What is a research proposal? A research proposal is a skeleton of the thesis or dissertation written by a student for a university degree. It is usually the first thing submitted before you are allowed to go into the main work. A research proposal shows what is intended to be done by the researcher.

Some researchable topics include:

  1. An evaluation of the impact of culture and leadership on the sustainable growth of 21st-century organizations
  2. The purpose of college degrees: Job or knowledge?
  3. An analysis of the differences in parenting styles of men and women
  4. Factors that affect family involvement with ICU (Intensive Care Unit) patients

Writing a paper proposal can be hard if you have yet to do a thorough background check of your work. This article guides you on how to go about writing your research proposal.

How to write a research proposal

Writing a research proposal involves proper planning. You must have a focus, and you must have a target. What your research proposal looks like depends on your school and department. Despite this, general elements are expected to be found in any research proposal. These include:

  1. Title page

The first thing that is expected to be seen in a research proposal is the title page. This page will include the topic, which should be at most 25 words. It should also include the name of the school and department and the name of the supervisor(s).

  1. Abstract

The inclusion or non-inclusion of this will depend on your institution and the length of the work. If your proposal is lengthy, include an abstract to make it easy to navigate.

  1. Research design and methodology

A research proposal must show how you will gather and analyze your data. The research design and methodology are what take care of this. You should point out the scope of your work and the kind of data analysis you will be doing.

  1. Literature review

Although it is just a research proposal, you must still do a literature review. This should be done carefully, as this is a very important aspect of your research proposal.

  1. Works cited

All the works cited must be outlined at the end of your proposal. The heading could be “bibliography” or “works cited,” depending on the accepted format. Also, note that a bibliography may differ in that it includes all works consulted. This is irrespective of whether it was cited or not.

Remember that your research proposal format depends on your institution and department. You must therefore know what is accepted before you start. Having said this, how do you go about writing your research proposal? These steps can help you get your research proposal ready in no time.

  • Have an outline

As you do for every kind of writing, you must have an outline for your research proposal. A research proposal outline helps you keep track of what you are doing without losing focus. You might have included many irrelevant things in your proposal without an outline. Even though your proposal is a plan for what you will write, you should also plan the proposal.

  • Have a thesis statement

The thesis statement is what the research hinges upon. It is just like the theme in a literary text. Before you delve into your research proposal, you must have a solid thesis statement. Your thesis statement is more like the statement of a problem. It is what shows the problem you’re trying to fix and all the gaps you’re trying to fill.

  • Give a good background

A research proposal introduction usually gives background knowledge to the research. The background knowledge should be built so readers can understand the proposal. The introduction of a research proposal is as important as the research proposal itself. Your introduction could distract your reader or elicit more interest in the work.

  • Do a thorough literature review

A research proposal presentation must be done so that anyone who reads it knows you have a focus. This can only be achieved by doing a thorough literature review. Your literature review is what brings out the gap and the thesis statements. It shows that your research is valuable and that you are going to refrain from repeating the work of others.

  • Point out your contribution to knowledge

A good research proposal must contribute to knowledge. The main focus of any research is to contribute to the existing body of knowledge. To give your research proposal a solid backing, you need to show how significant it is to knowledge.


Whatever your field, your research proposal should show Mastery. It is very important to consult your institution to get the accepted research proposal template. With planning, a research proposal can be made in little time.