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- How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates
How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates
Published on October 12, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on June 13, 2023.
A research proposal describes what you will investigate, why it’s important, and how you will conduct your research.
The format of a research proposal varies between fields, but most proposals will contain at least these elements:
- Research design
While the sections may vary, the overall objective is always the same. A research proposal serves as a blueprint and guide for your research plan, helping you get organized and feel confident in the path forward you choose to take.
Table of contents
Research proposal purpose, research proposal examples, research design and methods, contribution to knowledge, research schedule, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research proposals.
Academics often have to write research proposals to get funding for their projects. As a student, you might have to write a research proposal as part of a grad school application , or prior to starting your thesis or dissertation .
In addition to helping you figure out what your research can look like, a proposal can also serve to demonstrate why your project is worth pursuing to a funder, educational institution, or supervisor.
Research proposal length
The length of a research proposal can vary quite a bit. A bachelor’s or master’s thesis proposal can be just a few pages, while proposals for PhD dissertations or research funding are usually much longer and more detailed. Your supervisor can help you determine the best length for your work.
One trick to get started is to think of your proposal’s structure as a shorter version of your thesis or dissertation , only without the results , conclusion and discussion sections.
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Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We’ve included a few for you below.
- Example research proposal #1: “A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management”
- Example research proposal #2: “Medical Students as Mediators of Change in Tobacco Use”
Like your dissertation or thesis, the proposal will usually have a title page that includes:
- The proposed title of your project
- Your supervisor’s name
- Your institution and department
The first part of your proposal is the initial pitch for your project. Make sure it succinctly explains what you want to do and why.
Your introduction should:
- Introduce your topic
- Give necessary background and context
- Outline your problem statement and research questions
To guide your introduction , include information about:
- Who could have an interest in the topic (e.g., scientists, policymakers)
- How much is already known about the topic
- What is missing from this current knowledge
- What new insights your research will contribute
- Why you believe this research is worth doing
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As you get started, it’s important to demonstrate that you’re familiar with the most important research on your topic. A strong literature review shows your reader that your project has a solid foundation in existing knowledge or theory. It also shows that you’re not simply repeating what other people have already done or said, but rather using existing research as a jumping-off point for your own.
In this section, share exactly how your project will contribute to ongoing conversations in the field by:
- Comparing and contrasting the main theories, methods, and debates
- Examining the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches
- Explaining how will you build on, challenge, or synthesize prior scholarship
Following the literature review, restate your main objectives . This brings the focus back to your own project. Next, your research design or methodology section will describe your overall approach, and the practical steps you will take to answer your research questions.
To finish your proposal on a strong note, explore the potential implications of your research for your field. Emphasize again what you aim to contribute and why it matters.
For example, your results might have implications for:
- Improving best practices
- Informing policymaking decisions
- Strengthening a theory or model
- Challenging popular or scientific beliefs
- Creating a basis for future research
Last but not least, your research proposal must include correct citations for every source you have used, compiled in a reference list . To create citations quickly and easily, you can use our free APA citation generator .
Some institutions or funders require a detailed timeline of the project, asking you to forecast what you will do at each stage and how long it may take. While not always required, be sure to check the requirements of your project.
Here’s an example schedule to help you get started. You can also download a template at the button below.
Download our research schedule template
If you are applying for research funding, chances are you will have to include a detailed budget. This shows your estimates of how much each part of your project will cost.
Make sure to check what type of costs the funding body will agree to cover. For each item, include:
- Cost : exactly how much money do you need?
- Justification : why is this cost necessary to complete the research?
- Source : how did you calculate the amount?
To determine your budget, think about:
- Travel costs : do you need to go somewhere to collect your data? How will you get there, and how much time will you need? What will you do there (e.g., interviews, archival research)?
- Materials : do you need access to any tools or technologies?
- Help : do you need to hire any research assistants for the project? What will they do, and how much will you pay them?
If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
- Sampling methods
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- Cluster sampling
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- Null hypothesis
- Statistical power
- Probability distribution
- Effect size
- Poisson distribution
- Optimism bias
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- Implicit bias
- Hawthorne effect
- Anchoring bias
- Explicit bias
Once you’ve decided on your research objectives , you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement .
Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one.
I will compare …
A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.
Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.
A PhD, which is short for philosophiae doctor (doctor of philosophy in Latin), is the highest university degree that can be obtained. In a PhD, students spend 3–5 years writing a dissertation , which aims to make a significant, original contribution to current knowledge.
A PhD is intended to prepare students for a career as a researcher, whether that be in academia, the public sector, or the private sector.
A master’s is a 1- or 2-year graduate degree that can prepare you for a variety of careers.
All master’s involve graduate-level coursework. Some are research-intensive and intend to prepare students for further study in a PhD; these usually require their students to write a master’s thesis . Others focus on professional training for a specific career.
Critical thinking refers to the ability to evaluate information and to be aware of biases or assumptions, including your own.
Like information literacy , it involves evaluating arguments, identifying and solving problems in an objective and systematic way, and clearly communicating your ideas.
The best way to remember the difference between a research plan and a research proposal is that they have fundamentally different audiences. A research plan helps you, the researcher, organize your thoughts. On the other hand, a dissertation proposal or research proposal aims to convince others (e.g., a supervisor, a funding body, or a dissertation committee) that your research topic is relevant and worthy of being conducted.
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Other students also liked, how to write a problem statement | guide & examples, writing strong research questions | criteria & examples, how to write a literature review | guide, examples, & templates, mila kwiatkowska.
Thank you for a great template and explanations. I've been searching for a long time to find a good example of a research report for my students. Your guidelines and explanations are exceptionally clear. I'm teaching technical aspects of data and databases, and the students will work on research projects in data science. I would like to use your template as an example of a project proposal. Please let me know if this is OK with you and what credentials should I include?
All the best, Mila
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
That's completely fine; feel free to use any of the materials from our site in your teaching. They can just be credited to Scribbr. Glad you find this a useful example!
Thank you very much. I really appreciate your materials. :) Mila
Very useful thank you. Do you have a template for the Research Paper beyond the proposal?
Shona McCombes (Scribbr Team)
There are many different ways to structure a research paper, but we do provide templates for research paper formatting in APA, MLA, and Chicago style, as well as a full guide to writing a research paper . I hope these are helpful to you!
I'm grateful for such a comprehensive structure of the proposal. I have learned a lot, and I have questions considering the research proposal. There is given ready-made template, at the 1st page of it, I have to write my name and scientific adviser's, departure, institution and etc. Should I write my current institution of the one that I have chosen for funding?
You should usually give the name of your current institution. If you are applying to conduct the research at a different institution, I'd recommend checking with your (potential) supervisor what to include on the title page.
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- Research Process
Writing a Scientific Research Project Proposal
- 5 minute read
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Table of Contents
The importance of a well-written research proposal cannot be underestimated. Your research really is only as good as your proposal. A poorly written, or poorly conceived research proposal will doom even an otherwise worthy project. On the other hand, a well-written, high-quality proposal will increase your chances for success.
In this article, we’ll outline the basics of writing an effective scientific research proposal, including the differences between research proposals, grants and cover letters. We’ll also touch on common mistakes made when submitting research proposals, as well as a simple example or template that you can follow.
What is a scientific research proposal?
The main purpose of a scientific research proposal is to convince your audience that your project is worthwhile, and that you have the expertise and wherewithal to complete it. The elements of an effective research proposal mirror those of the research process itself, which we’ll outline below. Essentially, the research proposal should include enough information for the reader to determine if your proposed study is worth pursuing.
It is not an uncommon misunderstanding to think that a research proposal and a cover letter are the same things. However, they are different. The main difference between a research proposal vs cover letter content is distinct. Whereas the research proposal summarizes the proposal for future research, the cover letter connects you to the research, and how you are the right person to complete the proposed research.
There is also sometimes confusion around a research proposal vs grant application. Whereas a research proposal is a statement of intent, related to answering a research question, a grant application is a specific request for funding to complete the research proposed. Of course, there are elements of overlap between the two documents; it’s the purpose of the document that defines one or the other.
Scientific Research Proposal Format
Although there is no one way to write a scientific research proposal, there are specific guidelines. A lot depends on which journal you’re submitting your research proposal to, so you may need to follow their scientific research proposal template.
In general, however, there are fairly universal sections to every scientific research proposal. These include:
- Title: Make sure the title of your proposal is descriptive and concise. Make it catch and informative at the same time, avoiding dry phrases like, “An investigation…” Your title should pique the interest of the reader.
- Abstract: This is a brief (300-500 words) summary that includes the research question, your rationale for the study, and any applicable hypothesis. You should also include a brief description of your methodology, including procedures, samples, instruments, etc.
- Introduction: The opening paragraph of your research proposal is, perhaps, the most important. Here you want to introduce the research problem in a creative way, and demonstrate your understanding of the need for the research. You want the reader to think that your proposed research is current, important and relevant.
- Background: Include a brief history of the topic and link it to a contemporary context to show its relevance for today. Identify key researchers and institutions also looking at the problem
- Literature Review: This is the section that may take the longest amount of time to assemble. Here you want to synthesize prior research, and place your proposed research into the larger picture of what’s been studied in the past. You want to show your reader that your work is original, and adds to the current knowledge.
- Research Design and Methodology: This section should be very clearly and logically written and organized. You are letting your reader know that you know what you are going to do, and how. The reader should feel confident that you have the skills and knowledge needed to get the project done.
- Preliminary Implications: Here you’ll be outlining how you anticipate your research will extend current knowledge in your field. You might also want to discuss how your findings will impact future research needs.
- Conclusion: This section reinforces the significance and importance of your proposed research, and summarizes the entire proposal.
- References/Citations: Of course, you need to include a full and accurate list of any and all sources you used to write your research proposal.
Common Mistakes in Writing a Scientific Research Project Proposal
Remember, the best research proposal can be rejected if it’s not well written or is ill-conceived. The most common mistakes made include:
- Not providing the proper context for your research question or the problem
- Failing to reference landmark/key studies
- Losing focus of the research question or problem
- Not accurately presenting contributions by other researchers and institutions
- Incompletely developing a persuasive argument for the research that is being proposed
- Misplaced attention on minor points and/or not enough detail on major issues
- Sloppy, low-quality writing without effective logic and flow
- Incorrect or lapses in references and citations, and/or references not in proper format
- The proposal is too long – or too short
Scientific Research Proposal Example
There are countless examples that you can find for successful research proposals. In addition, you can also find examples of unsuccessful research proposals. Search for successful research proposals in your field, and even for your target journal, to get a good idea on what specifically your audience may be looking for.
While there’s no one example that will show you everything you need to know, looking at a few will give you a good idea of what you need to include in your own research proposal. Talk, also, to colleagues in your field, especially if you are a student or a new researcher. We can often learn from the mistakes of others. The more prepared and knowledgeable you are prior to writing your research proposal, the more likely you are to succeed.
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One of the top reasons scientific research proposals are rejected is due to poor logic and flow. Check out our Language Editing Services to ensure a great proposal , that’s clear and concise, and properly referenced. Check our video for more information, and get started today.
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Writing Research Proposals
The research proposal is your opportunity to show that you—and only you!—are the perfect person to take on your specific project. After reading your research proposal, readers should be confident that…
- You have thoughtfully crafted and designed this project;
- You have the necessary background to complete this project;
- You have the proper support system in place;
- You know exactly what you need to complete this project and how to do so; and
- With this funding in hand, you can be on your way to a meaningful research experience and a significant contribution to your field.
Research proposals typically include the following components:
- Why is your project important? How does it contribute to the field or to society? What do you hope to prove?
- This section includes the project design, specific methodology, your specific role and responsibilities, steps you will take to execute the project, etc. Here you will show the committee the way that you think by explaining both how you have conceived the project and how you intend to carry it out.
- Please be specific in the project dates/how much time you need to carry out the proposed project. The scope of the project should clearly match the timeframe in which you propose to complete it!
- Funding agencies like to know how their funding will be used. Including this information will demonstrate that you have thoughtfully designed the project and know of all of the anticipated expenses required to see it through to completion.
- It is important that you have a support system on hand when conducting research, especially as an undergraduate. There are often surprises and challenges when working on a long-term research project and the selection committee wants to be sure that you have the support system you need to both be successful in your project and also have a meaningful research experience.
- Some questions to consider are: How often do you intend to meet with your advisor(s)? (This may vary from project to project based on the needs of the student and the nature of the research.) What will your mode of communication be? Will you be attending (or even presenting at) lab meetings?
Don’t be afraid to also include relevant information about your background and advocate for yourself! Do you have skills developed in a different research experience (or leadership position, job, coursework, etc.) that you could apply to the project in question? Have you already learned about and experimented with a specific method of analysis in class and are now ready to apply it to a different situation? If you already have experience with this professor/lab, please be sure to include those details in your proposal! That will show the selection committee that you are ready to hit the ground running!
Lastly, be sure to know who your readers are so that you can tailor the field-specific language of your proposal accordingly. If the selection committee are specialists in your field, you can feel free to use the jargon of that field; but if your proposal will be evaluated by an interdisciplinary committee (this is common), you might take a bit longer explaining the state of the field, specific concepts, and certainly spelling out any acronyms.
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Research Paper Guide
Writing Research Proposal
Last updated on: Jun 9, 2023
Writing a Research Proposal - Outline, Format, and Examples
By: Nathan D.
13 min read
Reviewed By: Rylee W.
Published on: Mar 24, 2023
Ready to take on the world of research, but feeling a bit intimidated by the proposal-writing process? You're not alone! Writing a research proposal can seem like a daunting task, especially if you're new to the game.
But don't worry – we're here to help make the process as easy and exciting as possible!
Think of your research proposal as a sales pitch for your ideas. It's your chance to convince others that your project is worth their time and investment. And just like with any great sales pitch, the key is to show passion and enthusiasm for your work.
In this guide, we'll demystify the proposal-writing process. We'll cover everything from defining your research question to outlining your methodology to presenting your budget.
So get ready to rock this proposal writing journey!
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What is a Research Proposal?
As per the research proposal definition, it is a concise summary of your research paper. It introduces the general idea of your research by highlighting the questions and issues you are going to address in your paper.
For writing a good and ‘acceptance worthy’ proposal, demonstrating the uniqueness and worthiness of your research paper is important.
Below is a detailed definition that will help you understand it better.
‘A research proposal is a document that is written to present and justify your interest and need for researching a particular topic.’
Similarly, a good proposal must highlight the benefits and o utcomes of the proposed study, supported by persuasive evidence.
Purpose of Research Proposal
Knowing what the goal of writing a research proposal is can make the process easier and help you get your project approved by faculty.
Let’s break down what makes up a good research proposal.
Filling Gaps in Existing Knowledge
Crafting a research proposal is an opportunity to explore the depths of your topic and uncover unturned stones.
By identifying areas previously unexamined, you can open up new perspectives which could provide substantial value to your project. This demonstrates your contribution to knowledge.
With such insights in hand, faculty will quickly recognize that there's something special about this study – setting it apart from others on the same subject!
Underscoring Existing Knowledge
A research proposal is a chance for you to show how good you are at analyzing things and understanding past studies.
With evidence-based data, you can demonstrate how these studies relate to each other - which agrees or disagrees with current theories about the topic.
Whether it's presenting meaningful insights or uncovering new ones, this exercise will challenge your ability to think critically!
Adding New Original Knowledge
To create a compelling research proposal, you must demonstrate your understanding of the existing body of knowledge on your topic.
You should also bring something new to the table. You can explore primary sources like interviews or surveys with experts or members involved in this study.
Showcase how this proposed project adds value and moves conversations forward; make sure that it is relevant to today's context!
In conclusion, the purpose of a research proposal is to identify gaps in existing knowledge and provide new, original perspectives on the topic. By doing this, you'll be able to craft an impactful study that faculty will find hard to ignore!
How to Create a Research Proposal Outline?
Sometimes students don’t realize how important a research paper proposal is and end up putting all the information together without following the basic outline or thinking this through.
Before starting with the outline, you need to understand the basic components. A clear outline is important when it comes to presenting the literature review and writing the entire paper.
Here is a basic format you can follow while writing your proposal.
- Literature Review
- Research Methodology
It might seem like a dreadful task and especially for the students who are new to this. It requires good writing as well as research skills.
Here is a sample template to further explain the outline.
Research Proposal Template
RESEARCH PROPOSAL TEMPLATE
Need help with creating an outline for your research paper? Check out this in-depth read on how to create an effective research paper outline !
How to Start a Research Proposal?
Many students think that starting a research proposal is the same as creating an outline. No, it is not, and knowing how to start with your research proposal on the right track is like getting done with half of it.
Below are the important steps to start a research proposal.
- Begin working on it as soon as possible.
- Conduct thorough and in-depth research.
- Instead of forming the title first, find the main theme or problem that you would like to discuss in your research.
- Collect and save the research information with proper and complete citation and reference information.
- Divide the collected details into the sections of the proposal and stick to them.
Writing a research proposal is tricky, but when you start it beforehand then you will have enough time to understand your main topic’s different aspects.
Procrastinating and leaving it for the last few days before submission will only land you in trouble.
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How to Write a Research Proposal
Now you have the basic outline you can follow. Let’s discuss how to write it by following the format mentioned above.
1. Choose the Title Carefully
Your proposal title should be concise and clear to indicate your research question. Your readers should know what to expect in the paper after reading the title. Avoid writing titles in a general perspective or phrases like “An investigation of …” or “A review of …” etc. Make it concise and well-defined.
2. Add a Concise Abstract
‘How to write an abstract for a research proposal?’
The abstract is a short summary that is around 100-250 words. The abstract should include the research question, the hypothesis of your research (if there is any), the research methodology, and the findings.
If the proposal is detailed, it will require a section of the contents after the abstract. It, knowing how to write an abstract will be helpful and can save you from making any blunders.
3. Add a Strong Introduction
You need to start with a strong introduction. The introduction is written to provide a background or context related to your research problem. It is important to frame the research question while writing the proposal.
Start the introduction with a general statement related to the problem area you are focusing on and justify your study.
The introduction usually covers the following elements.
- What is the purpose of your research or study?
- Mention the background information and significance before you introduce your research question.
- Introduce your research question in a way that its significance is highlighted by setting the stage for it.
- Briefly mention the issues that you are going to discuss and highlight in your study.
- Make sure that you identify the independent and dependent variables in the title of your study.
- If there is a hypothesis or a theory related to your research, state it in the introduction.
Have a very clear and concise idea about your research, and make sure that you do not deviate from the main research question. A clear idea will help you craft a perfect thesis. Here is how you can create a crisp and interesting thesis introduction along with a basic guideline.
4. Clarify the Research Objectives
Your research objectives will explain what the writer is trying to achieve. Moreover, these aims and objectives must be achievable. It means that it must be framed according to the:
- Available time
- Other important resources.
However, it is beneficial to read all the developments in the field and find research gaps before deciding your objective. It will help you come up with suitable aims for your projects.
5. Add Relevant Literature Review
A separate section dedicated to the literature review will allow you to conduct extensive background research and support your research question with credible sources and research.
The following are the basic purposes of the literature review.
- To give reference to the researchers whose study has been a part of your research.
- To help you construct a precise and clear research question.
- To critically evaluate previous literature information related to your research.
- To understand research issues relevant to the topic of your research.
- To convince the reader that your research is an important contribution to the relevant niche.
A literature review is an important component. Learning how to write a literature review will help you compose an engaging and impressive literature review easily.
Keep your literature review organized by adding a subheading to maintain a smooth flow in the content. Try not to bore your readers and your instructor or the committee. Write it in an engaging manner.
6. Mention the Significance of the Research
The significance of your research will identify the importance of your work. It should be mainly stated in the introductory paragraph.
You must highlight how your research is beneficial for the respective field of study. Similarly, you can also state its contribution to the field in both the broader and narrow sense.
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7. Explain the Research Methodology
‘How to write a methods section of a research proposal?’
This section explains how you are going to conduct your research. Explain why the specific method is suitable for your research and how it will help you attain your research goals. Your research methodology will give you an organized plan for the research.
Mention sufficient information regarding your research methodology for readers to understand how you are conducting your research. It must contain enough information regarding the study for another researcher to implement it.
i.) Types of Research Methodology
Choose the type of research methodology that is suitable for your research.
a.) Qualitative type is used in a theoretical type of research like that in literature.
Some research involves both; if your research topic also involves analyzing both the statistical data and theory, then make sure that you use them appropriately. For a qualitative approach, the method section of your proposal needs to be more detailed and elaborate compared to the one in the quantitative approach. How you will collect your data and analyze it according to the qualitative approach should be described with great care.
b.) Quantitative research is suitable for projects involving collecting and analyzing statistical data like that in social sciences, medicine, and psychology. When you choose a quantitative approach for your research, the method section should contain answers to the following elements.
- Design – Is it a laboratory experiment or a survey?
- What are the sample size and the subject of your study?
- What is the procedure of your study, and how will you carry out the activities involved in it?
- Describe your questionnaire or the instruments you will be using in the experiment.
Have detailed knowledge of all the research methodologies to justify your approach toward the research problem.
8. Present the Hypothesis or the Expected Research Results
In the research proposal, this section will contain the results of the research, but since this is a research proposal, you do not have the results yet. This is why you will add the expected research results here. These results are those that you aim to obtain from the research.
Sometimes the researcher gets the same kind of results, but sometimes, the results could differ from the expected ones.
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9. Mention the Ethical Considerations
It is an essential part of your outline. Researchers need to consider ethical values while conducting research work. Furthermore, you also have to be very careful in the data collection process and need to respect the rights of the participants.
They should not harm them in any way, and full consent should be obtained from them prior to the study.
Lastly, the writer’s moral duty is to promise complete confidentiality to feel comfortable while sharing information.
10. Discuss the Research Limitations
The research limitations indicate the flaws and shortcomings of your research. These may include:
- Unavailability of resources
- Small sample size
- Wrong methodology
Listing the limitations shows your honesty and complete understanding of the topic.
11. Add Proper References and Citation
Don’t forget the references section. You don’t want to get blamed for plagiarism. Always give references to the authors and the literature you have studied for your research.
There are two ways to cite your sources.
- Reference – List the literature that you have used in your proposal.
- Bibliography – List everything that you have studied, cited, or not while doing your study or while writing.
Follow a specific format for the citation section as instructed by your supervisor. It can be written in APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard style. Both references and a bibliography are included in it.
12. Edit and Proofread
Many students prefer not to proofread the proposal after completion, which is a grave mistake. If you proofread the paper on your own, you may fail to identify the mistakes. Use online tools or have a helping hand from your friend to give it a good read.
In the end, edit the document as per the needs.
Why Do Research Proposals Get Rejected?
An analysis of 500 rejected proposals allowed us to identify the common blunders made in them. These blunders caused the rejection of otherwise promising research. Therefore, to maximize the chances of acceptance, you must avoid these mistakes.
Here are some of those mistakes.
- The proposal stated a flawed hypothesis.
- The professor doubts the research will not bring new or useful results.
- The plan mentioned in the proposal lacks details and is unrealistic.
- It lacks coherence.
- The results obtained, or the hypothesis from the chosen method will be inaccurate.
- The review of the literature is not done correctly.
- Sufficient time was not devoted to writing the proposal.
- The proposal is copied or has been used by many other students in the past.
These are the common mistakes that result in rejection.
If you desire to make it shine, stick to your instructor’s guidelines and stay away from committing these mistakes.
Research Proposal Examples
Looking for some helpful and detailed research proposal examples to get you started? Examples are great for a quick understanding of how something works or is written, in our case.
Here are some complete research paper proposal samples to help you write your own.
RESEARCH PROPOSAL SAMPLE
RESEARCH PROPOSAL EXAMPLE - APA
HOW TO WRITE A RESEARCH GRANT PROPOSAL
NSF RESEARCH PROPOSAL SAMPLE
MARKET RESEARCH PROPOSAL SAMPLE
PH.D. RESEARCH PROPOSAL SAMPLE
Research Proposal Topics
You can take ideas for your topic from books, journals, previously done research, and dissertations.
Here are a few topics you can choose from.
- How has technology evolved the English language over the last ten years?
- What are the effects of individualism on British literature?
- How has Feminism helped women get their rights over the last decade?
- What caused the fall of the Roman empire, and what are its effects?
- What factors caused World War II?
- What are the effects of World War II on diplomacy?
- Can cultural differences affect social interactions?
- How have violent video games affected brain development among children?
- How does alcohol affect aggression among a few people?
- How effective is the death penalty?
If you want to know more about finding a topic for your research paper and research paper topic examples, here is a list of interesting research paper topics .
Research proposals can be critical because they require great attention. If you are inexperienced, you are likely to suffer. In a worst-case scenario, your proposal may get rejected.
Your dedicated professional and experienced essay writer at 5StarEssays.com is always here to help you. Being a professional essay writing service , we know how to craft a compelling research proposal and help you get it accepted.
If you have any queries, talk to our representative or place your research proposal order now.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes a strong research proposal.
Your proposal must explain why your research is important in addition to explaining the methods that you will use. You should also position yourself within your field of study and give an overview of why this specific topic could be significant.
How many pages a research proposal should be?
Research proposals typically range between three and five pages in length. Research proposal formats vary across disciplines.
You should follow the format that is standard within your field, with special attention to what your faculty mentor prefers.
What tense should a research proposal be written in?
In a research proposal, use future tense for actions to be undertaken in the study. For example: A survey method will be employed , and a close-ended questionnaire will be used .
How long is a research proposal?
When writing a research proposal, it is best, to begin with, what you want to know more about. There is no set length for these proposals so they can be anywhere from 2,500 words up or down depending on the topic and scope of your study.
Does a research proposal have chapters?
Like a research paper, the introduction and conclusion of your proposal should be brief. In every chapter you include in your proposal, begin with an informative intro paragraph that captures what will follow in each section.
Similarly, for chapters near their end, conclusions summarize points discussed throughout the sections but also highlight what is most important about them overall.
What are the 7 parts of the research proposal?
The 7 parts of a research proposal include
- Problem statement
- Literature review
Each of these sections is key in order to craft an effective research proposal that will be approved by faculty members!
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Examples of research proposals
How to write your research proposal, with examples of good proposals.
Your research proposal is a key part of your application. It tells us about the question you want to answer through your research. It is a chance for you to show your knowledge of the subject area and tell us about the methods you want to use.
We use your research proposal to match you with a supervisor or team of supervisors.
In your proposal, please tell us if you have an interest in the work of a specific academic at York St John. You can get in touch with this academic to discuss your proposal. You can also speak to one of our Research Leads. There is a list of our Research Leads on the Apply page.
When you write your proposal you need to:
- Highlight how it is original or significant
- Explain how it will develop or challenge current knowledge of your subject
- Identify the importance of your research
- Show why you are the right person to do this research
- Research Proposal Example 1 (DOC, 49kB)
- Research Proposal Example 2 (DOC, 0.9MB)
- Research Proposal Example 3 (DOC, 55.5kB)
- Research Proposal Example 4 (DOC, 49.5kB)
Subject specific guidance
- Writing a Humanities PhD Proposal (PDF, 0.1MB)
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How to Write a Research Proposal: Steps, Outline, Example, and More!
What Is a Research Proposal: Definition and Purpose
A research proposal is a strategic tool for a world of uncharted discoveries. It is the entrance to the world of scientific inquiry, where the bounds of human knowledge are pushed, and new perspectives are unveiled. When wondering what is a research proposal and what is its main purpose, remember that it accomplishes two things at once: it persuades the academics that the proposed study deserves funding and leads the researcher on an exciting intellectual quest. The proposal combines a call to action, a request for financial support, and a mission statement. It's a creative work that unites the brilliance of creation with the powerful ability to persuade, opening up a whole new range of alternatives.
A research proposal sets forth a planned research study's objectives, approach, schedule, and financial details. Its main goal is to persuade a funding organization or other interested parties that the suggested project is worth the investment and that the scholar has the competence and assets necessary to complete it adequately. The proposal has to be crystal clear, direct to the point, and persuasive, making a strong argument for the significance of the study, its future contribution, and the original strategy the scholar would employ. Each ambitious researcher should have a strong study proposal, which may lead to funding possibilities, team projects, and even brand-new insights.
We bet you'd fancy a guide on how to write a proposal for a research paper with detailed information and explaining steps required to successfully complete your work. Then, let's delve into the following sections right away!
How to Write a Research Proposal Step-by-Step
There is no research proposal template that is universally applicable to all types of papers. However, no matter how extensive and in-depth your study is, you will discover that the majority of research paper proposal example templates contain the following information:
Research Paper Title
So, how to start a research proposal? The logical answer is to first come up with a proper title. A well-written title can greatly increase the likelihood of a research article being read and referenced. For instance, a study titled 'The Effect of Media Platforms on Social Development: A Systematic Review' effectively communicates the study's focus while clarifying how it was conducted. The reader will find it simpler to comprehend the study's goal and any potential ramifications owing to the title's precision and informational nature.
An abstract provides a 150-300 word summary of a research paper and its primary objectives, methods, results, and conclusions. As it is frequently the first thing readers see and can influence whether they continue reading the complete article, the abstract is an important part of a research study. An effective abstract should summarize the paper's ideas, be simple to read, and emphasize the importance and possible influence of the work. It should give readers a thorough understanding of the paper's scope and purpose while piquing their interest in learning more.
If you're wondering how to write a research proposal context, remember that here you should provide the structure and background information of your paper. Typically, you should discuss related literature reviews and any gaps in research that you'll be exploring throughout the study. It's also suggested that you stress the importance of undertaking the research and mentioning related theoretical and conceptual frameworks employed. Considering these, providing the context in your proposal is crucial since it helps your audience comprehend the study's relevance and how it fits into a broader perspective.
The research question is the foundation of your proposal that shapes your study design and defines its main goal. It demonstrates your desire to learn more while furthering your academic career. If you're writing a proposal about comparing the US and UK healthcare systems, then you can come up with the following research question: 'How do low-income citizens with severe diseases do in terms of their physical well-being in the US and the UK?'.
In the research proposal, you should go into depth about how you conducted your study. Explain your key research tools and the techniques you employed to get your results. If you conducted interviews, tell the reader about the subjects of your questions. Lastly, provide your analysis of the results.
Afterward, you should describe the significance of your work. Every research proposal sample will briefly explain how your research is unique and contributes to the topic of study. You might wish to provide reasoning for the necessity of your study at this given moment. For example: 'The study's findings connect Psycho with other contemporary movies that share the same shock-factor traits. The startling aspect is more difficult to create today, as seen by the rise of low-budget, badly made horror movies that rely on shock rather than suspense to keep viewers' interest.'
Finally, you should compile a list of the articles and books most helpful to your research. You may need to do so according to the guidelines set forth by your instructor for research papers (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.). You could also develop an annotated bibliography in which you explain how each resource aided your inquiry.
How to Create a Research Proposal Outline with a Research Proposal Template
Your outline format should look like the research proposal example provided above. Ensure you have a well-defined research topic and a clear plan for organizing your approach before starting the proposal writing process. Our history essay writer suggests that the following be included in your research proposal outline:
- Background information and context
- Research problem statement
- Research question(s) or hypothesis
II. Literature Review
- Review of relevant literature
- Identification of gaps in existing research
- Explanation of how the proposed research will address those gaps
- Research design
- Participants or population
- Sampling method
- Data collection methods
- Data analysis methods
IV. Expected Results
- Discussion of expected outcomes
- Significance of expected outcomes
- Project timeline with major milestones
- Itemized budget with justification for expenses
- Recap of the research problem and proposed solution
- Potential contributions to the field of study
- List of references cited in the proposal
This research paper outline should give you a clear idea of how to write a research proposal example effortlessly. Now, let's find out more about the formatting details.
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How to Format a Research Proposal Properly: APA Research Proposal
A research proposal format might be as short as a few paragraphs or as extensive as up to ten pages for dissertations. When unsure how to format a research proposal, first discuss details with your teacher, such as length, content, style, etc. However, one of the most demanded formats is the APA style, which follows a specific format as given in the American Psychological Association guidelines. As it guides the project and helps guarantee that the study is thorough, ethical, and evidence-based, a research proposal example APA is usually generated before the study is conducted. Here is the general APA format:
- 12-point font Times New Roman
- 1-inch margins
- An APA running head (limited to 50 characters)
- A title page with the paper's title (no more than 12 words in length), your name, and the name of your institution
- An abstract (150-200 words)
- In-text citations
- References page
Effective Research Proposal Topics
Research proposals are the foundation of scholarly investigation. Therefore, thinking of fresh and distinctive research proposal ideas might be difficult. Due to this, our paper writers have supplied some excellent research proposal topics that will add excitement and enthusiasm to your academic endeavor:
- Investigating whether virtual reality affects how medical students acquire empathy.
- Examining the efficiency of a mindfulness-based treatment in decreasing college students' social media addiction.
- The link between preschoolers' cultivation of creativity and outdoor recreation.
- Evaluating the application of chatbots to provide mental health therapy to underprivileged groups.
- Fostering food security and social cohesiveness in urban areas using green spaces.
- An investigation of how music affects the development of memory in older people.
- Examining how light pollution affects nocturnal animals' circadian clocks.
- Investigating how mindfulness techniques affect people with anxiety disorders' ability to control their emotions.
- The link between teenage self-esteem and use of social media.
- An investigation on the effects of daily exercise on mental function in people with moderate memory loss.
Research Proposal Example
Here is a research proposal example APA. Notice the structure of a short research paper (around 15 pages) and the APA formatting.
If you enjoyed our sample, feel free to drop us your ' write an essay for me ' request for any kind of assignment.
To wrap up, we hope our article assisted you in writing a research proposal. In addition to providing a thorough analysis of all the crucial elements of a research project, we provided guidance on how to write a research paper proposal that stands out.
And if you're already prepared to start producing a scholarly research paper, you can always rely on us! Contact us with your ' write my research paper ' request to place an order for a quality custom term paper that will easily impress your professor!
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Writing a research proposal
A guide to writing an effective proposal that effectively outlines the research you will undertake at a higher level of study.
What's it for?
A research proposal explains the nature and extent of your planned or future research. It is written for an academic reader e.g. for your supervisor or an academic with a similar disciplinary background. By thinking through your entire research project from beginning to end, it may also highlight core issues with the feasibility of the project.
W hat's in it ?
There are some disciplinary differences regarding exactly what is included in the proposal. For example, disciplines such as Psychology may include a prominent hypothesis statement, others in the Social Sciences including Education, may expect a set of research questions that the study will answer. However, all research proposals should cover the four basic elements below.
- The research topic addresses a significant problem and, therefore, advances the state of knowledge in that field.
- Identification of an appropriate methodology and underlying theory to address the problem, including data collection methods and equipment (if required).
- Details of how the collected data will be analysed in such a way that useful conclusions can be drawn.
- An organised plan for any proposed work, including a timeframe.
The structure of your research proposal will vary depending on the requirements of your discipline. Nevertheless, certain structural elements will be expected by your reader and these may be presented in the following order. Check with the Research Coordinator in your area for specific requirements.
Identifies the title of the project, your full name, the institution, department, and supervisor details. The title should be brief and descriptive and may use a colon (:) to separate the topic from the focus (i.e. Stormwater Harvesting: Managing the hazards of surface water pollution by run-off ).
Lists the sections of the Research Proposal (headings and indented sub-headings) and corresponding page numbers.
Outlines the essence of the research project. It describes the purpose and motivation for the study, the problem, the data collection methodology and analysis, significant results and implications of the research.
Provides background information for the research (i.e. the problem being addressed) and is typically structured from general information to narrow or focused ideas with your research question/s or hypotheses at the narrow end.
The Introduction should be about 10% of your proposal.
Imagine you are writing for a general reader rather than an expert audience. The Introduction includes a brief review of relevant literature or knowledge in the field, so that you are able to present a gap in existing knowledge and, therefore, the significance and originality of your research.
Finally, articulate the scope of your research (or what you will not be doing) to limit your task. Your research question/s should encapsulate the primary question/s you aim to solve.
Synthesises the literature in your field. Some disciplines will expect to see this in the Introduction but others will want it placed in this ‘stand-alone’ section (especially in more Humanities-based fields). Again, it could be structured from broad to narrow, so literature on the more general aspects of your topic could come first, narrowing down to published work on your particular area of interest. You might end this section by including a short summary of the main themes you have identified from the literature.
Includes a description and rationale for the methods of data collection and analysis, and the materials you will use in your research. Use subheadings if possible ( i.e. Data Collection, Data Analysis, Ethical Considerations etc.) and write with a future aspect, ( i.e. The research will initially examine water treatment processes in... )
Details any results that you may already have resulting from previous Honours or Masters’ research work, or perhaps from a pilot study. It is important to relate these results to the critical framework of your intended new research project.
Lists the stages of the research project in timeline, spreadsheet or tabular format, and the deadlines for completion of these stages or tasks. You should include any anticipated challenges to completion.
Outlines the proposed chapters of the thesis and the content of each chapter in several lines or a paragraph, including a Table of Contents.
Relates the expected outcomes of your research to the aims expressed in the Introduction so that the need for the study and the contribution to knowledge is clear.
Provides all the resources cited in your resource proposal using a referencing format favoured by your faculty or discipline. Do not list resources that are not directly referred to in your Proposal.
Writing the Research Proposal
How much should i write.
A research proposal is usually quite a bit longer than other written academic genres. In the Humanities, it could be around 10,000 words or even longer (excluding the Reference List); whereas those from more Science-oriented disciplines may be shorter.
What should I begin with?
Similar to other academic genres, writing the research proposal is a process. If you are proposing a ‘recycled’ topic that builds on previous assignments already written on the same topic, you might spend some time re-reading these. However, if you are starting a ‘fresh’ project you might consider two key questions:
- What am I really interested in finding out about my research topic?
- How am I going to do this in practice? Brainstorm responses to these questions under a strict time limit – say 30 minutes.
Then leave this ‘free-writing’ for at least 24 hours before reviewing it for a possible more polished second draft.
How should I approach the literature?
Reviewing the academic literature on your topic is one of the most critical stages of your research proposal. This section goes beyond a simple summary of everything written on a subject. Instead, it is a critical synthesis of materials that illuminates selected academic literature on your topic. Your coverage of the literature should reflect the argument or perspective that you have set out in your research question/s.
Try the following techniques for dealing with the literature:
- Develop a theme or series of themes from your broad reading, referencing the work of relevant authors who support your position or who provide counter-arguments against your point/s.
- Limit excessive quoting. Too many direct quotations will dilute your authority over the topic.
- Avoid beginning paragraphs with “Jones argues …”; “Smith states …” This approach risks losing a sense of your writer’s authority to the work of others. Instead, provide an overview of the paragraph in a topic sentence written in your own writer’s voice.
Adapted from Rudestam and Newton (2015) as cited in Paltridge and Starfield (2020). Thesis and dissertation writing in a second language: A handbook for students and their advisers. Routledge.
Tips for writing
- Avoid language that is overly hesitant or tentative (i.e. ‘It seems that…’, ‘It is hoped that …’). Instead, use confident language when you feel able to (i.e. ‘It is clear that…’, ‘I assert that …’).
- Break up large blocks of text into smaller sections using sub-headings and bullet-points.
- Anticipate possible problems with, or limitations of, your research. Address these issues directly for your own benefit as well as to improve the entire proposal.
- Make your proposal is easy for readers to skim read. Never assume your readers will read your work in a ‘logical’ order. Use sub-headings and restate key ideas to guide the reader through your writing.
- Find copies of other Research Proposals in your field and study the way they:
- devise titles.
- structure their proposal.
- use discipline-specific language.
- Take a note of anything else you notice. You might ask your potential supervisor/s for models of previously submitted proposals or search for relevant examples online (look for examples from reputable .edu or .org. web addresses)
Remember, your research proposal should demonstrate:
- the feasibility and logical foundations of your project
- a well-focussed research question, set of research objectives, or hypothesis
- the width and depth of the academic literature on your topic
- understanding of current issues or debates on your topic
- justification of your project through the literature
- a match between the methodology and / or methods and your research question/s
Adapted from Cadman (2002) as cited in Paltridge, B. and Starfield, S. (2020). Thesis and dissertation writing in a second language: A handbook for students and their advisers. Routledge.
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Home » How To Write A Research Proposal – Step-by-Step [Template]
How To Write A Research Proposal – Step-by-Step [Template]
Table of Contents
How To Write a Research Proposal
Writing a Research proposal involves several steps to ensure a well-structured and comprehensive document. Here is an explanation of each step:
1. Title and Abstract
- Choose a concise and descriptive title that reflects the essence of your research.
- Write an abstract summarizing your research question, objectives, methodology, and expected outcomes. It should provide a brief overview of your proposal.
- Provide an introduction to your research topic, highlighting its significance and relevance.
- Clearly state the research problem or question you aim to address.
- Discuss the background and context of the study, including previous research in the field.
3. Research Objectives
- Outline the specific objectives or aims of your research. These objectives should be clear, achievable, and aligned with the research problem.
4. Literature Review:
- Conduct a comprehensive review of relevant literature and studies related to your research topic.
- Summarize key findings, identify gaps, and highlight how your research will contribute to the existing knowledge.
- Describe the research design and methodology you plan to employ to address your research objectives.
- Explain the data collection methods, instruments, and analysis techniques you will use.
- Justify why the chosen methods are appropriate and suitable for your research.
- Create a timeline or schedule that outlines the major milestones and activities of your research project.
- Break down the research process into smaller tasks and estimate the time required for each task.
- Identify the resources needed for your research, such as access to specific databases, equipment, or funding.
- Explain how you will acquire or utilize these resources to carry out your research effectively.
8. Ethical Considerations:
- Discuss any ethical issues that may arise during your research and explain how you plan to address them.
- If your research involves human subjects, explain how you will ensure their informed consent and privacy.
9. Expected Outcomes and Significance:
- Clearly state the expected outcomes or results of your research.
- Highlight the potential impact and significance of your research in advancing knowledge or addressing practical issues.
- Provide a list of all the references cited in your proposal, following a consistent citation style (e.g., APA, MLA).
- Include any additional supporting materials, such as survey questionnaires, interview guides, or data analysis plans.
Research Proposal Format
The format of a research proposal may vary depending on the specific requirements of the institution or funding agency. However, the following is a commonly used format for a research proposal:
1. Title Page:
- Include the title of your research proposal, your name, your affiliation or institution, and the date.
- Provide a brief summary of your research proposal, highlighting the research problem, objectives, methodology, and expected outcomes.
- Introduce the research topic and provide background information.
- State the research problem or question you aim to address.
- Explain the significance and relevance of the research.
- Review relevant literature and studies related to your research topic.
- Summarize key findings and identify gaps in the existing knowledge.
- Explain how your research will contribute to filling those gaps.
5. Research Objectives:
- Clearly state the specific objectives or aims of your research.
- Ensure that the objectives are clear, focused, and aligned with the research problem.
- Describe the research design and methodology you plan to use.
- Explain the data collection methods, instruments, and analysis techniques.
- Justify why the chosen methods are appropriate for your research.
- Explain how you will acquire or utilize these resources effectively.
9. Ethical Considerations:
- If applicable, explain how you will ensure informed consent and protect the privacy of research participants.
10. Expected Outcomes and Significance:
Research Proposal Template
Here’s a template for a research proposal:
2. Literature Review:
3. Research Objectives:
7. Ethical Considerations:
8. Expected Outcomes and Significance:
Research Proposal Sample
Title: The Impact of Online Education on Student Learning Outcomes: A Comparative Study
Online education has gained significant prominence in recent years, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This research proposal aims to investigate the impact of online education on student learning outcomes by comparing them with traditional face-to-face instruction. The study will explore various aspects of online education, such as instructional methods, student engagement, and academic performance, to provide insights into the effectiveness of online learning.
The main objectives of this research are as follows:
- To compare student learning outcomes between online and traditional face-to-face education.
- To examine the factors influencing student engagement in online learning environments.
- To assess the effectiveness of different instructional methods employed in online education.
- To identify challenges and opportunities associated with online education and suggest recommendations for improvement.
3.1 Study Design
This research will utilize a mixed-methods approach to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. The study will include the following components:
The research will involve undergraduate students from two universities, one offering online education and the other providing face-to-face instruction. A total of 500 students (250 from each university) will be selected randomly to participate in the study.
3.3 Data Collection
The research will employ the following data collection methods:
- Quantitative: Pre- and post-assessments will be conducted to measure students’ learning outcomes. Data on student demographics and academic performance will also be collected from university records.
- Qualitative: Focus group discussions and individual interviews will be conducted with students to gather their perceptions and experiences regarding online education.
3.4 Data Analysis
Quantitative data will be analyzed using statistical software, employing descriptive statistics, t-tests, and regression analysis. Qualitative data will be transcribed, coded, and analyzed thematically to identify recurring patterns and themes.
4. Ethical Considerations
The study will adhere to ethical guidelines, ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of participants. Informed consent will be obtained, and participants will have the right to withdraw from the study at any time.
5. Significance and Expected Outcomes
This research will contribute to the existing literature by providing empirical evidence on the impact of online education on student learning outcomes. The findings will help educational institutions and policymakers make informed decisions about incorporating online learning methods and improving the quality of online education. Moreover, the study will identify potential challenges and opportunities related to online education and offer recommendations for enhancing student engagement and overall learning outcomes.
The proposed research will be conducted over a period of 12 months, including data collection, analysis, and report writing.
The estimated budget for this research includes expenses related to data collection, software licenses, participant compensation, and research assistance. A detailed budget breakdown will be provided in the final research plan.
This research proposal aims to investigate the impact of online education on student learning outcomes through a comparative study with traditional face-to-face instruction. By exploring various dimensions of online education, this research will provide valuable insights into the effectiveness and challenges associated with online learning. The findings will contribute to the ongoing discourse on educational practices and help shape future strategies for maximizing student learning outcomes in online education settings.
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17 Research Proposal Examples
A research proposal systematically and transparently outlines a proposed research project.
The purpose of a research proposal is to demonstrate a project’s viability and the researcher’s preparedness to conduct an academic study. It serves as a roadmap for the researcher.
The process holds value both externally (for accountability purposes and often as a requirement for a grant application) and intrinsic value (for helping the researcher to clarify the mechanics, purpose, and potential signficance of the study).
Key sections of a research proposal include: the title, abstract, introduction, literature review, research design and methods, timeline, budget, outcomes and implications, references, and appendix. Each is briefly explained below.
Research Proposal Sample Structure
Title: The title should present a concise and descriptive statement that clearly conveys the core idea of the research projects. Make it as specific as possible. The reader should immediately be able to grasp the core idea of the intended research project. Often, the title is left too vague and does not help give an understanding of what exactly the study looks at.
Abstract: Abstracts are usually around 250-300 words and provide an overview of what is to follow – including the research problem, objectives, methods, expected outcomes, and significance of the study. Use it as a roadmap and ensure that, if the abstract is the only thing someone reads, they’ll get a good fly-by of what will be discussed in the peice.
Introduction: Introductions are all about contextualization. They often set the background information with a statement of the problem. At the end of the introduction, the reader should understand what the rationale for the study truly is. I like to see the research questions or hypotheses included in the introduction and I like to get a good understanding of what the significance of the research will be. It’s often easiest to write the introduction last
Literature Review: The literature review dives deep into the existing literature on the topic, demosntrating your thorough understanding of the existing literature including themes, strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in the literature. It serves both to demonstrate your knowledge of the field and, to demonstrate how the proposed study will fit alongside the literature on the topic. A good literature review concludes by clearly demonstrating how your research will contribute something new and innovative to the conversation in the literature.
Research Design and Methods: This section needs to clearly demonstrate how the data will be gathered and analyzed in a systematic and academically sound manner. Here, you need to demonstrate that the conclusions of your research will be both valid and reliable. Common points discussed in the research design and methods section include highlighting the research paradigm, methodologies, intended population or sample to be studied, data collection techniques, and data analysis procedures . Toward the end of this section, you are encouraged to also address ethical considerations and limitations of the research process , but also to explain why you chose your research design and how you are mitigating the identified risks and limitations.
Timeline: Provide an outline of the anticipated timeline for the study. Break it down into its various stages (including data collection, data analysis, and report writing). The goal of this section is firstly to establish a reasonable breakdown of steps for you to follow and secondly to demonstrate to the assessors that your project is practicable and feasible.
Budget: Estimate the costs associated with the research project and include evidence for your estimations. Typical costs include staffing costs, equipment, travel, and data collection tools. When applying for a scholarship, the budget should demonstrate that you are being responsible with your expensive and that your funding application is reasonable.
Expected Outcomes and Implications: A discussion of the anticipated findings or results of the research, as well as the potential contributions to the existing knowledge, theory, or practice in the field. This section should also address the potential impact of the research on relevant stakeholders and any broader implications for policy or practice.
References: A complete list of all the sources cited in the research proposal, formatted according to the required citation style. This demonstrates the researcher’s familiarity with the relevant literature and ensures proper attribution of ideas and information.
Appendices (if applicable): Any additional materials, such as questionnaires, interview guides, or consent forms, that provide further information or support for the research proposal. These materials should be included as appendices at the end of the document.
Research Proposal Examples
Research proposals often extend anywhere between 2,000 and 15,000 words in length. The following snippets are samples designed to briefly demonstrate what might be discussed in each section.
1. Education Studies Research Proposals
See some real sample pieces:
- Assessment of the perceptions of teachers towards a new grading system
- Does ICT use in secondary classrooms help or hinder student learning?
- Digital technologies in focus project
- Urban Middle School Teachers’ Experiences of the Implementation of
- Restorative Justice Practices
- Experiences of students of color in service learning
Consider this hypothetical education research proposal:
The Impact of Game-Based Learning on Student Engagement and Academic Performance in Middle School Mathematics
Abstract: The proposed study will explore multiplayer game-based learning techniques in middle school mathematics curricula and their effects on student engagement. The study aims to contribute to the current literature on game-based learning by examining the effects of multiplayer gaming in learning.
Introduction: Digital game-based learning has long been shunned within mathematics education for fears that it may distract students or lower the academic integrity of the classrooms. However, there is emerging evidence that digital games in math have emerging benefits not only for engagement but also academic skill development. Contributing to this discourse, this study seeks to explore the potential benefits of multiplayer digital game-based learning by examining its impact on middle school students’ engagement and academic performance in a mathematics class.
Literature Review: The literature review has identified gaps in the current knowledge, namely, while game-based learning has been extensively explored, the role of multiplayer games in supporting learning has not been studied.
Research Design and Methods: This study will employ a mixed-methods research design based upon action research in the classroom. A quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test control group design will first be used to compare the academic performance and engagement of middle school students exposed to game-based learning techniques with those in a control group receiving instruction without the aid of technology. Students will also be observed and interviewed in regard to the effect of communication and collaboration during gameplay on their learning.
Timeline: The study will take place across the second term of the school year with a pre-test taking place on the first day of the term and the post-test taking place on Wednesday in Week 10.
Budget: The key budgetary requirements will be the technologies required, including the subscription cost for the identified games and computers.
Expected Outcomes and Implications: It is expected that the findings will contribute to the current literature on game-based learning and inform educational practices, providing educators and policymakers with insights into how to better support student achievement in mathematics.
2. Psychology Research Proposals
See some real examples:
- A situational analysis of shared leadership in a self-managing team
- The effect of musical preference on running performance
- Relationship between self-esteem and disordered eating amongst adolescent females
Consider this hypothetical psychology research proposal:
The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Interventions on Stress Reduction in College Students
Abstract: This research proposal examines the impact of mindfulness-based interventions on stress reduction among college students, using a pre-test/post-test experimental design with both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods .
Introduction: College students face heightened stress levels during exam weeks. This can affect both mental health and test performance. This study explores the potential benefits of mindfulness-based interventions such as meditation as a way to mediate stress levels in the weeks leading up to exam time.
Literature Review: Existing research on mindfulness-based meditation has shown the ability for mindfulness to increase metacognition, decrease anxiety levels, and decrease stress. Existing literature has looked at workplace, high school and general college-level applications. This study will contribute to the corpus of literature by exploring the effects of mindfulness directly in the context of exam weeks.
Research Design and Methods: Participants ( n= 234 ) will be randomly assigned to either an experimental group, receiving 5 days per week of 10-minute mindfulness-based interventions, or a control group, receiving no intervention. Data will be collected through self-report questionnaires, measuring stress levels, semi-structured interviews exploring participants’ experiences, and students’ test scores.
Timeline: The study will begin three weeks before the students’ exam week and conclude after each student’s final exam. Data collection will occur at the beginning (pre-test of self-reported stress levels) and end (post-test) of the three weeks.
Expected Outcomes and Implications: The study aims to provide evidence supporting the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in reducing stress among college students in the lead up to exams, with potential implications for mental health support and stress management programs on college campuses.
3. Sociology Research Proposals
- Understanding emerging social movements: A case study of ‘Jersey in Transition’
- The interaction of health, education and employment in Western China
- Can we preserve lower-income affordable neighbourhoods in the face of rising costs?
Consider this hypothetical sociology research proposal:
The Impact of Social Media Usage on Interpersonal Relationships among Young Adults
Abstract: This research proposal investigates the effects of social media usage on interpersonal relationships among young adults, using a longitudinal mixed-methods approach with ongoing semi-structured interviews to collect qualitative data.
Introduction: Social media platforms have become a key medium for the development of interpersonal relationships, particularly for young adults. This study examines the potential positive and negative effects of social media usage on young adults’ relationships and development over time.
Literature Review: A preliminary review of relevant literature has demonstrated that social media usage is central to development of a personal identity and relationships with others with similar subcultural interests. However, it has also been accompanied by data on mental health deline and deteriorating off-screen relationships. The literature is to-date lacking important longitudinal data on these topics.
Research Design and Methods: Participants ( n = 454 ) will be young adults aged 18-24. Ongoing self-report surveys will assess participants’ social media usage, relationship satisfaction, and communication patterns. A subset of participants will be selected for longitudinal in-depth interviews starting at age 18 and continuing for 5 years.
Timeline: The study will be conducted over a period of five years, including recruitment, data collection, analysis, and report writing.
Expected Outcomes and Implications: This study aims to provide insights into the complex relationship between social media usage and interpersonal relationships among young adults, potentially informing social policies and mental health support related to social media use.
4. Nursing Research Proposals
- Does Orthopaedic Pre-assessment clinic prepare the patient for admission to hospital?
- Nurses’ perceptions and experiences of providing psychological care to burns patients
- Registered psychiatric nurse’s practice with mentally ill parents and their children
Consider this hypothetical nursing research proposal:
The Influence of Nurse-Patient Communication on Patient Satisfaction and Health Outcomes following Emergency Cesarians
Abstract: This research will examines the impact of effective nurse-patient communication on patient satisfaction and health outcomes for women following c-sections, utilizing a mixed-methods approach with patient surveys and semi-structured interviews.
Introduction: It has long been known that effective communication between nurses and patients is crucial for quality care. However, additional complications arise following emergency c-sections due to the interaction between new mother’s changing roles and recovery from surgery.
Literature Review: A review of the literature demonstrates the importance of nurse-patient communication, its impact on patient satisfaction, and potential links to health outcomes. However, communication between nurses and new mothers is less examined, and the specific experiences of those who have given birth via emergency c-section are to date unexamined.
Research Design and Methods: Participants will be patients in a hospital setting who have recently had an emergency c-section. A self-report survey will assess their satisfaction with nurse-patient communication and perceived health outcomes. A subset of participants will be selected for in-depth interviews to explore their experiences and perceptions of the communication with their nurses.
Timeline: The study will be conducted over a period of six months, including rolling recruitment, data collection, analysis, and report writing within the hospital.
Expected Outcomes and Implications: This study aims to provide evidence for the significance of nurse-patient communication in supporting new mothers who have had an emergency c-section. Recommendations will be presented for supporting nurses and midwives in improving outcomes for new mothers who had complications during birth.
5. Social Work Research Proposals
- Experiences of negotiating employment and caring responsibilities of fathers post-divorce
- Exploring kinship care in the north region of British Columbia
Consider this hypothetical social work research proposal:
The Role of a Family-Centered Intervention in Preventing Homelessness Among At-Risk Youthin a working-class town in Northern England
Abstract: This research proposal investigates the effectiveness of a family-centered intervention provided by a local council area in preventing homelessness among at-risk youth. This case study will use a mixed-methods approach with program evaluation data and semi-structured interviews to collect quantitative and qualitative data.
Introduction: Homelessness among youth remains a significant social issue. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of family-centered interventions in addressing this problem and identify factors that contribute to successful prevention strategies.
Literature Review: A review of the literature has demonstrated several key factors contributing to youth homelessness including lack of parental support, lack of social support, and low levels of family involvement. It also demonstrates the important role of family-centered interventions in addressing this issue. Drawing on current evidence, this study explores the effectiveness of one such intervention in preventing homelessness among at-risk youth in a working-class town in Northern England.
Research Design and Methods: The study will evaluate a new family-centered intervention program targeting at-risk youth and their families. Quantitative data on program outcomes, including housing stability and family functioning, will be collected through program records and evaluation reports. Semi-structured interviews with program staff, participants, and relevant stakeholders will provide qualitative insights into the factors contributing to program success or failure.
Timeline: The study will be conducted over a period of six months, including recruitment, data collection, analysis, and report writing.
Budget: Expenses include access to program evaluation data, interview materials, data analysis software, and any related travel costs for in-person interviews.
Expected Outcomes and Implications: This study aims to provide evidence for the effectiveness of family-centered interventions in preventing youth homelessness, potentially informing the expansion of or necessary changes to social work practices in Northern England.
Research Proposal Template
This is a template for a 2500-word research proposal. You may find it difficult to squeeze everything into this wordcount, but it’s a common wordcount for Honors and MA-level dissertations.
Your research proposal is where you really get going with your study. I’d strongly recommend working closely with your teacher in developing a research proposal that’s consistent with the requirements and culture of your institution, as in my experience it varies considerably. The above template is from my own courses that walk students through research proposals in a British School of Education.
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- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 28 Cohesion Examples
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Research Paper Guide
Writing Research Proposal
Research Proposal - A Complete Format Guide and Template
10 min read
Published on: Dec 9, 2017
Last updated on: Mar 16, 2023
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A research proposal is the first and integral step in writing a research paper . It is considered a complex task because it requires multiple skills and a critical approach.
It is an essential part of any degree program and as a student, you will need to write one when you are nearing the end of your graduate or post-graduate degree. If you are planning to apply for a doctorate program, you will need to write a convincing and good research proposal.
If you are reading this, you are probably looking for help.
This guide offers a comprehensive outlook of the steps required to write a winning research project proposal.
What is a Research Proposal?
A research proposal is essentially a formal, structured document that states the aim of your study (i.e. the subject matter), why it's worth studying (i.e. the rationale), and how you intend to pursue it (i.e. the practical approach).
The goal of the research proposal (it's kind of work) is to persuade your study supervisor, committee, or institution that your study is relevant and manageable (given the time and resource restrictions you will face).
The most significant term is "convince," which means your study proposal must persuade the reader that it is worth reading (to whomever will give it approval). If it doesn't persuade them (of its suitability and manageability), you'll have to rewrite and resend it.
This will cost you much time, either delaying the start of your study or depleting your research time limit (which is not good news).
Keep in mind, an engaging proposal is a reflection of the writer’s subjectivity. Here you will also explain the nature and significance of the research study to persuade the audience.
How Long is a Research Proposal?
The length of a proposal varies in different course programs. It consists of only a few pages for writing a bachelor’s or master’s thesis proposal. But the proposals for PhD dissertations are long and detailed due to their complexity when developing research strategies.
What Goes into the Research Proposal?
A writer must answer the following questions to write a research proposal.
Specify what you will contribute to a specific research field. Be clear and brief while defining the research problem. When adding the research question, make sure that the topic is clear and it provides a clear picture and explanation of the topic. Do not start writing your proposal without having a clear picture and idea of your research question.
Before you begin, ask yourself, why are you doing it? This is a question that matters the most in research proposals.
It will direct you to conduct a thorough review of the literature. Also, offer convincing evidence to explain the contribution of the topic to the existing field.
Describe what methods and techniques you will use to conduct the research work. Similarly, discuss why you are the correct person to carry out this research. But never make the mistake of proposing a solution that is not feasible.
Here are some questions that you must answer in your research proposal;
- How will you conduct your research?
- Is your chosen research design suitable for your research?
- Will you be able to manage everything in the given time?
- What research approach would you use?
- Will it be cross-sectional or longitudinal?
- What will be the data collection method?
- What will be the data analysis methods?
Research Proposal Format
The research proposal steps included in the format are discussed below in detail.
A title page is the first section of a research proposal that includes:
- The main title of the research work.
- Student’s name.
- Supervisor’s name.
- The institution and department.
Abstract and Table of Contents
A research proposal abstract provides a concise summary of your paper. It should be no more than 250 words. On the other hand, an organized table of contents will help the readers to navigate the document. Both these sections are required if the proposal is too long.
Related: How to Write an Abstract - A Step by Step Guide
A well-structured research proposal outline is a way to organize your ideas before writing a research paper. It will decide what headings and subheadings the research paper will have.
Research Paper Introduction
The introduction should be brief and catchy to grab the reader’s attention. It must include the below-given elements.
- Introduction of the topic.
- Discussion of the main research problem.
- Background of the issue.
- The methodology used to analyze the research problem.
- Significance and importance of the research.
- Future plan for the research.
Background and Significance
The background and significance section explains the detailed context of your research work. You can merge this section with the introduction. However, create a separate section with extensive information if the proposal is lengthy.
Highlight the following key points while writing a background and significance section.
- State the problem and offer a detailed explanation.
- Mention the rationale of the study and indicate why it is worth pursuing.
- Pinpoint the critical issues addressed by the research.
- Explain your chosen type of research methodology and sources that you are planning to use.
- Define the boundaries of the research clearly.
- Write definitions of key terms or concepts for easy understanding.
A comprehensive literature review is important. It is a thorough analysis of literature sources that are relevant to the research topic. A strong review aims to convince readers about the valuable contribution to the existing knowledge by giving information.
Moreover, this section is usually challenging to complete because it contains lots of information. However, a strong literature review aims to convince readers about a valuable contribution to the existing knowledge.
Analyze what research questions are raised by others. Similarly, identify the methods used by them.
Don’t be afraid to challenge the findings of others. Just make sure that you have challenged their results with substantial and relevant information.
Here are the 5 C’s that can make up a literature review .
By using them, compare and contrast the main theories and methods. Also, identify the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches while writing a literature review.
Research Design and Methods
The methodology section explains the overall strategy and steps you should take to address your research questions.
Don't just compose a list of methods but try to prove that your method is the most relevant and practical approach to answering the questions.
When writing, always be specific. Using multiple methods in your work can confuse the readers.
The below table will help you identify the methodology in a research proposal.
A hypothesis is the first step in setting a clear goal for your research. It sets a clear objective for researchers and also helps other readers understand what's being studied.
Furthermore, if your hypotheses are well-worded and easy to follow, conducting research becomes much more efficient.
- What is going to be the result of your study concerning the theoretical framework and underlying assumptions?
- What possible suggestions could arise from the research outcomes?
- How will results contribute to the natural setting of the workplace?
- Will the outcomes contribute to social and economic problems?
- How will outcomes influence policy decisions?
- How can research work benefit individuals or groups?
- What can be improved as a result of your study?
- How will the outcomes of the study be implemented in the future?
The substantive, methodological, and theoretical frameworks are generally highlighted in the discussion. The primary purpose is to analyze the significance of your findings in light of the research problem. This section also explores new and fresh insights for future research studies.
It is likely to be connected to the introduction, research questions, and hypothesis. Thus, stick to the purpose of the research to make it easier for the audience to understand.
Research Paper Conclusion
The conclusion is a summary of the entire research study. It describes the importance and significance of your proposal.
Moreover, this section should be one to two paragraphs long that emphasizes on:
- Why should you conduct the research study?
- How will it advance the existing knowledge?
- How is the research related to your theory or hypothesis?
- How will it benefit other scholars?
- What are the prospects for future implications?
Lastly, discuss the prospects for future implications.
A research proposal formatting must include proper citations for every source that you have used. Similarly, the referencing list should also contain full publication details. Remember, writing the work cited list properly will increase the credibility of your work.
A standard paper proposal has two kinds of citations.
- References - Only list the sources you have used in the proposal.
- Bibliography - List sources used along with other additional citations that you have studied to conduct the research.
Always choose the specific citation formats required by the professors. It includes APA, MLA, and Chicago.
Research Proposal Examples
Have a look at the sample research proposal for a better understanding.
Force to Service - APA Research Proposal
Detailed Template for a Research Proposal
A Sample Research Proposal with Comments
Format for a Research Proposal
Research Proposal on Coronavirus Disease in Jhapa District
Research Proposal Topics
Below is a list of interesting and easy research proposal topics.
- How can a political system influence society?
- Discuss the difference between Fascism and Nazism.
- How can terrorism affect the economy of a state?
- What is the importance of advertising in running a business?
- Advantages and disadvantages of a testing system.
- Education is the basis for developing a child’s character.
- Role of methodology in a research paper.
- Impact of non-governmental organizations.
- How can waste management programs influence society?
- Educational technologies for higher education.
If you still need more ideas, here are some research paper topics to help you choose a good topic.
Research Proposal Writing Strategies
Follow the below-given writing strategies to write a perfect research proposal.
- A research proposal should be focused on a clear sense of purpose.
- Landmark works must be cited in the literature review.
- The proposal should also lay a foundation for understanding the scope of the research study.
- It should limit the boundaries of your research (e.g., time, place, or people).
- It must inform the readers how and when the study will examine the main research problem.
- A coherent and persuasive argument should be developed for the research proposal.
- Avoid poor grammar and informal proposal writing. Instead, it must be well-written and follow the rules of good academic writing.
- The proposal should provide enough details about the major issues to support the argument.
- Minor points can also be discussed but should not dominate the overall narrative.
Hopefully, this guide will help you understand the structure of a research proposal. But there are cases when students lack good research and writing skills. For this, they prefer to seek writing help from different paper writing services.
While doing so, they often fall victim to the low-quality research proposals delivered by such scams. In return, they get nothing but low-quality papers.
So to avoid this, you can always reach out to MyPerfectWords.com . Our professional writer only aims to write high-quality research proposals and papers for you at affordable rates.
So contact us to get the best writing services online!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need a research proposal.
The research proposal is your chance to tell the audience what the project will be about and how important it is. It also shows your ability to conduct the research efficiently.
How far in advance should you plan a proposal?
A researcher should plan the proposal almost eight weeks before begin writing a research paper.
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Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.
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- Indian J Anaesth
- v.60(9); 2016 Sep
How to write a research proposal?
Department of Anaesthesiology, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Devika Rani Duggappa
Writing the proposal of a research work in the present era is a challenging task due to the constantly evolving trends in the qualitative research design and the need to incorporate medical advances into the methodology. The proposal is a detailed plan or ‘blueprint’ for the intended study, and once it is completed, the research project should flow smoothly. Even today, many of the proposals at post-graduate evaluation committees and application proposals for funding are substandard. A search was conducted with keywords such as research proposal, writing proposal and qualitative using search engines, namely, PubMed and Google Scholar, and an attempt has been made to provide broad guidelines for writing a scientifically appropriate research proposal.
A clean, well-thought-out proposal forms the backbone for the research itself and hence becomes the most important step in the process of conduct of research.[ 1 ] The objective of preparing a research proposal would be to obtain approvals from various committees including ethics committee [details under ‘Research methodology II’ section [ Table 1 ] in this issue of IJA) and to request for grants. However, there are very few universally accepted guidelines for preparation of a good quality research proposal. A search was performed with keywords such as research proposal, funding, qualitative and writing proposals using search engines, namely, PubMed, Google Scholar and Scopus.
Five ‘C’s while writing a literature review
BASIC REQUIREMENTS OF A RESEARCH PROPOSAL
A proposal needs to show how your work fits into what is already known about the topic and what new paradigm will it add to the literature, while specifying the question that the research will answer, establishing its significance, and the implications of the answer.[ 2 ] The proposal must be capable of convincing the evaluation committee about the credibility, achievability, practicality and reproducibility (repeatability) of the research design.[ 3 ] Four categories of audience with different expectations may be present in the evaluation committees, namely academic colleagues, policy-makers, practitioners and lay audiences who evaluate the research proposal. Tips for preparation of a good research proposal include; ‘be practical, be persuasive, make broader links, aim for crystal clarity and plan before you write’. A researcher must be balanced, with a realistic understanding of what can be achieved. Being persuasive implies that researcher must be able to convince other researchers, research funding agencies, educational institutions and supervisors that the research is worth getting approval. The aim of the researcher should be clearly stated in simple language that describes the research in a way that non-specialists can comprehend, without use of jargons. The proposal must not only demonstrate that it is based on an intelligent understanding of the existing literature but also show that the writer has thought about the time needed to conduct each stage of the research.[ 4 , 5 ]
CONTENTS OF A RESEARCH PROPOSAL
The contents or formats of a research proposal vary depending on the requirements of evaluation committee and are generally provided by the evaluation committee or the institution.
In general, a cover page should contain the (i) title of the proposal, (ii) name and affiliation of the researcher (principal investigator) and co-investigators, (iii) institutional affiliation (degree of the investigator and the name of institution where the study will be performed), details of contact such as phone numbers, E-mail id's and lines for signatures of investigators.
The main contents of the proposal may be presented under the following headings: (i) introduction, (ii) review of literature, (iii) aims and objectives, (iv) research design and methods, (v) ethical considerations, (vi) budget, (vii) appendices and (viii) citations.[ 4 ]
It is also sometimes termed as ‘need for study’ or ‘abstract’. Introduction is an initial pitch of an idea; it sets the scene and puts the research in context.[ 6 ] The introduction should be designed to create interest in the reader about the topic and proposal. It should convey to the reader, what you want to do, what necessitates the study and your passion for the topic.[ 7 ] Some questions that can be used to assess the significance of the study are: (i) Who has an interest in the domain of inquiry? (ii) What do we already know about the topic? (iii) What has not been answered adequately in previous research and practice? (iv) How will this research add to knowledge, practice and policy in this area? Some of the evaluation committees, expect the last two questions, elaborated under a separate heading of ‘background and significance’.[ 8 ] Introduction should also contain the hypothesis behind the research design. If hypothesis cannot be constructed, the line of inquiry to be used in the research must be indicated.
Review of literature
It refers to all sources of scientific evidence pertaining to the topic in interest. In the present era of digitalisation and easy accessibility, there is an enormous amount of relevant data available, making it a challenge for the researcher to include all of it in his/her review.[ 9 ] It is crucial to structure this section intelligently so that the reader can grasp the argument related to your study in relation to that of other researchers, while still demonstrating to your readers that your work is original and innovative. It is preferable to summarise each article in a paragraph, highlighting the details pertinent to the topic of interest. The progression of review can move from the more general to the more focused studies, or a historical progression can be used to develop the story, without making it exhaustive.[ 1 ] Literature should include supporting data, disagreements and controversies. Five ‘C's may be kept in mind while writing a literature review[ 10 ] [ Table 1 ].
Aims and objectives
The research purpose (or goal or aim) gives a broad indication of what the researcher wishes to achieve in the research. The hypothesis to be tested can be the aim of the study. The objectives related to parameters or tools used to achieve the aim are generally categorised as primary and secondary objectives.
Research design and method
The objective here is to convince the reader that the overall research design and methods of analysis will correctly address the research problem and to impress upon the reader that the methodology/sources chosen are appropriate for the specific topic. It should be unmistakably tied to the specific aims of your study.
In this section, the methods and sources used to conduct the research must be discussed, including specific references to sites, databases, key texts or authors that will be indispensable to the project. There should be specific mention about the methodological approaches to be undertaken to gather information, about the techniques to be used to analyse it and about the tests of external validity to which researcher is committed.[ 10 , 11 ]
The components of this section include the following:[ 4 ]
Population and sample
Population refers to all the elements (individuals, objects or substances) that meet certain criteria for inclusion in a given universe,[ 12 ] and sample refers to subset of population which meets the inclusion criteria for enrolment into the study. The inclusion and exclusion criteria should be clearly defined. The details pertaining to sample size are discussed in the article “Sample size calculation: Basic priniciples” published in this issue of IJA.
The researcher is expected to give a detailed account of the methodology adopted for collection of data, which include the time frame required for the research. The methodology should be tested for its validity and ensure that, in pursuit of achieving the results, the participant's life is not jeopardised. The author should anticipate and acknowledge any potential barrier and pitfall in carrying out the research design and explain plans to address them, thereby avoiding lacunae due to incomplete data collection. If the researcher is planning to acquire data through interviews or questionnaires, copy of the questions used for the same should be attached as an annexure with the proposal.
Rigor (soundness of the research)
This addresses the strength of the research with respect to its neutrality, consistency and applicability. Rigor must be reflected throughout the proposal.
It refers to the robustness of a research method against bias. The author should convey the measures taken to avoid bias, viz. blinding and randomisation, in an elaborate way, thus ensuring that the result obtained from the adopted method is purely as chance and not influenced by other confounding variables.
Consistency considers whether the findings will be consistent if the inquiry was replicated with the same participants and in a similar context. This can be achieved by adopting standard and universally accepted methods and scales.
Applicability refers to the degree to which the findings can be applied to different contexts and groups.[ 13 ]
This section deals with the reduction and reconstruction of data and its analysis including sample size calculation. The researcher is expected to explain the steps adopted for coding and sorting the data obtained. Various tests to be used to analyse the data for its robustness, significance should be clearly stated. Author should also mention the names of statistician and suitable software which will be used in due course of data analysis and their contribution to data analysis and sample calculation.[ 9 ]
Medical research introduces special moral and ethical problems that are not usually encountered by other researchers during data collection, and hence, the researcher should take special care in ensuring that ethical standards are met. Ethical considerations refer to the protection of the participants' rights (right to self-determination, right to privacy, right to autonomy and confidentiality, right to fair treatment and right to protection from discomfort and harm), obtaining informed consent and the institutional review process (ethical approval). The researcher needs to provide adequate information on each of these aspects.
Informed consent needs to be obtained from the participants (details discussed in further chapters), as well as the research site and the relevant authorities.
When the researcher prepares a research budget, he/she should predict and cost all aspects of the research and then add an additional allowance for unpredictable disasters, delays and rising costs. All items in the budget should be justified.
Appendices are documents that support the proposal and application. The appendices will be specific for each proposal but documents that are usually required include informed consent form, supporting documents, questionnaires, measurement tools and patient information of the study in layman's language.
As with any scholarly research paper, you must cite the sources you used in composing your proposal. Although the words ‘references and bibliography’ are different, they are used interchangeably. It refers to all references cited in the research proposal.
Successful, qualitative research proposals should communicate the researcher's knowledge of the field and method and convey the emergent nature of the qualitative design. The proposal should follow a discernible logic from the introduction to presentation of the appendices.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest.
There are no conflicts of interest.
Research Proposal Example/Sample
Detailed Walkthrough + Free Proposal Template
If you’re getting started crafting your research proposal and are looking for a few examples of research proposals , you’ve come to the right place.
In this video, we walk you through two successful (approved) research proposals , one for a Master’s-level project, and one for a PhD-level dissertation. We also start off by unpacking our free research proposal template and discussing the four core sections of a research proposal, so that you have a clear understanding of the basics before diving into the actual proposals.
- Research proposal example/sample – Master’s-level (PDF/Word)
- Research proposal example/sample – PhD-level (PDF/Word)
- Proposal template (Fully editable)
If you’re working on a research proposal for a dissertation or thesis, you may also find the following useful:
- Research Proposal Bootcamp : Learn how to write a research proposal as efficiently and effectively as possible
- 1:1 Proposal Coaching : Get hands-on help with your research proposal
FAQ: Research Proposal Example
Research proposal example: frequently asked questions, are the sample proposals real.
Yes. The proposals are real and were approved by the respective universities.
Can I copy one of these proposals for my own research?
As we discuss in the video, every research proposal will be slightly different, depending on the university’s unique requirements, as well as the nature of the research itself. Therefore, you’ll need to tailor your research proposal to suit your specific context.
You can learn more about the basics of writing a research proposal here .
How do I get the research proposal template?
You can access our free proposal template here .
Is the proposal template really free?
Yes. There is no cost for the proposal template and you are free to use it as a foundation for your research proposal.
Where can I learn more about proposal writing?
For self-directed learners, our Research Proposal Bootcamp is a great starting point.
For students that want hands-on guidance, our private coaching service is recommended.
Psst… there’s more!
This post is an extract from our bestselling Udemy Course, Research Proposal Bootcamp . If you want to work smart, you don't want to miss this .
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