The Appropriate Format for Research Proposals

There are many instances in which academic writing can make or break you, including thesis writing, dissertation writing, and the research proposal generally necessary with both of these assignments.  When applying for a research degree in particular, the proposal is paramount.  You have to write it and for the sake of your future, you have to write it well.

 

Many students find themselves wondering, “Just what is a research proposal?”  Succinctly, it is exactly what the name implies: when you submit a research proposal, you are turning in a proposal for the research you need to do in order to write your thesis, dissertation, et cetera.  PhD candidates especially have to do this assignment; whether or not they receive their degree depends on it.  You also have to realize that you are competing with other students when you write a proposal.  All of you are fighting to outshine one another so that your work can be recognized as being beneficial to your chosen field of study.

 

Your proposal begins, as most papers do, with an introduction.  It needs to be powerful and you should try as hard as you can to capture your reader’s attention right from the beginning.  One of the best ways to do this is by building a strong, specific, and concise hypothesis.  It should be one phrase but should still clearly have the potential to lead to advancement in your field.  In this type of paper, the hypothesis takes the place of a thesis in other papers.

 

You also have to be very careful when considering just what you want to research.  The best proposals deal with something which has not been previously studied.  Sometimes this is not possible, but at the very least you should stay away from subjects which have been discussed exhaustively.  That is going to bore your readers for sure; when you bore your readers, you might just have to kiss that coveted degree good bye.

 

The methodology chapter is a hugely important part of your research proposal.  Therefore, you definitely need to know how to write methodology before you begin writing.  This is the portion of the proposal which most students find the most difficult.  For that reason, you may want to take a look at some proposal examples in order to make sure you know what you are doing.  Put simply, the methodology chapter chronicles the methods you use to achieve your research results.  You need to be very detailed in this portion of your paper.  That is why examples offer so much proposal help.  Perhaps, for instance, you conducted surveys; perhaps you even conducted some medical research.  Whatever the case, you need to document your methods and your findings thoroughly.  Your reader needs to be with you every step of the way; he or she needs to completely understand what you found, how you found it, and why you decided to conduct your research the way that you did.

 

The literature review is another important part of the research proposal.  This is yet another portion of the proposal which confuses a lot of students.  It has come to the writer’s attention, in fact, that many readers still are not sure how to set up the literature review.  Worry not; this article contains the bare bones of proposal writing.  Stay tuned for more in depth examinations of both the methodology chapter and the literature review – with sample formats included wherever possible.

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