How to Write an Effective Research Proposal for Your Paper

Last Updated on January 14, 2021 by Chrisantus Oden

How to Write a Research Proposal for Your Paper

Many students, when they are in university, pursuing higher education, need to prepare to develop a project proposal. This will be the main point to present a good project.

Knowing the difficulty that many faces to start the proposal, since it is the first research project that the student must develop, we present in our article some important information to help you in your work. Enjoy it!

What is a project proposal?

It is the description of the structure of academic research valid for both undergraduate and graduate courses. Therefore, it is the document that describes the entire planning of your academic research.

The proposal is a document that anticipates the information that will be in your course conclusion work. It will contain the methods you will use and the results you expect to find. With it, you can signal what are the directions of academic research.

What is the importance and what is a research proposal for?

The research proposal is important to avoid waste and rework when doing your final project. As this is the first document that the student will develop for future research, it can be tested, modified, and improved as the research matures.

If you do not have a proposal or if your current proposal is poorly done, you will certainly have difficulties in the development of the final project.

How to do a project proposal?

To prepare a good proposal, you must follow a basic script to organize the content structure. It is important to pay attention to the ideal size, which should be five pages and other elements that are essential to make your project structured correctly.

Structure and format:

The proposal consists of three parts:

Pre-textual elements- cover, cover page, summary, and keyword.

Textual elements- introduction, justification, objectives, methodology, and schedule.

Post-textual elements- references.

To format your proposal, use the font “Times New Roman”, size 14 for titles and subtitles, size 12 for text, and size 10 for figures and tables.

Before structuring the proposal, it is necessary to choose the theme to be developed. Soon after, the introduction, history, present the problem, the hypothesis, the objectives, the justification, methodology, place the theoretical framework, the schedule, and end with the bibliography

1. Introduction

In the introduction, you will make a brief presentation of the topic. The student must explain why he decided on this topic, how he came to this subject, why he deserves to be studied, researched, and be the central focus of his project. Make a context that makes sense, don’t let the theme loose at the beginning of the proposal.

2. History

In one or two paragraphs a brief history of your proposal should be created. Explain how the topic historically started, how it developed over the years, and how it is today. It is important to show evolution over time.

3. Problem

The problem is the questioning that serves as a basis for formulating the content of academic work. The ideal is to put this topic in the form of a question, that is, the question that will be answered with the research. If your theme cannot be turned into a question, it will be more difficult to develop it.

Be careful when specifying the problem. The answer to its needs is clear throughout the project. There is no point in determining a problem that you will not be able to solve. It is also an important point for you to assess whether your topic is good or not.

4. Assumptions

It is interesting to reserve a space to present the hypothesis, that is, assumptions that will be validated or disregarded after the research has been carried out. By establishing the hypothesis, you are committing yourself to the reader who will test them during your project. So, make realistic assumptions for your research topic.

5. General and specific objectives

Define the study objective, that is, the main target of the research proposed by the project. Based on this statement, create the general objective that is nothing more than the theme preceded by a verb in infinitive tense.

Specific objectives are the steps that need to be taken to achieve the main objective. Well, to develop it, stipulate a subject in general that will be your first stage of the specific objective.

For the second stage, the point of view must be determined, and the connecting word must be the last stage of the specific objectives.

6. Justification

The proposal for undergraduate or graduate research also requires a justification that must have two to three paragraphs, in a total of 12 lines.

In this, section, the student must highlight the relevance of the topic and contextualize it within a specific reality. Answer: Why is research necessary? What will be the impact of this study? Collect data and statistics to prove the importance of the topic. Be sure to specify the sources consulted to give more authority to your answers.

There is no right formula for discussing justification. It can start from a context between need and search for a solution, news, quote, or story. The most important thing is to show that the theme is relevant to scientific advancement.

7. Methodology

Upon reaching this stage of the proposal, many students are in doubt about what to place. In summary, this space asks to describe the type of research that will be carried out, the sources, the processes, and the main tools.

The methodology can be classified according to the purpose, objectives, approach, methods, and procedures. It must be based on five types of research. In it, you must be informed about what are the types of research and the reasons why you chose.

Questionnaires with closed questions can be applied to have a sample of the target audience or an online questionnaire with Google Docs, to explain the use of this tool in data collection.

8. Theoretical framework

The theoretical framework, also called the literature review, is the moment to include the authors and the lines of thought that will serve as the basis for the proposed study. To talk about the theoretical framework, it is necessary to build a text and fit the references in a way that makes sense. Excerpts from the works should not be reproduced.

Beginning researchers often find it very difficult at this stage. To make it easier, offer some indication so that the reader understands what the initial view of the theoretical part of your project is. For this, remember to include different authors and approaches in the theoretical framework, as it will be possible to enrich the research content and make it more meaningful.

9. Schedule

The schedule is a post-textual element within the proposal. It determines the dates and deadlines to carry out the main stages of the research, so it guarantees the student’s organization.

You must have a proposal start and delivery date, so it is important to set dates for the development of each project topic: introduction, development, data collection for case study, qualification, completion, formatting, spelling, and all others.

The schedule can be set up in the form of a table. But it is not a mandatory item, however, it can be of great help.

10. Bibliographic references

At the end of the proposal reserve a space to include the bibliographic references that were used to write the plan. It is a mandatory post-textual element and must be structured according to the referencing standard of your institution.

You must make it possible to identify, locate, and consult all the works that provided content for the research.