A research proposal is a kind of assignment, which is primarily specific to higher school. In this paper, a student is expected to propose a problem or subject to research and come up with an approach and tools to tackle it efficiently. A scope of available problems is usually defined by a teacher or an academic institution. Within this range, students may have a leeway in terms of selection of a specific topic to work on.
No matter what your major is, this type of assignment is to possess some mandatory features, such as:
- The paper should define a particular problem, set the goal to achieve and give proof of why this is important.
- The paper should explain how the author proposes to achieve the goal.
- The paper should demonstrate the author’s ability to reason and account for multiple relevant factors.
To cover all the above, a research proposal must have a valid structure, which includes the following sections:
- Title page. Being the first page of the paper, it should be concise, catchy and descriptive. Its major purpose is to introduce the research topic and engage a reader.
- Abstract. This is actually the first section of your research. Its purpose is to provide a brief overview of the problem under discussion and your proposals. Stay concise to keep this section as short as 300 words or less.
- Introduction. This is where you have to give an overview of how the problem was previously studied and tackled. Feel free to provide references and links to those works. Then, introduce your own approach and explain why it is different and innovative.
- Methodology. Preferably, a separate section should be dedicated to describing how exactly you are going to achieve the set goals. Also, try to show why you believe this approach is the best one.
- Results. While final results can be discussed only once the research is completed, this section is in place to enable the author to express his/her expectations in regard to possible findings. Show your readers that you have a clear idea as to what to expect and what practical meaning this may have.
- Discussion. This part of the paper is your chance to persuade the reader the proposed research will have positive implications. Feel free to provide your opinion, reason and support your attitude with facts and links. The discussion should result in a logical conclusion.
- References. This is the closing section of your work. Actually, this can be just a list of sources used in your work. Make sure to give due credit to people who investigated this topic before and provided you with relevant information.
While not mastered in school, this type of assignment can be successfully completed by students who are willing to invest some time and zeal. With proper information at hand, and sticking to the structure guidelines described above, the task will not be too difficult even to first-year students. Skills developed through writing a research proposal will be helpful in your future study and work.