how to make a research proposal

how to make a research proposal

How to Write a Compelling Research Proposal

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1. Introduction

Most students and beginning researchers do not fully understand what a research proposal means, nor do they understand its importance. To put it bluntly, one’s research is only as good as one’s proposal. An ill-conceived proposal dooms the project even if it somehow gets through the Thesis Supervisory Committee. A high quality proposal, on the other hand, not only promises success for the project, but also impresses your Thesis Committee about your potential as a researcher. A research proposal is intended to convince others that you have a worthwhile research project and that you have the competence and the work plan to complete it. Generally, a research proposal should contain all the key elements involved in the research process and include sufficient information for the readers to evaluate the proposed study.

2. Research Objectives

The research objective is a summary of your research project. It states what you hope to achieve in the research project. The objective should be clear, concise, and realistic. It should provide enough background information so that the reader can understand what the research is about. It is also important to justify the aims and objectives by referring to the literature. This shows that your objectives are well grounded and that the research project is feasible. Each specific objective consists of a statement of the results to be achieved. These statements are designed to be more specific, in order to provide evidence that the objective has been achieved. It is often a good idea to write the objectives as a series of infinitive phrases. The objectives often follow the introduction, and their number can vary depending on the scope of the project. However, the last objective generally ends with “… to provide an understanding of …” and then a research question.

3. Methodology

C. Any problems you will avoid. Think of these as alternative explanations that your results will not be able to prove or disprove. What you hope to do in selecting the right or best type of data collection and analysis for your research question is to form a causal link between the independent variable in the research question and the dependent variable. Any type of bias, confounding variables, or chances for type I and type II errors will be alternative explanations for your results, thus having limited results in data analysis that can result in valid conclusions for your initial research question.

B. Why each specific approach is the best way to answer the research question or test the hypothesis. Always remember the research question is what you are trying to answer with the data analysis, and it is different from a hypothesis in that it dictates what type of statistical analysis your research should do and the type of conclusions that can be drawn. This is a frequent error in student research proposals and generally results in a poor grade because it fails to make a convincing case of the research is worth doing. A research proposal is evaluated as the quality of the proposed study, and not the quality of your opinions about what the study will find and the importance of your findings. Always remember that your research is being measured against a successful study that has already been done. A good way to evaluate if you have a successful study is to look at studies that are similar to the one you are proposing and simply look whether the data collection and analysis was believed to be valid by the author. Always be honest with yourself, just because you have gone through all of the steps of a general research process does not mean it is the best way to answer your research question.

A. What type of information you will collect. This can be done in many ways. You might want to review the literature and secondary data to answer your research question. If this is the case, only state that you will review the secondary data or the literature. If you already know you will need to collect primary data, go ahead and specify the exact type of data and how you will do it. For example, it is better to say a study will use a survey questionnaire or interview to collect data from a random sample than to say a study will look at the characteristics of a special population. Although either form of data collection might work, the more specific type has more definite direction and will be easier for the reader to evaluate as to whether it was the best approach to answering the research question. Any type of research using random or non-random probability sampling to get formative and summative feedback throughout a study will be best evaluated by an ANOVA and multiple regression analysis can state this. At the same time, you should avoid being excessively detailed. A general rule is that there should be at least one method of data collection and analysis per relevant paragraph.

The methodology section is very important in a proposal because it outlines your approach to doing the research. We like to think of this as telling the reader what you are going to do to conduct the research and why it is important. The methods section generally includes three types of information:

4. Expected Results

The expected result of the study is the effectiveness of the “Community Policing Program” in the state of New Jersey. The anticipated result of this program is that there would be a decrease in the crime rate in New Jersey. The hypothesis behind this study is that if there is a proper implementation of the community policing, there would be a significant reduction in the crime rate of New Jersey. To test the hypothesis, there are other specific results that are anticipated. This program is expected to have a positive impact on the police and the people of New Jersey. This program expects to empower the police force in New Jersey with a sense of responsibility and ownership. This would be achieved through recruitment of new officers with the same values and providing more training for the existing force. There would also be some goals set at the administrative level for the police force to achieve. This would give them a sense of achievement and would motivate them to perform better. All of these steps are expected to create a more efficient police force in New Jersey. This program also anticipates building a strong bond between the police force and the community. An era of mistrust and negative perception of the police would be eliminated and the people of New Jersey would begin to trust their police force. The current environment makes it hard for an honest and respectable person to become a good police officer. Many people would not want their children to become police officers and some regret becoming a police officer. This program seeks to change that by making them proud to serve the community as a police officer. This is primarily done through the incentives provided to join the community policing program. As a result of this interaction, it is expected that there would be fewer civil law suits against the police, which would decrease the liability and legal costs for the state. The stronger bond between the police force and the community would no longer make policing a dangerous job in New Jersey. This would improve the image and morale of the police force.

5. Conclusion

This research proposal intends to explore the backgrounds of successful small and medium business (SME) entrepreneurs in China and their early-stage financing habits. In such a way, the project aims to provide the potential young entrepreneurs, who want to establish SMEs in China, with precious references to what kind of financing channels should them focus on at their early stage of business. With the popularization of economic reform and open door policy in China, more and more entrepreneurs both from domestic and foreign countries have shown their interests in SMEs and many of them have become the major economic contributors with their high profit and employment creation. However, due to the fact that the understanding of financing has strong correlation to education level, the commonly low educational backgrounds of Chinese small business owners has led to their unawareness of financing channels and being trapped in primitive financing ways. The researcher identified a crucial gap in the literature regarding Chinese entrepreneurs’ understanding with regard to the relationship between financing and venture success and has highlighted the necessity for further exploration of entrepreneurs’ finance-related behaviours in order to advance theory and inform policy aimed at enhancing SME success. This research proposal aims to provide comprehensive background information concerning a different SME financing habits and entrepreneurs from wide range of industries and a various educational levels. By so doing, the researcher will demonstrate the credibility and viability of the line of research through showing strong understanding of SME financing IDD behaviours and potential difficulties in sampling SME entrepreneurs. The project intends to use a case study methodology, a researcher in rich Chinese economy, thus the project aims to benefit the Chinese society. Due to potential complexity of case study variables and data collection methods the researcher acknowledges upfront the possibility of a need to refine research methods or even re-evaluate the research topic in light of the complexity. If the current proposal is shown to be feasible and clouds many important issues concerning SME financing, the research will continue to be broad and deep reaching in its long run. Mitigating entrepreneurs’ different financing methods are various and complex issues. Thus will this research serve as a series of studies to advance theory with deeper and more explicit understanding of a expected results.

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