A research paper, whether it is a beginner’s term paper for high school students or a full-blown thesis or dissertation for completing a degree, is almost always preceded by a research proposal. What is research proposal? A research proposal contains the details of what you plan to do for your research. It serves as a written agreement between you and your thesis advisor and details what you plan to do for your research, how to do it and what you expect out of it.
Purposes of a Research Proposal
When graduate students are asked to write a research proposal, it is usually for the purpose of obtaining funding to conduct their research. The proposal is meant to assure the research sponsors that their resources are being directed at a worthwhile academic cause. It also shows your sponsors as well as your adviser that you can demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the subject matter and are well-equipped to conduct research in your chosen field.
On the other hand, you, the researcher, will also benefit largely from writing a research proposal as it helps you establish a concrete action plan for your research. A research proposal allows you to identify a specific problem you want to address and design a practical method for investigating this problem. It also provides the opportunity to hypothesize upon the most possible results of your study and ensure that your method of investigation will lead to productive results.
Parts of a Research Proposal
Various committees may have various preferences as to the specifics they require in students’ research proposals. Moreover, different situations may also call for different kinds of research proposals. For example, a preliminary proposal can be only be five pages long. This can serve as a springboard for discussion with your advisor to let you flesh out the topic even more. A more formal proposal can be as long as 40 pages, complete with the following parts:
The title of your research proposal is the title of your research paper. Most students make the common mistake of writing long and winding research titles because of the need to indicate the specific variables involved in the study. However, much as a research paper title has to be informative, it also has to be catchy and effective.
There are no hard and fast rules for writing the introduction, except that it has to be able to inform the reader about what your research is all about. There is no need to introduce highly specific or technical concepts in the introduction, but you have to be able to present the problem in this part of the proposal.
3. Statement of the Problem.
After establishing a clear background for the study, state the problem you want to solve in the simplest way possible. It is often stated in the form of a question and must be understandable to a reader who has a similar level of education but has minimal knowledge of the specific area of study. The problem should be able to address the following questions:
- What are you doing?
- What specific issue do you want to resolve?
- What do you want to get out of this research?
4. Significance of the Study.
You have to explain how the results of your study are important to the world in general. Provide the implications your research can have in your field and in other bodies of knowledge. This part of the proposal should be able to convince your reader to continue to read and support your research.
5. Review of Related Literature.
This part of the research proposal makes sure that you have conducted extensive review of the existing literature relevant to your study and that you are not simply conducting research that has already been done before. Most students find writing this part of the proposal most challenging because it entails the organization of several interlocking findings of previously conducted studies as well as identifying the knowledge “gaps” that you are aiming to fill in.
Some researchers say the methodology is the heart and soul of your research, so you should be meticulous in choosing the activities you want to conduct to arrive at results. This part of the proposal has to be very detailed; some say it has to so exact that another research should be able to conduct your study himself. It also has to allow for the possibilities of errors. Certainly, there are no error-free methods, but you have to able to find a way to address any errors or, at least, take these errors into account.
These tips were shared by the experts from the academic paper writing service – Go2Essay.com. Following them increases your chances of producing an excellent research proposal.