How to Write a Research Paper Proposal

For any student writing a research paper, the proposal is the most important step in the process. The quality of your proposal can be the deciding factor in whether the review board accepts your topic. Here are some steps to help you write a proposal for a research paper.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer or word processor


    • 1

      Write a catchy title. Think of something that will grab the reader's attention and keep them interested. Be as concise as possible.

    • 2

      Construct your abstract. This is a brief summary of your paper of around 300 words. This includes the research question, the reasoning behind the study, your methods and predicted findings.

    • 3

      Write the introduction. State the purpose of the study, demonstrate your knowledge of the topic and its importance, describe any major issues and key research points, pinoint the variables and explain any boundaries of the study.

    • 4

      Provide a resource review. This section outlines all sources you have used in your research and shows your knowledge on the topic. It also gives credit to those who have done previous research on this subject and developed the framework for your research.

    • 5

      Explain the implementation of your methods. Demonstrate your knowledge on the methods you used and explain how they benefit your research.

    • 6

      Predict your results. You have no results at this stage, but it is suggested that you have some idea of the data you will collect and what kinds of procedures will be used to answer your question or hypothesis.

    • 7

      Discuss the potential impact of your results. Readers will want to know the benefits and possible drawbacks of your research.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to thoroughly understand the structure and functions of each part of your research paper proposal.
  • Be confident in your potential results. This will improve the credibility of your paper and make readers more apt to identify with your research and approve your proposal.
  • Have a third-party review and edit your proposal.
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