How to Write a Research Proposal

Posted on October 4, 2022 by Cheapest Assignment

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Framework of the Research Proposal
A research proposal is a written document that includes the following information:
– Identification of , and rationale for research topic and research questions. (Introduction or Background)

– Summary of previous literature (explication, application and evaluation of theory) (Literature review)

– Specification of procedure to be followed to answer research questions. (Methodology)

The purpose of your proposal is to sell your idea by showing you have thought it through very carefully and have planned a good research study.

The introduction and literature section of your proposal.

• The purpose of this section is to introduce your research idea, establish its importance (i.e., you want to “sell” it to your reader), and explain its significance.
• Flow of the introduction:

– Start with a general introduction that
• defines the research topic (places it in a context)
• demonstrates its importance (provides a rationale)

• Flow of the literature review:

– Then review the relevant literature.
– This review should lead directly into a statement of the purpose of the study and your research questions.

Framework of the Methodology section

• This provides a written description of the specific actions, plan, or strategy you will take to answer your research questions.
• It includes information about your proposed

– Design
– Research participants
– Data collection tools (research instrument and equipment needed)
– Data collection procedure (description of methods)
– Data analysis
– Ethical considerations
– Timeline

Research design

In this subsection of the methodology section, entitled, you present your plan or strategy to be used to investigate your research questions.

• The following is included in the design section:

– Brief summary of philosophy and how this informs your choice of strategy/methods/approach
– Brief overview summarizing the whole research, covering the sections of the ‘research onion’
– Type of design and design layout of your study
– Description of all the variables being examined in your study.
– Description of how your variables are to be combined.
– Description of the points of measurement and manipulation in the design.


The subsection of the method section entitled participants should provide a written description of the individuals who will participate in your research study and how they will be recruited.
Be sure to specify the following:

  • Their demographic characteristics such as age and gender.
  • Inclusion and exclusion criteria you will use (describe your sampling choice here)
  • Any inducements for participation you plan to use.
  • Where they are located.

Data collection tools

In this subsection of the method section you describe any equipment and or instruments you
propose to use in your research study.

  • The following information should be included:

– General description of the equipment or instruments (for example, electronic recording equipment, questionnaires)
– Variables measured by instruments.
– Reliability and validity of instruments.
– Why the instruments or apparatus are used.
– Reference indicating where equipment or instruments can be obtained.

Data collection methods

In this subsection of the methodology section of your proposal, you carefully describe how your study will be executed.

• The following information should be included in the procedure section:

– A description of the design if it was not previously described. Including a justification of your chosen methods (for example, why have you chosen to do a questionnaire. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this method)
– A detailed step-by-step description of how the study will be executed.
– Details of your pilot study.

The reader should know exactly what you intend to do after reading this description. It should include enough information to tell the reader how to do the study if he or she wanted to replicate it.
It includes information, and may have further subheadings about such topics as:

– Pilot study
– Survey design/questionnaire
– Observation
– Focus groups
– Interviews (structured/semi-structured)

(depending on which ones you are using)

Each of these subsections should include the following:

– Justification of chosen method (focus groups/questionnaires)
– Details about how many you will do/with how many people?
– Which people exactly?
– Where will you do the research?
– What kind of questions will you ask/behaviour will you watch? What informs these
– How will you collect your data? Will you record? Write down?
– How long do you anticipate the data collection will last?
– What are the limitations of this chosen method . How will you try and manage this?
– What problems do you anticipate with this chosen method? How will you try and
avoid/manage this?

Data analysis

The data analysis section of your proposal describes exactly how you propose to analyze the data you plan on collecting.

In a quantitative study, you will use some type of statistical analysis. You need to specify those analyses (for example, chi square /t test/ Anova). SPSS is one programme used for such analysis

In a qualitative study, there is no one or “right” way of analyzing the data. You must explain the approach you propose to use and justify its use. In general, qualitative analysis will involve coding and searching for relationships and patterns in qualitative data. (typically, thematic analysis or content analysis). NVIVO is one programme used for such analysis

Ethical considerations

In this subsection you outline how you will ensure that the rights of the research participants are protected. You need to show awareness of potential risks to both them, and you, and show how you will avoid or minimise these risks. Subsections typically included in ethics sections are:

– Confidentiality
– Anonymity
– Right to withdraw
– Informed consent
– Data protection

(but there are more)


In this subsection, you give detailed information about the time frame for your proposed research collection, analysis and write up. The time line begins with the handing in of your proposal and ends with the final dissertation write up.

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