Tools & Tips for a Brilliant Research Proposal Writing

Research proposals encompass an essential part of the research process for students in university or college. It often guides the student and their instructor on the research process, including the necessary resources needed, timescale for the research, etc. So how can you define your research proposal? It entails a paper that suggests a research problem or subject, justifying why you have to study the problem, besides describing the methods and ways of doing the study.

Research proposals have to answer three crucial questions: what the study entails, why it is crucial, and how to conduct the research. It is for this reason that you get plenty of scholars writing research proposals to acquire research funding. Further, students also have to write research proposals to guide them on their research. Thus, learners have to write the proposal to acquire the approval of their department for their dissertation plan. 

The Outline of Your Research Proposal

Proposals require a detailed outline to ensure a sound structure that will make your study proposals clear and concise. It should encompass the following.

  • Title page. It encompasses the initial section of your proposal, and anyone who comes across your proposal will likely see this section first. It has to prove as descriptive and concise as possible. The section should contain your research title, full names, and your instructor’s name, besides your university’s name. Try and introduce the research topic using a relevant, informative, and appealing title.
  • Abstract. It briefly summarizes your proposed study and should contain the main questions raised. Try and ensure that it contains about three hundred words in total. The abstract helps the audience comprehend your paper, and it should contain the thesis statement besides the summary of the entire proposal. Two types of abstracts exist: descriptive and informative. For research proposals, it becomes appropriate to use descriptive abstracts.
  • Introduction. It forms one of the proposal’s core segments and should contain the research questions, the study background, and the approach you plan to investigate the research questions. Because it represents the eventual presentation of the future project, try and make it is as clear and descriptive as possible.
  • Literature review. The section highlights the valuable sources used in highlighting your study’s relationship with previous studies in your discipline. Some research types will have this section within the introduction, while others will have it as a separate segment. The literature review often displays your existing knowledge levels about a subject. Therefore, it becomes necessary to consider each point, contrast and compare, and consider the cons and pros.
  • Methodology. The section should describe your action plan in realizing your research goals. Here, you have to ascertain that your methods stand as ideal in examining the research questions. It, therefore, becomes crucial to indicate the type of research you have to conduct (quantitative or qualitative). Additionally, describe your sources and how you settled upon the subjects.
  • Discussion. It entails a section that you have to use to convince your audience about your research and its potential to impact the world positively. Try and discuss all the potential opportunities and challenges with your advisory committee. It becomes essential to avoid making any exaggerations. So try and realistically present everything you can manage in your proposed research. 
  • References. The segment should contain all the sources cited in the write-up. You can choose to write the section as a bibliography by including citations that prove relevant to the research subject, irrespective of whether you have used the proposal’s citations.
  • Research budget and schedule. The section proves crucial in getting your research strategy approved. Here, you have to describe the financial and time estimates required to finish the study. In some instances, you can get a fleeting description as sufficient, while other proposals require a detailed budget and timeline.


Research proposals become key for students in pushing their research agenda forward. To have an excellent research proposal, therefore, becomes crucial to every researcher, whether a student or not.

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