Cathy A.
Cathy A.

Organizing and Writing A Research Proposal

7 min read

Published on: Apr 21, 2020

Last updated on: Apr 15, 2023

Research Proposal

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Writing a research paper always seems to be a scary task. And the thing that makes it even more challenging is the research proposal.

A writer is required to submit it before he starts his research project. It can be written for your university research committee or for a journal. However, if you are not familiar with the concept, you can still learn how to write it.

When you're tasked with writing a research proposal, it's important to understand the specific requirements of your instructor. To ensure that your proposal is accepted, it's important to follow a detailed outline and craft clear examples.

We have provided a detailed outline and format in this blog that will help you learn proposal writing.

Research Proposal Definition

“What is a research proposal?”

It is better to understand what a research proposal is before starting writing.

The research proposal is a concise summary of your research paper. It allows you to present and justify the need for studying a particular research problem. Moreover, it also covers the following aspects of the research work.

  • Brief overview
  • The time period to complete it
  • Future contribution to the society and existing literature

A good proposal creates a general idea of the research by highlighting the questions that you will address in your paper. It is usually the first draft that demonstrates your research skills.

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Importance of the Research Proposal

It is an essential element for your degree and the research work. It serves as a pre-research task that helps you communicate with the research committees and sponsors. This is how you will be able to tell them that you are worth being part of this research field.

Research proposal writing is also an important type of academic writing and a necessary skill. Moreover, many students also get scholarships on the basis of their research proposals. The supervisors accept your project on the basis of which you get the acceptance letter and the admission.

How to Write a Research Proposal?

“How do you write a research proposal?”

“What are research proposal steps for writing?”

“What is included in a research proposal?”

Below-mentioned is the step-by-step guide to writing a research proposal. However, it is beneficial to get basic knowledge about the structure and format beforehand.

Research Proposal Outline

“What is a research proposal structure?”

“What are the main parts of a research proposal?”

An outline is essential to plan your research by organizing the thoughts in one place. It makes it easy for the writer to decide the future headings of your proposal.

You can follow the below-mentioned format to organize your content.

Here is an outline for a research proposal. Let us discuss each one in detail.

  • Research Title

The first page of the proposal is the title page that serves as the first impression of your work. Therefore, draft a title that reflects the importance of your project.

Moreover, it should be impressive enough to attract an audience. Boring or difficult titles can push readers to pay less attention.

  • Abstract

It is one of the key elements of the proposal that summarizes the entire research in less than 250 words. A writer mainly discusses the research question, objectives, and methodology in this section. It will also help the readers to know about the findings and results.

Most of the supervisors or admission committees prefer to read the abstract to get the required knowledge of your research work.

  • Introduction

Some people confuse the introduction with the abstract by mixing the content of both sections. The introduction is basically the first part of your proposal that discusses the:

  • Background information
  • Problem statement
  • Research questions
  • Independent and dependent variables
  • Hypothesis

It also mentions the importance of the research work along with its future contributions. A thesis statement is also stated at the end of the introductory paragraph that highlights the central argument.

  • Literature Review

You write a literature review to tell about the extensive research you have done before writing your proposal. Moreover, it also covers the analysis of the existing work by identifying the literature gaps.

It shows the readers that the writer has studied the research topic thoroughly and thus, has extensive knowledge about it.

Apart from that, the literature review helps to construct a clear and precise research question. However, there are some common mistakes that need to be avoided while reviewing the literature.

  • Unorganized content
  • improper structure
  • Lack of focus on the subject area
  • No citations and referencing
  • Research Objectives

This section discusses the main objectives and aims of your research. Moreover, it also answers the core research question. Thus, try to keep it relatively short and to the point.

  • Research Methodology

Research methodology involves the techniques or procedures that are used to identify and analyze the information. Here, a writer will provide a detailed research design that he will use to conduct the research.

Always choose a method that is suitable for your research. Also explains why a specific method is suitable for attaining your research goals.

Qualitative research is used in the theoretical type of research. In contrast, quantitative is suitable for projects involving the collection and analysis of statistical data.

The research methods include the following approaches to gather information.

  • Direct and indirect interviews
  • Surveys
  • Questionnaires
  • Experiments
  • Case studies
  • Observation

Discussing these in detail will inform the reader about what exactly you will do to reach the desired outcomes.

  • Ethical Considerations

It is an integral part of your work. Researchers need to consider ethical values while conducting research work. Moreover, you also have to be very careful in the data collection process and need to respect the participant's rights.

Research participants should not be subject to harm in any way. Similarly, full consent should be obtained from them prior to the study. Lastly, complete confidentiality should also be promised so that they feel comfortable while sharing information.

  • Findings and Results

In this section, the researchers mention the findings and desired results of the study. In addition, it also talks about the existing data and how it will help in advancing the future research process.

  • Citations

In every research study, you get information from any previous research work. You can use it to achieve your research objectives. However, it can develop the risk of plagiarism. Therefore, it is better to cite the original sources to increase the authenticity and credibility of your work.

There are two ways to cite your sources.

  • Reference – Mention the literature that you have used in your proposal.
  • Bibliography – Mention everything that you have studied during your research work.

Follow a specific format for the citation as per your supervisor's instructions. It includes APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard style.

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Reasons Why Research Proposals Gets Rejected or Accepted

There are some common mistakes that cause the rejection of the research proposals. Some of them are given below:

  • It stated a flawed hypothesis
  • The research plan seems to be unrealistic
  • It lacks coherence
  • Results are inaccurate
  • It lacks any useful contribution to the knowledge of the subject area
  • The literature review is not done correctly
  • The proposal is copied from some previous work

If you want to make it sound perfect, follow the guidelines by your instructor. Moreover, you can also improve your writing style and develop a declarative writing format. Avoid using informal vocabulary, passive verbs, or overused idioms.

Remember to proofread your proposal before the final submission. It will help you identify any typing, grammar, or spelling mistakes that went unnoticed previously.

Similarly, you can also ask your friends and family to proofread it for you. Only then, you will be able to draft a brilliant writing piece.

Research Proposal Examples

Are you looking for a research proposal sample that can help you get started? Here we have mentioned a research proposal template for your better understanding. It will help you formulate a well-organized outline.

Choosing a topic is a dreadful task. You can pick a compelling one from books, journals, or previously done research. We have also listed some topics for you. You can use them as it is or can mold them according to your preference.

  • Role of technology in today's education system.
  • Factors that caused World War I
  • Factors that reduce global warming
  • Effects of earthquakes
  • Is nuclear power safe for humans?
  • The origin of racial discrimination
  • Contemporary religious extremism and its political and economic effects
  • A fragile democracy: A case study of Myanmar
  • Arab Spring and its impacts on the Middle East
  • The history of the French Revolution

The blog has given you a complete guide for writing a research proposal. However, if you are still confused, taking help from professional essay writers is a good option. is the most reliable online company to help students with writing essays. We have an experienced team of writers that guarantees to produce quality and plagiarism-free content.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a good research proposal?

A good research proposal must clearly define your question, detail the methods you will use to perform this work, and justify why it is important. An effective proposal also positions itself within a larger field of study while describing how its significance fits into that context.

How long is a research proposal?

Research proposal length varies according to academic level. For example, in bachelors and masters, you have a few pages of a research proposal, but in a Ph.D. research proposal, you have to write more pages while developing research strategies.

Why do we need a research proposal?

A research proposal is needed to show how efficiently your research will be conducted. Moreover, it tells your audience what the aim of your research is and why it is important.

How far in advance should you plan your proposal?

A research proposal is planned eight weeks before writing your final research paper.

Cathy A.


Cathy A., Literature, Marketing

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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