Research Proposal, Writing Guidance

What is a Research Proposal?

A research proposal is a document comprising the essential plan of a specific research project in a relevant academic field. Through applying, the researcher usually requests subventions or financing from particular sponsors. The proposal’s main purpose is briefly describing the primary concerns that the researcher wishes to address. It refers to the status quo – how things look like at the present moment – and includes the ultimate motivation of the project requested.
This is one of the critical parts of your project application process. It shows sponsors and the general public that you are able to support your ideas with strong arguments, cover a strong basis for your reasoning and can express your opinions in a concise and clear manner. Submitting a research proposal will also help you find an appropriate project manager and the correct social network.

The Structure of Research Proposal or How Long Is it?

Bear in mind that a successful research proposal should contain between 2,500 and 3,000 words and not more. Therefore, you should structure your content accordingly. Also, keep in mind that different parts of your proposal might have different word limits.

Writing a Research Proposal

The usual format of research proposal is quite similar to the following model. Here you can get tips on how to write a research proposal successfully.


The title plays an essential role in your proposal’s success rate. You might revise it many times before you can decide on a suitable one. You’ll want to be very descriptive, yet brief and concise. You should also be very clear in the description and stick to your project’s main argument. Keep in mind that you are allowed to adjust your proposal’s title once you are accepted for admission, so don’t stress out too much. Just don’t forget to create a title page that introduces your name, your project’s name, and the central institution you are associated with. The structure of research proposal is important since it shows how well-organized and detail-oriented you are.


The abstract is the summary of your work, so it should be included at the beginning of your proposal. Here, you should very briefly describe the problem you’ve encountered and the solution that you are bringing to the table. Also, include the sponsorship requirements as well. Your text should be no longer than 250-300 words. You must go over every pivotal point in the components of research proposal and explain it concisely.

Research context

Here, include a broad background of your findings and explain how they led you to conduct research in this field. Your general academic area should be emphasized and explained thoroughly. Include the status quo and the current research that’s already being conducted in this domain. You must prove that you are well-informed about your area of expertise and that you have a strong reason for conducting even further research.
Explain the topic again, dwell on what the research will accomplish and make your research methodology clear to the reader.

Research questions

To develop research proposal, you must come up with various research questions that will guide you through the process.

Here are the most helpful ones:

  • What is the aim of this research and what is the easiest way to explain the project’s details?
  • What do we already know or what are the background key points that must be mentioned?
  • What is the final destination or what do you need to find out?
  • What are the methods you will use or how will you get the necessary information?
  • What resources will you make use of and how? How much time and money will this take?
  • Is the research ethical to conduct? Is it socially acceptable?
  • What are the outcomes of your research? Whom will it benefit and how?

Research methods

Your proposal must include an outline of your research methods used throughout your study. Describe the way in which you will collect data, analyze it, and interpret it. Without this information, readers might be less willing to believe in your estimated results. By being aware of the methods used, they will be able to tell if the project is likely to work in practice or not. It is crucial to have an exhaustive explanation of your research methods since this point is vital in deciding whether the proposal is feasible and reliable in its conclusions.

Significance of research

Underlining the benefits of your research is another important part of the process. The end-results of the project must contain a clear definition and explanation of the steps needed to be taken to reach that specific conclusion. Who, what, and how are important questions to address here – who will benefit, what are the reasons behind it, and how will who benefit?


You should include your annotated bibliography at the end of your work. First, choose the citation needed for the research proposal – APA format. Then, summarize the resources you’ve used and provide the necessary links. Depending on the length of your research proposal, your bibliography should take between one and three paragraphs.

List of Tips on Good Research Proposal Writing

Here you can find a quick list of tips you should definitely consider when writing your research proposal:

  • Don’t step away from the guidelines and general instructions;
  • Decide on the structure of your paper before starting to write it;
  • Know your target audience – use common terms to describe your methods and intentions;
  • Make a powerful impact within the first seconds by choosing a high-quality introduction and smart, engaging content;
  • Set a clear title – do it after you’ve finished your work;
  • Show the readers that your research is worth considering from numerous viewpoints, including the impact it will have on society and the contribution of knowledge it will bring to the field;
  • Get as much feedback as you can before submitting the proposal;
  • Be confident in your abilities to succeed;
  • Remember that things are not always set in stone – even if you are proposing this research project right now, you might end up pursuing a different career in the future, so don’t get discouraged if you fail to meet your own expectations. Keep trying until you make it.
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