How to Write a Research Proposal

Writing Help: How to Write a Research Proposal

Writing a research proposal is a crucial step in outlining your research project and demonstrating your competence and work plan to others. This document, typically around 2500 words in length, aims to convince readers that your research is valuable and feasible. Regardless of your research area and chosen methodology, a research proposal should address three essential questions: what you plan to accomplish, why you want to do it, and how you will carry it out.

Title of the Proposal: Name of the Candidate:


  • Topic area: Begin your proposal with a general introduction that provides context and background information about the topic you are researching.
  • Research question: Clearly state the specific research question you intend to address in your study.
  • Significance to knowledge: Explain the importance of your research question and its potential contributions to the field. Emphasize why your research is relevant and necessary.

Literature Review:

  • Previous research: Summarize the existing body of research related to your topic, including both external studies and your own preliminary work.
  • Interlocking findings and unanswered questions: Identify the gaps or unanswered questions in the current literature that your research aims to address.
  • Your preliminary work on the topic: Describe any preliminary research or studies you have conducted that relate to your proposed research.
  • The remaining questions and interlocking logic: Highlight the unresolved issues in the literature and explain how your research will contribute to filling these gaps.
  • Reprise of your research question(s) in this context: Reiterate your research question(s) within the context of the literature review, emphasizing the need for further investigation.


  • Clearly outline the objectives of your research and what you aim to achieve.
  • Research questions may be formulated as testable hypotheses or open-ended inquiries.
  • Establish the relevance and value of your proposed research in relation to current academic thinking.

Methodology / Theoretical Framework:

  • Approach: Provide a detailed description of your overall research design and the specific methods and procedures you will employ.
  • Data sources: Specify the sources of data you will use in your research.
  • Analytic techniques: Explain the analytical techniques or statistical methods you will employ to analyze the collected data.
  • Plan for interpreting results: Outline your plan for interpreting the results of your research.
  • Expected results: Provide an overview of the anticipated outcomes of your study based on your chosen methodology.

References: Include a comprehensive list of all the references you have cited in your research proposal. Ensure that you have conducted extensive research to include key references in your research area.

Note: It is important to tailor your research proposal to the specific requirements of the intended audience or institution to which you are submitting it. This revision provides a general framework, but additional sections or specific guidelines may be necessary depending on the context.

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