whats a research proposal

whats a research proposal

The Importance of a Research Proposal

1. Introduction

A research proposal is a document of usually three to seven pages that informs others of a proposed piece of research. This proposed research is usually a masters or doctorate by thesis, but it can also be work that a student intends to complete for a higher qualification from a university. A research proposal informs the reader (your advisor) what research you plan to do, why it is significant and worthy of attention, how you plan to do the research, and what the expected results will be. The purpose is to help the student to get the best type of higher education available in a certain field. The finished product, no matter what it is, will specifically be used to attain the highest type of education obtainable in that field. The reason for this is that each educational program will most likely have some tool to assess a student’s competency before letting a student continue to the next level. This can be in the form of an exam for certification at the federal level, or it can be at a school where students must show their learning in a type of exam. Still yet, it is often higher education that is necessary for job advancement in many fields. So, because education is the method to obtain the best employees, and the best employees are the method to success, education will by necessity.

2. Purpose of a Research Proposal

The research proposal is produced as a result of thoughtful and in-depth preliminary research. It is average between the research endeavor and serves as a commitment among writer and society. It must not be taken lightly; therefore, it requires a clear and concise attempt. Since the research proposal is an assertion of the writer’s viable research project, it has to include an explanation of what the writer will do from start to finish. This is obvious even though many postgraduate students avoid making a formal research proposal describing what they plan to do. This frequently results in failure at the first gate. The research proposal is an essential exercise aimed at aiding planning and evaluation. Frequently, it is written as part of a research grant application. It is another skill often neglected by postgraduate students. Since writing a research proposal can be a tricky prospect, it signifies an early point in the postgraduate career of a new researcher. Nevertheless, if one cannot write a research proposal, the likelihood is that a full research report is unfathomable. A research proposal helps evaluations of the ability of a researcher, the quality of the project, practicability, and the researcher’s competence to carry out the project. All of which will be judged by peers. And even though it may be disheartening to have a project picked apart, it is all part of the process of gaining knowledge and proving oneself in the field.

3. Key Components of a Research Proposal

The research proposal has three key components. We will discuss the problem statement, the conceptual framework, and the research method. First of all, the proposal requires a clear statement of the research problem. This is the foundation of the research, and it should be articulated in a way that convinces the reader of the importance of the research. A good research project may run the risk of rejection simply because the research problem is not clearly defined. If the problem is fuzzy and the effect of the research is not clear, the problem statement will be difficult to build. In the case of data, screening can be a preliminary step where data is assessed to see whether it is worth a detailed examination. During the screening, it can be decided whether the data will be useful and whether another research method may be more productive in answering the research question. This may not produce formal results, and it usually requires some writing on what has been decided. This can be the beginning of setting an agenda on what work needs to be done. The problem statement is a more detailed expansion of the research problem. It should be outlined systematically with an adequate definition, and it should be identifiable. The problem statement should be an analysis of the problem and its influence on a number of given parties. It involves looking for a cause and effect between two variables. The problem stated can then be transformed into a research question that typically will be more specific and global in nature. This will give the research both a concrete goal and a method of measuring success.

4. Benefits of Writing a Research Proposal

When you get a research grant, it is usually a firm fixed price that is given to you with no increase in money even if the performance of the project requires more money. Thus, if the proposal you submit is skimpy and unclear, then it is rather difficult to convince people that the problem exists and that your work will adequately address the problem. You need to think about who the key players in your field are, what are the major issues and controversies, what your opinion is regarding the problem or issue, and how you intend to build your argument in order to convince others that you have an important problem and a good solution. One of the best ways to do this is to write a research proposal. It will also serve as a point of reference when there is a need to go back and see how the results of the study have addressed the problem or issue. Oftentimes, research conducted in haste without a careful study design leads to results that are unclear and difficult to interpret.

5. Conclusion

As with so many things in life, the first step can be the most important. If your research proposal is well-structured, clear and thorough, it can form the backbone of the research project and will help you to stay focused and on the right track. This is of course provisional, you will need to modify the work as you go and resubmit your research proposal at various points to your research coordinator. The research proposal can also provide you with a resource that you can use and modify throughout the research project. For example, a section on the limitations of your research may need to be included in a write up depending on what is found throughout the project, another example is the need to clarify a complex and unforeseen problem within an already planned research design.

The research proposal is an essential first step in any research project for two main reasons. First, it’s your chance to propose a feasible research topic and research plan that you can conduct in the time provided. Second, it’s your plan to convince the staff on your university department who are responsible for allocating research students that your project is worthy and so they should provide you with a research student to undertake your proposed research. The research student is arguably partly present to help solve any problems set, so they need to know in advance the full range of the project to see if it is likely to be worth their time.

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