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How to Write a Research Proposal


If you are trying to write a research proposal for admission to a University, you should know about writing a research proposal.

In this article, we will give a brief description of what is a research proposal and how to write a research proposal.



What is a Research Proposal?



A research proposal is a document declaring an idea for research, usually in the humanities or applied sciences. It usually constitutes a brief request for that research’s financial support.


An assessment of a proposal is primarily based on their feasibility, cost impact of conducting the research, and finally on the proposal’s validity for carrying it forward.


The funding proposal may be accompanied by an abstract or summary and a complete narrative of the research.


The funding approval, however, may be decided upon on other factors such as the scope of the research, it’s bearing on the field of research, the extent of support provided, the advisors to the project, and the results of previous studies which have been reported in support of the funding application.

One must bear in mind that while funding research proposals are essential for supporting studies to obtain valid data, the amount and frequency of financial support for such proposals depend largely on the university, college, or research institution for which the proposal is made.



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How to write a Research Proposal? Basics of a Research Proposal




How to write a winning a research proposal
Basic Headings of a Research Proposal



It does not really depend if you are applying for an MPhil or Ph.D. program at a university because a research proposal should include all of the below-mentioned information:



  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Research Context
  • Highlight Research Questions
  • Research Methods
  • Significance of Research
  • Bibliography


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This is just an experimental title for your proposed research.


You will be able to change your title during the course of your research if you are admitted to the school or university you are applying to.




The research proposal should include a brief description of your proposed research of no more than 300-500 words. This may be a few sentences introducing the problem you want to research or the primary question you wish to address.



The Abstract needs to provide a summary of all the important points. You should discuss all the facts about the research in the abstract. This part also lets readers know that the author is an expert in their field and gives a brief background. Research Abstracts need to communicate the exact results of the research in as few words as possible.



Research Context



You should describe the broad history of the topic against which you will manage your research.



You should include a concise summary of the common area of study within which your proposed research befalls, summarising the current status of knowledge and recent discussions on the topic. This will allow you to display a familiarity with the related field and communicate articulately and concisely.


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Highlight Research Questions



 The proposal should set out the fundamental aims and questions that will guide your research.



Before writing your proposal, you should flash on the key questions you are trying to answer. Many research proposals are too widespread, so reflecting on your key research questions is a good way to ensure that your project is narrow and worthwhile (i.e., one that will likely be complete within the normal period for an MPhil Ph.D. degree of a University).


You might find it convenient to prioritize one or two main topics, from which you can then derive various secondary research questions. The proposal should also explain your intended strategy to answer the questions: will your approach be practical, doctrinal, or academic?



Research Methods



The proposal should describe your research methods, telling how you are going to conduct your research.



Your research methods may include visiting particular libraries or archives, fieldwork, or interviews.


Most research is library-based. If your proposed research is library-based, you should explain where your key resources (e.g., law reports, journal articles) are located (in the Law School’s library, Business Administration Department, etc.)


If you plan to conduct fieldwork or gather practical data, you should provide details about this (e.g., if you are planning to do interviews, who will you interview? How many interviews will you conduct? Will there be difficulties to access the people that you do want to interview?). This section should also give a brief understanding of how you are going to analyze your research findings.


Significance of Research



The proposal should illustrate the authenticity of your proposed research.



Therefore, you should explain why your research is significant (for example, by explaining how your research builds on and adds to the current state of knowledge in the field or by setting out reasons why it is timely to research your proposed topic).





The research proposal must include a short bibliography identifying the most related works for your research.


How much should be the length of a Research Proposal?



A research proposal can be anywhere between 2500 to 3500 words. Nevertheless, it actually really depends upon the institution where you are applying. You can find the proposal length of a specific institution from their website or by contacting them.


Basics of How to Write a Research Proposal?



If you’re writing a research proposal for a college or university, the proposal needs to look well-written. You should organize the proposal effectively, summarizing the main points being the most important part. Research papers are not typically required for graduation, but they are usually required for admission in Post Graduation.


You should keep in mind that the paper’s format and structure vary for each different type of research topic. For instance, for studies on plant anatomy, the research paper will have to be very descriptive in nature and only give a brief history of each plant. The paper’s topic and content may be quite different when discussing brain cells than when studying bacterial growth in a dish of fish. The researcher needs to remember that their research should be organized according to the type of study so that there is consistency throughout the paper.


All of the above mentioned points are the basics of writing a research proposal. So they are included in almost every type of research topic.


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