To ensure your program is fully funded, some US universities require that you submit a research proposal. This proposal is a crucial part of a grad school application and serves as a roadmap for future research. Essentially, it shows the student’s impression and passion in undertaking research in the area he/she wishes to further.
This article outlines nine step-by-step guides on writing a research proposal for your master’s or PhD application.
For a good research proposal, start by choosing a topic that fits your area of interest and is relevant to your field of study. Make sure it is also feasible and falls within the available resources allocated for research.
Conduct a comprehensive assessment of existing literature in your field of study to obtain a better grasp of what is known. A literature review helps the researcher to discover gaps that the research may address.
Formulate a research question
Based on your literature review, formulate a clear, specific, and relevant research question that you want to answer.
A research question specifies precisely what you want to learn from your investigation. A good research question is essential for completing a research paper, dissertation, or thesis.
State your research objectives
In your research proposal, clearly define your research objectives and what you want to achieve via your study. The research objectives define the goals of your research project. Furthermore, the objective should drive every stage of the research process, including data collection, argument development, and conclusion development.
The research proposal should describe the data collection and analysis methods you intend to use. Further, explain why these strategies are acceptable for your study and how they will assist you in achieving your objectives.
Explain the significance of your research and how it will contribute to your field of study. Also, highlight the potential implications and outcomes of your research.
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A research proposal should provide a timeline for your research, including when you expect to start and end your research. In addition, indicate the specific tasks you will complete at each stage of your research.
A good research proposal should include a list of all the references you used in your application, depending on the citation style specified by your department or institution.
Proofread and edit
Just like any other writing, a research proposal needs proofreading and revising thoroughly for language, spelling, and clarity.