If you are closer to the end of your degree program and your thesis or dissertation is on the horizon, and if you are planning to go for a Ph.D. program, then there are chances that you will craft a convincing research proposal. In this article, you will come to know what is research proposal and everything related to it.
What is a Research proposal?
Well, folks, first, we will talk to you about a research proposal. A research proposal is a structured or formal document that explains what you have planned to research, why it is worth the research, and how you are planning to investigate it. Simply put, it talks about your research topic, justification as well as your practical approach.
What is the Purpose of a Research Proposal?
Well, the purpose of a research proposal is to convince the research supervisor, university, or committee that the research you have done is suitable for the degree program’s requirements and is manageable, given that you will face time and resource constraints.
However, folks, the most important word that you need to focus on here is ‘Convince’ – to put it in other words, your research proposal must be convincing enough to sell your research idea and to whoever you have given it to approve. If the research proposal is not convincing enough of suitability and manageability, you will need to revise and resubmit. You must remember that this costs you valuable time, which will either delay your research or consume your time allowance. So, you must be steadfast while drafting your research proposal.
How to Write a Research Paper Proposal?
Well, the basic thing that you need to know about how to write a research proposal is that good research proposals will always need to cover the “what,” the “why,” and the “how” of the research. Now, let’s look at each of these Wh’s vivid. Are you folks ready?
The first thing your research proposal needs to have is what the research proposal is all about. It should articulate your research topic. It should be specific and unambiguous, and you must keep in mind that your research topic needs to make it clear exactly what you are planning to do your research on and in what context; you can take a look at this research proposal example:
Topic: An investigation into the factors which impact female Generation Y consumer’s likelihood to promote a specific makeup brand to their peers: a British context
You can make out from this line that the topic is extremely clear, and from this one line, we can say that:
- What is being investigated- factors that make people promote a makeup brand
- Who it involves- female Gen-Y consumers
- Context- United Kingdoms
So, folks, you must ensure that your research proposal gives a detailed explanation of the research topic. Not to mention, you should refrain from writing your research proposal if you do not have a crystal clear topic in your mind, or you will end up jotting down a few thousand words without making any sense.
As it is mentioned earlier, it is not good to simply propose a research topic- you need to have a good justification as to why your research topic is original. In other words, what is the unique feature of your research topic? What gap does it fill in the current literature? If it simply rehashes an existing research topic, it will not be approved. So, folks, remember that your work needs to be fresh.
For example, we mentioned the sample research topic (factors impacting brand advocacy). Here, the research could uncover relevant factors, and these findings would be useful to marketers in the cosmetics industry, and this would therefore have a commercial value. This is a clear justification for the research.
So, folks, you must keep in mind that when you are drafting a research proposal, you must remember that it is not enough for a topic to be unique simply it should be useful and value-creating- and this needs to be conveyed in your research proposal. If you are struggling to find a research topic, you must read this article to draft a good research proposal.
Well, folks, you must be able to draft a research proposal covering the practicalities of your research topic. In other words, your research proposal must cover the following:
- How will you undertake your research?
- Is your research design appropriate for your topic?
- Given your constraints (time, money, expertise), is your plan manageable?
It is generally not expected that you will have a fully fleshed-out research strategy right from the proposal stage; you will be needing to provide a high-level view of your research methodology and some of the key design decisions. Below are some of the important questions which you must cover:
- Will you take a qualitative or quantitative approach?
- Will your design be cross-sectional or longitudinal?
- How will you collect your data (interviews, surveys, etc)?
- How will you analyze your data (e.g. statistical analysis, qualitative data analysis, etc)?
You have to make sure that you give a thought to your research proposal and cover at least the basics of understanding research methodologies, and in this way, you will be able to ace your research proposal.
Structure of a Research proposal
Since we have discussed the basics which you need to cover in your research proposal, it is now time for you to learn about the structure of a research proposal.
Five essential ingredients make up a research proposal. They are:
- A descriptive title or title page
- A rich introduction and background to the proposed research
- A discussion of the scope/delimitations of the research
- An initial literature review covering the key research in the area
- A discussion of the proposed research design (methodology)
- You can follow these bulletins and structure your research proposal.
That’s all, folks. Hope the article helped you in getting all the relevant information that you needed.