Most students and beginning researchers fail to fully understand what a research proposal is and the huge importance associated with a well written one. A research proposal is intended to convince others that you have a worthwhile research project and that you have the intelligence, the commitment and the work plan to complete it. The research proposal is the only communication the reader will have with you; this will be your only chance to come across as professional and worth granting your request.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Word processor
- Display binder
Create your introduction. The introduction begins with the background information and the causes of the problem. This is the area of the report where you include the history of a problem and statistical data to support researching for a solution.
Write the statement of the problem. Describe the problem with sufficient detail and include consequences for not taking action.
Propose a solution to the problem. Describe one possible solution to the problem and describe the benefits of this solution.
Define the scope of the proposed study. Present in detail the questions that must be answered that will be used to generate a solution. List the questions that must be answered in chronological order.
Describe the methods of your study. List individuals who will be interviewed as well as any experiments or inspections that will be performed. Include surveys and previous studies from other authors.
Outline your qualifications. Cite a major reference and your relation to the reference. Give your qualifications for this project and include reasons you are connected with the study.
Present the conclusion. Encourage the reader to accept the proposal and restate why the proposal must be done.
Use headers in the report for easy reader navigation of the research proposal. Edit the final rough draft of the research proposal and publish the proposal in memo form.
Tips and warnings
- Invite friends and colleagues to edit your work and offer opinions.
- Bind your proposal in a presentation folder.
- Do not include personal opinions in the research proposal.
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- Frank Pajares, Emory University: The Elements of a Proposal
- Tamsin White, London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames: Principals of Good Research and Research Proposal Guide
- Dr. Harold Olk, DAAD: How to Write a Research Porposal
- Paul T.P. Wong, International Network on Personal Meaning: How to Write a Research Proposal