Friday, 29 June 2012

How to Write A Research Proposal

For some research projects, you may need to submit a proposal early in the process of your writing a dissertation or thesis. How to write a research proposal is certainly your first question in mind. The proposal aims to show that the research is valid (makes good scholarly sense), to argue that research is valuable (will lead to significant knowledge), to communicate your enthusiasm for the project, and to demonstrate that your plan is workable within all constraints of the assignment – all in order to gain your instructor’s feedback and approval.

The guidelines for writing a research proposal will vary depending on its purpose. Note the parts modeled in the same proposal. You must understand the part of a research proposal.

Title Page: Most universities usually specify the format to be followed. Regardless of the format used, the title of the proposal should accurately reflect the contents and the scope of the suggested study.

Abstract: Most research proposals, with the possible exception of dissertation proposals, should provide a short summary or abstract of 200 words. The abstract should touch on every major component of the proposal except the budget, if there is one. Some readers read only the abstract and other rely on it for a quick overview of the proposal. So write your abstract with absolute care.

Table of Contents: A table of contents is not always deemed necessary, but it is useful for presenting an overview of the organization of the proposal. In addition to outlining the major components, it may provide list of illustrations, tables, appendices and so on.

Introduction: In a brief paragraph, state your research idea, explaining why the topic is important and worth researching. Provide any background information that the instructor may need.

Description: Discuss your proposed research topic by identifying the central issue or concern about the topic. Indicate the main question that you want to answer through your research. List secondary questions relate to the main question. Start a working thesis or hypothesis in response to the main question, and explain the research outcomes that you expect from the study.

Literature Review: This is in effect an expansion of the description presented. It cites and briefly reviews the related research studies conducted earlier. You should not include nonresearched reports and ‘opinion pieces’ unless they are too important or represent all described earlier.

Methodology: Explain how you plan to answer your questions, how you plan to research your topic. Include an explanation of your primary research (the ‘first-hand’ investigation), a description of research tools you plan to use (e.g., catalogs, reference works, lab equipment, survey software), and a working bibliography indicating your initial survey of resources.

Schedule: List deadlines that are part of the assignment and deadlines that you have set for yourself. It is often appropriate to provide a schedule for the various stages of your research.

Approval Request: Ask for feedback and approval from your instructor.