20 Tips to Write a Perfect Research Proposal

The purpose of a research proposal is to relate all the necessary and minute details of a conducted research. It describes what the research is aiming to investigate, the importance of it and the methods implied. We present here twenty helpful points about how to make this document an outstanding one.

  1. The format

    The format of proposal differs from field to field. But there are still some basic elements that are consistent in all research proposals. It must include the following:

    • Cover Page
    • Introduction
    • Literature Review
    • Research Design
    • Reference List
  2. The objective of your proposal

    So, what does an ideal research proposal meant to achieve? As an academic you might be writing to have you project funded. If you are a student then it will get your dissertation or research plan approved. Its basic meaning is to persuade a certain individual or group that the research is worthwhile.

  3. Aims

    Make the research relevant to convince your readers it is important, original and interesting. Giving context is another way to show your familiarity with the field. It displays that you understand the current position of the chosen topic. State what is the approach you have taken. Present a case for the methodology you choose. Show that there is careful thought behind the tools, data and procedures used in the research.

  4. How long should it be?

    The length of a proposal differs greatly from each other. A master’s or bachelor’s thesis proposal is around a few pages long. Proposals for research funding and PHD dissertation tend to be more detailed and lengthier.

  5. Title page

    Similar to a thesis or dissertation, a research proposal also has a title page:

    • The title of your project
    • Your name
    • The name of your supervisor
    • Your department and institution
  6. Table of contents and abstract

    With a lengthy proposal, a table of contents and abstract are necessary. It helps a reader navigate your document without hassle.

  7. Introduction

    The proposal pitches your project in front of the audience. Hence the introduction needs to be precise and should clearly explain everything. The topic should be introduced firstly. Then the context and background should be given for further knowledge. Finally, you must outline the research question and problem statement.

  8. Questions that can be explored

    These questions will help write a more comprehensive introduction for your proposal:

    • Who is the topic most important for? (Such as practitioners, scientists, policy makers, or any particular society members)
    • How much research has already been done on it?
    • What are the gaps in the existing research?
    • What new insight will your research bring forth?
    • Why is it worth conducting?
  9. Literature review

    It is essential to go through other researches done on the same topic to gain a learned perspective. A powerful literature review shows the reader that your project has valid theory and knowledge behind it. It also shows how your point of view stands different from others. There are several ways to do this. You can be critical and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of other researches as opposed to yours. Or take a compare and contrast approach. You can also focus upon telling how your research fills in a gap in the field.

  10. Research methodology

    After the literature review, it is necessary to restate your basic goals and bring the reader’s focus to your own project. The methodology section must describe your approach and steps to answer the research question.

  11. Types of research

    You can either do quantitative or qualitative research depended on your topic. State whether you will be collecting data through primary or secondary sources. The nature of your research design also needs to be mentioned. It is correlational, descriptive or experimental?

  12. Sources

    Explain in detail which sources are you going to use. The data collection can be either done through sources or subjects like case studies or sampling. The time and place for data collection should also be mentioned.

  13. Research methods

    The procedures and tools you will use in the research will be included here. Interviews, surveys, experiments and observations are all different ways to collect and analyze data. Also highlight why your chosen method is best for the research.

  14. Mention the practicalities

    The limitations of your research also need to be stated in the proposal. Mention the time period needed for data collection. The ways you will gain access to sources or participants. Also address any obstacles that you might face and its solution.

  15. Contribution to its field

    The proposal should clearly state how the project will contribute to that subject matter. It might improve processes, strengthen a model, challenge scientific assumption and so on.

  16. Bibliography or reference list

    Proper citation is a key element to keep your research organized and comprehensive. There should be complete publication details in the reference list. In some proposals you will need to create a bibliography. It is basically a list of all the sources that helped you prepare the proposal

  17. Research timeline

    Timelines are not required by all funding bodies or programs. So, make sure of a schedule is needed or not in the first place. Then provide a detailed explanation of actions to be taken at each stage and the time spent on them.

  18. Budget

    This is specifically if your proposal is looking for funding your research. A detailed budget will be required that highlights how much each phase will cost. Make sure only relevant items are included here.

  19. Revise and proofread

    Once the final draft is done, the whole proposal needs to be thoroughly reviewed and proofread. The smallest of mistakes can make a difference between acceptance and rejection. Hence, do not skip this step.

  20. Keep it realistic

    A research project is meant to discover something new. Or focus on a point that hasn’t yet been uncovered. However, it is important to go for an objective that is achievable. Refrain from picking something too obscure or extremely vast. Even if your proposal gets accepted, you will have trouble conducting the actual research later.

    These were our twenty useful tips to craft a perfect research proposal. For further research proposal help, reach out to our AgradeEssay.com service for the best academic content.

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