How to convince the committee that you have a distinguished project and an exceptional plan to prepare it? To write an outstanding research proposal!
There is no single format for all research proposals because different disciplines and academic institutions have different formats and requirements. However, there are some components that should be included in every proposal.
We’ve prepared this ultimate list for research proposal writing to get you through the process as smoothly as possible.
Make sure that a cover page includes all necessary information to identify your topic, institution and degree:
- concise and eye-catching title
- your name and qualifications
- department and university
- your supervisor’s name
Your cover page provides the first impression of your proposal, so check one more time whether the title introduces the key ideas of your project and presents the right direction of your investigation.
Table of Contents
Make certain the table of contents:
- presents the parts of a research proposal in a hierarchical way, with the help of titles and subtitles
- indicates exact page references for every part
The main aim of the introduction is to provide background for your research problem. Think about it as a narrative written to answer these 4 important questions:
1. What is the core research problem?
2. Which topic of study is related to it?
3. What methods should be used to analyze the problem?
4. Why is this research important?
After reading your introduction, the reader will have an understanding of what you want to do. Your introduction may include a theoretical starting point, a personal motivation or historical/cultural/ social/political information about the research question.
Purpose and Aims of the Study
This section describes the objectives and desired outcomes of your work to find the answers for the researched problem. Make sure:
- the purpose is expressed in terms of the broader context of the study
- there are not too many research questions, so the focus is manageable
- the aims are related to the stated purpose
The literature review demonstrates that you are aware of the diversity of material that is related to your research proposal. You need to show understanding of the relative theories, studies and models. Successful literature review:
- keeps focus on the literature essential to your investigated problem
- combines various theories, findings and arguments on the topic
- gives the reader enough ties to the literature that you have found and read during the research
- shows that you can take a critical approach to your area of research
The research design is aimed at describing your plans and methods and should:
- indicate the research operations you will use and the way you will interpret the results of these operations
- specify why these methods are the best way to investigate the problem
- anticipate any potential challenges you may face while finding information or analyzing data
- provide a timetable and action plan to explain how each of the tasks will be carried out
Surely, you don’t have the results when you start writing your proposal, but you should have some suggestions about the possible outcomes. Therefore, this section should provide:
- the expected results
- a series of paragraphs foreseeing the importance of the research
Glossary of Terms
Make sure you have a list of:
- specialised terms
and their meanings.
Be sure to reference texts and sources that play a significant role in your analysis, in addition to your planned readings. These include:
- all textbooks
- journal articles
- relevant books
- Internet sources
These references will help you avoid plagiarism, so make sure to cite them properly.
A high-quality proposal not just promises success to your project, but also impresses your committee about your potential as a researcher. Therefore, make sure your writing is coherent and compelling, and your research idea is clearly stated and persuasive.
Before submitting the completed work, check it carefully to make certain that your research proposal has all essential sections and follows all specified instructions. Our ultimate checklist will help you with that!