Research Proposal

Research proposal is a type of writing used to outline a plan of further study. Its main aim is to help a student find the most crucial aspects of the study and apply them in the future work, before the main scope of the paper is written.

Considering the fact that adhering to the details and general outline of a proposal is not necessary, they still remain a part of a plan and can be changed substantially or partially as the writer continues working on his research. Every work begins with the topic and primary suggestions, which have to be presented to the instructor or a supervisor.

In Order to Understand How to Write a Research Proposal, It Is Recommended to Read the Following Information:

  1. Choose an appropriate topic for your research and discuss it with your supervisor.
  2. Think of a direction of your paper.
  3. Look for and discover new information regarding your specific subject in a certain context.
  4. In the process of writing a research proposal, it is necessary to use as much information as possible using such sources as books, visual materials, articles, audio files, etc.
  5. Organize the collected materials in one folder to have them available any time.
  6. Make notes and form sub-topics and subjects.
  7. Create a list of all aspects that have to be covered in the proposal.
  8. Choose the methodology and follow its principles.
  9. Pay attention to ethical issues connected to the topic of your research.
  10. Make a draft of proposal, dedicating each paragraph to a specific source.
  11. Write an introductory part to see if you completely understand what is required from you and how to continue your work.
  12. Make sure that you know how to write a reference list.


To Write a High Quality Proposal, the Following Elements Should Be Considered:

  • Prior to writing a proposal or even choosing research proposal topics, it is strongly recommended to consult with your supervisor. During the meeting such issues as deadline, subject suitability, topic, etc., have to be discussed. 
  • In order to organize a paper properly, notes must be made at every meeting.
  • Create your own database containing the files necessary for work. It will help you easily use the required materials without loss of time.
  • Depending on the research topic, findings and opinions can be as important as figures and facts. For example, research in mathematics requires accurate data rather than presumptions. At the same time, such subjects as history, philosophy or literature tend to be based on a narrative component.
  • In the process of making notes, it is important to properly organize, rationalize, and structure the information. On the other hand, avoid ambiguity, as well as excessive details, which may be quite confusing.
  • In the process of research paper proposal writing, use credible writing techniques. Regarding the fact that the information in proposal should be brief, avoid long descriptions.
  • Use precise and academic writing style.
  • Each paragraph should represent a specific fact taken from the previously prepared material.
  • One more method used in the process of writing is combining topics similar to your research one and using them in your work.

Additional Points to Include

Proposals usually consist of different parts. A supervisor and a student can agree on some additional parts to be included. Still, the main of them are:

  1. Outlining the main idea of the paper
  2. Description of the main aim
  3. Provision of the data that deal with cultural, ethical, scientific, philosophical or other themes of the research
  4. Indication of the time limits
  5. Development of the research plan
  6. Term glossary for the terms used in the paper
  7. Description of key objectives
  8. Table of contents. It can be substituted by the outline chapter, which represents the results.

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Recommended Things to Do:

  • Spend much time in the libraries looking for appropriate, up-to-date, and reliable materials for your paper.
  • Create a list of materials to use in the writing process.
  • Create several drafts.
  • Try to collect only reliable data. Use excerpts from articles, books, websites, journals, research plans, different dissertations and theses to include them in your paper.
  • Size your possibilities wisely. Do not overestimate your skills and abilities.

Things to Be Avoided in the Writing Process:

  • Avoid using all the information collected for the paper. It can be too overwhelming.
  • If you ask yourself: “What is a research proposal?”, remember that it is not a simple essay. Do not expect to finish it in a day or two. Perform a thorough and detailed research of a given topic.
  • Never submit the first draft of the proposal.
  • Avoid using old sources and references. It is especially important if you topic deals with information technologies.

The Common Mistakes Made in the Process of Writing Research Proposals Include:

  • The biggest mistake many students make is connected to waffling and wordiness. Make your writing as precise and informative as possible.
  • Omitting crucial issues is also one of the gravest mistakes done by the writer. To avoid it, one should understand the topic of the research and the main key points connected to it.
  • Persuasive manner of writing. Remember that the aim of proposals in not to persuade anyone but to provide information that can be later used in a thesis or dissertation.
  • Fast writing without making drafts.
  • Lack of understanding regarding information that has to be included. 
  • Using informal language, inappropriate vocabulary, and poor language skills.

Now, as you have become acquainted with the main rules of the research proposal writing, you can easily cope with you assignment and use your skills to turn the theory into practice.

Research Proposal Samples

  1. Research Proposal on Video Games
  2. Leadership in Business
  3. Toyota Corporation in Competitive Automotive Industry
  4. Criminal Justice
  5. Admission System and Retention of New Students in Higher Education