Posted on: 8th Oct 2018 2107 Views

Meaning of Research Proposal & Tips to Write it Effectively

A research proposal is a paper or document that you need to submit before your dissertation. It could be a part of your dissertation or can be the other piece of paper.

Sometimes a research proposal is essential to submit before you write your dissertation or thesis paper and sometimes you write a research proposal as a request for sponsorship for your research.

Whether you are required or not but you should always write your research proposal before your research paper as it will be a guide for your paper which will help you to stay on track.

What do you mean by research proposal and how to write it?

What is a Research Proposal?

A research proposal is a document that is an outline of your research project, thesis, or dissertation. It will present your plans and work which you will carry out throughout your research.

Many times you write your research proposal to request the sponsorship for research work to persuade the value of your work to the funder, supervisor, and the other stakeholders.

Type of a Research Proposal:

Before you start planning your research proposal, you need to understand what kind of research proposal you want to write, so you can write a fruitful research proposal.

As such, there are many types of research proposals but below mentioned are the most common type of research proposals.

  1. Preliminary Proposal or pre-proposal: Pre-Proposal also known as letter paper, White-Paper or Concept Paper. This is a short description of the proposed project usually, a brief abstract including what is the project all about, how it will conduct, and why this project has merit. This kind of proposal is written to inform the potential sponsor about the project. Such proposals are often used in the negotiations for the funding of the project and also present how will it beneficiate the agency and organization.
  1. Formal Solicited: These proposals are usually written in a response to a specific programme. This is the simplest way to create a new project. This proposal presents what the customers and the audiences want and sometime it will also present the guidelines to prepare the proposals. Usually, these proposals have a hard deadline. If in case the proposal arrives late then it will not be considered. This proposal is a one-time effort to fit the specific need and is not expected to recur. Therefore, to make a formally solicited proposal you need to use a more structured approach.
  1. Informally Solicited: This is the same as the formal solicitation but in this proposal, you don’t have any specific solicitation. Here you have to do lots of research to analyze the topic. The difference between the both is that you don’t have specific guidelines to follow like objectives, methods, etc. in an informal solicitation proposal.
  1. Continuation Proposal: This is the easiest type of proposal to write. This is a reminder or a request for financial support on an ongoing project or the next project which was approved previously. This is not a kind of proposal where you inform your audience of anything new. In this proposal, you remind your audience or financer about the progress, and changes in the project and ask permission to continue.
  1. Renewal Proposal: This kind of proposal is made for a request for continuous support for an ongoing project that is supposed to be terminated. Much like the continuous proposal, these proposals don’t convince the audience about the benefits of the project, it is more about presenting the values to continue the projects.
  1. Supplemental Proposal: These are usually written as a request when you need some extra financial support for the project. The main motive of this proposal is to justify the extra resources with the expansion of the project’s scope and with the benefits that the project will bring. This proposal involves the explanation of why such things weren’t seen in advance and reassures the audience that it is worth investing more in the projects.

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Plan your proposal: Once you have decided what kind of proposal you are writing then you need to make a plan and conduct the research to make sure that none of the vital information will be missed out. Before you start writing, you need to follow a general guideline and create an outline. Though what you write is different from what kind of proposal you are writing.

A good research paper must successfully address some of the questions like:

  • What the research question is and how will this be addressed.
  • How much time and expenses will be required to conduct the research.
  • Detail of the prior research done on this topic, if any.
  • The procedure will involve conducting the research.
  • How will the research go to benefit the organization and society?

Writing a Research Proposal: Once you have planned and created an outline of your research proposal and now we will discuss how to write a research proposal.

  • Identify the topic: This is the first step of any research writing; identify the topic of your interest area. Think about your interest area and then decide what topic you would like to explore.
  • Define the audience: This is an important step when you are planning a research paper. You need to identify, how will read your proposal, what is their priorities and what they don’t like or resist.

This will help you to make your project accordingly. If your audience doesn’t know much about your topic then you can give more effort to present more knowledge about the topic using easy language.

If you’re writing your proposal for a head of the department then you can present your topic pitch with evidence and data and directly come to the point without presenting unnecessary knowledge about the topic, since, he is already aware of the topic.

This is quite an important step in the success of your project.

  • Research on the topic: Before you select any problem statement it is advisable to read and find out the current state of the topic. What all research already has been done on the topic, what was the problem in that studies, and how were they sorted out?
  • Define the question of investigation: Deciding your investigation question is the most crucial area of the research. Read a lot on your topic and then identify 2 or 3 research questions.

Choosing a complex new topic rather than choosing an easy topic would be a better option because an easy topic must have been completed fully in another research so you will find it difficult to add new information in your literature review.

Think and brainstorm 4-5 research questions related to your topic and then select one by evaluating each topic by asking the below questions:

  • Is the question interesting?
  • What are the values of knowing the answer to the question?
  • What is the scope of the study?
  • Does this study involve valuable information?
  • Is the question feasible for you to get enough information?

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Choose a question that will fit more appropriately on such a question.

  • Select the title: Once you have selected the topic and the research question, now you need to frame a topic that will define your research question and specify what you’re going to present in your project.

You need to grab your audience’s attention in the initial part of the proposal by presenting a hook sentence.

  • Outline the Methodology: Once you’re done with the research question, you need to plan the methods which you will use to sort out the problem.

How you will conduct your research and find out the solution. Whether you use the qualitative or quantitative technique to study the population or you will use the experimental technologies such as questionnaires, and interviews.

If you find any weakness in your approach then how will overcome that. How will you answer your research question and how will you analyze the answer?

The selection of techniques will define your path to follow and find out the solution.

  • Future effect and limitation of the research:

Anyone will only approve your proposal when you can present the answer to “why this is the best answer to the question”.

Here you need to plan what are the future predictions of your problem and how will it beneficiate to the audience. You need to lay out the success metrics for your research.

  • Define the realistic time for completion of the paper and the resources will involve: After deciding everything you need to project a time frame that will involve in the research procedure and the resources will involve in the research. Note down all the procedures and the team which will involve in the research and then estimates a realistic time and the resources that will use to conduct the procedure.

This will help your audience to visualize the time and the cost involves against the benefits of your study so they can judge the worth of the proposal.

  • Create a conclusion:  Finally, you need to write down a brief conclusion that will present you with all the strong points, convince the audience to approve the project, and reassure them of the success of the research.

You should not use any new information in the conclusion part. You need to end frame your conclusion part in a few lines but a very attractive manner.

How can you get help in writing your proposal?

Writing a project proposal is more difficult than writing a research paper. Though you can write a successful research proposal by following the above steps, this is not as easy as it looks. But I will suggest you give it a try and write yourself and still if you find any difficulties you can take research proposal writing help from the expert online assignment writers at

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