How to write a research proposal: Best Guide

How to write a research proposal: Best Guide

A research proposal shows what you’ll study, why it’s important, and how you’ll carry out the research. Although the format of a research proposal varies by subject, most proposals should include at least the following elements:

  1. Title page
  2. Introduction
  3. Literature Review
  4. Research design
  5. Reference list

The names of the sections may differ, but the objectives are consistent. This article walks you through the components of a simple research proposal template and discusses what you should include in each section.

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What is the purpose of a research proposal?

Students are required to write research proposals for the financial aid of their project. As a student, you will write a research proposal as part of your graduate school application or before you begin writing your thesis or dissertation.

A research proposal convinces a funding organization, an educational institution, or a supervisor that your project is worthy.

Objectives of the research proposal


Persuade the reader that your project is unique, fascinating, and crucial.


Demonstrate that you are knowledgeable in the field, that you are aware of the current state of research on the subject, and that your ideas have a solid academic foundation.


Make a case for your approach by demonstrating that you’ve considered the data, tools, and processes you’ll need to perform the research.


Confirm if the project is feasible within the program’s, institution’s, or funding’s limits.

What is the length of a research proposal?

A research proposal can be quite long or very short. A bachelor’s or master’s thesis proposal might be just a few pages; however, proposals for PhD dissertations and proposals are typically much longer and more comprehensive.

Research Proposal Structure

The structure of a research proposal is similar to that of a thesis or dissertation. However, you write a proposal before starting your research project. It lacks the results and discussion sections.

You have problems with economic research paper format, contact us.

Parts of a research proposal/Elements of research

They are also known as sections of a research proposal. They include:

Cover Page

The proposal, like your dissertation or thesis, will have a title page that includes the following information:

  1. Your project’s proposed title
  2. Your given name
  3. The name of your supervisor
  4. The university and the department

If there are specific formatting requirements, check with the department or funding organization.

Table of contents and abstract

If your proposal is very lengthy, you may need to add an abstract and a table of contents to help with navigation.

Introduction of a research proposal

The first section of your proposal is your project’s introduction. Make sure it clearly outlines what you intend to do and why. It ought to:

  1. Introduce the subject
  2. Provide context and background information.
  3. Outline your research questions and problem statement (s)

The following are some key questions to consider as you prepare your introduction:

  1. Who is interested in the topic?
  2. What is known about the topic?
  3. What is currently missing on the topic?
  4. What new knowledge will your research provide?
  5. Why is it important to do this research?

If your proposal is lengthy, you may want to break it into sections with more extensive background and context, problem statement, aims and objectives, and research importance.

Literature review

It’s crucial to demonstrate that you’re updated on the research on your topic. A well-written literature review persuades the reader that your project is well-founded in current knowledge or theory. It also demonstrates that you aren’t redoing what others have said or done.

Show how your project will improve on the existing research in this area.

  1. Compare and contrast: the key theories, methods, arguments, and controversies?
  2. Be critical: what are the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches
  3. Demonstrate how your research fits the bigger picture: how will you expand on, challenge, or synthesize other people’s work?

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Research Methods and design

It’s a good idea to restate your objectives after the literature review, bringing the attention back to your research. The research design or methodology section should explain your strategy and steps for answering your research questions.

A research proposal’s methodology

Type of research

  1. Are you going to conduct qualitative or quantitative research?
  2. Will you gather your data or rely on primary and secondary sources?
  3. Is your design descriptive, correlational, or experimental?

Sample size and population

  1. What or who will you be researching?
  2. What methods will you use to choose subjects or sources (for example, random sampling, case studies)?
  3. When and where will the data be collected?

Methods of research

  1. What tools and methods would you employ (e.g., surveys, interviews, observations, and experiments)?
  2. Why are these the most effective strategies for responding to your research questions?


  1. How long will it take you to collect the data?
  2. What methods will you use to obtain access to participants and sources?
  3. Do you anticipate any obstacles, and if so, how will you overcome them?

Make sure you’re not writing a list of methods only. Make a case for why this is the most suitable, valid, and trustworthy way to answer your questions.

Implications and knowledge contribution

To conclude your proposal, look into the research’s potential implications for theory or practice, and reiterate what you hope to add to existing knowledge on the topic. Your findings, for example, could have ramifications for:

  • Improving a single location’s or field’s processes
  • Providing insight into policy goals
  • Adding to the validity of a hypothesis or model
  • Objecting to popular or scientific beliefs
  • establishing a foundation for future research

Bibliography or reference list

Cite every source appropriately, and the reference list should always include complete publication details. You may use a free APA citation generator to quickly and effortlessly write citations.

You may include a bibliography in some circumstances. It is a list of all the sources you used to write the proposal, including those you didn’t cite in the text and, in some cases, additional relevant sources you intend to read. The goal is to demonstrate the depth of literature available to support your research project.

Schedule of the research

In some circumstances, you may need to give an entire project timeline, including what you’ll do at each stage and how long it’ll take. Check your department or funding body’s guidelines to see if it is required.


If you’re looking for research funding, you’ll certainly need to provide a detailed budget that illustrates how much each project component will cost.

Check what types of costs the funding body will agree to cover, and only include those in your budget that are relevant. Include the following information for each item:

  1. Cost: how much money do you require?
  2. Justification: Why is this expense needed to finish the research?
  3. Source: How did you come up with the figure?

Consider the following factors while deciding on a budget:

Costs of travel: Do you need to collect data in specific locations? What method will you use to get there, how long will you stay, and what will you do there (interviews, archive research, etc.)?

Tools: Are there any tools or technologies that you’ll need? Is there a charge for training or installation?

Help: Are you going to need research assistants for this project? What are your plans for them, and how much will you pay them? Will you delegate any other tasks, such as transcribing, to a third party?

Time: Do you need to take time off from your regular responsibilities, such as teaching? How much money will you need to cover the research time?

Proofreading and Revisions

Before submitting your research proposal, you should redraft, edit, and proofread it like any other piece of academic writing. If you have the chance, seek feedback from a supervisor or colleague.

Use a professional research writing service to eliminate linguistic errors, evaluate the structure of your proposal, and improve your academic style for the highest chance of approval.

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