Posted on: 24th Mar 2020 1801 Views

How to Write a Research Proposal

Writing research proposals has become quite a challenging task because of continuous changes in the trends of qualitative research. The study proposal you submit as part of your candidacy is crucial. It summarises the research question you’re trying to solve. It exhibits your understanding of the subject and the strategies you intend to utilize to finish your research.

How to Write a Research Proposal

A research proposal is a document in which you need to clearly define the type of investigation you will perform, the importance of the analysis, etc. In different fields, you need to follow a given format for writing a research proposal. You need to write the research proposal before starting an investigation.

The basic proposal for research includes these elements such as:

  • Cover page
  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Research design
  • Reference list

What is the objective of the research proposal and why is it important?

Writing a research proposal has one primary goal: to secure financing for research projects. The main goal of a research proposal in the academic sector is to acquire approval for a thesis, research paper, or dissertation. Writing a research proposal is critical for showcasing the importance and worth of your study.

Other objectives of the research  proposal include:

  • Positively influencing readers to accept the fact that the research paper is interesting, crucial, and original.
  • Another aim of the research proposal is to demonstrate that you know a specific field. You have an in-depth understanding of the research topic.
  • By writing the research proposal the researcher intends to showcase that they have carefully designed the procedures for performing an investigation.
  • It’s used to see if there’s enough expertise to support your proposed research topic.
  • It is considered as part of your application’s evaluation.
  • The research plan you submit as part of your application is only the beginning as your ideas develop, your proposed research will most likely change.

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How long is a research proposal?

The length of the research proposal section is entirely determined by the field in which you are writing your research paper. It should be between 2,000 and 3,500 words (4 to 7 pages) in length. If you’re writing a research paper or dissertation for an undergraduate or master’s program, you simply need a few pages to compose a research proposal. Proposals for financing and PhD theses are typically substantially longer and contain a great deal of information.

How to write a research proposal?

The 8 steps of writing a good research proposal are:

Step 1: Write an Introduction

When you start writing a research proposal you need to clearly define what you intend to perform and the reason for executing the investigation. Your introduction section of the research proposal should include the following:

  • Overview of the topic
  • Background information
  • Aims and objectives
  • Problem statement
  • Research questions
  • Significance of research

When drafting the introduction portion of a research proposal, keep in mind the audience’s interest or expectations, the importance of the inquiry, the objectives, and so on.

Step 2:  Writing Literature Review in research proposal

It is much essential for you while writing a proposal for research to demonstrate that you have knowledge about the research topic, therefore you should write a strong literature review. An important characteristic of a strong literature review is that it helps you in convincing readers that the research project has a solid base that is available in the form of an existing hypothesis.

The aim of the literature review section in the research proposal is how the investigation you are performing will contribute to a specific field.  In the literature review section, you need to do the following such as:

A.) Comparing and contrasting:

Here, you need to clearly define the key theories and arguments related to the topic.

B.) Critical analysis:

This means that you need to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches that you intend to use for performing an investigation.

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Step 3: Defining  methodology in research proposal

At this step, you need to explain the research method in the research proposal you have selected for performing an investigation. You should redefine your objectives. You need to describe the procedure you will implement for answering research questions.

The methodology section in the research proposal consists of the following elements these are:

A.) Research type

You need to define the type of investigation you are going to perform in the research proposal. Students should also describe research design such as experimental, descriptive, exploratory, explanatory, etc. You are going to use it for your investigation.

B.) Sources

You need to provide information about the sources from which you will gather information while writing a research proposal. It is very much important for you to write whether you are using primary or secondary sources for accumulating facts related to the topic.

C.) Research methods

In this, you should specify among different tools or techniques such as interviews, surveys, etc which you will utilize for the collection of data. Students should clearly define the process that they will use for selecting a sample from a large population. You also need to specify the time in which you will invest in gathering data about the phenomenon.

In the methodology section of the research proposal, you can also mention obstacles that might occur in the execution of the investigation. You should include arguments to demonstrate the way the methods which will be utilized for research are reliable and appropriate for answering research questions.

Read This:- If you want more information about research methods you can read our article.

Step 4: Writing research implications

You should include a strong note at the end of the research proposal. At this step, you need to lay focus on redefining the aim of your investigation. You should emphasize defining the importance of your investigation on a particular topic.

Step 5: Reference list and bibliography

It is very much important for you to do proper citations and provide proper references after completion of the research proposal. You should also provide complete publication details.

Step 6: Prepare a research schedule

There are a few circumstances when you need to specify the schedule while writing a research proposal. Here, you clearly define every step and time that you will spend on each task. It is a step where you should check all the things or resources that you will need for performing an investigation.

Research Schedule Example:-

Writing background information meet with the supervisor

Establishment of aim and objectives

Designing of research questions

1st April
 Literature review

Execution of preliminary research for identifying sources

Writing a literature review



4th of April
Research methodology

Selection of techniques for performing research

Justifying the selection of techniques

Evaluation of Methodology

Finalization of research methods

15th April
Preparation of data collection20th April
Analysis of data22 April
Writing24 April
Revision29 April

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Step 7: Budgeting your proposal

This is a step that you need to perform if you are writing a research proposal for obtaining funding. Then at this step, you need to provide a detailed budget that represents the amount that each project your project requires.

The different elements which you need to include in your budget are:

Costs: In this, you need to clearly state the amount of money you will need for performing research.

Justification: You should provide the proper reason why such investment of money is crucial for completing the investigation project.

Sources: Here, you need to define the procedure of calculation of costs.

Note: “While preparing the budget for obtaining funds for a research project you need to consider the different types of costs such as travelling, material, etc.”

Step 8: Revisions and proofreading

After completion of writing a research proposal or other academic paper, it is very much essential for you to proofread. It is the activity that will help you in the identification of both small and big errors that could have a negative influence on the quality of your work. You can for avoiding language errors can avail proofreading services.


It has been concluded that the research proposal is a blueprint of how the researcher will execute their investigation. It’s crucial to focus on implications when writing one because they are also in charge of making sure you follow through with your findings and results.

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