How to Write a Research Proposal: Guide and Template with Examples

If you are hearing it for the first time, you may be asking, “what exactly is a research proposal?”.A research proposal, or prospectus, is a persuasive piece of writing that is aimed at convincing its reader of the importance of a research project. This is a prerequisite for writing a research paper.


How to Write a Research Proposal

Before you write a research proposal, you will have to have a few things down. You will need to select on a topic of interest, develop a thesis statement, and make an outline of your research project proposal.

It is likely that your institution will provide you an advisor from the faculty to guide you through your research proposal format. It is advisable to continually review each section of your proposal with your advisor.

This may not necessarily be a walk in the park. However, if it is broken down and handled in smaller portions, it will undoubtedly result in a well-written research proposal.

We will provide you with a research proposal outline in a  clear and step by step method. A research proposal is composed of at least three chapters of writing. We will cover each section and its corresponding content as we go on.

1.    Introduction

A standard research proposal format starts with the introductory section which elaborates on the research problem you are planning to investigate. Describe your area of study in general terms in this section. Background information to the field of inquiry should be provided in this chapter.

Elaborate on the purpose of your research and tate the importance of conducting your study. You can explore the practical reasons and implications for answering your research question.

Incorporate your research objectives into this section. Begin with your general goals and then your specific aspiration.

Research Proposal Writing

Your research questions will originate from the statement of the problem. It is at this point that you should state your hypothesis.

2.    Literature Review

Before conducting research, it is crucial to survey anything written on similar past studies. This may provide you a conceptual framework for your investigation.

You do not have to include every piece of literature on your area of study. The information you cite should be related to your proposed theoretical framework. Include any information in connection or controversial to your main ideas.

You should provide any background information touching on the variables involved in your study. Any material providing perspective into your research should be included.

Ensure that the literature you review is current and extensive. Exhaust as much material on your area of study as possible. This should not just be a listing of written works. Instead, it helps to show the linking factors tying your main points together.

You should use the literature to tackle the research questions that arose from your problem statement. Each research question should be dealt with in detail.

You need to organize these sections into related thoughts under standard headings and subheadings. You should begin with your general ideas first and continue to the narrower and more specific points.

3.    Method

This chapter should provide the details and methods involved in your research.

You could mention the participants involved in your study. The subjects should be well described in detail. Be sure to highlight any distinguishing features of the involved participants.

If you will select a sample, describe the methods involved in the selection process. Note the specific factors of inclusion and exclusion of the sample group.

The measures used for the collection of information should be mentioned. Reference and cite all certified methods and instruments. Any new methods or techniques used should be described elaborately.

Information provided in this section should take a step by step format. This is so that the reader can replicate the study should the need arise.

The reliability, as well as the validity of the measures you utilize, should be provided with their corresponding evidence.

Should this information be unavailable from the prior studies, you may have to explore the navigation of the procedures.

Broadly outline the research design. This may be represented diagrammatically.

All the procedures should be clearly described

Any methods of data analysis to be used should be incorporated. Each research question should be analyzed statistically with a brief description of the assumptions used in connection with the statistical analysis. You should state the rationale for each selected technique.

4.    References and Citations

All the relevant references for all the literature on similar studies pertinent to your particular study should be well cited.


Writing a research proposal could put anyone without the know-how under a great deal of stress. It is essential to understand the stages involved to alleviate the pressures involved.

As such, the process outlined above is sure to aid you in the process of writing a scientific research proposal.

It is crucial to bring your case logically and rationally. Be as concise and meticulous as possible because this should be a persuasive piece.

How to Write a Research Proposal

There are similarities in the processes involved in writing a research proposal and a research paper.

Mastering the steps involved in writing your research proposal will then aid you in the subsequent process of writing your research paper. Make sure to plan your time and deal with the sections gradually, one after another.

How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper

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