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Components Of a Good Research Proposal


students research proposal example pdf

Content and structure of a good research proposal

A research proposal is just not an ordinary piece of work like your essays or term papers. It is a comprehensive and careful planned work. This, therefore, means you must plan the research process efficiently, follow systematic sets of procedures so that you can be able to communicate your goals as a researcher, meet standard procedures and the basis by which the research can easily be evaluated. In this post, we will be talking about the systematic sets of procedures you need to follow to come up with a good research proposal. Also, make sure to refer to the Fundamental skills required to write up a good research proposal if you haven't yet.

In another word, the content and structure of a research proposal. It is worth mentioning that the required content and structure of a research proposal varies from one field of study to another. In some cases, some universities provide a template (an expression of interest template ) to situate your research proposal. These templates come with a format to follow and guide you in the whole process. This really makes your task easier. This is common with most universities in Australia. The university or the relevant professor you contacted might provide you one.  In general, however, a good research proposal consists of the following components:
  1. Title
  2. Project summary
  3. Introduction
  4. Objectives of the study
  5. Research question/Hypothesis
  6. Review of the literature/Previous works
  7. Description of the research method or methods
  8. Expected outcome
  9. Project management and
  10. References. See details below

research proposal example for students
🔰1 Title

Your research project must have a title. You must try to provide a title for the project or research you are about to carry on. As a tip, always start your research with at least a  working title. This can be modified in the due course of your project or at the end of the project. A research title or a working research title is important as it will help to orientate or give you a direction to work towards.
Having a title is also of paramount importance as this provides a clear image to your reader of what your whole work entails ie It gives an insight into your whole work.

🔰2 Project Summary

In some cases, you might be required to provide a summary of your work. This is usually like 100 words maximum.

🔰3 Introduction

        - Background 

    This is the most exciting part of your research. This section should illustrate the critical argument that underpins the objectives of your research by describing:
    • What is the scholarly context or theoretical background of the problem you are studying
    • Where are the knowledge gaps and why are they important?
    • How will your work extend and add to the work that has been published already? (Significance of study)
    In summary, this section must therefore contain the following contents :
     Background to the topic, A research Problem, Significance of the study

    🔰4 Objectives Of The Study

    This section should be able to describe the aims of your research. What are you planning to achieve by conducting this research

    🔰5  Research Questions/Hypotheses

    What are your research questions/hypotheses? This question(s) reflects a whole picture of exactly what you want to explore and allows the reader /potential supervisor to assess whether or not your project is viable. Therefore this section is a very crucial part of your research proposal, it shows the direction you are working towards. Suitable research questions must therefore be clear, precise, relevant and above all researchable.

    🔰6 Review Of Literature/Previous Works

    This section should be able to provide a description and analysis of previous works that have been done in your area of research. This section is important as it portrays your knowledge cover about your research area. it should clearly demonstrate the gap or problem that your research project will address by outlining both the strengths and the limitations of previous research.

    🔰7 Description Of The Research Method

    Research methodologies differ by discipline. However, in this section, the readers are expecting to see :
    • What approaches (Methods)  you will use to address each of the objectives/research questions/hypotheses you have identified? You will have to provide the reasons why you have selected these methodologies or methodology.
    •  How you will collect your data (Data collection) or research materials?  is it new data? or are you going to be using a database? if yes, then you should be able to provide that information
    • How do you plan to analyse your data (Data analysis) ie the analytical technique? Are you going to be using a software? what is the software? You should be to explain why have you chosen this analytical technique.
    You must provide sufficient detail for the reader to comprehend the research strategy, process or/and approach to be taken.

    🔰8 Expected Outcomes

    This is like a conclusion to the research proposal. What is your expected outcome from this research? In another word, what is the contribution of this research? What are your findings?

    🔰9 Project Management 

    -Timeline

    Your research plan should be designed to enable you to complete your work within your candidature time. Using a  Gantt chart provide a timeline for your candidature. This should show how you plan to efficiently manage your research candidature to be able to finish on time.

    - Other concerns 

    Are there any constraints to your research? this may be data availability, intellectual property, potential risks or problems, ethical consideration, budget and other resources, health and safety consideration etc...

    🔰10 References

    In the end, your proposal will need a reference to all the works of other authors you mentioned in your work. 
    Ready to start writing? See a complete guide with tips here on how to write a captivation research proposal for admissions and scholarships to study abroad/ Australia  

    free research proposal samples

    TIPS  to help with writing problems

    ⌦Free Online Courses

    ⌦Sample Research Proposals, guidelines and tips

    ⌦Research Proposal examples, guidelines from Australian Universities

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