Secrets to Writing an Excellent Research Proposal
College students are often required to complete a research paper and a thesis before completing their studies. Before undertaking a research paper, it is often a requirement that a student develops a research proposal for their intended study.
Nonetheless, most students do not fully understand and appreciate the essence of a research proposal. It is imperative to note that a good research proposal is as important as one’s research. A good research proposal often translates into a good research. The vice versa is also true.
Nevertheless, what is a research proposal and why is it important?
What is a Research Proposal?
A research proposal can is a coherent and concise summary of an intended research. It helps to portray your intended area of study; the current state of knowledge in this area; shortcoming in the available information; the gap in knowledge that your study will fill and how your intend to undertake your research. A research proposal plays the role of convincing interested personnal such as your instructor or grantors that your research is crucial and worthwhile.
The structure of a research proposal is not definitive. It depends on such as its purpose and size of the proposal. However, there are set requirements that the simplest research proposal should cover. Such include:
· Clear and concise problem identification
· Brief exploration of previous literature and proposed methodology to explore the problem
· Realistic timeline and expenses
Other issues that a research proposal can cover include ethical issues and how they will be solved and expected results.
The following is a structure of a comprehensive research proposal.
This is a descriptive and concise phrase indicating your proposed study. It gives an idea of what the research will be about.
This is a brief summary of 150-300 words. It should cover the main parts of the research proposal. These parts include the research question, rationale, methodology and preliminary research (if included). It is only included if needed or when using APA citation style.
This pitches the study by giving background information on the area under which the study falls. It also contains the research problem which should be derived from the background information. This can also be captured under research aims or objectives.
This presents a precise review of the current state of research in your area of interest. It involves highlighting what other scholars have undertaken and their contribution in your area of interest. It also serves to show your knowledge in the area of interest as well as assuring stakeholders that you are not ‘reinventing the wheel’.
This sections also helps to assure interested stakeholders of your ability to critically evaluate relevant information as well as justify the need for your research. This is by showcasing your intended research's likely substantial and significant contribution to existing literature.
This section highlights the method you intend to use to explore your research problem. The section justifies your chosen methodology and why it applies to your area of interest. Some of the aspects highlighted in this section include the research design, sample population and its selection criteria, data collection and analysis of data.
The research methodology should be formulated in such a manner that it assures consistency, rigor, applicability and neutrality. A preliminary research may also be included to highlight some of the intended results of the research.
This section stipulates some of the expected ethical issues and how they will be address during research. This is especially essential for medical research proposals which are often faced with numeorus ethical and moral issues during data collection. The proposed study should stipulate a framework that will be followed to ensure that participants’ rights are not violated.
Budget and Research Timeline
This is a section highlighting the projected time needed to undertake the research. It also provides an estimate of the expenses to be incurred during the research.
This is a list of all the sources used in writing your proposal as is the expectation of all academic papers. Citations should be formatted depending on the citation used in writing your paper.
This section provides information or documents supporting the proposal but which cannot be included in its body. This is because the paper's coherency maybe compromised. Some of the information included in this sections include questionnaires, consent forms and measurement tools.
Generally, a good research proposal should emphasize on its likelihood to positively influence your area of interest as well as other disciplines. It also highlights its applicability and feasibility. Proposals should also be written in a clear and concise manner using simple language and they ought to be factual. Future tense should also be used while writing a research proposal.
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