Research Proposal is written for academic as well as for business research purpose. The purpose of writing a research proposal is to get the approval of your supervisor and sometimes to sanction funds for your research.
The style or format of writing a research proposal is quite the same with a little bit of difference. A well-written research proposal is important to convince your supervisors and funders to support your work.
However, writing a research proposal is not an easy task and it is particularly a little daunting for people who have never written a research proposal before. The length of these documents is usually between 5000-10,000 words. However, the length may vary from institution to institution.
Your research proposal must avidly convey your research topic, why do you want to research on that topic, your understanding, and knowledge on existing literature related to your research topic. You must define your search objective clearly and your approach to conduct research.
It should be well-structured and thoroughly researched. As I have already mentioned, the format and style of research proposal vary depending on the institution you are writing your research proposal for. In this article, you will learn 12 tips to write an impressive research proposal.
1) Start in time
Most of the time for writing a research proposal is spent on deciding the topic of the search. It is not an easy task to choose a topic where research is required. To do this, you need to do the base study on various topics of different fields and then select one field in which you find scope to carry out the search.
If you are already assigned a research topic to conduct research on. The next step you need to follow is to do a literature review. Read about the work or research that has already been done on the same topic.
Having sufficient time in hand allows you to do thorough background research on the topic. Therefore, don’t waste any time and definitely don’t procrastinate to start writing your research proposal until the submission date, because writing a research proposal is much more than just tying a document.
2) Meet your mentor regularly and discuss your progress with them
Usually, students have a tendency to stay a mile apart from their mentor. If you are doing the same then you are making a big mistake. The mentor that has been assigned to you obviously has much more experience than you have.
Therefore, I advise you to discuss every research paper and every review paper that you read with your mentor and ask and make notes of all the suggestions given by them and use it them while finalizing your research topic.
In addition to this, discuss it with your friends, fellow researchers, or your colleagues. In this way, you will get to about the aspects of your research from their point of view.
3) Read instructions and guidelines to write a research proposal
A research proposal will be useless if it is not written as per the format suggested by an institution or an organization. Therefore, it is very important for a researcher to go through the guidelines mentioned for writing a research proposal.
Usually, different institutions have different formatting style such as font, font size, the sequence of text bodies included in the research proposal.
4) Writing an abstract or summary of your research proposal
An abstract is a very important segment of your research proposal. Except for your supervisor, there are hardly any people who read your research proposal completely. Therefore, they read the abstract or summary of your research proposal to have an understanding of your research topic.
Make sure your abstract is well-written and it must contain the important facts from all the sections of your research proposal. You should write the abstract of your research proposal after finish writing your complete research proposal. In this way, you will not skip any important information to include in the abstract.
5) Know your audience
Make sure to write your research proposal in simple language so that people who are not from your field can also understand it.
If you are required to use technical terminologies, make sure to explain them in simple language in the terminology section at the end.
6) Keep your research proposal grammatical-error and plagiarism free
No matter in which language you are writing your research proposal. It should not contain any language mistake such as grammatical and spelling mistakes. Otherwise, it will put a bad impression of your work. Other than that, you need to make sure that your work is plagiarism free.
There are various free tools available online that you can use to check the authenticity of your work. Otherwise, you can afford you can also get paid tools to check the authenticity of your work.
7) Don’t forget to refer to others work
If you are mentioning the work of others in your research proposal then make sure to include their reference. Using the work of others without referring them is a legal offense. Give relevant reference wherever required to avoid any trouble in the future.
8) Writing about Methods and Methodologies
You will be asked most questions from this section when you will present your research proposal. Make sure to include methods and methodologies that you know how to use or you have resources where you can learn to use them.
I will suggest you try your hand on them before you include them in your research proposal.
9) Be innovative and search on something relevant
Challenge yourself and choose a research topic which will actually make a difference in society, no matter even if it is small insignificance change. To do this you will have to spend a lot of time reviewing literature.
Read about the existing methods and techniques and use your innovative mind that how the same work can be done in a more proficient way. This will help you to think out of the box and research about something that is relevant for the whole society.
10) Spend a lot of time in reviewing the literature
The more you will read about the background of your topic the more understanding you will develop about it. the literature review includes reading review papers, research papers, books, thesis, forum, and even the content on relevant websites.
Don’t leave anything that you don’t go through related to your research topic. Yes, it will take more time and it will require a lot of dedication but this all will be worth.
Reading will help you to know about the methods and techniques adopted by other researchers and on online platforms like discussion forums and websites you can make contact will the people of the same background. By interacting with them you can learn about what they are doing and how they are progressing their work.
11) Make notes
Whether you are reviewing literature or you are discussing your work with your mentors or your fellow researchers. Make sure to note down everything neatly in your notebook, because there are chances that you will be overwhelmed with the knowledge that you will get and there are also chances that you will forget it when there will be time to make that information the part of your research proposal.
Therefore, don’t take any chances with your memory, because it can ditch you anytime. Make a habit of writing everything in your notebook so that rather than reading whole review or research paper all over again you can simply get important information from your notebook.
12) Show how your research is useful in different ways
This is not necessary that every research has multiple uses, but if possible, emphasize on every possible use of your research. This will also make you stand out among others and it will also increase your chances to get your budget approved.