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How To Prepare a Research Proposal

research proposal

A research proposal is similar to all other submissions because they aim to give their best effort to show their capabilities to identify specific problems and their solutions. A research proposal stands in another phase of academic pursuit. It is the only gateway to prove yourself to your preferred school’s educational management and supervisors that, as a PhD or Master’s student, you have what it takes to write a project.

You have studied and have known, and your experiences cannot justify you to embark on a project without a specific written plan known as your research proposal. This is the reason why the essentiality of a research proposal provided a way for it to be described as an academic letter that informs your recipients about the focus and outcome of your future project.

However, to maintain uniformity in the project proposal, there are general rules to writing a project proposal. These general rules must, therefore, be strictly followed without any altercation. The reason is that when you do not follow these general rules, it is assumed that if you handle a more significant project, you might lose sight of focus just as you have done in your academic proposal. Therefore, sit tight before we take off.

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Heading or Title Page

As a Master’s or PhD student, before deciding to request a project, you must have in mind what exactly you want to describe and defend. However, what you intend to support must be given a particular name or title. Some universities provide topics for their students in most cases, while some allow their students to choose and present their preferred issues.

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Whether the university will give you topics or choose them yourself, bear in mind that you must have an issue that will stand as the best statement representing everything you intend to write in your project. And your case study stands as your title on your proposal. Therefore, your title must be concise, within the range of 8 – 10 words,  and must be very straightforward.

Your topic must be accurate, descriptive, exciting and thoughtful. No casual or ordinary subject, and if you are to provide a topic yourself,  endeavour to widely construct a statement/topic that clearly defines you as a PhD student. Also, in your headings, you must as well provide some necessary pieces of information. They should include personal data like your name, date, nationality and contact details.


An Abstract

An abstract is a brief overview of what your project tends to explain extensively. Your abstract should be a summary of your writings. Everything you have installed to define, state and describe in your project clearly should be perfectly summarized within the confinement of a page. Abstracts are always not more than one page; therefore, limit yourself to this number and carefully summarise everything you want to cover in the proposal.


Research Problem

This is a primary aspect of your proposal. Your illustrators or supervisors pay much attention to this particular part. The reason is that they want to know exactly where you are heading to and what you tend to achieve. Hence, at this point, you are expected to state the problem of your studies. After carrying so much research on the lessons, you must identify a lacuna, i.e. a space you want to fill.

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Project’s Aims and Objective

While a topic is a subject matter or the question you want to invest your time to answer and provide a solution to, there must be a way to explain how or what strategies you want to put in place before achieving your proposed plan. There must be a definite focus. You must have the exact points of discussion in the studies.

Therefore,  when you state your aim of studies, you must also note how you plan to focus on these aims. You must say in your proposal the measures that will guide your focus. Also, you must ensure that your aims are convincing and relevant to the topic or the problem you intend to address.


Literature Review

An empty knowledge about a particular state of things can never be productive. This is why you must have a prior understanding of what you are writing about and how extensively and intellectually other studies or theorists have addressed the question or topic in particular. When you define your research topic, you must also carry out thorough research and findings on different studies, theories and models that have been released or published for the issue in question.

Besides, ensure to support your objectives with some selected relevant theories that will help efficiently bring out the topic to academic relevance. Different studies or courses have several schools of thought. Therefore, choosing approaches that are relevant to your project should not be an issue.



Identifying the problem is not completed until you tell your supervisors how you plan to solve the problem. What are the methods or strategies that you suggest will be needed to tackle the problem? State your problem clearly, don’t leave it there without explaining precisely the research problem, how it came to be, and what measures will provide solutions or make changes to the issues.

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Time Planning

One of the ways your evaluators would be assured of your ability to write a research project is also how you plan your time. You must ensure you have a well-designed timetable. You must make it known in your proposal when you will be submitting your project, i.e. whether you will be offering it chapter by chapter every week, month or year, depending on how well you can manage your time.

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A list of your relevant texts and significant materials such as journals, articles, newspapers and others should be dominantly pointed out under this category. You can as well attach any document such as a CV.  Also, you must be able to run a final check on everything you have written. It would be best if you affected corrections wherever needed. Plagiarism and grammatical errors can mar your proposal, therefore, avoid them.

In conclusion, your project proposal defines to your evaluators how you will handle the research project if you are given a chance. Therefore, invest your time and attention in writing a good and well-structured research proposal for your supervisors.

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