How to Write a Research Proposal in 6 Steps

by Samantha Smiles   Google
How to Write a Research Proposal

Start writing your research proposal with asking yourself: "Why is this topic important?", "What am I supposed to do to write a good paper?", "What are the stages of research paper writing?" These are the basic questions that will help you with organizing your paper.

Step 1: Introduction

Generally, it is asked to begin with the introduction. Even if it is just another course assignment, be sure to provide a genuine introduction. Introduce first the problem area. Make clear what your research problem is. That is a purpose of your study, so it won`t be difficult for you to cope with this task. Provide background information on the issue and the stages you are going to follow throughout your research. Mind that introductory part is a point of departure, so do not ignore this section.

Step 2: Literature Review

A literature review is another section which you are supposed to compose according to the requirements. True often, a literature review is a part of the introductory section, but it is not always so. Many professors prefer separate literature review sections because it enables to find more about the sources in the separate section. True often, students provide poorly organized and structured literature reviews. It is important that you provide an adequate literature review because that is how you demonstrate your ability to gather, analyze, synthesize and summarize the existed academic literature.

Step 3: Research

When you start collecting data, most students forget to refer to and cite authoritative, academic literature sources though it is highly important. That is how you demonstrate your awareness of the influential sources. Avoid using trivial and doubtful sources whose authorship is uncertain. It is also recommended that you do not reckon much on the secondary sources. There are primary and secondary sources, so the difference between these two kinds of sources is clear enough.

Step 4: Methodology

Another important point a Research Committee will pay attention to is the method section. A method section serves to demonstrate what methods you are going to use to provide a research. You have to demonstrate that you are familiar with the research methods and prove why the method you have chosen is appropriate for your research. In this section, you have to acquaint a reader with the methodology.

Step 5: Justify Methods

Justify your choice of a method in this section so that you could convince your reader with its reliability. The main question your method section should respond is whether your research method is appropriate or not. Focus on the research method which fits the best your research and is coherent. Do not forget to make clear whether it is a laboratory experiment or a kind of questionnaire study. Who are the members of the study? How much time do you need to provide a solid and valid research?

Step 6: Ignore Results Section

At the proposal stage, you cannot yet provide any results. Nevertheless, at this stage, you already know very well what kind of data you are going to collect and what methods you are going to apply in collecting and analyzing this data. However, considering the area of the problem you are going to focus, a type of data you are going to collect and research methods you are going to use, a reader may conclude a kind of suggestion on what is the purpose of your research and why it is significant.


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