Your Research Proposal is the overall plan that describes your research problem and how you will work to answer it.
Research proposals are written to get approvals from various committees and apply for grants.
In your research proposal, you must demonstrate the validity of your methodology to get accurate and objective answers.
Also, you must convince the reviewers that your study will be significant and you are qualified to conduct it.
Guidelines for writing a research proposal may vary between universities and institutions. However, all research proposals have common basic elements.
Your research proposal must tell:
1. What you plan to do
2. How you will do it
3. Why you selected your suggested methodology
4. Why your study will be significant
5. What is the expected outcomes of your research project
6. And how your study will help science and society.
Benefits of your research proposal include:
1. Confirmation to your supervisor and reviewers that your methodology is valid and appropriate.
2. Guidance for you during all your research stages.
Script 29 Contents of Research Proposal
Your research proposal must contain:
2. Research problem
3. Study objective
4. Study rationale
5. Hypothesis if available
6. Study design
7. Tools, instruments, and the site at which you will conduct your study (like organization, agency, or community)
8. Sample size and sample design
9. Strategies for data collection and processing
10. Proposed chapters of your research report
11. Proposed time-frame and budget
12. Anticipated study limitations and problems
13. The involved ethical issues and how you will deal with them.
Commonly, the introduction section involves background and literature review.
In the background, start with a broad description of your proposed research, then narrow your information to focus on your specific problem.
In the literature review, cite, compare, contrast, critique, and connect the previous studies that are relevant to your topic.
Functions of the Introduction include:
1. Demonstrate your background knowledge.
2. Clarify why you selected your suggested methodology.
Your Introduction must contain:
1. An overview of your main area of study.
2. The historical background to your main area of study.
3. Concepts related to your topic.
4. The main issues, problems, and advances in your study area.
5. Your principle theory, if applicable.
6. The importance of the theoretical and practical aspects of your study area.
7. The most important existing findings in your specific topic.
8. Previous studies that relevant to your topic.
9. The unknown area or the gap within your topic.
Script 31 Research problem, objectives, study rationale, and hypothesis
2. Research Problem
After you provide a broad overview of your research topic in the introduction, you must next describe your research problem.
You will show the main unanswered questions within your topic and the specific questions that you want to answer.
3. Research Objectives
After you explain your research problem, you need to state what you want to do to solve your research problem.
You must define your general and specific objectives.
The general objective is your overall goal, and specific objectives are the specific things you want to investigate.
Your Objectives must be:
1. Clear and well-defined.
2. Any specific objective must test one issue only.
3. Written in action verbs like “to find” and “to determine”.
4. Study Rationale
After you stated your research objectives, you must justify why you need to conduct your study.
You must clearly show the importance, significance, and novelty of your study.
After you explain your study rationale, you will state your hypothesis, if applicable.
You will show the assumption about the prevalence of your problem or the relationship between variables that you aim to test.
6. Study Design
Having explained your hypothesis, your proposal will then describe the specific study design you will use to test it.
Your proposal must describe the strengths and weaknesses of your selected study design.
You should include in your study design section:
1. Type of study population
2. Could you identify each element of the study population or not
3. The method that you will use to study your selected population
4. Your data collection method
5. Your plan to protect the confidentiality of all participants.
7 Measurement Procedures and Sampling
In the measurement procedures part you should:
1. Describe the tools and instruments that you will use
2. Justify why you selected those tools and instruments
3. Outline their strengths and weaknesses
4. Explain the evidence for validity and reliability of the standard instruments
5. If you aim to apply changes to the standard instruments, explain the changes you will make
6. Explain how you plan to measure the main variables.
In the sampling part, you should:
1. Identify the size of your sampling population.
2. Identify the size of your selected samples.
3. Describe your sampling design.
8 Data Collection and Analysis
In the data collection and analysis part you should:
1. Explain your method for data collection.
2. Explain your data analysis strategy.
3. Identify your method for data analysis: is it manual or computerized.
4. Describe the data analysis software you will use for a computerized method.
The general structure of your research proposal include
1. Title Page
3. Table of Contents
5. Your proposed Methodology
6. Relevant institutional resources
7. List of references
The title page describes your proposed research project. It involves the title of your project, your name, affiliation, as well as your supervisors’ name.
The abstract summarizes your problem, objectives, methods, and solution.
The table of Contents itemizes the sections of the proposal.
The introduction section provides background information about your topic, literature review, your problem, objectives, and significance of your research.
The methodology section involves your study design, proposed method, measurement procedures and sampling, as well as data collection and analysis method.
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