Research proposals are mainly used in the science or academic field, and there are many research proposal formats available.
But they all have the same general lines and have the same purpose: to show why it’s essential to investigate a specific field or phenomenon, how the research should be conducted, and, if necessary, what material resources you need to complete the research.
It’s the tone and the language that distances this type of proposal from the less formal ones, that are used in other fields, like the business world.
What Is a Research Proposal?
The research proposal is the document you draft when you want to propose a research project. Sometimes, the goal is to find sponsorship for the research project; in other cases, it’s meant to underline why a specific field of research is crucial.
It’s a formal document, usually using academic language, justifying the need for a particular research project. And if you consider any good research proposal example, it will be evident that it was built using an efficient research proposal template.
What to Include in Your Research Proposal?
Even the format of your proposal needs a bit of research before you start writing it, because every department or institution may have special requirements that you need to respect.
However, any research proposal sample will show you the main elements your documents should have:
- The title should be a clear indicator of the objective of your project, so make sure you include relevant keywords, but at the same time, keep it concise and to the point.
- The abstract is a short summary of your research theme, and it has to be clear and original.
- A contents page can be useful for a better organization and presentation of the document, and it’s included in the standard research proposal format.
- The introduction, unlike the summary, is a chance to address the reader in a more personal way, making sure you have their attention, and underlying your in-depth knowledge on the matter. The language and the tone must match the rest of the proposal, but this is the part that can make your document memorable.
- The research context has to show why your research is necessary and how it fits with the rest of the literature that exists on the subject. It’s also a good idea to point out that you are conducting innovative research that will have positive outcomes.
- Your key objectives clearly explained.
- The research methods you plan to use and what resources are necessary also needs to be mentioned. You have to justify your approach and to show what instruments you plan to use, as well as every step you plan to take.
- The analysis section will show how you plan to use the data you gather.
- The limitations of your research must also be included; they show that you have a realistic view of your research project, which increases the chances of reaching relevant results.
- The timeline, including when you are planning to start the project, as well as the completion date.
- References should be mentioned on a separate page, and you must make sure you have chosen the right reference convention for the topic you are handling.
Whether the research you plan to conduct is in the medical field, or business-related, or it’s part of your academic studies, you need to send a research proposal. While there are special requirements in some cases, the general guidelines are usually the same.
Hence, the best thing to do to make sure you are creating a persuasive document is to use a great research proposal template. CocoSign offers a great variety of proposal templates, including a highly efficient research proposal format.
Request for Proposal FAQs
What should I do if I’m not sure I have chosen a suitable topic?
There is nothing wrong with asking for some quick feedback, based on the title and a short explanation of why you think your research project is essential.
How long should a research proposal be?
There aren’t any clear limits when it comes to the length of such a document. But looking at most of the research proposal formats, you will see that it’s usually around 2500 words.
Where can I find a free research proposal sample?
There are many websites where you can find a good research proposal example, as well as free templates to work with. CocoSign is such a proposal template provider.
What are the most common mistakes made when writing a research proposal?
Many people postpone for too long the moment when they actually start writing the proposal; When it comes to students, some of them don’t spend enough time finding the right topic, or they don’t consult with their tutor.
Can I obtain money with a research proposal?
You cannot use a research proposal as a source of income. But if the research you are planning to conduct requires funding, it is possible to get it and only use it to complete your research project.
The fact that a research project needs material backup can underline the importance of the research topic. That generally applies to medical or industrial research.