Tips on writing a research proposal
Before creating your research proposal, it is a good idea for you to know how you will write a research paper. You probably know that a research paper may be called a type of essay in which you are definitely expected and required to present findings of your own research in the form of a written document. The first thing to do is to include a good research plan for your future research paper, before you proceed to writing the proposal.
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Hints of what is a research paper
Even before you begin preparing and creating a research proposal, you have to comprehend what the term “research proposal” actually means. A proposal is a special kind of paper that is written before you start making your research and a research paper comes after this activity. A research paper is a kind of paper that you cannot afford to escape in your academic career. You have to come across it at least at one point in your academic life, be it in your undergraduate, your masters or Ph.D. level of education. Getting to know the definition of a research paper is not enough, you have to understand clearly and definitely how to do it. Please look at some key elements that you need to know about a research paper:
- Plan your work – it is best to plan to organize your paper beforehand. In your research paper you have to know for sure what comes first and last to facilitate coherence.
- Choose a good topic – be certain to choose a topic that you know how to write on it so that you can easily come up with the description of your themes.
- Find all the necessary information – you should be able to find all the information surrounding your topic so that you may not be stranded while writing your essay.
- Develop a strong thesis – you should be able to create a strong thesis that would be satisfactory for the audience reading your work. The thesis is the part that actually defines what kind of essay you will write.
- List the sources – research is the activity requiring that you rely not on your own information, but what you get from different literature sources, therefore you are required to reference your work.
What is a research proposal? A simplified answer
A research proposal is an essay that that proposes a certain project that is to be undertaken in the future. Before you get to conduct your research, you have to come up with a proposal addressed to your supervisors. A proposal can be addressed to different people, but most of them are usually intended to seek for sponsorship. A research proposal usually contains the step by step process that a project to be undertaken should follow from the beginning. A research proposal has several significances in the professional field:
To seek for funding of a particular project – once you convince your sponsors on the validity of your project then definitely you will not miss out to be sponsored.
To give an approximate cost for the activity – since the research proposal usually lists all the equipment to be used in the project, the sponsors can easily approximate the cost of the project in advance.
To persuade others on your project validity – in different fields and companies, before you undertake a project, you need to contact your sponsors and convince them that your intention is worth through writing a proposal.
In academic institutions a lecturer usually has the following objectives in mind when they ask you to write a project proposal:
To understand different methodology used in the conduction of research. Before starting actually writing your proposal, you have to find out different methods of acquiring information that you should include into your paper.
To expound your creativity on coming up with a reasonable research study and through that, you can gain different research skills.
Prepare you for future professionalism. When you write a project proposal, you will learn how to propose for your future project in your career.
To enable you to review a literature piece and from that, the university officials can allocate your scholarship based on what you are best in.
Research proposal format
Having understood the significance of a proposal, you have to make sure you understand correctly what is format required for writing a proposal paper. Before you get to writing a proposal sample, you have to beware of the tips that will ensure you perfect your writing. Some of the grading rubric that will make you excel in your paper include:
- You should state the contextual boundaries of occurrence in the research. They can include the time of conducting the research, the people you have been studying and the place to conduct the research.
- Be coherent in the organization of your ideas – you should ensure that your work is flowing smoothly.
- Be organized in your paper – organization is key when it comes to writing a research proposal. You should place every idea you present in its separate paragraph so that the reader can be able to comprehend your work.
- Use good grammar – good grammar is fundamental for you to achieve a smooth flow in your paper. You have to understand all the tenses in English so that you can be able to write your sentences well.
- Use persuasive language – while writing a proposal paper the main objective is usually to convince your audience that your research is worth it and therefore you have to be persuasive.
- Be precise – you should be clear in your sentences so that the reader can be able to get your points well. Avoid a lot of stories in your proposal argument because you may end up accidentally confusing your reader.
A research proposal has a specific format that you need to follow as a writer. Unlike other essays, it is in this paper that you will need to stick to the recommended format. Some kinds of information that should obligatorily be included in a proposal paper are;
- The title – the title of your essay is what describes your paper. The title should be clear and attractive to your reader. The first impression of your work is usually the title, so you need to come up with an interesting title that would make your work appealing. The title is not usually fixed; once you complete your essay, you can come back and revise your topic to suit your descriptions.
- The abstract – the abstract should address the main objective of the research. The actual principal purpose of a research paper is usually to solve a problem, so in the abstract, you should give the problem addressed in the project.
- Research context – in the research context, you should begin with a small background of the problem. You should inform your audience what was the actual need for the research and how it happened that the problem arose.
- Research questions – you should include research questions in your paper. The questions are usually used to act as a guide on the main points to be addressed in the research. The questions are usually originating with from objectives of the research. You should avoid too many questions in your proposal and instead focus on one major question so that you have a particular objective for your paper. Your research questions should address the following points:
- The main objective of the research – you should give what you are planning to accomplish in your research. In this section, be certain to give the problem that your research will cover and what you are proposing to look into.
– The reason behind conduction of the research- you should state the reason of your research being important and in doing this, you should state how it will impact people.
– How are you going to facilitate its accomplishment- you should state clearly how you are going to conduct your research. You should not come up with a proposal that is not practical; it should be something reasonable and doable.
- Research methodology – it is in this section that you should explain how you plan to conduct your research and what are the methods that you will employ to collect information for your project. In every method there are expected challenges that you are likely to experience especially for field research. During collection of information, you should state how you are planning to handle those problems to facilitate the success of your research. Research can either be field based or library based.
- The significance of the research – since a proposal paper is more of persuading your audience about what you need to do, you will need to state the importance of the project and how it impacts people. Once you state the importance of the research, you can simply convince your audience and see the essence of your project.
- Stating your resources – since conducting research “from the scratch” is not your work, you need to state all the sources of information you have ever used for your research. You should ensure that the sources of information which you have used are credible so that people who read your work can be convinced of your proposal.
Please keep in mind that there are basically 2 kinds of research:
- Library-based research – for library-based research, you are limited to resources within the library. Some of the resources that may be used for the library kind of research include journals, books, magazines, law reports, and articles.
- Field-based research – a field-based research is research where you are required to go out in the field and conduct experiments or collect information, then use the information to come up with assumptions. Concerning the methodology of your research, you will need to use ways of collecting information such as sampling, interviews, questionnaires and even experiments.
Research proposal outline
Just like all other essays, a research proposal has an outline that needs to be adhered to:
- Introduction – in your introduction you should introduce the problem under investigation to your reader. You can also include the topic related to your research topic to facilitate understanding.
- Background and significance – you should explain the originality of the problem to the reader and why it needs to be solved. In this section, you are free to give a small history of the topic so that your audience can understand your writing.
- The body – the body is the main part of the paper, and it is divided into several components.
- Literature review – in your review, you should include studies related to your research to qualify your project as current and innovative. In the review, you need to cite, compare, critique and connect the contents.
- Research design – in this section you should illustrate the methods you will use clearly so that the reader can be convinced that your research is worth pursuing. In your methods, be sure to include how you are going to interpret the results.
- The conclusion – the conclusion is the last part of your paper. You should emphasize the importance of the pending research since the main objective of a proposal is to convince your audience that indeed your research is worth conducting and reading.
- References – after your conclusion you should list the sources that you have used in coming up with your proposal. The sources should be scholarly to convince the reader.
Research proposal topics
When it comes to the question of choosing your research topics, most of the institutions will not choose a topic for you; you will need to choose a topic that you are comfortable with to write. To determine the best topic, you should be able to identify the equipment that you have for the research, the sources of information and the significance of the project. It is good to go for a topic that can be easy to you while coming up with the points. Some of the common research topics include:
- Origin of religion
- Advertising and marketing strategies
- Evolution history
- Definition of life
Importance of research proposal examples
It is good to go through a proposal sample of a topic related to your project since it will enlighten you on what you should constitute in your paper. You can easily get access to this samples through different resources available in the internet. When you go through a sample, you are likely to get exposed to different methods of collecting information, you will learn how to interpret different results and you will know how to discuss your results effectively.