Writing a Proposal for a Research Paper: 5 Helpful Tips


The majority of graduate students and amateur researchers have no ideas of what research paper proposals are and why they are so important. Think of it this way: you cannot write a good research paper if you do not have a high quality proposal. It tells your supervisor that you have the potential as a researcher and promises success for your work. A proposal is written in order to demonstrate the potential of your ideas and your capabilities to develop these ideas. It should contain some necessary elements and sufficient information for the scholars to evaluate the quality of the proposed research.

Your proposal should address your planned accomplishments, the reasons why you want to do it, and descriptions of key research methods. This information should be provided in several key elements of the proposal. The following tips include useful information about how to write a successful proposal for a research paper.

Tip #1: The Title Is Important


Do not underestimate the importance of your research proposal’s title. It should fully describe your topic and clearly indicate what issue you are going to investigate. You should omit phrases like “a study devoted to” or “an examination of,” and it is better to avoid any clichés to make your title catchy.

Tip #2: Write Your Abstract Carefully


Surprisingly, many students write their abstracts carelessly. However, this short piece of text is something that every reader pays attention to. It should include your research hypothesis or question, the study rationale, the list of research methods, and the key results.

Tip #3: Remember About Key Elements in an Effective Introduction


An introduction is not a description of the study area, nor an examination of your sources. It should contain the following elements:

Tip #4: Avoid Common Literary Review Problems


Many literary reviews suffer from the lack of structure and organization, unity, and focus; they are repetitive and cite irrelevant references. The sources must be applicable to your research and keep up with recent developments in the field.

Tip #5: Consider the Potential Impact of Your Research


Your proposal should convince the readers that the research is important. However, demonstrate an unbiased attitude towards its limitations and possible weaknesses. You need to concentrate on the main issues; do not provide redundant details on minor problems, and keep it as short as possible. However, make sure that there is a clear sense of research direction.

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