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Guidelines for Preparing Research Proposals

Perform a Literature Review

❶Create a tentative budget and ask advisers for letters of recommendation.

Common rejection reasons *

Preparing a Proposal: Students
Determine a General Topic
Faculty Research Interests

In some styles, you may include their contact information as well. Summarize the proposal in your abstract. The abstract is a summary of the problem addressed in your proposal.

Your proposed solution and objectives should also be included, along with your projected funding requirements. Center the word "Abstract" at the top of the page. Begin the text of your abstract directly below the word "Abstract. The text of you abstract will usually be between and words. List keywords that will come up in your proposal.

Choose keywords that capture the main points of your paper, suggesting what the topic is about as well as terms that are closely related. Keywords should be phrases that many readers might be searching for. Choosing the right keywords will ensure that your proposal shows up in search engines for readers who could benefit from it. For example, if your proposal is about heart diseases, you might use phrases like circulatory system, blood, heart attack, etc. Your keywords can be single words, or phrases of words.

Include a table of contents. Longer research proposals often include a table of contents on the third page, listing each major section of your paper. Brief proposals that only span a few pages do not often need a table of contents. Especially long proposals may also need a list of illustrations, figures, or tables. List all major parts and divisions of the proposal. Move into your introduction. Restate and center the title of your paper before moving into your introduction.

Include a quick note about the topic being discussed and a definition of the theory from which your proposed research will be based. Write "Statement of Problem" before moving into a paragraph detailing the problem. When writing this part of the introduction, seek to answer the question: Type "Purpose of Study" before writing this section of the introduction. Identify the goal of the study in one precise terms.

Type "Significance of Research. Provide background in the introduction. Identify the research problem and show why the work needs to be continued. If desired, you can break this section into multiple subsections. Under a header reading "Research Question" or "Research Hypothesis," describe the relationship between variables in the research or predict the relationship between variables. This essentially identifies the research problem. Under a header reading "Definition of Terms," define the central ideas that will be utilized in the proposed research.

Also provide evidence supporting your competence or expertise in the field. Write a Literature Review section to contextualize your research. Sum up existing research in a story-like manner that draws readers in while exposing the hole that your research will attempt to fill. Describe the proposed research. This section is the heart of the proposal and should include all information about your proposed methodology or approach. This section can also be titled "Methodology. Address the explanation to experts in the field rather than laymen.

The set up and information in this section will depend on whether your research is qualitative and quantitative. Be realistic about what you hope to accomplish, clear about your focus, and explicit about everything the research relies on. The description should also include a detailed schedule of the proposed work and thorough about all groundwork and materials needed.

Also include information about sample size and target populations, if applicable. Describe relevant institutional resources. If you are planning this research with institutional background, include a "Description of Relevant Institutional Resources" section to describe what your institution can offer. Identify information like the institution's past competence or contributions within the field of research, the university's supportive services, or the institution's research facilities.

Include a separate "References" page detailing all the references you have used thus far in identifying the problem and forming a research hypothesis. This section should contain biographical information about the main contributors to the research.

Note that this section is not always included, especially for shorter proposals. State the expertise and responsibilities of each contributor. Include appendices, if necessary. Appendices are common to most types of research proposal. They include any supporting documents that are necessary for readers to understand the proposal. Indicate the anticipated costs you need the funding source to meet and specify items being paid for by other funding sources.

Each cost should include justifying information. Part 1 Quiz True or False: Take several months to prepare your research proposal. A good research proposal can take up to six months to complete. Do not wait until several days before the due date to begin. Prewrite during Phase Ia. This stage should be performed with 14 to 26 weeks remaining until the deadline. Once you have a good idea, you can draft the proposal in an evening.

Getting a good idea hinges on familiarity with the topic. This assumes a longer preparatory period of reading, observation, discussion, and incubation. Read everything that you can in your area of interest. Figure out what are the important and missing parts of our understanding. Live and breathe the topic. Talk about it with anyone who is interested. Then just write the important parts as the proposal.

Filling in the things that we do not know and that will help us know more: Proposals help you estimate the size of a project. Don't make the project too big. Our MA program statement used to say that a thesis is equivalent to a published paper in scope. These days, sixty double spaced pages, with figures, tables and bibliography, would be a long paper.

Your proposal will be shorter, perhaps five pages and certainly no more than fifteen pages. For perspective, the NSF limits the length of proposal narratives to 15 pages, even when the request might be for multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars. The merit of the proposal counts, not the weight. Shoot for five pithy pages that indicate to a relatively well-informed audience that you know the topic and how its logic hangs together, rather than fifteen or twenty pages that indicate that you have read a lot of things but not yet boiled it down to a set of prioritized linked questions.

Different Theses, Similar Proposals This guide includes an outline that looks like a "fill-in the blanks model" and, while in the abstract all proposals are similar, each proposal will have its own particular variation on the basic theme.

Each research project is different and each needs a specifically tailored proposal to bring it into focus. Different advisors, committees and agencies have different expectations and you should find out what these are as early as possible; ask your advisor for advice on this.

Further, different types of thesis require slightly different proposals. What style of work is published in your sub-discipline? Characterizing theses is difficult. Some theses are "straight science". Some are essentially opinion pieces. Some are policy oriented.

In the end, they may well all be interpretations of observations, and differentiated by the rules that constrain the interpretation. Public funders often have more specific guidelines, but most organizations request the following information:. Should be no more than two pages though one is recommended and include the following information:.

The Project Description is typically anywhere from pages and should follow posted guidelines on font size, margins and spacing. The following sections should be included in the body of the proposal and address all issues:. Work with our team to develop a compelling introduction, define clear research methodologies, and begin developing a budget. Our office can help guide you through the proposal-drafting phase. In some cases, a single project proposal may need to be tailored differently for each potential source of support in order to meet the characteristics and requirements of those specific sources.

Like your other publications articles, monographs, book chapters, books , your proposals are documents that reflect your thinking, command of the literature, and writing skills.

Proposals must be responsive to the demands of the funding agencies and their reviewers. Therefore it is in your best interest as the proposal writer to line up "fresh pairs of eyes" to look at the proposal before it is submitted. Sometimes your chair, or other members of your department, will be generous with their assistance.

Sometimes you may have collaborators or associates at other institutions who can help. In addition, our team can assist you in finding readers or providing hands-on editorial help if this is appropriate. Such readers may offer a range of assistance -- from checking the budget, to checking that all evaluation criteria identified by the funding agency are addressed, to tracing your argument through the relevant sections of the proposal.

Guidelines on writing a research proposal

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The goal of a research proposal is to present and justify the need to study a research problem and to present the practical ways in which the .

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Aug 19,  · The first step in writing an academic research proposal is to idenitfy a general topic or subject area to investigate. Usually this first point is the easiest because the research proposal will be tied to the overall theme of a ct4uc3541.cfs:

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Mar 13,  · How to Write a Research Proposal. The exact format and requirements for a research proposal can vary slightly depending on the type of research being proposed and the specific demands of the institution you plan to submit your proposal %(10). How to prepare a research proposal Every theological research project should begin with a research proposal. Before writing a thesis or a dissertation, your proposal .

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Place the proposed research in context and compare and contrast it with other research. Have your proposal reviewed by a trusted colleague before submission. Heed their comments. Do not write the proposal for yourself, write it for the review committee. Be sure to write the proposal for the program you are applying. A research proposal is required when prospective HDR applicants submit their expression of interest for preliminary assessment by the Faculty and when they are invited to submit their formal application to the Monash University Institute of Graduate Research.