Step-by-Step Guide On How to Write a Research Proposal

A research proposal is an important academic assignment that precedes solid research papers and dissertations. Before you write a research paper, you should choose the right topic and prepare a good research project that should be accepted by your teacher. Naturally, many students do not know how to do their research proposals correctly and they can improve their knowledge with the help of our free writing tips.

Step One: Prepare a Title and Abstract

You should try to brainstorm an effective title for your proposal in order to attract attention of your readers at once. Every title should be brief, catchy and reflect the problem of your research efficiently. You must not insert odd and useless words into your title, because it will look weird and clumsy. Then, you should complete a successful abstract for your academic research proposal. This section should consist of 300-400 words and contain a brief and precise summary of your investigation. Here you will have to share your expectations, the main idea of your research, your hypothesis, methods of research and the reason for the choice of the topic.

  • Writing a creative title and abstract takes time, so spare it in advance. You can’t come up with the best title in a matter of minutes. Such genius-like moments happen of course, but you can’t count on them. Before writing a title, choose the most relevant keywords and make a problem statement. Your title should contain a bit of both.
  • Every word in your abstract should be relevant. This section contains no more than 300 words mostly, sometimes less, which mean, you are limited in space to say what is really important. You should attract your readers and motivate them to read the whole thing. Think about it as about annotation to a very popular non-fiction book.

Step Two: Compose an Introduction

An introductory part for a college research proposal should contain the explanation of the relevance and importance of your investigation, its usefulness for your personal development and your field of study. This chapter should also possess a good thesis statement that will reflect the main problem and key points of research. If you have an effective hypothesis, insert it into your introduction in order to draw the entire plan of research to your teacher.

  • You can do it later. It is ok to write introduction after you are done with conclusions, because these parts should correlate strongly. From a very beginning of conducting research you can't be sure about where it takes you, so writing an introduction first can just steal your time.
  • Write a stellar problem statement. It is another time-consuming point, but it is a crucial part. Professors often pay attention to three major points at the very beginning: an abstract, problem statement, conclusions. To write a good problem (thesis) statement, write it first in as many words as you want to grasp the point, and later reduce it to 1-2 "condensed" sentences.

Step Three: Construct a Literature Review

A literature review is one of the most important parts of your proposal, because it shows what sources you use for analysis and where your wise thoughts have come from. When you build a literature review, you should remember about the peculiarities of your format. You ought to cite all sources well and review every source according to the standards of the suggested format.

  • Use the latest sources. Of course, you might need to use some books published long ago, or experiments held hundreds of years ago, but speaking about the majority of cases, you need to mention sources which are not more than 5 years old. If you are writing a research paper on some modern topics like digital marketing or similar, you should use sources which are not older than 1-3 years.
  • Use free citation generators to save time. Find those supporting the latest updates of MLA and APA manuals. Make short literature review entries right after you use or mention some source. It will help you to save even more time later and submit your research paper before the deadline.

Step Four: Compose a Methodology Section

Every teacher will pay special attention to the methods and materials that you use for analysis. He will evaluate the level of your knowledge, creativity, professionalism and qualification according to the quality and choice of the methods and procedures that you conduct in your research. Be careful to apply only the right methods and instruments if you want to receive the highest scores for this section.

Step Five: Evaluate the Results

Every research paper has the definite results and your duty is to share your expectations and predictions about the quality of these results and their usefulness for you and your field of study. Try to be enthusiastic and persuade your reader that you are interested in your research in spite of any obstacles that can be waiting for you.

  • Make your evaluation comprehensive. Use only relevant information, don’t pour water and don’t try to gain “volume” in this part. Better write more about methodology.
  • Think about your readers. Your target audience is not limited to your professor — you should imagine that lots of students will read your work, so they should understand its results from the first time. You should be able to explain the results your work even to those who’ve never heard about your specialty. Einstein and Hawking were able to explain their findings to the first graders. We are sure that you will manage with your research paper.

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