a comfort, then these insights will help you to tackle this final project because your graduation depends on it. The process of project paper writing starts with the following:

This process starts with choosing the best topic for your research when choosing your topic to consider the following tips:

Ask yourself crucial questions

Choosing your topic is the first step you do in the project paper writing process. As you do this, you need to have a few questions to think about. Is there available research on the topic? Is the topic unique and new to offer fresh opinions? Is it pertinent to my occupation?

Always pick a topic that you love

You ought to choose a topic that you feel passionate about. The project paper writing process can become daunting if you have a topic that sparks no interest in you. When you write something, about which you are passionate, the process becomes easier, and you will enjoy every step of the project.

Maintain originality

If your project paper is a final academic undertaking, you must make it as original as possible. You have to consider what other students are likely to write and try as much as possible to be unique. All of you are graduating soon, and as such, you have the liberty to choose your topic. Make your topic stand out from the rest because writing about the same thing is boring.

Seek advice

The steps in writing a project or research paper sometimes can get tricky, and as such, you need to get relevant advice. If you originate a topic that feels “just right” you, can ask for advice, especially from your professor. He is likely to have great ideas that even if they are not options for you, they are a source of inspiration for new ideas. If your professor is worth anything to you, then you are likely to be successful with your work especially if you keep consulting him.

Our topic is not set on stone

If you know how to write a project paper, then you know that the topic you come up with is not final. It is subject to change, and this is evident during your researching process. do not fret if you find out that you want to make changes to your topic because this is normal during a research process.

Your project paper will anchor on the research that you undertake in the field. Consider the following when doing your research:

Begin your research

Now that you have a topic, you can research on it using reliable and trustworthy web pages, journal articles, books, encyclopedias, interviews, blog posts and so on. Take your time to check on the professional resources that have valid research and insights to your topic. You can use a minimum of five sources in your project paper.

Consider using empirical research

Fine research is one of the steps in writing a project or research paper ; you have a chance to use empirical research whenever possible. It can be peer-reviewed empirical research written by experts in your field of interest. It has been read and vouched for by other experts in the same field.

Make use of the library

Most students nowadays tend to ignore the school library, but they do not know it can be a great source of help during the project paper writing process. There are different research materials that include books, newspapers, magazines, journals and so on. You can ask the librarian for help if necessary.

Use the internet

When using the internet in the research process, do not always pick the top three results displayed on the search engine. You have to think critically and read every source toughly to determine if it is legitimate. The information you find must be trustworthy, meaning the internet source you use is reliable.

Use academic databases

Your project paper writing process cannot be complete if you have not used academic databases. They are online search engines that have databases with numerous peer-reviewed or scientifically published journals, magazines, books and so on.

Become creative with your research

You can find a book or a journal that fits your topic excellently. Look at the bibliography and the end of it because it might contain more books and journals that relate to your topic.

You are now deep into the steps of writing a project or research paper, and at this point, you can formulate an outline. You can annotate your research after you gather all the relevant information. Mark anything in the sources that you are using for your paper. Do a though annotating and make an outline for your paper to make the project paper writing process easier.

Ensure that you have organized your notes accordingly because research can take quite some time and the outlining process is meant to bring more clarity to it. You can organize your notes by highlighting all the phrases and ideas into categories based on topic. Outlining your project paper makes it easier for you to include everything you need.

Your thesis statement comes at the beginning of your paper, right after your introduction. It should be one or two sentences that tell the main aim of your project paper. Your thesis statement is subject to change as you go along writing the paper.

Sometimes, the steps of writing a project or research paper do not necessarily start with an introduction, it can be written later, but it depends on the person. You can start with the body paragraphs and support everything that you say in the paper using evidence. Since this is a research paper, project paper writing does not take your personal opinion or remarks that are not supported by evidence.

Provide ample explanations for your research. In the project paper writing process, refrain from using too many quotes. The idea of this paper is to resent your ideas, and unless you intend to use these quotes, it must be of utmost necessity. Your paper ought to flow well and every paragraph ought to cover one point at a time. Use transitional words in every paragraph to enhance the flow of ideas.

One of the significant steps in writing a project or research paper is to come up with an effective conclusion. Since you have worked your way through the evidence, summarize your findings, in conclusion, to give the audience a sense of closure. You restate your thesis statements in a few words without negating the meaning and then the major points that you have covered in your project paper. You can emphasize the larger implications of your topic.

If you did not start with the introduction, this is the time that you write it, introduce the larger topic and then orient the reader to the area on which you have focused. End the introduction with our thesis statement. If you write your introduction last, it will still be read first. You only want to write it with respect to how you have discussed all your evidence, and now you have a better perspective on how you will introduce your work.

Everything you write in your project paper must be referenced according to the format preferred by your instructor. It could be MLA, APA, and Harvard and so on. Follow the guidelines that are there in each format.

Edit and proofread your paper to remove any mistakes with sentence structure, flow, adding necessary or deleting unnecessary information, correcting mistakes in grammar, punctuation, spelling and so on. These two steps in writing a project or research paper are necessary for as far as your score is concerned. Once you are done, print your project paper, and submit.

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Subject Material

How to write a project paper.

A project paper is a very formal piece of writing, which aims to present and discuss the results of your in depth study. The following guidelines should be followed.

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Organizing the Project Paper

The project paper must have an introduction, a main body and a conclusion. Before you start the writing process, you should make a detailed outline.


The introduction must describe what the paper will be about and clearly state the approach to the topic as a question or statement. (thesis question (Am.)) The question/statement must be linked to at least one competence aim in the English curriculum and be addressable in about 1800 to 2000 words. The introduction must also present how you chose to solve the task i.e. what method(s) you have used to investigate the question/statement. What you write in the introduction will be decisive for what you write in the rest of the project paper.

When you have stated your question/statement and explained how you will solve the task, you can start writing the main body of the project paper. The main body of the paper is your attempt to answer your question/statement. You should present and build up a structured argument about the research. By analyzing and interpreting the sources you have chosen to include in the paper, and supporting your arguments by referring to your sources, you are to reach your own personal conclusion with regards to the question/statement in the introduction. During the writing process, it is important to reread the introduction to be certain that you have accomplished what you set out to do. If you have not, you may choose to edit the introduction so that it matches the main body of the paper.

It is important to use correct terminology when you are writing. It increases the level of accuracy, and thus the standard of the paper. Where it is relevant, you may include illustrations and tables.

The conclusion should summarize the findings from the main body of the paper, and answer the question/statement. The conclusion should not come as a surprise to the reader, but be consistent with the arguments you have used. In some cases, the conclusion will raise new questions, which you can include to show that you have good insight into the topic you have chosen to write about.

Formal Presentation

We suggest that the length of the project paper should be between 1800 and 2000 words. The word count must be included in the paper and placed after the conclusion. The word count should not include the cover sheet, table of contents, illustrations or list of sources.

The project paper should be written using formal language. It should be in A4-format, include a coversheet, a table of contents, and a list of sources, in addition to the actual project paper. The coversheet is to include the title of the paper, your name, the subject, the name of the school, and the year. The title does not have to be identical to the question/statement about your approach to the topic. The table of contents should be placed immediately after the cover sheet, and include page numbers.

The left margin should be 3 cm, and the right margin 2.5 cm. Top and bottom margins should be 2.5 cm. The cover sheet is to be page 1, but there should be no page number written on the cover sheet. The page numbers can be placed at the bottom of the pages, either centered or at the right margin.

Paragraphs should all be treated identically in the research paper. Should you choose to show the start of a new paragraph by having an empty line above the new paragraph, you have to do that consistently throughout the paper (block paragraphs). Should you choose to use the tab to change the left margin every time you start a new paragraph, then that is how all paragraphs should be started (Indented paragraphs).

The font should be 12. Ariel or Times New Roman is a good font. Use line spacing 1.5. The bottom text should state the title of your paper.

Correct Use of Sources

It is important that you use the information you gather in an independent way. You should never pretend that something someone else has written was written by you. That is called plagiarism. That is why it is important that you cite and reference your sources correctly, so that the reader can find the sources you have used.

There are several methods for citing your sources. We have chosen the Harvard method for citations and list of sources.

Direct Quotations

  • If the quotation is shorter than three lines, then the quotation is to be placed within your text and marked with quotation marks. It can look like this: Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text "Quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote" (Author, Year, Page). Text Text Text Text Text.
  • A quotation that exceeds three lines, should be placed in its own paragraph. A long quotation should be in single-spaced lines, to clearly show that it is a quotation. For a long quotation, you should not use quotation marks: Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote (Author, Year, Page). Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text.

Indirect Quotations

  • If you use information from another source, but rewrite the text so that it is not a direct quotation, you will still need to cite the source. The indirect quotation should not be shown in any other way but by the reference, i.e. without quotation marks or any other graphical stress: Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text Text (Author, Year, Page). Text Text Text Text Text Text Text.

How to Write a List of Sources

The list of sources should start on a new page at the end of the document. Note that the list of sources is not to be grouped according to the type of source, but should be organized alphabetically by the author's last name. Still, dependeing on type of source, the sources will differ in format. A novel for instance will be listed in a different format than an article.

You will find more information about sources here: Use, Evaluate and Cite Sources of Information .

Evaluation Criteria

The following table suggests evaluation criteria for a project paper and can be printed out as a Word document.

  • Evaluation Criteria for Project Paper (DOCX)

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How to Write a Project Proposal (Examples & Template Included)


Table of Contents

What is a project proposal, types of project proposals, project proposal vs. project charter, project proposal vs. business case, project proposal vs. project plan, project proposal outline, how to write a project proposal, project proposal example, project proposal tips.

  • ProjectManager & Project Proposals

A project proposal is a project management document that’s used to define the objectives and requirements of a project. It helps organizations and external project stakeholders agree on an initial project planning framework.

The main purpose of a project proposal is to get buy-in from decision-makers. That’s why a project proposal outlines your project’s core value proposition; it sells value to both internal and external project stakeholders. The intent of the proposal is to grab the attention of stakeholders and project sponsors. Then, the next step is getting them excited about the project summary.

Getting into the heads of the audience for which you’re writing the project proposal is vital: you need to think like the project’s stakeholders to deliver a proposal that meets their needs.

We’ve created a free project proposal template for Word to help structure documents, so you don’t have to remember the process each time.

project paper what is

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Project Proposal Template

Use this free Project Proposal Template for Word to manage your projects better.

In terms of types of project proposals, you can have one that’s formally solicited, informally solicited or a combination. There can also be renewal and supplemental proposals. Here’s a brief description of each of them.

  • Solicited project proposal: This is sent as a response to a request for proposal (RFP) . Here, you’ll need to adhere to the RFP guidelines of the project owner.
  • Unsolicited project proposal: You can send project proposals without having received a request for a proposal. This can happen in open bids for construction projects , where a project owner receives unsolicited project proposals from many contractors.
  • Informal project proposal: This type of project proposal is created when a client asks for an informal proposal without an RFP.
  • Renewal project proposal: You can use a renewal project proposal when you’re reaching out to past customers. The advantage is that you can highlight past positive results and future benefits.
  • Continuation project proposal: A continuation project proposal is sent to investors and stakeholders to communicate project progress.
  • Supplemental project proposal: This proposal is sent to investors to ask for additional resources during the project execution phase.

A project proposal is a detailed project document that’s used to convince the project sponsor that the project being proposed is worth the time, money and effort to deliver it. This is done by showing how the project will address a business problem or opportunity. It also outlines the work that will be done and how it will be done.

A project charter can seem like the same thing as a project proposal as it also defines the project in a document. It identifies the project objectives, scope, goals, stakeholders and team. But it’s done after the project has been agreed upon by all stakeholders and the project has been accepted. The project charter authorizes the project and documents its requirements to meet stakeholders’ needs.

A business case is used to explain why the proposed project is justified. It shows that the project is worth the investment of time and money. It’s more commonly used in larger companies in the decision-making process when prioritizing one project over another.

The business case answers the questions: what is the project, why should it be taken up, who will be involved and how much will it cost? It’s therefore related to a project proposal, but the project proposal comes before the business case and is usually part of the larger proposal.

Again, the project proposal and the project plan in this case are very similar documents. It’s understandable that there would be some confusion between these two project terms. They both show how the project will be run and what the results will be. However, they’re not the same.

The project proposal is a document that aims to get a project approved and funded. It’s used to convince stakeholders of the viability of the project and their investment. The project plan, on the other hand, is made during the planning phase of the project, once it’s been approved. It’s a detailed outline of how the project will be implemented, including schedule, budget, resources and more.

There are several key operational and strategic questions to consider, including:

  • Executive summary: This is the elevator pitch that outlines the project being proposed and why it makes business sense. While it also touches on the information that’ll follow in the project proposal, the executive summary should be brief and to the point.
  • Project background: This is another short part of the proposal, usually only one page, which explains the problem you’ll solve or the opportunity you’re taking advantage of with the proposed project. Also, provide a short history of the business to put the company in context to the project and why it’s a good fit.
  • Project vision & success criteria: State the goal of the project and how it aligns with the goals of the company. Be specific. Also, note the metrics used to measure the success of the project.
  • Potential risks and mitigation strategies: There are always risks. Detail them here and what strategies you’ll employ to mitigate any negative impact as well as take advantage of any positive risk.
  • Project scope & deliverables: Define the project scope, which is all the work that has to be done and how it will be done. Also, detail the various deliverables that the project will have.
  • Set SMART goals: When setting goals, be SMART. That’s an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. All your goals would be defined by those five things.
  • Project approach: Define the approach you’ll use for the contract. There are several different types of contracts used in construction , for example, such as lump sum, cost plus, time and materials, etc. This is also a good place to describe the delivery method you’ll use.
  • Expected benefits: Outline the benefits that will come from the successful completion of the project.
  • Project resource requirements: List the resources, such as labor, materials, equipment, etc., that you’ll need to execute the project if approved.
  • Project costs & budget: Detail all the costs, including resources, that’ll be required to complete the project and set up a budget to show how those costs will be spent over the course of the project.
  • Project timeline: Lay out the project timeline , which shows the project from start to finish, including the duration of each phase and the tasks within it, milestones, etc.

In addition to these elements, it’s advisable to use a cover letter, which is a one-page document that helps you introduce your project proposal and grab the attention of potential clients and stakeholders.

All the elements in the above project proposal outline are present in our template. This free project proposal template for Word will provide you with everything you need to write an excellent project proposal. It will help you with the executive summary, project process, deliverables, costs—even terms and conditions. Download your free template today.

Project proposal tempalte for Word

To make the best proposal possible, you’ll want to be thorough and hit on all the points we’ve listed above. Here’s a step-by-step guide to writing a persuasive priority proposal.

1. Write an Executive Summary

The executive summary provides a quick overview of the main elements of your project proposal, such as your project background, project objectives and project deliverables, among other things. The goal is to capture the attention of your audience and get them excited about the project you’re proposing. It’s essentially the “elevator pitch” for the project life cycle. It should be short and to the point.

The executive summary should be descriptive and paint a picture of what project success looks like for the client. Most importantly, it should motivate the project client; after all, the goal is getting them to sign on the dotted line to get the project moving!

2. Provide a Project Background

The project background is a one-page section of your project proposal that explains the problem that your project will solve. You should explain when this issue started, its current state and how your project will be the ideal solution.

  • Historic data: The history section outlines previously successful projects and those that could have run more smoothly. By doing so, this section establishes precedents and how the next project can be more effective using information from previous projects.
  • Solution: The solution section addresses how your project will solve the client’s problem. Accordingly, this section includes any project management techniques , skills and procedures your team will use to work efficiently.

3. Establish a Project Vision & Success Criteria

You’ll need to define your project vision. This is best done with a vision statement, which acts as the north star for your project. It’s not specific as much as it’s a way to describe the impact your company plans to make with the project.

It’s also important to set up success criteria to show that the project is in fact doing what it’s proposed to do. Three obvious project success criteria are the triple constraint of cost, scope and time. But you’ll need to set up a way to measure these metrics and respond to them if they’re not meeting your plan.

4. Identify Potential Risks and Mitigation Strategies

To reduce the impact of risk in your project, you need to identify what those risks might be and develop a plan to mitigate them . List all the risks, prioritize them, describe what you’ll do to mitigate or take advantage of them and who on the team is responsible for keeping an eye out for them and resolving them.

5. Define Your Project Scope and Project Deliverables

The project scope refers to all the work that’ll be executed. It defines the work items, work packages and deliverables that’ll be delivered during the execution phase of your project life cycle. It’s important to use a work breakdown structure (WBS) to define your tasks and subtasks and prioritize them.

6. Set SMART Goals for Your Project Proposal

The best mindset when developing goals and objectives for your project proposal is to use the SMART system :

  • Specific – Make sure your goals and objectives are clear, concise and specific to the task at hand.
  • Measurable – Ensure your goals and objectives are measurable so it’s obvious to see when things are on track and going well, and conversely, when things are off track and issues need to be addressed. Measurable goals make it easy to develop the milestones you’ll use to track the progress of the project and identify a reasonable date for completion and/or closure.
  • Attainable – It’s important every project has a “reach” goal. Hitting this goal would mean an outstanding project that extends above and beyond expectations. However, it’s important that the project’s core goal is attainable, so morale stays high and the job gets done with time and resources to spare.
  • Relevant – Make sure all of your goals are directly relevant to the project and address the scope within which you’re working.
  • Time-Based – Timelines and specific dates should be at the core of all goals and objectives. This helps keep the project on track and ensures all project team members can manage the work that’s ahead of them.

7. Explain What’s Your Project Approach

Your project approach defines the project management methodology , tools and governance for your project. In simple terms, it allows project managers to explain to stakeholders how the project will be planned, executed and controlled successfully.

8. Outline The Expected Benefits of Your Project Proposal

If you want to convince internal stakeholders and external investors, you’ll need to show them the financial benefits that your project could bring to their organization. You can use cost-benefit analysis and projected financial statements to demonstrate why your project is profitable.

9. Identify Project Resource Requirements

Project resources are critical for the execution of your project. The project proposal briefly describes what resources are needed and how they’ll be used. Later, during the planning phase, you’ll need to create a resource management plan that’ll be an important element of your project plan. Project requirements are the items, materials and resources needed for the project. This section should cover both internal and external needs.

10. Estimate Project Costs and Project Budget

All the resources that you’ll need for your project have a price tag. That’s why you need to estimate those costs and create a project budget . The project budget needs to cover all your project expenses, and as a project manager, you’ll need to make sure that you adhere to the budget.

11. Define a Project Timeline

Once you’ve defined your project scope, you’ll need to estimate the duration of each task to create a project timeline. Later during the project planning phase , you’ll need to create a schedule baseline, which estimates the total length of your project. Once the project starts, you’ll compare your actual project schedule to the schedule baseline to monitor progress.

Now let’s explore some project proposal examples to get a better understanding of how a project proposal would work in the real world. For this example, let’s imagine a city that’s about to build a rapid transit system. The city government has the funds to invest but lacks the technical expertise and resources that are needed to build it, so it issues a request for proposal (RFP) document and sends it to potential builders.

Then, the construction companies that are interested in executing this rapid transit project will prepare a project proposal for the city government. Here are some of the key elements they should include.

  • Project background: The construction firm will provide an explanation of the challenges that the project presents from a technical perspective, along with historical data from similar projects that have been completed successfully by the company.
  • Project vision & success criteria: Write a vision statement and explain how you’ll track the triple constraint to ensure the successful delivery of the project.
  • Potential risks and mitigation strategies: List all risks and how they’ll be mitigated, and be sure to prioritize them.
  • Project scope & deliverables: The work that’ll be done is outlined in the scope, including all the deliverables that’ll be completed over the life cycle of the project.
  • Set SMART goals: Use the SMART technique to define your project goals by whether they’re specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
  • Project approach: Define the methodology that the project manager will employ to manage the project. Also, figure out what type of contract will be used to define the project.
  • Expected benefits: Show how the project will deliver advantages to the company and define what these benefits are in a quantifiable way.
  • Project resource requirements: List all the resources, such as labor, materials, equipment, etc., needed to execute the project.
  • Project costs & budget: Estimate the cost of the project and lay that out in a project budget that covers everything from start to finish.
  • Project timeline: Outline the project schedule, including phases, milestones and task duration on a visual timeline.

Whatever project proposal you’re working on, there are a few tips that apply as best practices for all. While above we suggested a project proposal template that would have a table of contents, meaning it would be many pages long, the best-case scenario is keeping the proposal to one or two pages max. Remember, you’re trying to win over stakeholders, not bore them.

Speaking of project stakeholders , do the research. You want to address the right ones. There’s no point in doing all the work necessary to write a great proposal only to have it directed to the wrong target audience. Whoever is going to read it, though, should be able to comprehend the proposal. Keep the language simple and direct.

When it comes to writing, get a professional. Even a business document like a project proposal, business case or executive summary will suffer if it’s poorly constructed or has typos. If you don’t want to hire a professional business writer, make sure you get someone on your project team to copy, edit and proof the document. The more eyes on it, the less likely mistakes will make it to the final edition.

While you want to keep the proposal short and sweet, it helps to sweeten the pot by adding customer testimonials to the attachments. Nothing sells a project plan better than a customer base looking for your product or service.

ProjectManager & Project Proposals

ProjectManager allows you to plan proposals within our software. You can update tasks for the project proposal to signify where things stand and what’s left to be done. The columns allow you to organize your proposal by section, creating a work breakdown structure (WBS) of sorts.

When building a project proposal, it’s vital to remember your target audience. Your audience includes those who are excited about the project, and see completion as a gain for their organization. Conversely, others in your audience will see the project as a pain and something to which they aren’t looking forward. To keep both parties satisfied, it’s essential to keep language factual and concise.

Our online kanban boards help you think through that language and collaborate on it effectively with other team members, if necessary. Each card shows the percentage completed so everyone in the project management team is aware of the work done and what’s left to be done.

Example Project Proposal Kanban Board

As you can see from the kanban board above, work has begun on tasks such as product documentation and design. Tasks regarding stakeholder feedback, ideation, market research and more have been completed, and there’s a good start on the engineering drawings, 3D rendering, supply chain sourcing and translation services.

A PDF is then attached to the card, and everyone added to the task receives an email notifying them of the change. This same process can be used throughout the life-cycle of the project to keep the team updated, collaborating, and producing a first-class project proposal. In addition to kanban boards, you can also use other project management tools such as Gantt charts , project dashboards, task lists and project calendars to plan, schedule and track your projects.

Project proposals are just the first step in the project planning process. Once your project is approved, you’ll have to solidify the plan, allocate and manage resources, monitor the project, and finally hand in your deliverables. This process requires a flexible, dynamic and robust project management software package. ProjectManager is online project management software that helps all your team members collaborate and manage this process in real-time. Try our award-winning software with this free 30-day trial .

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What Is a Research Paper?

  • An Introduction to Punctuation

Olivia Valdes was the Associate Editorial Director for ThoughtCo. She worked with Dotdash Meredith from 2017 to 2021.

project paper what is

  • B.A., American Studies, Yale University

A research paper is a common form of academic writing . Research papers require students and academics to locate information about a topic (that is, to conduct research ), take a stand on that topic, and provide support (or evidence) for that position in an organized report.

The term research paper may also refer to a scholarly article that contains the results of original research or an evaluation of research conducted by others. Most scholarly articles must undergo a process of peer review before they can be accepted for publication in an academic journal.

Define Your Research Question

The first step in writing a research paper is defining your research question . Has your instructor assigned a specific topic? If so, great—you've got this step covered. If not, review the guidelines of the assignment. Your instructor has likely provided several general subjects for your consideration. Your research paper should focus on a specific angle on one of these subjects. Spend some time mulling over your options before deciding which one you'd like to explore more deeply.

Try to choose a research question that interests you. The research process is time-consuming, and you'll be significantly more motivated if you have a genuine desire to learn more about the topic. You should also consider whether you have access to all of the resources necessary to conduct thorough research on your topic, such as primary and secondary sources .

Create a Research Strategy 

Approach the research process systematically by creating a research strategy. First, review your library's website. What resources are available? Where will you find them? Do any resources require a special process to gain access? Start gathering those resources—especially those that may be difficult to access—as soon as possible.

Second, make an appointment with a reference librarian . A reference librarian is nothing short of a research superhero. He or she will listen to your research question, offer suggestions for how to focus your research, and direct you toward valuable sources that directly relate to your topic.

Evaluate Sources

Now that you've gathered a wide array of sources, it's time to evaluate them. First, consider the reliability of the information. Where is the information coming from? What is the origin of the source? Second, assess the  relevance  of the information. How does this information relate to your research question? Does it support, refute, or add context to your position? How does it relate to the other sources you'll be using in your paper? Once you have determined that your sources are both reliable and relevant, you can proceed confidently to the writing phase. 

Why Write Research Papers? 

The research process is one of the most taxing academic tasks you'll be asked to complete. Luckily, the value of writing a research paper goes beyond that A+ you hope to receive. Here are just some of the benefits of research papers. 

  • Learning Scholarly Conventions:  Writing a research paper is a crash course in the stylistic conventions of scholarly writing. During the research and writing process, you'll learn how to document your research, cite sources appropriately, format an academic paper, maintain an academic tone, and more.
  • Organizing Information: In a way, research is nothing more than a massive organizational project. The information available to you is near-infinite, and it's your job to review that information, narrow it down, categorize it, and present it in a clear, relevant format. This process requires attention to detail and major brainpower.
  • Managing Time: Research papers put your time management  skills to the test. Every step of the research and writing process takes time, and it's up to you to set aside the time you'll need to complete each step of the task. Maximize your efficiency by creating a research schedule and inserting blocks of "research time" into your calendar as soon as you receive the assignment. 
  • Exploring Your Chosen Subject:  We couldn't forget the best part of research papers—learning about something that truly excites you. No matter what topic you choose, you're bound to come away from the research process with new ideas and countless nuggets of fascinating information. 

The best research papers are the result of genuine interest and a thorough research process. With these ideas in mind, go forth and research. Welcome to the scholarly conversation!

  • How to Narrow the Research Topic for Your Paper
  • 10 Places to Research Your Paper
  • What Is a Senior Thesis?
  • How to Write a Research Paper That Earns an A
  • Documentation in Reports and Research Papers
  • What Is a Bibliography?
  • 5 Steps to Writing a Position Paper
  • How to Develop a Research Paper Timeline
  • How to Organize Research Notes
  • An Introduction to Academic Writing
  • Writing an Annotated Bibliography for a Paper
  • Abstract Writing for Sociology
  • Writing a Paper about an Environmental Issue
  • Finding Trustworthy Sources
  • Topic In Composition and Speech
  • How to Write a 10-Page Research Paper

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Expert Tips for Writing a Project Description With Free Templates

By Kate Eby | May 25, 2021

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A strong project description provides a roadmap for stakeholders and communicates the vision without getting bogged down in details. We’ve compiled expert tips and sample project descriptions to help you get started. 

In this article, you’ll find a project description outline , steps for writing a project description , expert tips , and examples of project descriptions by industry .

What Is a Project Description?

A project description is a high-level overview of why you’re doing a project. The document explains a project’s objectives and its essential qualities. Think of it as the elevator pitch that focuses on what and why without delving into how. 

You typically draft a project description early on, during the project initiation phase of the project management lifecycle.

The project manager often writes the project description. However, if you are working for an agency that seeks grant funding or writing a research proposal, you might need to learn how to write a project description in a project proposal.

The project description should include an overview of the following:

  • Project goals and objectives
  • Stakeholders and their roles
  • Metrics for measuring success
  • Estimated budget

The tricky part is figuring out what doesn’t belong in the project description. The description should focus on goals, objectives, and the overall approach, but you don’t need to include lists of tasks, an extensive background, or research analysis. In general, the project description is broad; you’ll include more detail in the project plan.

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Project Description Outline

The parts of a project description will vary depending on the type of project. However, your project description should contain the following elements:

Parts of a Project Description Outline

  • Project Title: Aim for a short, unambiguous, and memorable title. 
  • Overview: This is a high-level summary (no more than one or two paragraphs).
  • Project Justification: Explain the problem or opportunity and why the project is necessary.
  • Objectives: Set specific and measurable project goals.
  • Phases of Work: Break down the project into phases that describe the desired outcome for each.
  • Metrics for Evaluating and Monitoring: Include the metrics you’ll use to evaluate the project’s success. 
  • Timeline: Outline the timeline for each phase, including the basic tasks that you will accomplish, with start and end dates.
  • Estimated Budget: Include the budget and projected costs.

How to Write a Project Description

Although writing a project description will vary somewhat depending on the type of project, the basic process is the same. The following 10 steps are key to writing a good project description.

  • Summarize: Write a one- or two-paragraph explanation of what the project aims to accomplish. Avoid delving deep into background or past projects. A good project summary will not only serve as your elevator speech, but will also help you clarify larger issues with your plan.
  • Define: Describe the problem or opportunity and how the project will address it.
  • Specific: Answer who, what, when, where, and why.
  • Measurable: Include metrics for defining success.
  • Achievable: Set goals that are possible to accomplish with the available resources.
  • Relevant: Goals should be aligned with your organization’s mission.
  • Time-bound: Include intermediate and final deadlines for each goal.
  • Explain: Briefly explain your methodology. Include any key technologies or project management techniques you’ll use and why they’re appropriate.
  • Measure: Identify the project deliverables . How will you measure success and evaluate the project?
  • Schedule: Include a general timeline, with project phases and milestones. Be sure to note any important deadlines.
  • Budget: Include the total estimated cost of the project and how much you have budgeted. (Note that this shouldn’t be a line item budget.) Use a project budget template for a more detailed breakdown of budgeted and actual project expenses.
  • Get feedback: Seek feedback from key stakeholders, customers, and anyone impacted by the project for feedback. Ask them to explain the project in their own words to get a sense of how clearly you’ve communicated the vision.
  • Proofread: Have someone else proofread the project description. In addition to spelling and grammatical errors, ask them to look for missing details that are significant to the project.
  • Revise: Update and revise the document as the project progresses. Treat the project description as a living document.

A 10-Step Checklist for Writing a Project Description

Now that you know how to write a project description, use this checklist to help you focus on the key details.

Types of Project Descriptions With Examples

In this section, you’ll find a variety of free, customizable project description templates. We’ve completed them with sample information so that you can get an idea of how to write a description that fits your needs. You can also download a free project documentation template to help you track its progress.

Architectural Project Description Template

Architectural Project Description Template

Download Architectural Project Description Template

Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Google Docs

An architectural project description should start with a summary that explains the need for the project. Briefly identify the site, any key design features and aesthetic considerations, and a broad timeline. Keep it simple, and write for the general public. Here’s an example of an architectural project description summary for a downtown parking garage:

After you summarize the project, use the architectural project description template to create a customizable action plan. Include a breakdown of work by phases. Note any communications and approvals needed to ensure success.

Client Creative Project Brief Template

Client Creative Brief Template

Download Client Creative Brief Template

Microsoft Excel | Smartsheet

Create a client creative project brief  to ensure a project strategy aligns with client goals. Creative briefs are frequently used for projects involving graphic design, videography, or marketing campaigns. Start by briefly describing the project, objectives, and deadlines. The following client creative project brief provides an overview of a holiday marketing campaign.

The format will vary based on the type of project. In the client creative project template example above, you’ll find a number of kickoff questions about the campaign’s target audience, key components, and messaging. If this template doesn’t meet your needs, check out other Smartsheet client creative briefs and marketing project plan templates .

Grant Project Description Template

Grant Project Description Template

Download Grant Project Description Template 

Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF  

When you’re applying for grant funding or planning a grant-funded project, it’s essential to identify the target population and how they’ll benefit from project activities. Focus on why the project is necessary, rather than on the needs of your organization. The following example describes a grant project for a program seeking funding to combat childhood hunger:

This grant project description template breaks down the description into separate sections for the problem to be addressed, goals and objectives, target population, project activities, and key staff. It provides additional space for background information, measurable outcomes, and a timeline and budget, and it includes separate columns for income sources and expenses.

Interior Design Project Description Template

Interior Design Project Description Template

Download Interior Design Project Description Template

Microsoft Word | Google Docs

An interior design project description is similar to a client creative project brief. You’ll use the project overview to spell out a vision for the project that syncs with the client’s needs. The following interior design project description summarizes a residential kitchen remodel project.

Use the remainder of the interior design project description template to document the client’s likes and dislikes in greater detail. The template includes space to note the client’s preferences for general style, as well as colors, patterns, textiles, furnishings, and more. You’ll also find space to include measurements, a floor sketch, a project schedule, and a budget.

IT Project Description Template

IT Project Description Template

Download IT Project Description Template

Microsoft Excel | Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF

An IT project description should start with a basic summary that condenses key background information and what the project entails. Keep it simple, and explain the project in lay terms. The following IT project description summary provides an overview of a plan to develop a mobile ordering app for a fast casual restaurant:

This IT project description template includes space for goals, assumptions, measurements of success, and risks. Additionally, the template includes space for a breakdown of the scope of work, including processes impacted by the project, milestones, costs, and resources.

Software Project Description Template

Software Project Description Template

Download Software Project Description Template

Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF

A software project description should start with an overview that explains the type of software that will be developed, the problem it will solve, and the benefits to users and the business. The overview shouldn’t focus on the technical aspects of the project, but instead on the final product and its benefits. This software project description example gives an overview of a point-of-sale (POS) system under development for a brewery.

Once you’ve completed the overview, use this software project description template to explain purposes and goals in greater detail. The template includes sections for obstacles, risk factors, hardware compatibility, and software employed. Other features include a detailed breakdown of the project’s timeline and cost structure.

For other project description templates, please refer to our Free Project Description Templates article .

PMP Project Description

If you’re a project manager seeking the Project Management Professional certification, you’ll need either 36 or 60 months of professional experience leading projects, depending on your education level. 

The Project Management Institute (PMI) requires you to submit each project as its own entry on the application and include the following:

  • A one-sentence project objective.
  • Your role in accomplishing project deliverables in each of the five phases of project management : initiating (IN), planning (PL), executing (EX), monitoring and controlling (MC), and closing (CL).
  • A brief description of project outcome.

You can use this PMP application project description example for guidance:

  • Objective: Redesign Company XYZ’s website to improve lead generation by 25 percent.
  • Project Deliverables: I was the project manager for Company XYZ’s redesign. I drafted the project charter and recruited a team of four IT staffers to complete the project (IN). I created the work breakdown structure, timeline, and budget, and I met with stakeholders to assess project contingencies and risks (PL). I coordinated between departments, provided quality assurance, and managed the four-person team throughout the project (EX). I conducted risk audits and communicated results to stakeholders (MC). I obtained stakeholder feedback, archived project documents, and held multidepartment training once the redesign was completed (CL).
  • Outcome: Company XYZ’s website redesign was completed $10,000 under budget and two weeks ahead of schedule. Lead generation increased by 30 percent within six months.

How to Write a Project Description in a CV or Resume

Writing a project description for successful past projects can give you an edge when you’re a job candidate or looking for new clients. When writing a project description for your CV, resume, or portfolio, clearly state the project objective, your role, and the outcome.

Continuing with the example above, here’s a project management project description sample to avoid in your resume because it’s vague. The second project description is a more effective example. It also highlights the most significant accomplishments and responsibilities first.

Project Description Before Example

IT Project Manager, Company XYZ Project: Website redesign

  • Managed a highly successful redesign
  • Provided leadership throughout the project
  • Updated key stakeholders in a timely manner
  • Coordinated communications and staff trainings
  • Completed the project under budget and ahead of schedule, resulting in improved sales

Project Description After Example

IT Project Manager, Company XYZ Project: Website redesign with goal of increasing lead generation by 25%

  • Managed website redesign that resulted in a 30% increase in lead generation
  • Completed the project $10,000 under budget and two weeks ahead of schedule
  • Recruited and managed a team of four IT staffers
  • Created the work breakdown structure, timeline, and budget; assessed project contingencies and risks
  • Communicated with key stakeholders throughout the project; trained staff across departments once the project was complete

Tips for Writing a Good Project Description

To write an effective project description, draft early in the process. Keep it high-level without going into too much detail or background. Use the description to generate interest among a broad audience. Keep it brief and free of jargon.

  • Clear: Keep writing straight to the point and don’t include unnecessary jargon. 
  • Concise: Focus on the project itself, rather than on background information.
  • Complete: This can be a challenge when you’re also aiming for concision. Regardless, the description should include the key points your audience needs to understand the project. 
  • Credible: Only cite authoritative sources and the most up-to-date information.
  • Draft the Project Description Early in the Process: Gregory Carson, PMP, is a biomedical engineer, attorney, and patent agent with more than 20 years of project management experience and who owns Carson Patents . Carson suggests drafting the project description early, ideally as soon as the idea occurs to you or your team. The description will serve as the summary roadmap to refer back to throughout the project. “All of the other details have some direct relationship to the project description, so having the project description well drafted before you begin the execution planning can save you time and frustration, in particular as changes need to be included,” Carson says. At the end of the project, you’ll want to refer back to the document to show that the project fulfilled the goals and objectives.
  • Make a Memorable First Impression: Alan Zucker, PMP, is a project manager with more than 25 years working with Fortune 100 companies and founder of the website Project Management Essentials . He says that a project description should motivate. The goal is for people to understand and support the project after reading the description. “When crafting your pitch, remember that most people will form their initial impressions about the project within the first 30 seconds. Lead with a strong statement and a powerful image of the project’s benefit,” Zucker says.
  • Write for a Broad Audience: A common mistake when writing a project description is targeting too narrow of an audience. “There is usually no lack of attention on the stakeholders that are funding the project, and they are important audience members for the project description to focus on,” Carson says. “But particular attention focused on the stakeholders who will benefit from the project often leads to helpful insights for the project.” Getting feedback on the description from a broader audience is also helpful. Zucker suggests reviewing the description with key stakeholders, customers, and those impacted by the project. “After reading your description, see if they can restate it in their own words,” Zucker suggests. “Was the restatement what you intended? If not, then continue to revise the description based on the feedback.”
  • Avoid Excessive Details, Especially Early On: Your project description should convey a vision, rather than provide a detailed implementation plan. Don’t worry too much about planning out details in the description phase —  Zucker suggests that you simply make sure there’s a clear understanding of the project’s goals and why you want to proceed. “The description will evolve as we learn more about the project,” Zucker says. “Don’t worry about committing too early. Part of that evolutionary process is sharing the description and getting feedback on it.” Keeping a high-level focus will help generate buy-in for the project. Carson says it’s key to describe the project so that others “can understand and appreciate your marvel.” “You don’t want to pontificate to the point where people stop reading or get confused about any of the goals and objectives,” he says.
  • Ask Someone to Proofread Your Project Description: Proofreading and editing are essential when you finalize your project description. But if you wrote the description, recruit someone else to edit it. “Too often as we write, we ‘remember’ what we were writing about and can miss little details, even spelling and grammar, that can impact the meaning and importance of a project and its description,” Carson says. Don’t be surprised if you need to revise and rewrite a few times. It’s all part of the process of crafting your message.

How to Write a Brief Description of a Project

Focus on the project and the problem it addresses. Avoid delving into background info or referencing other projects. Emphasize the what and why without excessive detail about the tasks it requires. This can be your pitch to sell the project.

What Is a Project Description in a Project Proposal?

A project description in a project proposal is a brief summary of the goals, the objectives, and the need for the project. It shouldn’t be more than one or two paragraphs. The project proposal will provide more detailed information.

What Is a Project Description in a Thesis?

A project description in a thesis outlines the research you’re undertaking, typically as part of graduate studies. It includes your working title, your research goals, basic methodology, and why the research is needed.

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Project Paper and Its Importance

It is worth noting that a project paper refers to a formal document. Its major objective is to clearly present and discuss the results of author’s research. It is crucial to follow certain guidelines since they are obligatory for the whole process of project paper writing. So, what is a project paper? Well, this kind of academic paper is a research paper that is assigned to identify and explore particular technical, scientific and social problems. Usually this project is the final one for a student. As a result, students are already aware of the steps necessary for effective project writing, which makes the work easier for them. However, some students lack necessary writing skills to complete their final project on their own.

Selecting the Right Topic 

Selecting the best topic for your research is the very first step of the writing process. Here it is important to pay attention to the following tips: 

  • Ask important questions

Topic choice is the very first thing you should do prior to writing your project. When you do it, ask the following questions and think about the answers: Will I find the needed information and research on the chosen topic? Will I be able to offer unique opinions on the topic? Is the topic relevant to my specialization? 

  • You need to love your topic 

When you select the topic and feel passionate about it, it is already a success. If you choose the topic that is not interesting to you, the writing process will become a burden for you. So, if you want to enjoy every writing step, make sure your topic sparks interest in you. 

  • Keep originality

In case you project paper is the final work in your academic year, you are supposed to make it original. Soon, you will graduate and you have a right to select the topic you love. When you keep on writing on too general topics or select the same one each time, it will become boring and not interesting for your target audience.

  • Look for professional advice

Sometimes, it may be challenging for a student to write a project or research paper. That is why it is better to look for expert who can give your correct advice. Professor is the best person to ask for writing advice. Your professor will always offer you some good ideas that can help you with writing process or can inspire you to complete your work successfully. Do not feel hesitant and consult your professor or instructor. 

  • Chosen topic is not always the final one

In case you are aware of project writing rules, then you should know that the selected project is not always the final one. Topic can change and you may experience it during the process of your research work. So, if you understand that you have to change the project topic, be sure that it is a normal approach to your work.

Research Work

It is crucial to note that your project will go in line with the research work you have conducted in your field of study. It is advisable to pay attention to the following during the research work:

  • Start your research work 

As soon as you have chosen the topic you love, start researching trustworthy and reliable sources of information like journal articles, books, governmental websites etc. take your time and rest assured that the sources you have found are relevant to your topic and up to date. It is recommended to use at least five sources in your project work. 

  • Using empirical research should be considered

When you work on the project, you need to make fine research. So, using empirical research is the best option for your project. 

  • Library is the best place to look for credible sources 

Nowadays, many students underestimate the libraries. However, they have no idea that libraries are the best assistants in doing quality research work. You can find various types of materials in the library starting from newspapers to academic books and pamphlets. 

  • Internet can be helpful as well

Choosing the top results in the search engine is not always the best idea when you are doing the research. In order to determine the legitimacy of the source, you have to take your time and read it carefully.

  • Academic databases are the best option

If you failed to use academic database, you cannot complete your project successfully. Academic databases are full of peer-reviewed journals, scientific magazines and books. 

  • Use creativity when doing your research

In the end of the book you found, you can find even more sources that will be relevant to your topic. So, be attentive and check the last pages of the chosen book. 

Make an Outline 

Now, you go deeper to the research project writing and it is a high time to create a paper outline. As soon as you collect all the information, annotate your research work. Highlight the information in the selected sources that will be used in your project. Then create an outline that will help you to include all important points in the final paper. Research work will definitely take a lot of time, thus you need to structure your notes in the proper way. 

Thesis Statement

It has to appear at the paper beginning after the introductory paragraph. In one or even two sentences, you need to explain the major objective of your work. Remember that you can change your thesis when you continue with your project writing.  

Project Paper Structuring

Everything should be clear here: provide introduction, then write main body of the paper and end your work with conclusion.


Here you need to tell your readers what the project is about. End your intro with thesis statement. Explain how you decide to solve the major task. For example what approaches and methods you are going to apply.

After stating the question, you are ready to write the main body where you have to provide an answer to the statement question. Present a clear argument relevant to your project. When you write the main body, please reread the introductory paragraph to make sure that you follow everything you mentioned at the beginning.  

Note that correct terms usage is crucial. It will help to make your work more accurate. Include figures, tables and graphs if it is relevant for your project.

Here your task is to provide a summary of your findings as well as answer the statement question in a clear manner. Do not surprise your reader with new ideas in conclusion. Conclusion should prove that you have an insight into the chosen topic. You can always look for project paper example online.

Read Our Project Paper Example ("Management Company Research Project")

This is a research paper which will examine the principles of management with respect to Business Management Company, Inc., (BMC). This is a full service accounting firm that serves Maryland, Pennsylvania Virginia, West Virginia and D.C. area. The paper is divided into three sections with the first section focusing on the analysis of the company website. The different management that BMC engages in are identified and discussed in the second section with the third section having the details of the company infrastructure and the various management mechanisms put in place to support the business activities.  

Section I: The Company Website

The company URL is Bader in his lecture on website analysis claims that, “the website has become an essential tool for business”. Evan shares the same sentiments and claims that a good website needs to take care of two factors: the search engines as well as the online visitors. The term used is search friendly website which implies user friendly (for online visitors) and search engine friendly. The later is necessary to allow high key word rankings to be achieved. 

The BMC website has been kept simple and easy to navigate. It is quite easy to find out what you need to know within three to four clicks on the mouse. For instance, with just one click on the services button, one is able to access the nine services which are offered by the company. The information is brief and succinct with no irrelevant information given. This is characteristic of business issues whereby information has to be communicated succinctly without wasting of time. The images have been kept to the minimum and the web pages are generally quite presentable. In accordance to Bader’s argument, the BMC website at first site easily reflects a serious business personality. 

The BMC website communicates a lot of experience in the field of management. From its systematic arrangement to the testimonials given, an online visitor gets to feel that the company is an exemplary one. All the basic information required is included in the website with their contacts including the directions which are clearly set out on a map [click ‘Get Directions’ under ‘contact us’]. The website has the ‘INFO CENTER’ which shows how they carry out their work and the documents used to ensure that an exemplary work will be accomplished. 

Section II: The Management Activities that BMI is Engaged in

BMC is engaged in offering accounting services which includes payroll, monthly books, accounts payable, business and financial consulting, professional income tax preparation and business management service. Under the ‘service’ web page the following services are listed accounting, payroll, taxes, consulting, training, outsourcing, financial services, computer services and mortgage services. 

Under the accounting section BMC provides tax forms and monthly or quarterly financial statements. The company completes payroll reports each quarter. This is done along with the estimated tax payments. The company frequently meets with the clients to discuss issues touching on the tax planning, profit issues, job costing and strategies of saving tax. The company processes all the tax fillings and payments. The third party payments to garnishments, insurance, retirements plans etc are taken care of by the company. The company also offers personal and business tax filling quickly and affordably. 

The company is engaged in consultation services in the named below areas: business start up, merges, business purchases, operations, business succession, tax planning business software and much more. The company offers on-sight and in house quick books training. Trouble shooting and reconciliation are also offered.  The company offers outsourcing services to enable businesses spend their time where they are most productive. 

The company offers financial planning services in a variety of fields which include asset management whereby clients are assisted in the management of their assets, retirement plans, business & household budgeting, they carry out business valuation, and others. The company through its sisters companies offers computer services and mortgage services. 

Section III: The Company Infrastructure and Management Mechanisms

The company has got various structures which makes its running to be effective. Under the tax planning the following are used in enhancing effectiveness: The 2009 information checklist contains a list of the items which are needed to finish the returns. The 1040 questionnaire gives the general information about the client with the tax organizer being a form that collects information about the tax payment of a client. There are tax coupons under which enable the company to carry activities related with the tax of a client smoothly. 

A new employee forms are also available. They are a variety of them and used buy the company to the employers hire employees in the right manner to avoid law suits. The company also avails template agreements which are meant to help the company make sound agreements. Lastly covered are the extensions which are meant to enable a business operate effectively without making mistakes in the issues related to taxes regulations.     

An effective company needs to take into account a number of issues. The marketing tools, for instance the business website, should be designed to attract the clients and should be indexed appropriately to ensure high key word ranking. A company’s internal structure should reflect a business atmosphere and there should be proper mechanism and structures to ensure that the company objectives and goals are met.

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Writing a Research Paper Introduction | Step-by-Step Guide

Published on September 24, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on March 27, 2023.

Writing a Research Paper Introduction

The introduction to a research paper is where you set up your topic and approach for the reader. It has several key goals:

  • Present your topic and get the reader interested
  • Provide background or summarize existing research
  • Position your own approach
  • Detail your specific research problem and problem statement
  • Give an overview of the paper’s structure

The introduction looks slightly different depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or constructs an argument by engaging with a variety of sources.

Table of contents

Step 1: introduce your topic, step 2: describe the background, step 3: establish your research problem, step 4: specify your objective(s), step 5: map out your paper, research paper introduction examples, frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.

The first job of the introduction is to tell the reader what your topic is and why it’s interesting or important. This is generally accomplished with a strong opening hook.

The hook is a striking opening sentence that clearly conveys the relevance of your topic. Think of an interesting fact or statistic, a strong statement, a question, or a brief anecdote that will get the reader wondering about your topic.

For example, the following could be an effective hook for an argumentative paper about the environmental impact of cattle farming:

A more empirical paper investigating the relationship of Instagram use with body image issues in adolescent girls might use the following hook:

Don’t feel that your hook necessarily has to be deeply impressive or creative. Clarity and relevance are still more important than catchiness. The key thing is to guide the reader into your topic and situate your ideas.

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This part of the introduction differs depending on what approach your paper is taking.

In a more argumentative paper, you’ll explore some general background here. In a more empirical paper, this is the place to review previous research and establish how yours fits in.

Argumentative paper: Background information

After you’ve caught your reader’s attention, specify a bit more, providing context and narrowing down your topic.

Provide only the most relevant background information. The introduction isn’t the place to get too in-depth; if more background is essential to your paper, it can appear in the body .

Empirical paper: Describing previous research

For a paper describing original research, you’ll instead provide an overview of the most relevant research that has already been conducted. This is a sort of miniature literature review —a sketch of the current state of research into your topic, boiled down to a few sentences.

This should be informed by genuine engagement with the literature. Your search can be less extensive than in a full literature review, but a clear sense of the relevant research is crucial to inform your own work.

Begin by establishing the kinds of research that have been done, and end with limitations or gaps in the research that you intend to respond to.

The next step is to clarify how your own research fits in and what problem it addresses.

Argumentative paper: Emphasize importance

In an argumentative research paper, you can simply state the problem you intend to discuss, and what is original or important about your argument.

Empirical paper: Relate to the literature

In an empirical research paper, try to lead into the problem on the basis of your discussion of the literature. Think in terms of these questions:

  • What research gap is your work intended to fill?
  • What limitations in previous work does it address?
  • What contribution to knowledge does it make?

You can make the connection between your problem and the existing research using phrases like the following.

Now you’ll get into the specifics of what you intend to find out or express in your research paper.

The way you frame your research objectives varies. An argumentative paper presents a thesis statement, while an empirical paper generally poses a research question (sometimes with a hypothesis as to the answer).

Argumentative paper: Thesis statement

The thesis statement expresses the position that the rest of the paper will present evidence and arguments for. It can be presented in one or two sentences, and should state your position clearly and directly, without providing specific arguments for it at this point.

Empirical paper: Research question and hypothesis

The research question is the question you want to answer in an empirical research paper.

Present your research question clearly and directly, with a minimum of discussion at this point. The rest of the paper will be taken up with discussing and investigating this question; here you just need to express it.

A research question can be framed either directly or indirectly.

  • This study set out to answer the following question: What effects does daily use of Instagram have on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls?
  • We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls.

If your research involved testing hypotheses , these should be stated along with your research question. They are usually presented in the past tense, since the hypothesis will already have been tested by the time you are writing up your paper.

For example, the following hypothesis might respond to the research question above:

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The final part of the introduction is often dedicated to a brief overview of the rest of the paper.

In a paper structured using the standard scientific “introduction, methods, results, discussion” format, this isn’t always necessary. But if your paper is structured in a less predictable way, it’s important to describe the shape of it for the reader.

If included, the overview should be concise, direct, and written in the present tense.

  • This paper will first discuss several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then will go on to …
  • This paper first discusses several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then goes on to …

Full examples of research paper introductions are shown in the tabs below: one for an argumentative paper, the other for an empirical paper.

  • Argumentative paper
  • Empirical paper

Are cows responsible for climate change? A recent study (RIVM, 2019) shows that cattle farmers account for two thirds of agricultural nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. These emissions result from nitrogen in manure, which can degrade into ammonia and enter the atmosphere. The study’s calculations show that agriculture is the main source of nitrogen pollution, accounting for 46% of the country’s total emissions. By comparison, road traffic and households are responsible for 6.1% each, the industrial sector for 1%. While efforts are being made to mitigate these emissions, policymakers are reluctant to reckon with the scale of the problem. The approach presented here is a radical one, but commensurate with the issue. This paper argues that the Dutch government must stimulate and subsidize livestock farmers, especially cattle farmers, to transition to sustainable vegetable farming. It first establishes the inadequacy of current mitigation measures, then discusses the various advantages of the results proposed, and finally addresses potential objections to the plan on economic grounds.

The rise of social media has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the prevalence of body image issues among women and girls. This correlation has received significant academic attention: Various empirical studies have been conducted into Facebook usage among adolescent girls (Tiggermann & Slater, 2013; Meier & Gray, 2014). These studies have consistently found that the visual and interactive aspects of the platform have the greatest influence on body image issues. Despite this, highly visual social media (HVSM) such as Instagram have yet to be robustly researched. This paper sets out to address this research gap. We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls. It was hypothesized that daily Instagram use would be associated with an increase in body image concerns and a decrease in self-esteem ratings.

The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:

  • A hook to catch the reader’s interest
  • Relevant background on the topic
  • Details of your research problem

and your problem statement

  • A thesis statement or research question
  • Sometimes an overview of the paper

Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.

This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .

The way you present your research problem in your introduction varies depending on the nature of your research paper . A research paper that presents a sustained argument will usually encapsulate this argument in a thesis statement .

A research paper designed to present the results of empirical research tends to present a research question that it seeks to answer. It may also include a hypothesis —a prediction that will be confirmed or disproved by your research.

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What is a Concept Paper and How do You Write One?


  • By DiscoverPhDs
  • August 26, 2020

Concept Paper

What is a Concept Paper?

A concept paper is a short document written by a researcher before starting their research project, with the purpose of explaining what the study is about, why it is important and the methods that will be used.

The concept paper will include your proposed research title, a brief introduction to the subject, the aim of the study, the research questions you intend to answer, the type of data you will collect and how you will collect it. A concept paper can also be referred to as a research proposal.

What is the Purpose of a Concept Paper?

The primary aim of a research concept paper is to convince the reader that the proposed research project is worth doing. This means that the reader should first agree that the research study is novel and interesting. They should be convinced that there is a need for this research and that the research aims and questions are appropriate.

Finally, they should be satisfied that the methods for data collection proposed are feasible, are likely to work and can be performed within the specific time period allocated for this project.

The three main scenarios in which you may need to write a concept paper are if you are:

  • A final year undergraduate or master’s student preparing to start a research project with a supervisor.
  • A student submitting a research proposal to pursue a PhD project under the supervision of a professor.
  • A principal investigator submitting a proposal to a funding body to secure financial support for a research project.

How Long is a Concept Paper?

The concept paper format is usually between 2 and 3 pages in length for students writing proposals for undergraduate, master’s or PhD projects. Concept papers written as part of funding applications may be over 20 pages in length.

How do you Write a Concept Paper?

There are 6 important aspects to consider when writing a concept paper or research proposal:

  • 1. The wording of the title page, which is best presented as a question for this type of document. At this study concept stage, you can write the title a bit catchier, for example “Are 3D Printed Engine Parts Safe for Use in Aircraft?”.
  • A brief introduction and review of relevant existing literature published within the subject area and identification of where the gaps in knowledge are. This last bit is particularly important as it guides you in defining the statement of the problem. The concept paper should provide a succinct summary of ‘the problem’, which is usually related to what is unknown or poorly understood about your research topic . By the end of the concept paper, the reader should be clear on how your research idea will provide a ‘solution’ to this problem.
  • The overarching research aim of your proposed study and the objectives and/or questions you will address to achieve this aim. Align all of these with the problem statement; i.e. write each research question as a clear response to addressing the limitations and gaps identified from previous literature. Also give a clear description of your primary hypothesis.
  • The specific data outputs that you plan to capture. For example, will this be qualitative or quantitative data? Do you plan to capture data at specific time points or at other defined intervals? Do you need to repeat data capture to asses any repeatability and reproducibility questions?
  • The research methodology you will use to capture this data, including any specific measurement or analysis equipment and software you will use, and a consideration of statistical tests to help interpret the data. If your research requires the use of questionnaires, how will these be prepared and validated? In what sort of time frame would you plan to collect this data?
  • Finally, include a statement of the significance of the study , explaining why your research is important and impactful. This can be in the form of a concluding paragraph that reiterate the statement of the problem, clarifies how your research will address this and explains who will benefit from your research and how.

You may need to include a short summary of the timeline for completing the research project. Defining milestones of the time points at which you intend to complete certain tasks can help to show that you’ve considered the practicalities of running this study. It also shows that what you have proposed is feasible in order to achieve your research goal.

If you’re pitching your proposed project to a funder, they may allocate a proportion of the money based on the satisfactory outcome of each milestone. These stakeholders may also be motivated by knowing that you intend to convert your dissertation into an article for journal publication; this level of dissemination is of high importance to them.

Additionally, you may be asked to provide a brief summary of the projected costs of running the study. For a PhD project this could be the bench fees associated with consumables and the cost of any travel if required.

Make sure to include references and cite all other literature and previous research that you discuss in your concept paper.

This guide gave you an overview of the key elements you need to know about when writing concept papers. The purpose of these are first to convey to the reader what your project’s purpose is and why your research topic is important; this is based on the development of a problem statement using evidence from your literature review.

Explain how it may positively impact your research field and if your proposed research design is appropriate and your planned research method achievable.

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An academic transcript gives a breakdown of each module you studied for your degree and the mark that you were awarded.

Rationale for Research

The term rationale of research means the reason for performing the research study in question.

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Freya’s in the final year of her PhD at the University of Leeds. Her project is about improving the precision of observations between collocated ground-based weather radar and airborne platforms.

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13.1 Formatting a Research Paper

Learning objectives.

  • Identify the major components of a research paper written using American Psychological Association (APA) style.
  • Apply general APA style and formatting conventions in a research paper.

In this chapter, you will learn how to use APA style , the documentation and formatting style followed by the American Psychological Association, as well as MLA style , from the Modern Language Association. There are a few major formatting styles used in academic texts, including AMA, Chicago, and Turabian:

  • AMA (American Medical Association) for medicine, health, and biological sciences
  • APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the social sciences
  • Chicago—a common style used in everyday publications like magazines, newspapers, and books
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) for English, literature, arts, and humanities
  • Turabian—another common style designed for its universal application across all subjects and disciplines

While all the formatting and citation styles have their own use and applications, in this chapter we focus our attention on the two styles you are most likely to use in your academic studies: APA and MLA.

If you find that the rules of proper source documentation are difficult to keep straight, you are not alone. Writing a good research paper is, in and of itself, a major intellectual challenge. Having to follow detailed citation and formatting guidelines as well may seem like just one more task to add to an already-too-long list of requirements.

Following these guidelines, however, serves several important purposes. First, it signals to your readers that your paper should be taken seriously as a student’s contribution to a given academic or professional field; it is the literary equivalent of wearing a tailored suit to a job interview. Second, it shows that you respect other people’s work enough to give them proper credit for it. Finally, it helps your reader find additional materials if he or she wishes to learn more about your topic.

Furthermore, producing a letter-perfect APA-style paper need not be burdensome. Yes, it requires careful attention to detail. However, you can simplify the process if you keep these broad guidelines in mind:

  • Work ahead whenever you can. Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” includes tips for keeping track of your sources early in the research process, which will save time later on.
  • Get it right the first time. Apply APA guidelines as you write, so you will not have much to correct during the editing stage. Again, putting in a little extra time early on can save time later.
  • Use the resources available to you. In addition to the guidelines provided in this chapter, you may wish to consult the APA website at or the Purdue University Online Writing lab at , which regularly updates its online style guidelines.

General Formatting Guidelines

This chapter provides detailed guidelines for using the citation and formatting conventions developed by the American Psychological Association, or APA. Writers in disciplines as diverse as astrophysics, biology, psychology, and education follow APA style. The major components of a paper written in APA style are listed in the following box.

These are the major components of an APA-style paper:

Body, which includes the following:

  • Headings and, if necessary, subheadings to organize the content
  • In-text citations of research sources
  • References page

All these components must be saved in one document, not as separate documents.

The title page of your paper includes the following information:

  • Title of the paper
  • Author’s name
  • Name of the institution with which the author is affiliated
  • Header at the top of the page with the paper title (in capital letters) and the page number (If the title is lengthy, you may use a shortened form of it in the header.)

List the first three elements in the order given in the previous list, centered about one third of the way down from the top of the page. Use the headers and footers tool of your word-processing program to add the header, with the title text at the left and the page number in the upper-right corner. Your title page should look like the following example.

Beyond the Hype: Evaluating Low-Carb Diets cover page

The next page of your paper provides an abstract , or brief summary of your findings. An abstract does not need to be provided in every paper, but an abstract should be used in papers that include a hypothesis. A good abstract is concise—about one hundred fifty to two hundred fifty words—and is written in an objective, impersonal style. Your writing voice will not be as apparent here as in the body of your paper. When writing the abstract, take a just-the-facts approach, and summarize your research question and your findings in a few sentences.

In Chapter 12 “Writing a Research Paper” , you read a paper written by a student named Jorge, who researched the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets. Read Jorge’s abstract. Note how it sums up the major ideas in his paper without going into excessive detail.

Beyond the Hype: Abstract

Write an abstract summarizing your paper. Briefly introduce the topic, state your findings, and sum up what conclusions you can draw from your research. Use the word count feature of your word-processing program to make sure your abstract does not exceed one hundred fifty words.

Depending on your field of study, you may sometimes write research papers that present extensive primary research, such as your own experiment or survey. In your abstract, summarize your research question and your findings, and briefly indicate how your study relates to prior research in the field.

Margins, Pagination, and Headings

APA style requirements also address specific formatting concerns, such as margins, pagination, and heading styles, within the body of the paper. Review the following APA guidelines.

Use these general guidelines to format the paper:

  • Set the top, bottom, and side margins of your paper at 1 inch.
  • Use double-spaced text throughout your paper.
  • Use a standard font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in a legible size (10- to 12-point).
  • Use continuous pagination throughout the paper, including the title page and the references section. Page numbers appear flush right within your header.
  • Section headings and subsection headings within the body of your paper use different types of formatting depending on the level of information you are presenting. Additional details from Jorge’s paper are provided.

Cover Page

Begin formatting the final draft of your paper according to APA guidelines. You may work with an existing document or set up a new document if you choose. Include the following:

  • Your title page
  • The abstract you created in Note 13.8 “Exercise 1”
  • Correct headers and page numbers for your title page and abstract

APA style uses section headings to organize information, making it easy for the reader to follow the writer’s train of thought and to know immediately what major topics are covered. Depending on the length and complexity of the paper, its major sections may also be divided into subsections, sub-subsections, and so on. These smaller sections, in turn, use different heading styles to indicate different levels of information. In essence, you are using headings to create a hierarchy of information.

The following heading styles used in APA formatting are listed in order of greatest to least importance:

  • Section headings use centered, boldface type. Headings use title case, with important words in the heading capitalized.
  • Subsection headings use left-aligned, boldface type. Headings use title case.
  • The third level uses left-aligned, indented, boldface type. Headings use a capital letter only for the first word, and they end in a period.
  • The fourth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are boldfaced and italicized.
  • The fifth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are italicized and not boldfaced.

Visually, the hierarchy of information is organized as indicated in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” .

Table 13.1 Section Headings

A college research paper may not use all the heading levels shown in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” , but you are likely to encounter them in academic journal articles that use APA style. For a brief paper, you may find that level 1 headings suffice. Longer or more complex papers may need level 2 headings or other lower-level headings to organize information clearly. Use your outline to craft your major section headings and determine whether any subtopics are substantial enough to require additional levels of headings.

Working with the document you developed in Note 13.11 “Exercise 2” , begin setting up the heading structure of the final draft of your research paper according to APA guidelines. Include your title and at least two to three major section headings, and follow the formatting guidelines provided above. If your major sections should be broken into subsections, add those headings as well. Use your outline to help you.

Because Jorge used only level 1 headings, his Exercise 3 would look like the following:

Citation Guidelines

In-text citations.

Throughout the body of your paper, include a citation whenever you quote or paraphrase material from your research sources. As you learned in Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” , the purpose of citations is twofold: to give credit to others for their ideas and to allow your reader to follow up and learn more about the topic if desired. Your in-text citations provide basic information about your source; each source you cite will have a longer entry in the references section that provides more detailed information.

In-text citations must provide the name of the author or authors and the year the source was published. (When a given source does not list an individual author, you may provide the source title or the name of the organization that published the material instead.) When directly quoting a source, it is also required that you include the page number where the quote appears in your citation.

This information may be included within the sentence or in a parenthetical reference at the end of the sentence, as in these examples.

Epstein (2010) points out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).

Here, the writer names the source author when introducing the quote and provides the publication date in parentheses after the author’s name. The page number appears in parentheses after the closing quotation marks and before the period that ends the sentence.

Addiction researchers caution that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (Epstein, 2010, p. 137).

Here, the writer provides a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence that includes the author’s name, the year of publication, and the page number separated by commas. Again, the parenthetical citation is placed after the closing quotation marks and before the period at the end of the sentence.

As noted in the book Junk Food, Junk Science (Epstein, 2010, p. 137), “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive.”

Here, the writer chose to mention the source title in the sentence (an optional piece of information to include) and followed the title with a parenthetical citation. Note that the parenthetical citation is placed before the comma that signals the end of the introductory phrase.

David Epstein’s book Junk Food, Junk Science (2010) pointed out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).

Another variation is to introduce the author and the source title in your sentence and include the publication date and page number in parentheses within the sentence or at the end of the sentence. As long as you have included the essential information, you can choose the option that works best for that particular sentence and source.

Citing a book with a single author is usually a straightforward task. Of course, your research may require that you cite many other types of sources, such as books or articles with more than one author or sources with no individual author listed. You may also need to cite sources available in both print and online and nonprint sources, such as websites and personal interviews. Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.2 “Citing and Referencing Techniques” and Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provide extensive guidelines for citing a variety of source types.

Writing at Work

APA is just one of several different styles with its own guidelines for documentation, formatting, and language usage. Depending on your field of interest, you may be exposed to additional styles, such as the following:

  • MLA style. Determined by the Modern Languages Association and used for papers in literature, languages, and other disciplines in the humanities.
  • Chicago style. Outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style and sometimes used for papers in the humanities and the sciences; many professional organizations use this style for publications as well.
  • Associated Press (AP) style. Used by professional journalists.

References List

The brief citations included in the body of your paper correspond to the more detailed citations provided at the end of the paper in the references section. In-text citations provide basic information—the author’s name, the publication date, and the page number if necessary—while the references section provides more extensive bibliographical information. Again, this information allows your reader to follow up on the sources you cited and do additional reading about the topic if desired.

The specific format of entries in the list of references varies slightly for different source types, but the entries generally include the following information:

  • The name(s) of the author(s) or institution that wrote the source
  • The year of publication and, where applicable, the exact date of publication
  • The full title of the source
  • For books, the city of publication
  • For articles or essays, the name of the periodical or book in which the article or essay appears
  • For magazine and journal articles, the volume number, issue number, and pages where the article appears
  • For sources on the web, the URL where the source is located

The references page is double spaced and lists entries in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. If an entry continues for more than one line, the second line and each subsequent line are indented five spaces. Review the following example. ( Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provides extensive guidelines for formatting reference entries for different types of sources.)

References Section

In APA style, book and article titles are formatted in sentence case, not title case. Sentence case means that only the first word is capitalized, along with any proper nouns.

Key Takeaways

  • Following proper citation and formatting guidelines helps writers ensure that their work will be taken seriously, give proper credit to other authors for their work, and provide valuable information to readers.
  • Working ahead and taking care to cite sources correctly the first time are ways writers can save time during the editing stage of writing a research paper.
  • APA papers usually include an abstract that concisely summarizes the paper.
  • APA papers use a specific headings structure to provide a clear hierarchy of information.
  • In APA papers, in-text citations usually include the name(s) of the author(s) and the year of publication.
  • In-text citations correspond to entries in the references section, which provide detailed bibliographical information about a source.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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How to Do a Project

Last Updated: July 25, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA . Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. She has worked as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and an SAT Prep Teacher. She received her MA in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2014. This article has been viewed 151,906 times.

Get started on a project by mind mapping, discussing things in a group, and plotting out your research. Make a project outline, use reliable and up to date sources, and draft a thesis statement. Start writing early and add flair to your project to ensure it stands out.

Organizing Ideas

Image titled Do a Project Step 1

  • For instance, if your goal is to “provide a comprehensive account of the history of the fur trade in North America”, subtopics and tangents could include “relations with Natives”, “history of European fashion”, and “the cultural significance of fur”.

Image titled Do a Project Step 2

  • For instance, if Point A is starting a project about electric cars with limited knowledge on the topic, and Point B is completing a PowerPoint presentation about them, you can fill the gap by conducting research (online and in a library), outlining the history, technology, and possible future of electric cars, and procuring pictures and news articles about them.

Conducting Research

Image titled Do a Project Step 4

  • Keep track of your schedule with a smartphone app such as Schedule Planner, a free iPhone app that organizes your tasks and deadlines.

Image titled Do a Project Step 5

Producing Project Materials

Image titled Do a Project Step 7

  • Add an auditory component like a taped interview or recorded radio broadcast to liven up the project.
  • Add visual aids like charts, pictures, and maps to enhance the project.
  • Add a tactile part to your project, like a short video.
  • 4 Review the project rubric to make sure you’ve hit your requirements. Double check the rubric provided to you by your teacher and do a self-assessment of your project. Did you meet all the requirements you needed or are some areas still lacking? Make any adjustments or additions to your project if you need to.

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Emily Listmann, MA

To do a project, start by brainstorming ideas for your project and discussing things with anyone else you'll be working with. Then, plan out any research you need to do for your project, and establish a project timeline with daily, weekly, or monthly targets that you want to hit. Once you've done all the planning, start conducting research for your project, using reliable and up-to-date sources. For more tips from our Education co-author, like how to produce project materials, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Home / Project Management / Project Documents: Paperwork is the Key for the Project’s Success!

Project Documents

Project Documents: Paperwork is the Key for the Project’s Success!

Many of us may find the paperwork boring and even sometimes, an unnecessary process. But not in project management! As the projects are complex endeavors, there are many steps to be taken during the project life cycle . For managing a project according to the project management techniques explained in the  PMP certification training , there should be a solid framework of what needs to be done when. What sets these frameworks are the project management processes . What are these important project documents?

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project paper what is

A project can not be managed without the proper documentation, so many project documents should be used during all the processes. The project documents will ensure the successful outcomes of the project. These project documents can be also used for the future projects of the organization as a part of organizational process assets .

In this article, we are going to name the most important project documents. You can find detailed information about all of the project documents in the CAPM courses as well.

What are the main project documents?

Any document used to manage a project is called a project document, as the project management professional course defines. Now let us give you some examples of project documents:

  • Requirements traceability matrix (RTM): RTM is a document that helps to determine which project requirement has been met with which deliverable. It belongs to executing process group .

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  • Project charter: Project charter is one of the important project documents. The main purpose of the creating a project charter is to document high-level project information. This document includes business case, stakeholders , acceptance criteria, high-level risks, product specification. All these information plays an indispensable role in the start of the planning process .

project documents

  • Procurement papers: These project documents serve to report the relationships between the organization and the vendors or suppliers. They document how goods or services will be procured. Proposals, contracts, offers, etc. can be named as types of procurement papers.
  • Assignments sheets: Assignment sheets, as the name suggests, are like the lists of which task is assigned to which project team member.
  • Statement of work:   This type of document determines activities which are specific to that project, deliverables, and schedule expected from a vendor providing services to the client. This document is generated by customer or sponsor. SOW describes the needs, product scope, and how the project fits into their strategic plan. This is a kind of a legal contract between the organization and the vendor, ensuring that the requests will be provided by the vendor.
  • Activity list: This document lists all the activities to be done during all the processes of a particular project, in a detailed way. It helps to all members of the project team to see what is done or going to be done during the processes.
  • Quality metrics: The project documents called the quality metrics has three aspects: the schedule and the budget of the project also the measurable qualities of the project outcomes. This document confirms that the project will be managed within the agreed budget, the schedule and also will produce the deliverables fitting the requests of the customer. This quality metrics document will record the performance of the project.

project documents

Project documents might be updated during the project, as defined in change management plan . As long as new information becomes available or actual results of the project requires updates on other aspects of the project, project documents are updated accordingly. 

Remember that the project documents are not part of a project management plan . They exist apart from the project management plans but they are critical for the success of the project as well. So if you want to learn more about project documents, you may think of enrolling in a  PMP Training . 

Project Documents

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Guide to Project Writing-Chapter One

Profile image of Olayinka Moses

This provides the context for the research study and the questions which the research hopes to answer. A problem statement articulates the issue to be addressed and indicates the need for the study.

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Kennedy Edward

DEDICATION This project is dedicated to the Almighty God, for giving me the enablement to carry out this research and also to my mum, dad, brothers and sisters for their understanding and moral support. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

project paper what is

Samson Adeniyi Aladejare

The funding of education sector in both developed and developing economies across the globe is to ensure the welfare of citizens. In most developed countries, the education sector feeds the industries with trained personnel while the goods and services produced by the industries lead to the growth and development of their economies, consequently improving the welfare of their citizens. The objective of this study is to investigate empirically whether the funding of the Nigerian education sector over the years has any significant impact on the welfare of Nigerians. The study adopted the Ordinary Least Square technique using data obtained from World Bank and Central Bank of Nigeria Statistical Bulletin of relevant years covering a period of 36 years (1977 - 2012) and using appropriate explanatory and criterion variables as proxies. Major findings include: strong positive correlation between expenditure on education sector and welfare of Nigerians which is not significantly affected by inflation rate; unidirectional granger causality running from recurrent expenditure to GDP per capita; significant impact of expenditure on education sector on welfare of Nigerians with recurrent expenditure having the significant impact, not capital expenditure; amongst others. Policy implications include: the need for government policies towards: increasing expenditure in the education sector (especially capital expenditure); monitoring and supervision of expenditure to ensure higher levels of accountability and high quality service delivery; periodic review and update of accounting and finance procedure, records and reporting in this sector in conformity with IPSAS standards with the view to enhancing the welfare of Nigerians.

Chima Emmanuel

Sunday Okaro

Olayinka Moses , Janet Ande

This study examines the relationship that exists between Firms' Financial Performance (FFP) and Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosures (CSRD) on one hand and the extent to which firms in Nigeria are involved in transparent corporate social responsibility disclosures on the other hand. A modified 25-theme Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) disclosure index and firms' Earnings Per Share (EPS) along with the Companies Annual Turnover (CAT) was used to determine the impact CSRD has on FFP. The finding of the study shows that firms in Nigeria have a positive insignificant relationship between CSRD and CAT and their EPS. The extent of CSRD by quoted companies in Nigeria was found to be at a 53% threshold; which falls below the 75% global benchmark for excellent disclosure. The study recommends among others the use of legislations to elicit detailed disclosures and the need for separate tracking of social responsibility costs in annual accounts of companies.

Aruna Polisetty


J E S U W U N M I Caleb Adeaga Daniel (PhD) , Obelogu, M. I.

This study empirically investigates the contribution of human resources valuation proxy variables, that is, human resource cost and human capital efficiency on financial performance of Nigeria listed companies. The study adopted ex-post facto research design method. The population of the study consists of 186 listed companies on Nigerian Stock Exchange, secondary data that spanned from 2011 to 2016, were obtained from the audited annual accounts and reports of 24 selected listed companies (i.e. 6 time series and 24 cross-sectional data making 144 pooled observational balanced panel data) and analysed using multiple linear regression model (OLS) and Karl Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (PPMC) via Statistical Package for Social Science Students (SPSS) version-23. We discovered that human resources cost (HRC) and human capital efficiency are significant predictors of Nigerian listed companies’ return on investment, gross profit margin, asset turnover and return on asset but insignificant predictors of net profit margin. The implication of the model prediction is that captains of industries or managers need to ascertain the level of human resources cost/ asset that will yield maximum human capital efficiency and effective utilisation of employee. We therefore recommend amongst others that Nigerian listed companies should minimize their human resource cost or human investment in order to create optimality by increase their human capital efficiency and financial performance. Also there should be accounting standard for human resource accounting measurement as it would ensure uniformity in disclosures and a reliable estimation and comparison of human resource value among Nigerian listed companies.

Chinedu Egbunike


wisdom okere

There has been a long-standing debate on the significance of environmental investments. In line with this, the primary objective of this research is to ascertain the relationship between environmental investments and financial performance in Nigerian manufacturing firms. The hypotheses tested looked at the effect on internal environmental investments and external environmental investments on firm’s financial performance and also to determine if there was a significant difference between the profitability of environmentally conscious and environmentally non-conscious firms in Nigeria. Descriptive analysis was used to explain the variables applied and panel regression analysis was used to find out if there exists a relationship between internal environmental investments (Employee Benefits, Staff Training Cost), external environmental investments (Donations) and firm’s financial performance. The study, therefore, observed that there was a positive and significant relationship between internal environmental investments and firm’s financial performance and also a positive but non-significant relationship between external environmental investments and firm’s financial performance. Furthermore, paired sample t-tests were used to reveal that there was a significant difference between the profitability of environmentally conscious and environmentally non-conscious firms. That is, firms with higher environmental investments had a higher profitability level than environmentally non-conscious firms. The study recommends that companies should be more environmentally conscious and pay more attention to the welfare of their workforce and community they dwell in.

Mary Fadipe




Precious C . Ezeh

Jimada M Jimada

SKIREC Publication- UGC Approved Journals

The SIJ Transactions on Industrial, Financial & Business Management (IFBM), 2 (2), 39-47

Ebieri Jones, Ph.D

Archives of Business Research

Godwin O G H E N E K O H W O Akparhuere

Amaka Orakwue

Samuel Uwhejevwe-Togbolo

Nigeria Journal of Management Sciences (NJMS)

Ndubuisi Uchechukwu , elizabeth otusile

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Joshua Dickson

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International Journal of Research & Review (IJRR)

Yusuf S . Giwa

Amity Journal of Corporate Governance

Azeez T . Lawal Ph.D. SciEP

Uzoma B Achugamonu

Paul Angahar


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Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

The United States has witnessed an explosive expansion of mass surveillance since the 9/11 attacks. This post-9/11 expansion has built on slavery, colonial occupation, and longstanding racism, as well as wartime spying and the War on Drugs.  Yet it is also markedly different from what existed before, in both its technological capacities and its scale and breadth. T his report illustrates how the pervasive fear, Islamophobia and xenophobia, weakened civil liberties protections, and exponentially increased funding of the post-9/11 era  enabled the unprecedented breadth and scale of surveillance reigning across the United States today.

The report is as a comprehensive overview of the contemporary surveillance programs that emerged in the post-9/11 landscape and illustrates their costly ramifications. These mass surveillance programs allow the U.S. government to warrantlessly and "incidentally" vacuum up Americans' communications, metadata and content, and store their information in data centers and repositories such as the database authorized by Section 702 -  a provision up for reauthorization this year. The report illustrates how federal agencies also increasingly obtain data from private companies and track Americans using facial recognition, social media geomapping, and other technologies. These efforts have particularly impacted Muslims, immigrants, and protesters for racial and labor justice, and have cost untold dollars, normalized an erosion of privacy and freedom, and entrenched an expanding surveillance infrastructure that grows ever more difficult to control.


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China issues White Paper on global community, presses on with green BRI projects

China issues White Paper on global community, presses on with green BRI projects

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China on Tuesday unveiled its blueprint for a better world, raised by President Xi Jinping in 2013, through a policy paper on building a global community of shared future.

China also said it will continue to push for green development in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, rejecting accusations that it has outsourced its environmental pollution, a senior official from China’s top economic planner said at a press conference on the wide-ranging policy paper about China’s global vision.

The White Paper titled “A Global Community of Shared Future: China’s Proposals and Actions” comes a decade after the vision was first proposed by Xi, and has been presented as his alternative to the current Western-led world order, with an emphasis on what it calls Chinese-style diplomacy and various global initiatives.

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the BRI, and China will host the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in October, with leaders and representatives from some 130 countries set to attend, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

By July 2023, more than three-quarters of countries in the world and over 30 international organizations had signed agreements on Belt and Road cooperation with China, the White Paper said.

Issued by the State Council Information Office, the White Paper said the vision rises above the exclusive rules of bloc politics, the notion of “might makes right” and the “universal values” defined by a handful of Western countries.

China has contributed to building a global community of shared future with actions including promoting high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, state news agency Xinhua said on Tuesday.

At the press conference, in a rare appearance beyond his usual annual press conference in March, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that by putting forward the creative idea, President Xi has shown “the correct path for the world”, building a strong consensus for international cooperation.

China has also proposed solutions to major global challenges in fields such as health, climate change and cyber security, Wang added.

He said Beijing was willing to play a “constructive” role in the success of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November in San Francisco, US.

It paves the way for a possible meeting between Xi and US President Joe Biden – both presidents last met on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) leaders’ summit in November 2022 in Bali.

Xi did not attend the G20 summit in India earlier this month, missing an opportunity to meet Biden, and prompting the US to say China was “giving up” on the G20 and building an alternative world order.

“Of course, we and all parties also hope that the United States will realize its responsibilities as a host, show due openness, fairness, tolerance and responsibility, and create better conditions for the smooth holding of the meeting,” Wang said, referring to the APEC summit.

Earlier on Tuesday, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said he had yet to receive any invitation to the November meeting. It follows US media reports in July that he had been barred from the meetings after being sanctioned by Washington for what it calls his role in cracking down on civil liberties in the Asian financial hub.

Wang repeated a frequent Chinese warning that China opposes “wanton expansion of military alliances” and the squeezing of the security space of other countries.

Beijing has been critical of Washington’s continued attempts to increase military cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Quad and the AUKUS groupings. It particularly disagrees with bases that are being built by the US in the north of the Philippines.

Dialogue between China and the US has been gradually resuming despite continued tensions, with several high-level visits to Beijing in recent months by top US officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

Meanwhile, not all is rosy with China’s BRI, which has come under widespread criticism for causing environmental destruction in project areas, including building coal-fired power plants overseas despite a national commitment domestically to reach peak carbon output by 2030, and to be carbon-neutral by 2060.

Earlier this year, a report in The Jakarta Post said the Batang Toru hydropower project, which is 70 percent owned by Chinese-owned State Development and Investment Corporation’s subsidiary SDIC Power, encroached on the habitat of the endangered Tapanuli orangutan, forcing them to intrude on nearby farms and villages.

Read also: China’s big firms put reputation at risk in Batang Toru power plant

“The joint construction of the ‘Belt and Road’ projects are carried out based on the principle of extensive consultation, joint construction and shared benefits,” Cong Liang, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission said in response to a question from The Straits Times at the press conference.

“Whether the development is green or not, I think the [partner country] knows best, the local people have the most say, and facts are always more convincing than words.”

It is “not worth refuting” the voices that slander the Green Silk Road – an initiative to make BRI projects more ecologically sustainable – and those who attempt to smear and interfere with joint projects will not succeed, he added.

Touting the success of the BRI, officials said projects such as the high-speed rail between Jakarta and Bandung , the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, and the Greek port of Piraeus have increased connectivity, rejuvenating the local economy with jobs and trade.

“In the next step, the NDRC will work with relevant departments… (and) continue to build high-quality landmark projects, promote ‘small but beautiful’ projects, deepen cooperation in key areas such as infrastructure and people’s livelihood projects to achieve complementary advantages, mutual benefits and win-win results,” Cong said.

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Scientific and Scholarly Writing

  • Literature Searches
  • Tracking and Citing References

Parts of a Scientific & Scholarly Paper


  • Writing Effectively
  • Where to Publish?
  • Capstone Resources

Different sections are needed in different types of scientific papers (lab reports, literature reviews, systematic reviews, methods papers, research papers, etc.). Projects that overlap with the social sciences or humanities may have different requirements. Generally, however, you'll need to include:


METHODS SECTION (Materials and Methods)

What is a title

Titles have two functions: to identify the main topic or the message of the paper and to attract readers.

The title will be read by many people. Only a few will read the entire paper, therefore all words in the title should be chosen with care. Too short a title is not helpful to the potential reader. Too long a title can sometimes be even less meaningful. Remember a title is not an abstract. Neither is a title a sentence.

What makes a good title?

A good title is accurate, complete, and specific. Imagine searching for your paper in PubMed. What words would you use?

  • Use the fewest possible words that describe the contents of the paper.
  • Avoid waste words like "Studies on", or "Investigations on".
  • Use specific terms rather than general.
  • Use the same key terms in the title as the paper.
  • Watch your word order and syntax.

The abstract is a miniature version of your paper. It should present the main story and a few essential details of the paper for readers who only look at the abstract and should serve as a clear preview for readers who read your whole paper. They are usually short (250 words or less).

The goal is to communicate:

  •  What was done?
  •  Why was it done?
  •  How was it done?
  •  What was found?

A good abstract is specific and selective. Try summarizing each of the sections of your paper in a sentence two. Do the abstract last, so you know exactly what you want to write.

  • Use 1 or more well developed paragraphs.
  • Use introduction/body/conclusion structure.
  • Present purpose, results, conclusions and recommendations in that order.
  • Make it understandable to a wide audience.
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  1. How To Write Your Project Paper

    Table of Contents How to write a project paper Choosing your topic Ask yourself crucial questions Always pick a topic that you love Maintain originality Seek advice Our topic is not set on stone Researching Begin your research Consider using empirical research Make use of the library Use the internet Use academic databases

  2. How to Write a Project Paper

    A project paper is a very formal piece of writing, which aims to present and discuss the results of your in depth study. The following guidelines should be followed. CC BY-NC Image: Berit Roald Organizing the Project Paper The project paper must have an introduction, a main body and a conclusion.

  3. PDF Montana Tech of the University of Montana Generic Format for Research

    Generic Format for Research Project Paper Paper Sections/Headings* (*Detailed description of each section provided below.) Abstract (a.k.a. Summary) Brief description of projects goal(s), subjects, findings and conclusions. Limit to one full page, double-spaced, 12-point font size or about 250 words. Introduction

  4. What is a research project?

    A research project is an academic, scientific, or professional undertaking to answer a research question. Research projects can take many forms, such as qualitative or quantitative, descriptive, longitudinal, experimental, or correlational. What kind of research approach you choose will depend on your topic.

  5. How to Write a Research Paper

    A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research. Research papers are similar to academic essays, but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research.

  6. Resource Guides: Capstone Resources: Parts of the paper

    The hypothesized results of the project. A good introduction is not the same as an abstract. Where the abstract summarizes your paper, the introduction justifies your project and lets readers know what to expect. • Keep it brief. You conducted an extensive literature review, so that you can give readers just the relevant information.

  7. How to Write a Project Proposal (Examples & Template Included)

    Here's a step-by-step guide to writing a persuasive priority proposal. 1. Write an Executive Summary. The executive summary provides a quick overview of the main elements of your project proposal, such as your project background, project objectives and project deliverables, among other things.

  8. How to Write a Project Paper

    How to Write a Project Paper You will write three proejct papers for this class. Each one should be a carefully constructed presentation of a coherent idea. Every skilled writer knows that g ood writing is hard work. It can also be enormously rewarding and a lot of fun. The project writeups serve two primary purposes.

  9. What Is a Research Paper?

    A research paper is a common form of academic writing. Research papers require students and academics to locate information about a topic (that is, to conduct research ), take a stand on that topic, and provide support (or evidence) for that position in an organized report.

  10. Write a Project Description with Examples

    A project description is a high-level overview of why you're doing a project. The document explains a project's objectives and its essential qualities. Think of it as the elevator pitch that focuses on what and why without delving into how. You typically draft a project description early on, during the project initiation phase of the ...

  11. PDF Intro to Project Management

    The purpose of this briefing paper is to introduce key project management terms and concepts to provide a common language for discussion, including what is: project Project management • Project success A project manager project management plan Successful project management has several significant characteristics.

  12. Project Paper Writing and All You Need to Know about It!

    So, what is a project paper? Well, this kind of academic paper is a research paper that is assigned to identify and explore particular technical, scientific and social problems. Usually this project is the final one for a student.

  13. Writing a Research Paper Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Introduce your topic. Step 2: Describe the background. Step 3: Establish your research problem. Step 4: Specify your objective (s) Step 5: Map out your paper. Research paper introduction examples. Frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.

  14. What is a Concept Paper and How do You Write One?

    A concept paper is a short document written by a researcher before starting their research project, with the purpose of explaining what the study is about, why it is important and the methods that will be used.

  15. 13.1 Formatting a Research Paper

    Set the top, bottom, and side margins of your paper at 1 inch. Use double-spaced text throughout your paper. Use a standard font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in a legible size (10- to 12-point). Use continuous pagination throughout the paper, including the title page and the references section.

  16. What Is a Research Paper?

    The main goal of this project, regardless of the subject, is defining a particular issue and providing new ways to solve it that can be used to further investigate the problem. So, what is the accurate research paper definition? Unlike regular essays, such projects imply thinking out of the box.

  17. How to Do a Project: 10 Steps (with Pictures)

    Hobbies and Crafts QUIZZES wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Get started on a project by mind mapping, discussing things in a group, and plotting out your research. Make a project outline, use reliable and up to date sources, and draft a thesis statement.

  18. Project Documents: Paperwork is the Key for the Project's Success!

    Project Documents: Paperwork is the Key for the Project's Success! 3 min. read. Many of us may find the paperwork boring and even sometimes, an unnecessary process. But not in project management! As the projects are complex endeavors, there are many steps to be taken during the project life cycle. For managing a project according to the ...

  19. (PDF) Guide to Project Writing-Chapter One

    Firms' performance and corporate social disclosures: cross-sectional evidence of Nigerian firms. Olayinka Moses, Janet Ande. This study examines the relationship that exists between Firms' Financial Performance (FFP) and Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosures (CSRD) on one hand and the extent to which firms in Nigeria are involved in ...

  20. Project paper Definition

    Cite. 'Project Paper' means an academic composition or a documentation of a research component prepared and submitted by a student for the award of a degree of a programme by coursework, in which the number of credit hours is less than twelve (12) and the grade will be taken into account when calculating the CGPA; Sample 1 Sample 2.

  21. The Charter

    The charter is a project's best marketing tool. It is created at the very start of the project, when the selling of the project's goals and ideas needs to begin. It is an ideal place to document the relationships between the project and the organizational strategy. Yet the charter is one of the least talked about deliverables in project management.

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    existing freight flows, projects, and more. While border and law enforcement remain a critical area of concern for freight CAVs, these issues are being studied under different platforms, including the work related to Senate Bill 1308. The main consideration of this paper is on highway and controlled environment locations. However,

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  28. Parts of the paper

    The hypothesized results of the project. A good introduction is not the same as an abstract. Where the abstract summarizes your paper, the introduction justifies your project and lets readers know what to expect. • Keep it brief. You conducted an extensive literature review, so that you can give readers just the relevant information.