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Contents of Research Proposal

Following are the contents of Research Proposal;

Title Page:

  • Personal data (your name, college or university title, date of birth, nationality, your contact information, college or university contact.
  • Title of your planned research report. Wording of the title should be selected carefully, and their association with one another must be carefully considered. Whereas the title should be brief, accurate, descriptive and comprehensive, clearly representing the subject of the study.
  • To develop a clear title, you have to be clear about the concentration of your research.
  • Strive for the title to be 10 words or 60 characters: incorporate keywords that reference the classification of the research subject
  • Specify a realistic time frame toward project completion, followed by the name(s) of your supervisor(s), the college or university department where you hope to do your research and, if possible, add information about other academics with whom you plan to cooperate.
  • Refer to successfully sponsored projects to determine whether your topic fits with the granting organization's mission and to mimic their title or proposal structure

Abstract or summary of the research project:
This one page summary focuses on the research topic, its new, existing and relevant aspects. Strive for clarity; your extreme challenge might be narrowing the topic.

Review of research literature:
A small and precise overview about the current state of research that is closely connected with your research project.

  • Reference the important contributions of other scientists or researchers.
  • Discuss the theoretic scope or the outline of ideas that will be used to back the research.
  • Demonstrate that you are fully aware with the ideas you are dealing with and that you grasp their methodological implications.
  • Indicate the open problem which then will be the motivation for your project. State clearly in what way your research will contribute to the existing research.

Your history or preparation
Summarize the most important impact of your own work on the topic (if applicable). Attach copies of your own publications that might be seen in relative to your research project.

Objective of the research project
Give a short and clear outline of the academic (possibly also non-academic, e.g. political and social) objectives that you need to achieve through your project. Your proposal needs to show why the intended research is significant and justifies the search effort. Here you outline the significance or relevance of the topic. Such justification may either be of an experimental nature or of a theoretical nature. All research is part of a greater scholarly enterprise and candidates should be able to argue for the value and placing of their work.

Outline the project
This is the fundamental part of your research outline.

  • Explain your research technique within the given time.
  • List sources and quality of evidence you will access, the analytical procedure you will employ, and the timetable you will follow.
  • Depending on the topic, suitable research strategies should be defined to ensure that sufficient and adequate empirical data will be collected for a successful research project.
  • Describe the intended methods of data collection, the controls you will introduce, the statistical methods to be used, the type of literature or documentary analysis to be followed, etc.

Consider your work to be a Work-in-Progress and allow yourself a flexible planning:
Stay prepared to revise the proposal according to new insights and newly aroused questions
and keep on modifying the working hypothesis according to new insights while expressing the proposal and the working hypothesis. Once you have a beneficial working hypothesis, concentrate on pursuing the project within the boundaries of the topic.

Develop a time table (table form is suitable if possible), indicative of the sequence of research segments and the time that you will probably need for each segment. Take into account that at this step, it can only be estimated, but make clear that you have an idea about the time frame that will be needed for each step.

Selective research bibliography
List the academic works mentioned in your research outline as well as other important works to which you will refer during your research.

List other documents attached to your research proposal. i.e. References, CV, etc.

Once you complete the conceptual work on your research proposal, go through a careful
editing stage.

Writing/presentation style:

  • Confirm that the title, the abstract and content of your proposal clearly correspond to each other,
  • Maintain a clear structure, an intuitive navigational style throughout the document with headings and summaries, allowing the reader to quickly reference where they are for future commenting.
  • Summarize significant problems and make no assumptions where possible.
  • Keep a reasonable, clear, and declarative writing style throughout the document.
  • Breakup the narrative with billeted lists and visuals etc. demonstrating a knowledge of abstract concepts and relationships
  • Use white space to high-point and emphasize important sections
  • Make sure your research proposal doesn’t contain any grammatical or spelling mistakes, its good to engage a proofreader.
  • Request an experienced academic to proofread your research proposal in order to certify the proposal follows to institutional and international academic standards.
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