research proposal writing example

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Research proposal writing example

Research proposals contain extensive literature reviews. They must provide persuasive evidence that a need exists for the proposed study. Krathwohl, David R. Your professor may assign the task of writing a research proposal for the following reasons:. A proposal should contain all the key elements involved in designing a completed research study, with sufficient information that allows readers to assess the validity and usefulness of your proposed study.

The only elements missing from a research proposal are the findings of the study and your analysis of those findings. Finally, an effective proposal is judged on the quality of your writing and, therefore, it is important that your proposal is coherent, clear, and compelling. Regardless of the research problem you are investigating and the methodology you choose, all research proposals must address the following questions:.

Common Mistakes to Avoid. Procter, Margaret. The Academic Proposal. The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Sanford, Keith. Information for Students: Writing a Research Proposal. Baylor University; Wong, Paul T. How to Write a Research Proposal. International Network on Personal Meaning. Purdue University; Writing a Research Proposal. University Library. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Beginning the Proposal Process.

As with writing most college-level academic papers, research proposals are generally organized the same way throughout most social science disciplines. The text of proposals generally vary in length between ten and thirty-five pages, followed by the list of references.

However, before you begin, read the assignment carefully and, if anything seems unclear, ask your professor whether there are any specific requirements for organizing and writing the proposal. A good place to begin is to ask yourself a series of questions:. In general, a compelling research proposal should document your knowledge of the topic and demonstrate your enthusiasm for conducting the study. Most proposals should include the following sections:.

In the real world of higher education, a research proposal is most often written by scholars seeking grant funding for a research project or it's the first step in getting approval to write a doctoral dissertation. Even if this is just a course assignment, treat your introduction as the initial pitch of an idea or a thorough examination of the significance of a research problem. After reading the introduction, your readers should not only have an understanding of what you want to do, but they should also be able to gain a sense of your passion for the topic and to be excited about the study's possible outcomes.

Note that most proposals do not include an abstract [summary] before the introduction. Think about your introduction as a narrative written in two to four paragraphs that succinctly answers the following four questions :. Background and Significance. This is where you explain the context of your proposal and describe in detail why it's important. It can be melded into your introduction or you can create a separate section to help with the organization and narrative flow of your proposal.

Note that this section is not an essay going over everything you have learned about the topic; instead, you must choose what is most relevant in explaining the aims of your research. To that end, while there are no prescribed rules for establishing the significance of your proposed study, you should attempt to address some or all of the following:.

Literature Review. Connected to the background and significance of your study is a section of your proposal devoted to a more deliberate review and synthesis of prior studies related to the research problem under investigation. The purpose here is to place your project within the larger whole of what is currently being explored, while demonstrating to your readers that your work is original and innovative.

Think about what questions other researchers have asked, what methods they have used, and what is your understanding of their findings and, when stated, their recommendations. Since a literature review is information dense, it is crucial that this section is intelligently structured to enable a reader to grasp the key arguments underpinning your proposed study in relation to that of other researchers.

A good strategy is to break the literature into "conceptual categories" [themes] rather than systematically or chronologically describing groups of materials one at a time. Note that conceptual categories generally reveal themselves after you have read most of the pertinent literature on your topic so adding new categories is an on-going process of discovery as you review more studies.

How do you know you've covered the key conceptual categories underlying the research literature? Generally, you can have confidence that all of the significant conceptual categories have been identified if you start to see repetition in the conclusions or recommendations that are being made. NOTE : Do not shy away from challenging the conclusions made in prior research as a basis for supporting the need for your proposal. Assess what you believe is missing and state how previous research has failed to adequately examine the issue that your study addresses.

Research Design and Methods. This section must be well-written and logically organized because you are not actually doing the research, yet, your reader must have confidence that it is worth pursuing. The reader will never have a study outcome from which to evaluate whether your methodological choices were the correct ones. Thus, the objective here is to convince the reader that your overall research design and proposed methods of analysis will correctly address the problem and that the methods will provide the means to effectively interpret the potential results.

Your design and methods should be unmistakably tied to the specific aims of your study. Describe the overall research design by building upon and drawing examples from your review of the literature. Consider not only methods that other researchers have used but methods of data gathering that have not been used but perhaps could be.

Be specific about the methodological approaches you plan to undertake to obtain information, the techniques you would use to analyze the data, and the tests of external validity to which you commit yourself [i. When describing the methods you will use, be sure to cover the following:. Preliminary Suppositions and Implications.

Just because you don't have to actually conduct the study and analyze the results, doesn't mean you can skip talking about the analytical process and potential implications. The purpose of this section is to argue how and in what ways you believe your research will refine, revise, or extend existing knowledge in the subject area under investigation. Depending on the aims and objectives of your study, describe how the anticipated results will impact future scholarly research, theory, practice, forms of interventions, or policymaking.

Note that such discussions may have either substantive [a potential new policy], theoretical [a potential new understanding], or methodological [a potential new way of analyzing] significance. When thinking about the potential implications of your study, ask the following questions:. NOTE : This section should not delve into idle speculation, opinion, or be formulated on the basis of unclear evidence.

The purpose is to reflect upon gaps or understudied areas of the current literature and describe how your proposed research contributes to a new understanding of the research problem should the study be implemented as designed. The conclusion reiterates the importance or significance of your proposal and provides a brief summary of the entire study.

This section should be only one or two paragraphs long, emphasizing why the research problem is worth investigating, why your research study is unique, and how it should advance existing knowledge. Someone reading this section should come away with an understanding of:. As with any scholarly research paper, you must cite the sources you used. In a standard research proposal, this section can take two forms, so consult with your professor about which one is preferred.

In either case, this section should testify to the fact that you did enough preparatory work to ensure the project will complement and not just duplicate the efforts of other researchers. Start a new page and use the heading "References" or "Bibliography" centered at the top of the page. Cited works should always use a standard format that follows the writing style advised by the discipline of your course e.

This section normally does not count towards the total page length of your research proposal. Develop a Research Proposal: Writing the Proposal. Office of Library Information Services. Teresa Pereira and Caroline Tynan.

Graham Butt, editor. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, , pp. Nigel Gilbert, ed. Search this Guide Search. Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper Offers detailed guidance on how to develop, organize, and write a college-level research paper in the social and behavioral sciences. Make it concise and well defined. The abstract should include the research question, hypothesis of your research if there is any , the research methodology, and findings.

You need to start with a strong introduction. The introduction is written to provide a background or context related to your research problem. It is important to frame the research question while writing the proposal. If the research question is not specific and has a very general literature review, then your proposal might seem insignificant.

A specific research question will make your research focused on. Start the introduction with a general statement related to the problem area you are focusing on and justify your study. Have a very clear and concise idea about your research, and make sure that you do not deviate from the main research question.

A clear idea will help you craft a perfect thesis. Here is how you can create a crisp and interesting thesis introduction along with a basic guideline. Your research objectives will explain what the writer is trying to achieve. Moreover, these aims and objectives must be achievable. It means that it must be framed according to the:. However, it is beneficial to read all the developments in the field and find research gaps before deciding your objective.

It will help you come up with suitable aims for your projects. A separate section dedicated to the literature review will allow you to conduct extensive background research and support your research question with credible sources and research. A literature review is an important component.

However, there are some common mistakes that students make while reviewing the literature. Keep your literature review organized by adding a subheading to maintain a smooth flow in the content. Reading a literature review might seem boring to a few people. Try not to bore your readers and your instructor or the committee.

Write it in an engaging manner. The significance of your research will identify the importance of your work. It should be mainly stated in the introductory paragraph. You must highlight how your research is beneficial for the respective field of study. Similarly, you can also state its contribution to the field in both the broader and narrow sense. Explain why the specific method is suitable for your research and how it will help you attain your research goals.

Your research methodology will give you an organized plan for the research. Mention sufficient information regarding your research methodology for readers to understand how you are conducting your research.

It must contain enough information regarding the study for another researcher to implement it. Choose the type of research methodology that is suitable for your research. Quantitative research is suitable for projects involving collecting and analyzing statistical data like that in social sciences, medicine, and psychology. Qualitative type is used in a theoretical type of research like that in literature. Some research involves both; if your research topic also involves analyzing both the statistical data and theory, then make sure that you use them appropriately.

For a qualitative approach, the method section of your proposal needs to be more detailed and elaborate compared to the one in the quantitative approach. How you will collect your data and analyze it according to the qualitative approach should be described with great care. When you choose a quantitative approach for your research, the method section should contain answers to the following elements.

Have detailed knowledge of all the research methodologies to justify your approach towards the research problem. In the research proposal, this section will contain the results of the research, but since this is a research proposal, you do not have the results yet. This is why you will add the expected research results here. These results are those that you aim to obtain from the research.

Sometimes the researcher gets the same kind of results, but sometimes, the results could differ from the expected ones. It is an essential part of your outline. Researchers need to consider ethical values while conducting research work. Furthermore, you also have to be very careful in the data collection process and need to respect the rights of the participants.

They should not harm them in any way, and full consent should be obtained from them prior to the study. The research limitations indicate the flaws and shortcomings of your research. These may include:. Always give references to the authors and the literature you have studied for your research.

Follow a specific format for the citation section as instructed by your supervisor. Both references and bibliography are included in it. Many students prefer not to proofread the proposal after completion, which is a grave mistake. If you proofread the paper on your own, you may fail to identify the mistakes.

Use online tools or have a helping hand from your friend to give it a good read. An analysis of rejected proposals allowed us to identify the common blunders made in them. These blunders caused the rejection of otherwise promising research. Therefore, to maximize the chances of acceptance, you must avoid these mistakes. They will kill the purpose and effort you have put into your proposal and tarnish your reputation also.

Looking for some helpful and detailed research proposal examples to get you started? Examples are great for a quick understanding of how something works or is written, in our case. You can take ideas for your topic from books, journals, previously done research, and dissertations.

If you want to know more about finding a topic for your research paper and research paper topic examples, here is a list of interesting research paper topics. Research proposals can be critical because they require great attention.

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Menu Search. Students Staff Accessibility. Research Writing your research proposal. Research proposals Your research proposal is an important part of the application process. When writing your proposal it is important to: Highlight its originality or significance Explain how it develops or challenges existing knowledge of your subject Identify the importance of your proposed research Demonstrate why you are the correct person to undertake this research project Examples of research proposals Research Proposal Example 1 DOC, 49kB Research Proposal Example 2 DOC, 0.

Working with the community Jobs Donate or support Alumni. Policies and documents Admissions documents Access and Participation Plan. Academic dates Programme specifications Module documents Quality gateway. Welcome guide for new students Coronavirus advice for students. Mention sufficient information regarding your research methodology for readers to understand how you are conducting your research.

It must contain enough information regarding the study for another researcher to implement it. Choose the type of research methodology that is suitable for your research. Quantitative research is suitable for projects involving collecting and analyzing statistical data like that in social sciences, medicine, and psychology.

Qualitative type is used in a theoretical type of research like that in literature. Some research involves both; if your research topic also involves analyzing both the statistical data and theory, then make sure that you use them appropriately.

For a qualitative approach, the method section of your proposal needs to be more detailed and elaborate compared to the one in the quantitative approach. How you will collect your data and analyze it according to the qualitative approach should be described with great care.

When you choose a quantitative approach for your research, the method section should contain answers to the following elements. Have detailed knowledge of all the research methodologies to justify your approach towards the research problem. In the research proposal, this section will contain the results of the research, but since this is a research proposal, you do not have the results yet.

This is why you will add the expected research results here. These results are those that you aim to obtain from the research. Sometimes the researcher gets the same kind of results, but sometimes, the results could differ from the expected ones. It is an essential part of your outline. Researchers need to consider ethical values while conducting research work. Furthermore, you also have to be very careful in the data collection process and need to respect the rights of the participants.

They should not harm them in any way, and full consent should be obtained from them prior to the study. The research limitations indicate the flaws and shortcomings of your research. These may include:. Always give references to the authors and the literature you have studied for your research. Follow a specific format for the citation section as instructed by your supervisor. Both references and bibliography are included in it.

Many students prefer not to proofread the proposal after completion, which is a grave mistake. If you proofread the paper on your own, you may fail to identify the mistakes. Use online tools or have a helping hand from your friend to give it a good read. An analysis of rejected proposals allowed us to identify the common blunders made in them. These blunders caused the rejection of otherwise promising research.

Therefore, to maximize the chances of acceptance, you must avoid these mistakes. They will kill the purpose and effort you have put into your proposal and tarnish your reputation also. Looking for some helpful and detailed research proposal examples to get you started? Examples are great for a quick understanding of how something works or is written, in our case.

You can take ideas for your topic from books, journals, previously done research, and dissertations. If you want to know more about finding a topic for your research paper and research paper topic examples, here is a list of interesting research paper topics. Research proposals can be critical because they require great attention. If you are inexperienced, you are likely to suffer.

In a worst-case scenario, your proposal may get rejected. Your dedicated professional and experienced essay writer at 5StarEssays. Being a professional write my essay service, we know how to craft a compelling research proposal and help you get it accepted. If you have any queries, talk to our representative or place your research proposal order now. How to Write a Research Paper. How to Start a Research Paper.

Research Paper Topics. Research Paper Outline. Research Paper Example. Thesis Statement Examples for Research Papers. How to Write an Abstract. How to Write a Literature Review. Psychology Research Topics. How to Write a Hypothesis. We are U. This is all that we do.

Paper Due? That's Our Job! Learn More. Contents What is a Research Proposal? How to Create a Research Proposal Outline? How to Start a Research Proposal? Research Proposal Template. View File. Why suffer? Click here to learn more. Research Proposal Sample. How to Write a Research Grant Proposal.

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