From high school to upper-level university courses and beyond, there are many times in which an individual may need to write a research paper or a report. In many instances, before you can even begin a research paper, you will need to create a research proposal that will let your supervisor know what it is that you want to conduct research on.
This is an important part of the academic process. The research proposal that you write will detail for your supervisor not only what it is that you plan to research, but also how you intend to conduct that research. This gives them the opportunity to guide you not only to a better topic, but also to better methods of research. When research is conducted correctly, it is more difficult to refute from an academic standpoint, and your case will be much stronger for this refinement of your research method. You can check out the Udemy course How to Write an Effective Research Paper for more information on the paper itself. Udemy’s A+ Research Paper in Biology course can also be a great option, if this is your field of study. But first, let’s look at some pointers on crafting a strong research proposal.
What is Included in the Research Proposal
There are several things that you must include in a research proposal in order to give your supervisor a good understanding of the approach that you want to take in your research. First and foremost, you must discuss the exact topic that you want to cover in your research paper. This will include a general background of the subject, as well as a review of the material you are conducting research on if it is a book or a body of art.
Though you have probably already spent some time learning how to write a thesis sentence, this is actually not what you want to do with your research proposal. Remember, you are not setting out to conduct research in order to prove a point. When discussing the topic, you must be fair, balanced, and open-minded. You must leave room in this part of the research proposal for flexibility.
Discuss the topic in terms of what it is that you are curious about. Touch on what intrigues you. This leads in to the next part of your research proposal – discussing why it is that you have chosen this topic, and what you believe your field of study could stand to benefit from the research that you will be conducting.
Remember not to think in the abstract. Try to think of concrete ways that your research could potentially have an immediate impact. Even if you are not conducting research on a hard science such as biology this still holds true. For example, in a literary research paper you can still discuss the impact your work will have on people’s understanding and interpretations of certain types of subject matter or literary criticism.
When this is done, you will move into a discussion of the methodology that you plan to use in order to conduct your research. If you will be conducting your own research, such as through a survey or a scientific experiment, you will need to outline the exact process that you plan to use.
For other fields of study, this may include a discussion of the types of materials that you plan to include in your research such as other novels, primary sources such as letters or interviews. All of this will help your supervisor determine that you have developed a sound design for your research, and will give them the opportunity to point out any flaws that may exist in your design.
Finally, you will discuss how you plan to analyze the results. If you have developed and presented a hypothesis, you may discuss the kinds of results that would confirm it as well as the results that would disprove it. You may also include the expected outcome of your research in this section. However, it bears repeating that you should leave room for flexibility if it turns out that your research led to a different outcome than you expected.
If you have already begun to look at potential sources for your research, you may conclude your research proposal with a bibliography or an annotated bibliography. This will give your advisor a good idea of the materials you plan to use and can help them steer you in the right direction if there are any issues with the research materials that you have chosen.
Sample Research Proposal
Ecocriticism is a relatively new but important area of literary criticism that could potentially have a significant impact on people’s attitudes toward environmental issues on a global scale. Literature such as Damian Gray’s Yellow Sands is important in impacting awareness of global issues. However, environmental concerns are still largely underrepresented in most contemporary literature.
I propose a detailed analysis of environment and environmental issues in five selected texts. Because I am focusing primarily on environmentally conscious literature as a contemporary movement, these will all be texts written within the past decade. In addition to these five texts, I will conduct research using a survey of randomly selected college students to determine A. Whether they have read any of the five texts, B. The amount of contemporary literature that they have read in the past year and C. Whether they felt that environment or environmental issues were addressed in said literature.
I will also be conducting research on the efficacy of literature to spur social awareness and movements as a whole, with a particular focus on feminism. If literature can be proven to have played a strong role in driving social awareness of this issue in the past, it could potentially prove that literature would be similarly effective in driving up awareness of environmental concerns.
I believe that the combination of past precedent along with my findings from the survey I have conducted, along with material from Gray’s Yellow Sands, may help to prove that environmental topics in literature must be addressed. As of yet, there is still a large gap in the literary canon when it comes to explicitly environmental texts, and little research examining the effect of socially driven literature on public attitudes toward environmentalism.
Moving Forward With Your Research Proposal
This sample is a very basic version of a research proposal. It can be a challenge to write, but it’s necessary to learn how to craft one early on in your academic career, as it is the basis of other types of proposals, such as the thesis proposal, that many students will eventually have to learn. The one that you need to write may be much more complex depending on your area of study. You may have to includes descriptions of everything from the exact methodologies you would plan to use in scientific experiments to the ways in which you intend to present your research, such as through charts and graphs.
Keep in mind that even though this is just a proposal, it is just as important to be as clear and concise as possible in your writing. Check out Udemy’s Quality Paragraph and Essay Writing course to improve your writing skills overall. Another course you may consider is Udemy’s Academic Writing course, which covers a number of topics that can help you to boost your writing skills.