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How to write a research proposal

Anyone from a scientific or academic background or a career is not unfamiliar with a 'Research Proposal.' It is only because this is crucial to initiating any research. Do countless investigations that owe to the advancements and discoveries taking place in the world and, more specifically, science. Any laws or rules before being implemented or proven to a board require a great deal of research and investigation. These, in turn, carry a series of experiments and are very time-consuming. Safe to say, many resources are required, and financial aid or a large money grant is needed. Here a research proposal comes in. Its main goal is to convince and request the authority or administration of financial help. It can process further by explaining the importance of the project at hand. Before beginning, keep in mind questions like: Why do you want to conduct this experiment? What do you aim to achieve through this? Why is this important in the science world? How do you plan on going about it? At what time do you expect to conclude? What is the significance of your desired results? What impact will this have in the bigger picture? The length of the proposal can vary depending on the topic at hand and the sort plus range of details, one resort, too, which is also different for different experiments. It can be two pages long or even go as far as the length of a small booklet.

A research proposal is a first and foremost step and one of the most important in the process of research. It is essential one uses it as an opportunity to discuss the topic or area of study and state its importance in the world and personally to oneself as it lays the foundation for the problem that leads to the study of it. It is also a chance for the researcher to prove their capability, credibility, and aptitude for such a task while also showing they are capable, perusing the endeavor further and take it to newer heights. To students, this is mostly assigned to enhance their experiment designing skills. It improves their research skills along with their writing. Research papers allow one to examine, analyze, and review critically. It ingrains a particular thinking skill in the brain, adding some inquisitiveness. The proposal has a rough division into about six to seven parts.

Steps to writing a perfect Research Proposal

It mainly consists of two parts
Part-1: Main steps to Research Proposal
Part-2 Writing Timeline

  • Decide a title for the proposal. The title depends upon the type of certain research in the pipeline, but generally, it should be descriptive and concise. First and utmost, the title, name of the researcher, and possible research must be mentioned very clearly at the head of the paper.
  • Make a title page
  • step of making the title page defines the chosen title of the proposal, the main institution in connection, and the name of a person.
  • The abstract
  • consists of a summary of the proposal that highlights the problem in it.
  • Make a list of keywords for the proposa
  • at least 4-5 keywords that include the essential points of the paper, suggesting the topic and the terms.
  • Create the table of contents 
  • there should be a table of contents of the article, and it should have a proper list of headings. These may include titles such as introduction, research work, apparatus, and procedure, etcetera. The contents should be labeled clearly and, when done, should provide a sense of structure that should make navigation through the proposal much less tedious and more straightforward for any reader.
  • Fill up the introduction 
  • the introduction contains "Purpose of the Research," "Statement of the Problem," and "Significance of the Research". A summarised yet clear thesis and importance of the topic can also make it to the introduction. Keep in mind that this is almost like selling a project to a buyer, like an advertisement. The better one explains it, the larger will be the respective audience, and the quicker they grab it. A quick few words showcasing the importance of the research with quick examples from similar or past endeavours are appreciated. It can be precise and to the point as most of the details will be mentioned in the rest of the paper properly.
  • Be objective 
  • an appropriate objective tone throughout the complete research proposal.
  • proper background in your introduction.
  • Write a proper Literature Review 
  • contextualize the research. Right after the introduction, invest a few lines, not too long, over the problem you want to investigate that is the area that is to be researched on. Place the study within the broader context of the scholarly literature to provide a comparative analysis. Put forward the question and the possible answers you foresee to it. Make a problem apparent and explain your way into finding a solution for it. Include this in the introduction. The primary purpose of this paper is to grab the attention of the authority. To pique their interest and make them think that this may be a field that can be useful if pursued. 
  • Describe the methodology of the proposed research

  • A significant chunk of the paper will revolve around the primary research, and the practical and theoretical work you have done to support your proposal, which may also assist the references and prospects. Start by a broad and in-depth discussion over the background of the question or topic at hand. It is always a great idea to mention the studies that have already been conducted and their results.
  • Describe relevant and authentic resources. 

  • Make sure that the sources are authentic and picked from prestigious platforms. Continue this by further adding the aims and questions around which the entire research will revolve.
  • List the references. 

  • Share whatever current knowledge is there and perhaps also provide references to other similar work that can be linked to your research. This research can be written by renowned people of expertise with similar academic backgrounds or even seniors who came before you and gave it a shot.
  • Categorize the personnel.

  • Personnel working currently on the project must be discussed as well as the type of expertise needed in order to move the project further (if any) which would also require funding.
  • Include the appendices, if required.
  • Project the complete budget.

  • Include charts, images, and diagrams in the applied methodology section in case if applicable and allowed.
  • Proofread the proposal.

  • Reading will help in the thought process, as well. Reading works of the more experienced is always helpful. There are many dynamics that you may not understand without this. To help more, one can even attend related workshops. Similar or parallel research while making sure none of it should reflect negatively.

The technical part of the research paper

The study can be viewed through different perspectives and situations to show the multiple aspects in which the research can be useful. The questions and aims should be narrowed down to the specific area that the student is interested in investigating. Of course, categorize the items or prioritize them. Whatever you propose, the investigator should keep in mind the feasibility of conduction of the experiments and the time either allotted or available for these. Checking for possibility is essential. One does not want to spend hours working on a paper, getting approval to have it end up in a dead-end. The methodology through which data conducted research must also be in detail, and any inconclusive or uncertain information should be omitted from the proposal entirely. Following this is the technical part of the research paper. From start to the end, the researcher is to outline and then further give details of the entire procedure. They can start with the list of apparatus needed and move to the setup. Any difficulty in obtaining these apparatus or problems that can be faced should be jotted down. A list of interviews or other forms of research is also acceptable. From here, step by step, with details, mention how to use each apparatus. With each step, also write what is expected to be reached as a result or seen. Any experiment can go in two ways. Mention all possible answers. For all of these possibilities, further, mention all the likely roads in case of each. It is also appreciated to explain every possible result's meaning or significance.

However, at this point, it can be further explained in detail. The writer can go in-depth on the significance and value of this specific study. Mention how and why it is essential to not only the researcher but to overall science and the world, give the big picture. State various hypothetical situations that can apply to the research and the proposed solution along with this and make points that this solution is only possible if the project is moved further with the help of backing. Here, previous works can be quoted and the impact that they had had. The significance of this specific study to the whole chain of work in this particular area should be there. Since this is a proposal, it is necessary to add all of these in a way to convince the professor. Stay relevant, to the point yet detailed enough to give any reader a good, solid idea and be practical. Pitch in your thoughts with a motivation that the reader or any authority can tell just by reading how determined and passion-driven the writer is about this cause. There is no room for humor or non-seriousness in this area of writing and request. Resources and funds are valuable, scarce, and no professor or institute would want to waste it on a lost cause. The research paper writing must reflect the importance of the thing that it is being written for and about.

The writer needs to include a bibliography of all the authentic sources from where the data were collected. These include websites, newspaper articles, books, authors quoted, or past researches. Anything other than the writer’s own formulated ideas, if not credited in the end, may count as plagiarism and discredit the entire weeks or even months’ worth of research work. Writing in the professional world always requires credits where they are due.

Now, after the writer is done with the references and has cited them in an ordered manner, the second most essential thing surfaces. It is to add at the end of the proposal the appendices. Include multiple appendices that can vary according to the contents of the scheme. Theses may include annexes for the instruments used, the work plan for the project, and one for the budget if necessary. If there is a budget plan, the break down is significant, from varying categories to the number of items required for each. There should be a literature review to contextualize the research.


The main essence of the research proposal is to not only provide theories and explain upon them but also to aid future researchers in future endeavors in the specified field. It is also essential that the proposal is well organized and clearly states the problems. Moreover, it should say the limitations faced by the researcher during the experiment. On the other hand, after mentioning the flaws and issues, summarize the main highlight of the research in such a way that they showcase the success. Meanwhile, say a glimpse of the potential prospects the endeavor may hold if further funding of backing as well. Explain the economic issues of future financing by mentioning estimates of the expenses required to move forward with the researched. Regarding the economics of the proposal, it is a good idea to present a model of sustainability to encourage investors to provide financial help. Mention Plans to write up aspects of the project into journals, articles, books, etcetera. Add another vital detail that if the researcher plans to attend or set up workshops regarding the research. Lastly, provide a time frame for completion to ensure potential backers remain at ease at the outcome of this work. Presenting a more appealing research proposal will take efforts, but in the end, it will be fruitful.

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