How to Write a Research Proposal? Ultimate Guide
or select a category:
All posts
How to Write a Research Proposal

How to Write a Research Proposal? Ultimate Guide

What is a Research Proposal?

What is a research proposal? To answer simply, it's the hero we do not deserve but the hero we need. A research proposal is a blueprint for future study, explaining what the author will cover in their final project and how they plan to achieve it. A compelling research proposal must demonstrate the credibility, relevance, achievability, and significance of the intended study.

The objective of a proposal is to obtain approval from the writer's supervisor and various committees or to get funding for future studies.

How to Write a Research Proposal?

Whether you are a social sciences major or a postgraduate writing dissertation, your proposal should provide convincing answers to three key questions. 

  • What is being researched? Describe the research topic, who it concerns, and in what context.
  • Why are you researching? Justify the reasoning behind the need for research, explain the importance and relevance of the topic, and what value it will provide. 
  • How will you conduct your research? There is no need to have a final research strategy, but you will need to provide information on how data gathering will be performed and how to analyze obtained information.
research proposal

Remember, the goal of a proposal is to convince the committees that your research is worth doing. So reimagine it as a sales pitch and make it as irresistible as possible. 

Writing the research proposal might sound intimidating, but the most critical step is to write something down. In this article, you will discover all the helpful tips and a research proposal example.

Research Proposal Example

Capitalism and The Illusion of Choice
Capitalism and The Illusion of Choice
Keen Writer
4.8 (104 reviews)
Total orders:
You take care of your life, and we will take care of your tasks!
Hire a Writer

Research Proposal Format: Table of Contents

Leave all your other work to essay writer service and take your primary focus on how to format a research proposal. Make your job a lot easier by creating a table of contents first, as it will give you a general research proposal outline and create a flow for you. 

Even though authors need to tailor the research proposal format to their specific needs, every good research proposal includes the following:

  • Table of contents
  • Research proposal introduction
  • Literature review
  • Research design and research method
  • Data collection
  • Data analysis
  • Ethical considerations
  • Research proposal conclusion
  • Bibliography

Usually, well-written research proposals are only a few pages long (2000 – 3000 words), but for Ph.D. dissertations, they tend to be longer (5000 – 8000 words) as you need to include a lot more detailed information.  

Now, let's discuss all the essential components of a compelling research proposal.

Research Proposal Introduction 

Let's simplify the writing process by changing the question from how to write a research proposal to how to start a research proposal.

Every excellent research proposal begins with an attention-grabbing introduction. Use this part to introduce the topic, outline the research questions, and provide relevant information on the context. 

Don't take too long to start pitching the importance of your idea. Make your objectives clear from the very beginning by describing the following:

  • Who could be interested in your study
  • What are the already existing theories
  • What can you add to already existing research

An introduction should be a few paragraphs long. You don't need to stuff every little detail here; you will get the chance to elaborate more during the proposal writing process. But make sure, when the audience is done reading the introduction, they should have a clear understanding of what the research hypothesis is and why it is important.

Literature Review 

Now we are moving to the next essential component of our research proposal template. 

A literature review should portray existing scientific knowledge around the research topic, including books, articles, and landmark studies; After thoroughly examining the literature, evaluating and selecting trustworthy sources, Provide information about themes, gaps, controversies, and disagreements around the research problem. Examine the pros and cons of different methodologies; Demonstrate the work of other researchers as a stepping stone for your own and show what the proposed study adds to the ongoing debate; stay original by showing how it differs from already existing knowledge.

It is essential to have a structure in your literature review. Don't just list the sources and authors; review each material in a separate paragraph, and demonstrate how they relate to your research problem. Use a historical timeline or general to more specific progression to make the review consistent and easily digestible.  

Research Design and Research Method

Every great research paper proposal example will tell you that the main objective of research design and method is to convince the evaluating committee that the selected research methodology is appropriate for the study and will eventually correctly address the research problem.  

Restate your research objectives and describe the theoretical framework you will use to answer key research questions.

Start by defining your research type. Discuss the research methodologies already used in other works, citing and referencing databases and central texts pertinent to your study; Demonstrate whether you will conduct quantitative or qualitative research to gather information; Define whether you are doing an experimental, correlational or descriptive study. Describe how you will select your study subjects and gain access to them.

To gain more credibility, don't forget to discuss how you will analyze data and test the validity of sources.

Data Collection 

The following component of the research proposal format is data collection. The researcher must provide detailed information on which data-gathering tools they will use and why.  

Determine whether you will use secondary or primary data collection methods, whether you will conduct experiments, observational studies, archival research, surveys, or interviews, and explain why the selected research methods are the best to gather data for your research project. A copy of the questions should be included if you are conducting interviews. Data collecting methodology should be tested for its legitimacy and must be confined to general ethical principles. 

The evaluation committee expects you to provide information such as the research schedule, potential barriers and obstacles facing the study, and your plan to overcome them. Here you can also include the cost of collecting data.

Data Analysis

Another essential component of the research proposal template is data analysis. Here you are expected to provide detailed information about each step you will take to sort and analyze gathered data. 

Scholarly research must be trustworthy; therefore, you will need to present clear standards to test your data's robustness, credibility, and significance. Scholars seeking grant funding should be extremely cautious about this component, as a coherent data analyzing method will determine the eminence of the proposed study.

Evaluating committee must have a clear idea about the activities you plan to undertake, such as grouping and presenting data based on variables, calculations to test the thesis statement, and exclusion and inclusion criteria. If you are running quantitative research, the scientific writing style requires you to reference all the names of relevant statisticians and software used in analyzing data.

Ethical Considerations

Every research project should follow ethical guidelines. If you are collecting data from research participants, contributors should know the project details and what you use the gathered information for. For instance, participants' consent needs to be obtained before recording the interview. In addition, ensure the members of the committee that any communication relating to the research project is done with fairness and transparency. 

Medical research demands careful ethical considerations since more specific moral problems arise during data-gathering. Present ethical standards that will ensure the safety of participants' rights, such as the right to privacy, autonomy and confidentiality, right to protection from injury and distress, right to fair treatment, respect for their dignity, and so on. You are expected to provide sufficient information on each feature. 

Research Proposal Conclusion 

In the conclusion component, the answer to how to write a research paper proposal question becomes a lot easier. While writing a conclusion for your proposal, imagine it as just a course assignment. You will need to take all the same steps; summarize everything written previously, reinforce research objectives, key concepts, subject areas covered, and what proposed research contributes to the current conversation. 

Keep the conclusion coherent with the research paper format. It must follow the logic of the entire proposal and be well-constructed, but it should be short. Avoid detailed explanations of any sort; for example, there is no need to mention detailed methodology all over again. Instead, focus on what makes your research paper unique and what could become challenges along the way. 

Remember, evaluation committee members occasionally read the conclusion first, so make sure it is just as convincing and informative as the introduction. Keep in mind there is a difference between the introduction and the conclusion. Here it would be best if you concluded not to raise new arguments. Instead, use simple, comprehensible, and persuasive language for the audience to follow you.


We have finally approached the last component of research proposal writing. Google how to write a research proposal example; every recommendation will tell you a good research proposal needs a bibliography. 

In the literature review, you have to elaborate on the sources you will base your scholarly research on. You also have to explain why they are relevant; In some instances, you might have to challenge the references; but constructing a bibliography does not require half the same effort. 

You must list all the selected sources and their authors in a predetermined style. There are several popular academic writing style guides; the most common ones are Chicago, MLA, and APA. Keep in mind each style has its individual rules and requirements you have to follow. Changing styles or using two or more simultaneously is not allowed. 

Juggling all the academic writing is overwhelming and exhausting, so order essays and stay focused on the proposal process by investigating specific examples of a research proposal. 

Get Help with Your Essay, Spend Your Time Wisely.
Get Help!
Place My Order

Tips for Writing Your Research Proposal

It's never easy to get your thoughts together and write research proposals compelling enough to have the evaluation committee in awe, but it is definitely doable. There is plenty of helpful material on the internet; look for pdf research proposal example or research paper writing services. With good academic writing tricks, everything is possible.

Now that we have discussed the proposal structure, it's time to offer some of those effective tips for the writing process.

research proposal tips

Stick to the Guidelines

An attention-grabbing dissertation proposal is one thing, but it can easily get rejected if the paper does not follow the academic standards offered by the specific institution. 

Academic institutions offer specific guidelines for all the components of the research process. Make sure you have researched, read, and understood all the instructions for the project proposal. Keep in mind that if you are trying to get research funding, committee members will first check if it falls within the required guidelines.

Consult with Your Mentor Frequently

Remember, the research proposal is a flexible plan for your feasibility study; it's not set in stone. So, before you become entitled to what you write in this research component, make sure to consult with your mentor as much as possible.

It's very easy to get carried away with writing research proposals, so you need to get feedback along the way. What if you have missed some guidelines? Someone has to tell you to look for a research proposal example APA.

Getting advice from an experienced mentor will ensure you write a well-matched proposal for evaluation committee members from different scholarly disciplines.

Wisely Choose Your Source Material 

The essential aspect of writing a research proposal is wisely choosing source material. However, before you research, you need to do some groundwork.  

For your prior research, do an in-depth investigation of credible sources. The research study could look all put together and well thought out, but everything will crumble if the source materials are not trustworthy. So, double, even triple-check everything before selecting a source for your research.

Don't Forget to Edit and Proofread 

We have arrived at a conclusive trick on how to write a proposal for a research paper. Don't consider everything to be said and done after you put that final point. Instead, go back, edit and proofread. 

Poor grammar in research proposals is very unprofessional and sets a wrong tone. Make final touches, so no grammatical errors or potential implications suit the predetermined agenda, and you will have the academic audience impressed.

Research Proposal Topics

If you are struggling with choosing a theme for your study, let us be your research assistants. 

Here are some research proposal topics for various disciplines. 

Information Technology Research Topics

  • Cyber Surveillance vs. the Right to Privacy
  • Artificial Intelligence: Should We Be Concerned? 
  • STEM Careers: Does the Exposure to Technology Influence Child's Career Choices? 

Psychology Research Topics

  • Body Dysmorphia: How Social Media Has Affected Our Mental Health 
  • Do Childhood Traumas Define Who We Become?
  • Workaholic Culture: Psychology behind Professional Burnouts

 Sociology Research Topics

  • The Effects of Climate Change on Shaping Modern Society
  • The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Workspaces
  • The Problem of Self-identification: Raising Issue Among Teenagers

Political Science Research Topics

  • Structure of Democracy: The Role of Society vs. Government
  • How Nuclear Politics Influences Contemporary World
  • How Does Poverty Influence the Existence of a Corrupted Government? 

Education Research Topics

  • How Teaching Philosophy in Schools Can Help Students' Mental Health
  • Do the Generalized Teaching Methods Work for Every Child
  • Relation Between Family Income and Student Performance

Business Research Topics

  • The Effect of Financial instability on Small Businesses 
  • Gender, Race, Sexuality: What Determines Wage Gap? 
  • How Influencer Marketing Has Changed Fashion Industry

Frequently asked questions

View Our Writer’s Sample Before Crafting Your Own!
Why Have There Been No Great Female Artists?
Place My Order
Back to blog

New Posts to Your Inbox!

Stay in touch

Never Spam
Unsubscribe anytime
Thank you!
Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Save your time by delegating work to our experts!
Plagiarism Report
Negotiable Price
Unlimited Revisions
Write My Paper