Research Proposal Writing: Secrets and Hints

The aim of research proposal writing is typically outlining the study plan. It is not an obligatory requirement to ensure strict adherence to the details and outline of a proposal; however, a plan is a useful asset. The writer keeps doing the research and makes further steps with simultaneous altering of the plan either in certain details or substantially. When a supervisor, professor, instructor or tutor has a look at a research proposal, they can get understanding of the major topics and aspects of the future paper and give advice correspondingly to make the final presentation even more effective.

If you do not know how to write a research proposal, you should follow the steps and increase the efficiency of your writing.

  1. Discuss the topic of your research with the course supervisor to agree on the direction of your work.
  2. Develop a certain direction in theoretical research that is related to the chosen topic.
  3. Try to collect as much information as you can to make profound search for relevant details in a context of your choice.
  4. Base your research on the materials you have selected. You can use audio files, visual materials, as well as journal articles, magazine entries, books, and other sources.
  5. Make sure you have a folder for the collected sources, cuttings, various kinds of notes and photocopies.
  6. Do the organization of the notes in accordance with the subjects and sub-topics. That enhances the research efficiency.
  7. Prepare a list of aspects covered in the proposal.
  8. Stick to the chosen methodological principles.
  9. Consider all ethical issues related to the chosen topic.
  10. Make a draft of the paragraphs that go together with every source.
  11. Prepare a well-written introduction that demonstrates your understanding of the requirements and plans as for the future research.
  12. Make sure that all references are listed and properly cited.

Essential Aspects to Consider

  • Writing a research proposal should start with developing a plan. This stage is preceded with various meetings of a student with a supervisor. The key issues to be considered are the timeframes of the research, the topic, subject suitability and peculiarities of feasibility.
  • Every meeting should be followed with making notes and arranging them appropriately.
  • All notes should be kept in a word processing folder. The collected files kept should be used later on in the main writing draft. 
  • It is essential to collect not only the findings, but also the figures related to the research topic. The specific and accurate data of non-narrative type can serve as a basis for mathematical or scientific research plans, while the component of narrative and literary nature is used for the literature, history, philosophy and other subjects of this kind.
  • Having searched for effective research proposal topics, you should make notes and rationalize the selected references. Your writing is supposed to be deprived of inconsistencies, flaws, and mistakes, being concise, specific and properly organized. Besides, all superfluous details are to be removed to avoid ambiguity, confusion, and misunderstanding.
  • A well-built proposal implies using proper writing techniques. There should be no lengthy descriptions, as the notes are supposed to be concise and explanatory.
  • Every important fact should be presented in a separate short paragraph after all the corresponding notes are used and the material from the sources is paraphrased and applied.
  • The writing style should be chosen in accordance with the academic standards.

Points to Be Included

A research paper proposal comprises several constituent parts. The following points are to be approved by the instructor (supervisor):

  • Main idea description
  • Rationale or aim
  • Background details connected to the cultural, ethical, scientific or philosophical study themes
  • Fundamentals of the research plan
  • Coordinated timeline
  • The study meaning or outcome sketch
  • Major purposes corresponding to the outcomes and meaning
  • A glossary of the used terms
  • Chapter outline or a table of contents for the final variant of the dissertation or thesis

What Is a Research Proposal and How to Make It Efficient?

Writing tips:

  • Take sufficient time to do substantial search in the libraries and on the Internet to make writing about the planned research up-to-date.
  • Prepare an extensive list of sources and materials for choosing the most suitable ones.
  • Be selective and use only the most appropriate of the findings.
  • Prepare more than one draft of every paragraph to show to your supervisor.
  • Be consistent and diligent in collecting the required materials, including book excerpts, journal articles, various types of entries, research plans, websites, and other relevant dissertations and theses.

Things Not to Be Done

  • Do not submit the first draft without taking some extra necessary efforts.
  • Never use outdated sources or references. A scientific topic cannot be covered using the old ones; neither can IT or communication topics.
  • Do not present your abilities in an excessive manner in the introduction.
  • Do not overstate your abilities in the introduction.

Typical Errors

  • The most typical mistake of the research proposals is lack of information and excess of unnecessary words. Wordiness should be replaced with concise and specific language.
  • Omitting essential items which means that understanding of the topic is incomplete.
  • Improvised manner of writing that implies lack of research.
  • Using excessive persuasion instead of presenting relevant materials for the thesis or dissertation.
  • Poor vocabulary, grammar mistakes.
  • Insufficient understanding of the topic; lack of skills required to develop the main idea.

Thus, the presented writing tips can be of great help for those willing to make their research proposals perfect.