How To Write A Proposal For A Research Project

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Rereading the initial research proposal, especially "Significance" can re-energize the project or help the researcher to refocus in an effective manner.

[See drafting and revising the research paper for more on this aspect of the project.] NOTE: Each discipline and granting agency has its own guidelines for writing research proposals, so if you have been assigned to write one for a class other than a composition class, please consult your professor.

The most important is that it helps you to think out the research project you are about to undertake and predict any difficulties that might arise.

For those who aren't quite sure what their focus will be, the research proposal can be a space to explore options -- perhaps with one proposal for each potential topic (which can then be more easily compared and evaluated than when they are still just ideas in one's head).

After you have conducted significant research you should be able to answer your question(s) in one or two sentences, which may become the thesis of the final paper.

Background: Explain your interest in and experience with this topic.Goals and Objectives: What precisely are you hoping to accomplish?Literature Review/Current Dialog: What kinds of previous work do you use to justify your goals and objectives?Once you have begun your research project, a research proposal can help you to remain on track -- and can also remind you why you started this project in the first place!Researchers very often begin to lose heart about two thirds of the way into a project when their research hits a snag or when they are having problems developing a thesis, organizing the ideas, or actually starting to write.Please note that these proposals serve as exemplars for students applying for VPUE Student Grants.The research proposal can serve many useful functions.Significance: Explain why this topic is worth considering, or this question or series of questions is worth answering.Answer the following questions: why should your instructor let you select this topic? what will this new knowledge add to the field of knowledge that already exists on this topic? what use might your final research paper have for others in this field or in the general public?Research proposals can be effective starting places to discuss projects with your professors, too.A professor who is initially skeptical about a project may be able to imagine it more easily after reading a well written research proposal (this doesn't mean he or she will approve the topic, especially if there are significant potential difficulties that you haven't considered).


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