Writing research proposals is normalcy for students before working on their dissertations. In the Ph.D. or grant application set up, you may be required to write a proposal to show what you intend to study or research. As students advance to higher level of learning, there is a stiff competition in developing research proposals. You have to ensure that your paper does not fall into the category of weak proposals. This victory is achievable by understanding what is essential for research proposals; the dos’ and don’ts. Understanding the basics will help organize your paper with ease and accomplish the objectives.
As the name suggests, a research proposal is a document propositioning a research project. It is a coherent and concise summary of the proposed research. This task is shared for sciences, requests for sponsorship of the study or academia. There are many examples of research proposals you can find online or from the libraries.
Types of Researched Proposals
The nature and objective of proposals are used to classify them into the following:
- Academic research proposals
It is an initial requirement for thesis, dissertation or research paper writing. They share common elements with a research paper but vary depending on the field of study or project.
- Solicited proposals
For submission in solicit, a student is responding to a request and must ascertain the attainment of all objectives.
- Unsolicited proposals
You submit them upon request.
Usually an abstract or a letter of intent for review purposes before submission of a complete proposal.
- Renewal proposals
They seek continued sponsorship for a project that would otherwise end.
- Continuation proposals
They seek a continuous funding process to sustain the initially proposed project. You cannot lack a few examples of research proposals for your review.
Contents of a Proposal
Feature the following information in your proposal irrespective of the intent or type:
- 1. Title
You will be required to choose a topic for your paper. You are allowed to revise your title upon approval or in case the instructor approves. Choose your title wording carefully as it serves as a mini-abstract for your project. The essential words should come first. A suitable sentence structure should precisely accompany it.
- 2. Abstract
It is a summary of your proposed research. You are recommended to keep it as short as 100 words unless advised otherwise. You can outline the central question that your investigation strives to solve. It could be one or two statements depending on your problem statement.
- 3. Research framework
This context has several elements. You should provide a brief overview of the area to be covered by your research. To accompany the brief is the recent debates and the current state of knowledge on the topic. Also, explain the broad background for your study to help the reader understand where you are coming from and what you intend to achieve. This section of your paper shows that you are familiar with the subject and capable of providing concise information from your study. This stage features literature review and the gap identified during the process that will help you come up with a problem statement.
- 4. Research questions
The research questions are essential for any proposal and also known as research hypotheses. The reader or instructor needs to understand your problem statement which is easily done using the research questions. The questions are the central aims that will guide your study. Once you have written them down, review them to not only ensure they meet the criteria but also ensure that they are not too broad. Feasible and narrow projects are often submitted by the stipulated time compared to the broad ones. Narrowing the questions down can be hectic. It is advisable to come up with two primary items from which you get a few secondary questions for your research. In this section, you will also explain your intended approach to solving these questions.
- 5. Research methods
Outline the research methods explaining how they will help achieve the desired result. You are allowed to have several research methods for your research proposals. Both primary and secondary means are approved. However, most students prefer the library-based alternative in which you should provide a detailed reference. Include details of any fieldwork activities be it via questionnaires or interviews. Lastly, explain how you will analyze your research findings using the data collection and analysis procedures. This stage incorporates both the methods of investigation and research design to be used to solve the problem.
- 6. Significance of research
What is the importance of your research? It could be it will add more to your knowledge on the area of study or you strive to solve a particular problem explaining why you intend to address it.
- 7. Bibliography
This element helps to identify the most relevant areas of your research on the chosen topic.
Any form of writing is evaluated based on the objectives or intent of the exercise. For a research proposal to be classified as either weak or strong, various factors are considered. They include:
- Cost of the proposed research
Is the price of your proposed study reasonable and is the value worth the overall outcome? This factor is essential when you are seeking sponsorship. They will need to value your research and compare it to the result or impact of your study. If the cost is reasonable, you are approved, and if not, you can revise it to their terms or seek another sponsor.
- Impact of the proposed research
Having identified the problem, you want to address in your study, the team of professors will evaluate if your research will likely change the current situation about the subject matter.
- Reliability of your proposal
Is the proposed plan sound enough for implementation? What are the challenges likely to be experienced?
- Unit of analysis
Are the units of study such as participants, subjects, or situations described in detail of their background, numbers, and means of obtainment?
- Acquisition of the required permission
For example, if you intend to use a group of students as participants, have you requested for their approval or do you want to?
- Proposed procedures
Have you recommended the methods of presentation and analyzing the information obtained?
Questions That Every Research Proposal Should Answer
Gauging if you are on the right track in writing your project should be guided by the following questions:
- What accomplishments is the study expected to meet if it is completed on time and successfully?
- How will the objectives be implemented?
- What are the reasons behind the research? What does the study entail?
- What is the time scope for carrying out the project and accomplishing the objectives?
- Who is responsible for the implementation and management of the research?
- What resources are required to achieve the objectives?
- Are there any external factors that will influence the implementation?
- Who are the intended beneficiaries?
The length of research proposals varies with institutions’ regulations. The important thing is to warrant that your research proposal meets the requirements as per your institution despite acquiring insights on how to write a research proposal from various sources like examples of research proposals on the internet. Your paper should be objective and persuasive for approval purposes. Review your proposal or ask help from a professional writer