An academic research proposal
is a brief and clea...
An academic research proposal
is a brief and clear summary of your proposed research. The format and
requirements may vary depending on the subject of the research being proposed
and the demands of the institution where you plan to submit the proposal. A
good research proposal takes a lot of time to write; therefore starting the
process early is advisable. A good research proposal also identifies the
subject matter to be addressed and explains why the research is important to
the specific department.
Get all the
essential components of a research proposal that will provide some key guidance
on drawing up an acceptable research proposal.
Components of an academic research proposal and their significance
A title page (Basically comprising a title)
A title page
contains the introduction of the research proposal, your name and the
institution you are connected to. A sponsoring agency may specify on the
writing format to be used for the title page; if this doesn't apply to your
case, however, you should use the APA style. The running head, which can be
defined as a shortened version of the title, should be included on the upper
left corner and should appear on all pages of the document. The page number
should also be included and it should be positioned on the upper right corner
in every page of the document. The full title should:
• Cover 1/3 of the page roughly downwards
• Be double-spaced
Your name should be
inserted below the title and the name of the institution should be right under
An abstract gives a
concise summary of the problem your proposal will be addressed. It should also
contain the objectives and your proposed solutions and the expected funding
requirements for your project. It should contain about 100 to 200 words and
should be centered at the top of the page.
A table of contents
which are long should include a table of contents. This makes it easier to
locate the written content since pages will be highlighted. Short and brief
proposals do not necessarily need to have a table of contents. All major parts
and division of long proposal should be listed.
Your introduction should contain three sections, that is:
State the problem
Before writing the
introduction, you restate and center the title of your paper. You should
include a concise description of the topic and theory from which your proposed
research will be based. You should write a subheading “problem statement” and
move to a paragraph where you’ll point out the problem. The aim of the question
should be to provide a reason as to why the research should be conducted and
what new issues the research will cover.
Purpose of the research
Still part of the introduction,
this should also be written as a subheading also “purpose of study” before
moving on to a paragraph to state the goal of the study
Importance of the research
A subheading for
“importance of research” should be typed out before stating why the research is
significant and identify the proposed analysis.
Preliminary research background
This should come
after the introduction. Here, you will provide the background information and
describe why it is important to the research. This is important because it
provides the reader with the history of the study since it would not be right
to assume that they know much about the research problem. Try and give a more
detailed explanation regarding the problem than what you stated in the introduction.
Present the reasons for your proposed study and indicate why it is important.
Describe the major problems that you will be covering and show how your study
contributes to the already existing assumptions. Provide a clear focus for the
reader, where necessary, explain what has been excluded in previous studies.
You can include definitions of key terms.
Research Methods (the methodology intended to be used)
This step aims to
show the readers the methods utilized in collecting information and trying to
convince them that the research designs are reliable and capable of correctly
addressing the problem and effectively interpreting the results. In this case,
a methodology is not simply a list of ways in which you will conduct your
research, and it is far more complex because you have to present an argument
detailing why the research methods you have selected are the best for
investigating the research problem. The reader should be able to feel like they
trust the methodology that is to be implemented.
Outline the methods
you will be using in detailed form, for example, if you’re planning to do your
research at the library, state the sources you will be using to conduct your
research. You should consider methods that have been used by other researchers
and also try thinking outside the box by employing other methods which have not
been utilized but can yield results.
Since no method is
perfect, you should acknowledge the potential barriers and setbacks in carrying
out your research and explain how you plan to address them. You should describe
areas where you believe challenges may exist when procuring information.
Research methodology can be divided into sections which
Choice of research design
Details of the method used
Sample, procedure and analysis.
The significance of the research
Here, you aim to
argue how your research will contribute to the existing knowledge in regards to
the subject at hand. You should describe how your study will impact future
research, theories, and practices. This could be through offering new
guidelines, offering a new understanding of the subject or providing new ways
should give a summary of the study and recap the importance of your proposal.
It should stress why the research problem should be investigated, show, why
your study is unique and show how it will contribute to the already existing
knowledge and why the research methods used, were chosen.
As with any academic
research paper, sources used in writing your proposal should be well cited.
This can either be done through bibliography or reference. You should consult
with your supervisor to determine which one is required. This serves as
evidence to show that you carried out enough research in coming up with an
original piece of writing which is plagiarism free.
Citations should be
written on a new page. The subheading “references” should be written at the top
center of the page.
If you require
funding from the institution, you should include the anticipated budget and
give a clear justification and reason for each cost.
Editing and Proofreading ( just a tip you could use when writing the actual
Once you are done
writing the proposal, you should go through it carefully and thoroughly to make
sure that it meets the highest standards possible. Ensure that the cited
sources are correct and that the punctuation and tenses are in the correct
form. You can get someone you trust to go through the proposal and inform you
where corrections need to be made. If you are completely satisfied with the
final draft, you can confidently submit your research proposal.
Just a recap:
Create a title page
Write the abstract
Include a table of contents
Proceed to the introduction
Provide research background
State research methods
State significance of the research
Write the conclusion
Edit and proofread