What to Do Before Your Research Proposal

Before writing your research proposal, you need to have a detailed plan. The research proposal writing process needs time for developing a good topic in addition to a well-developed body. All these activities call for guidance from your supervisor. It would help if you also established the methodological processes and reading material. 

Your research proposal will guide the actual research project. It clearly states the research steps you need to follow when carrying out the data collection process. A good proposal serves as a guide to help the researcher going into the project with more confidence. 

A research proposal helps in testing your ability as a researcher for conceptualizing a clear plan. Your overall success for the project remains dependent on the research proposal. It would help if you had a clear sense of direction when working on your proposal.

Developing Your Topic

Developing your topic for the research proposal calls for a deep sense of your study field. Furthermore, there is a variance in making considerations for the format and length of the proposal. It is more in length for human sciences and humanities but far less when it comes to experimental sciences. 

When selecting your topic, you should have a clear idea about your study area. Here are essential guidelines you need to adhere to when writing your proposal:

  • Make it interesting – Your topic should show a high level of enthusiasm when a reader starts reading it. Avoid using common topics that have already been researched before.
  • Make it feasible – Ensure the methodology steps used in the proposal can achieve the results you need in the research. 
  • Make it sufficiently delimited – Ensure you have clear boundaries to help you in organizing the literature search. It goes a long way in helping create the problem statement for the research.
  • Make it manageable – Ensure you have a strict adherence to the word limit for your proposal. Develop an outline for your content to ensure you finish within the confines of the word length.

Evaluation Checklist

Here is a basic outline for the evaluation checklist for a better understanding of how instructors gauge your proposal.

Problem Choice

Is the problem clearly stated? Is it sufficiently covered in the proposal? It makes one of the cornerstones when your instructor is evaluating the quality of your proposal. Covering a comprehensive problem in your proposal makes a quality document.

Development of Hypothesis

When writing the abstract, you should have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve from the research. Your abstract should contain a hypothesis narrowed in either one or two sentences depending on your study field's nature.

Defining Key Concepts

Most students assume that it’s only their instructors reading their proposals. The instructor will check whether you have defined all critical concepts used in the proposal to clarify your audience.

Writing Style

Different learning institutions use different formatting styles. Before writing your proposal, check first with the supervisor which style to use. Your instructor will check whether you have conformed to the stated formatting style. Some common formatting styles common include:

  1. APA 
  2. MLA 
  3. Chicago
  4. Havard

Maynard Benton


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