What Is a Research Proposal
When your instructor assigns a research proposal, they seek a brief summary and a detailed methodology of the research you have conducted or will conduct for their class. The proposal allows them to approve your idea or propose any necessary changes before you begin writing. It is important to understand what this assignment’s purpose is.
Writing a proposal will allow you to demonstrate the depth of your knowledge in a particular field, as it will show your ability to express complex ideas briefly. The process of writing involves several steps such as brainstorming, picking a topic, drafting, and revising. At the end of the writing process, you will have a proposal that explains your research question and the purpose of your conducted study.
Starting Writing a Proposal
To start, find something that interests you, and choose a topic related to your field of study. Read on articles about recent discoveries, breakthroughs, and innovation. Find inspiration on our blog or just ask one of our professional writers to help you. Make sure that the topic you’ll be writing on will interest you so that you’ll find it easier to write about. Take a look at things you believe in. Review on things that you are passionate about and ask yourself these questions.
- What do I want to study?
- Why is the topic important?
- How is it significant within the subject areas covered in my class?
- What problems will it help solve?
- How does it build upon (and hopefully go beyond) conducted on the topic?
- What exactly should I plan to do, and can I get it done in the time available?
Once you chose the topic, follow the research proposal template.
Research Proposal Template
No ‘one-size-fits-all’ research proposal template would suit every type of paper. However, regardless of the scope and depth of your research, you will find that most sample templates include the listed information.
Research Paper Title
You will be able to revise your title throughout your research, but it is important that the title encompasses what your paper is about.
The direct influence of Hitchcock’s Psycho on the genre of horror.
This portion should be around 100 words long, consisting of the central question that you wish to address.
Your proposal should include a brief background to which you conducted your research. That includes the area of study, any debates on the topic and the relevance of the question.
The aim should be to attempt to answer a question. The question needs to be narrow and focused, and reflect the objective of your essay. During your writing process, narrow your research question to two different aspects. You should elaborate on how you intend to answer the question and brief the reader on the conclusion that you made.
How did Hitchcock’s Psycho influence the way horror films were made? How has the horror genre changed with respect to the film?
The research proposal should show how you conducted your research. Explain your key resources (ways you found your information) and how you collected your data. If you did interviews, brief the reader on who the people you interviewed were. Then explain how you analyzed the findings.
Explain why your work is important. In any sample, you will find a short justification for why your research is original and how it adds something new to the field of study. You might want to list a reason why your research is pressing in the current time.
The conducted research links Hitchcock’s Psycho too many modern films that exhibit the same shock-factor qualities. Today, shock-factor is harder to achieve; this is visible on the increase of poorly produced, lower-quality horror flicks that resort to shock rather than suspense to hold the audience’s attention.
Lastly, you would want to create a list of the most relevant works that contributed to your study. You can need to so in the research paper format required by your instructor (APA, MLA, etc.). You can create an annotated bibliography, giving some insights into how each of the sources helped you with your research.
Research Proposal Outline
Your research proposal outline should be structured according to the template above. Before embarking on the proposal writing process, make sure that you have your research question narrowed down properly and a solid outline as to how you will structure your proposal.
- Intro/Abstract. Why is your research significant?
- General area
- Area’s importance
- What is already known?
- Previous studies
- Background information
- Rational and Research Question
- Your research question
- How does your research question relate to the larger area of study?
- What is your argument/claim/hypothesis as to the answer to this question?
- Is there an opposite viewpoint?
- How did you collect the data?
- What method did you use?
- Did you have participants?
- How does it relate to your research?
- What results did you expect?
- Significance and Conclusion
- How did the data/information gathered confirm/disconfirm your hypothesis?
- Why should anyone care about the research you conducted?
- Bibliography. Include at least 6 sources
Research Paper Format
A format can vary from being only a couple of paragraphs long to about 2,500 words long for things like dissertations. Discuss with your instructor specifics such as length and contents before starting the writing process.
APA Research Proposal
The APA format itself can help you understand how to write a proposal for a research paper. The APA guidelines require writing an abstract, an introduction, and a bibliography as part of the paper, not only in the proposal. Here is a short breakdown of the APA proposal format:
- 12-point font Times New Roman
- 1-inch margins
- An APA running head (limited to 50 characters)
- A title page with the paper’s title (no more than 12 words in length), your name, and the name of your institution
- An abstract (150-200 words)
- In-text citations (formatted accordingly to APA guidelines)
- References page (formatted accordingly to APA guidelines)
Avoid in a Research Proposal
There are a couple of things that successful proposals have in common. If you look at an example, you will see that there are a couple of things in common that all of the proposals avoid:
- Not being concise enough. Your proposal must be written with a clear purpose in mind.
- Alleviating works cited page.
- Forgetting to disclose research boundaries and conflicting variables (age of participants, for example)
- An underdeveloped argument.
- A lack of focus and unrelated tangents.
- Poor grammar.
- Too much detail or not enough detail.