Basics and Steps of Writing a Research Proposal
The format you use to write a research proposal may differ depending on your course, but they all answer three questions. The writer must describe in detail what they are planning to investigate. They must provide a convincing statement of why they feel the research will be essential and the research methods they will use. To answer these three questions, your research proposal can range between 1500 and 3500 words. This word variation might not matter if your research proposal serves its purpose. To write a proposal that wins, follow these steps:
A General Overview of a Research Proposal
A research proposal meets two critical needs that the writer aims to achieve. It justifies a proposed study and the workable ways the research will be carried out. Each research field has its unique rules for research, and the proposal must prove that it will meet these needs.
The writer uses detailed literature to provide details that will persuade the parties to accept the proposal and give the go-ahead to the envisaged project. Rationalism is a requirement for a proposal, although the writer must not ignore a detailed research methodology for the proposed project.
Every detail in a research proposal must follow the set rules, protocols, and ethics. The reader must be convinced that the benefits from the project will be helpful to the student, the professor, and both current and future students.
Elements Contained in a Research Proposal
Whether you buy a research paper or write it from scratch, these central elements must be included in your research proposal.
1. A Cover Page
This is the title of your research proposal and contains the title you proposed for your project. It also contains your name, the name of your supervisor, your university, and your department. You may want to find out if your department requires any unique formatting. Although this is not mandatory, some students write their abstracts on the cover page.
The introduction forms the first part of the proposal, and you must make sure it explains the content of the entire proposal in detail. Give an introduction to your chosen topic followed by a brief context background. Give an outline for your statement and question.
You may create a rough outline to help guide you in writing the introduction. The outline can contain information such as the persons or stakeholders interested in this research. Write the extent to which the topic is already studied. Discuss the missing links in what is already known and any new insights that can be useful. Discuss why you feel it is essential you do the research.
The length of your introduction will depend on the length of your entire proposal. If the proposal is longer, add more details to the introduction and explain further the project goals, background, context, and importance.
3. Literature Review
The person reading your proposal might want to investigate if you are familiar with this kind of research and understand what needs to be done. You will eliminate their doubt by providing a literature review. Compare the existing theories, any hot debates, possible or existing controversies, and methods used before.
Criticize any weakness or strength of the approaches used in previous or current studies and convince the reader how your proposed research will fit. This part shows the strategies you will use in your research to build on what has already been done.
It also includes the challenges you will likely face and probably what challenges others went through as they researched this topic.
4. The Research Design You Will Use
At this juncture, revisit your research goals and describe the methods you shall use for research. Discuss the research type in terms of quantitative, qualitative, experimental, descriptive, etc., and state your sample size, areas of concentration, method of selection, and where to do sampling.
Still, under research, discuss the methods you will use for your research, tools, procedures, analysis, data entry, etc. State the approximate time you will use, your means for accessing your sources and any unforeseen hindrances that might arise.
Some proposals require you to give a detailed timeline for your entire research process. If this is a requirement, you must break down the timelines in a table and state each phase, number of days, and activity in detail. Your research must never have indefinite timelines, but every date given should have a specific deadline.
5. Research Budget
Another sensitive issue to consider in your proposal is the budget if you are writing to a funding body. You must let them know your proposed budget in detail. Do not give the total budget but let the total come from broken-down item details.
You may first give the total budget and immediately follow with its justification. To justify means to give strong reasons why you feel the correct amount will help you complete your research without any hindrances. Also, give details on how you calculated to arrive at that budget. These can include detail like the cost of transport, any materials required, or if you need someone to assist you.
6. End With a Reference List
You must have used various resources during your proposal writing process, and like any other type of literature, you should give credit to your sources. Your research proposal should have a detailed reference list and follow the proper citation method.
Your supervisor might ask you to include a bibliography, but it aims to show you understand research writing skills. Choose the correct citation format, and if you don’t understand it well, you can go online and use a citation generator to help make your proposal look professionally written.
7. Revise, Proofread
It is possible to make grammar mistakes while writing, which can make your proposal look unprofessional. A smooth grammar flow is also essential, even if you have followed the letter’s structure. Read your draft and redraft it if necessary. Correct any errors and use editing tools to help you detect any other errors. After thoroughly proofreading, run your proposal through a plagiarism checker to confirm it is 100 percent original.
Why Is a Research Proposal Important?
A research proposal is significant because it serves as a vehicle for persuading someone to accept your application, give the green light to a dissertation, or approve for funding. Its importance cannot be underrated, and that is why you can hear someone say, “I better pay someone to write my research paper than make a mistake that might make it become rejected.” When a research proposal is written following its strict rules, it should sufficiently meet the following goals.
Show You Understand the Context
A supervisor, instructor, funding body, or administrator will reject your proposal if they realize or suspect you do not know about the research topic you want to pursue.
Your proposal proves beyond any reasonable doubt that you understand the topic well. You prove to them you know about the subject’s current status and that you have a solid academic background to help support your ideas.
Prove your Research is Relevant
You might be researching a topic already overtaken by technology and need. Your proposed topic might also not be helpful to your field of study, or there might not be anyone interested in such kind of research. You might have a different view altogether, and your proposal will help make sense of your topic and show it is a crucial choice you made.
It Helps Prove Your Project is Feasible
There could be constraints within your course that can make a proposed topic practically impossible. They can also be constraints in funding or institutional principles. Your research proposal will help prove that it is a feasible project.
Show Your Approach Is Ethical
No funding body or institution will approve an unethical research project. The institutions are very strict with research ethics and align with research methodologies. Your proposal helps prove you have chosen the proper research tools, procedures, and data collection and analysis procedures.
Stages In the Research Writing Process
Whether you go to a professional writing service or seek guidance from your professor, any expert will tell you that many strategies or formulas are used to develop successful research. The structure can be the same, but every writer chooses their unique formula.
Before you write a research proposal, you must first understand the research process so that you will know the details to include. These are the exact details that will guide you when writing your research proposal. First, identify the problem that needs a solution.
Next, prepare your research questions and draft your objectives and hypothesis. You can use many designs for your research but choose the most relevant one. Your next stage will be to choose your sample design while considering your sources.
Draft your method for data collection and follow with the data entry, processing, and analysis. Your final stage is writing your research report to state what you observed, the outcomes, and recommendations. The report covers every detail of what you observed and how that helped answer your research question.
It covers the importance of the research, your comments, and what gaps you feel require further investigation. Your research report must answer every question you included in your research proposal. Some funding bodies may ask for a copy of your finding, but even if they don’t ask, it is good you let them know the research was a success and what you found out.