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How to write a research proposal: Your guide

How to write a research proposal: Your guide
cal LiveWebTutors cal 20 Oct, 2019

A research proposal is a written document proposing research in any field. Research proposals may be solicited in nature that they are submitted in response to some requirement or they may be unsolicited i.e., they are to be submitted before any prior response. Generally, a letter of intent is submitted for the submission of a proposal. There is no hard and fast rule in preparing such a letter. However, students are advised to follow a proper format while designing a proposal. 

The way a proposal is designed depicts the knowledge and capability of a person in conducting the research. As the proposal is designed to persuade the reader, it must be designed in a very creative and effective way. Proposals are generally formal. Therefore, the proper format must be applied while maintaining it. 

The research proposal generally contains the following things:

  • The topic upon which the research is to be conducted. 
  • The scope that your research will cover
  • The methodology to be followed while conducting a research
  • The time and expense that will be required in conducting the research
  • What will be the benefits achieved by your research?

While designing a research proposal the following things must be kept in mind.

1. Address of the recipient

The research proposal must indicate the name of the person to whom the proposal is made. If the recipient is an individual, his/her name must be written. If the recipient is a company of anybody of the individual, the name of the company, the name of the authorized person, and the post that he/she holds in the company must be mentioned. If the concerned recipient is referred to you by any other person, the reference name must also be mentioned. It helps the recipient in identifying the possible source and may also generate more interest in accepting the proposal.

2. The reason behind your research

The proposal must contain a definite reason for conducting the research. It must mention the benefit that will be achieved by conducting the research. It would be much better if you mention the methodology behind conducting the research. Research may be both qualitative and quantitative. It may also be done following some statistical techniques. The recipient will be more interested if he/she gets to know how the research will be conducted. The proposal must also mention the scope of your research work. Your scope will indicate the depth of your proposed research.

3. Body of the proposal

A research proposal must contain properly drafted information on the following topics:

  • Introduction upon the topic proposed to be researched
  • A detailed background behind the topic to be researched
  • A literature review of the topic
  • Research design and method behind the proposed research
  • A conclusion reiterating the importance and significance of your proposal 

4. Budget

Your proposal must contain the entire budget that will be required to conduct the research work. All the research and development expenses must be mentioned under different heads. The time required to complete the research work must also be mentioned. If the research is to conduct for a given number of years, a year-wise expense break-up must be given. It would be much better if you mention the estimated income that can be generated by applying the researched outcomes. It would give a complete picture of investments and returns to the recipient. 

4. Formatting

Proposals are generally formal. It must be formatted accordingly. Keep in mind to keep at least a one-inch margin on all the sides of the paper. Keep the font simple and not funky. Generally, Times New Roman and Times are accepted as the standard fonts for writing formal letters and proposals. The font size must be 12. The headings must be written in bold format. 

5. Covering Letter

An appropriate cover letter must be designed for your research proposal. The cover letter must address the recipient properly. A subject line must be added indicating the reason behind drafting the entire proposal. The cover letter must be written persuasively. It must be written in such a way that it enhances the recipient in reading further the concerning proposal. Your contact such as your mobile number, your email id, and your address must be mentioned in the letter for further conversations. 

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