Develop a Research Proposal



What Is a Research Proposal? | Stage One - What Are the Key Elements? |
Stage Two - Writing My Research Proposal

You now have some basic knowledge of what research is, selected a topic, and have just completed your literature review.  You have a great background and a sense of direction, but are probably asking, "What do I do next?"

Now you need to conduct your own primary research investigation of your problem or issue.  In order for that investigation to be productive, effective, and purposeful, you will need to plan your course of action.  The document which spells out your methods and reasons is called a Research Proposal. Use the Research Proposal Planning Guide to outline your proposal.

What Is a Research Proposal?

What is a research proposal?
A research proposal is both a synopsis and plan. It gives the reader a glimpse of a problem, its significance, and the objectives, approaches, and methods of an investigation of the problem. It explains the background of the problem to the reader, describing present understandings and knowledge, as well as your proposed solution (s). It also contains the vital elements of a research investigation, and is often persuasive, as well as informative, in its purpose. The goal of the proposal writer is not only to persuade the reader to believe in the credibility of the investigation, but also to make the reader believe that solutions and methodologies are practical and appropriate.

I already know what I want to do.  Why do I need to write out a proposal?
The question is really "why would you not write a proposal?"  Not only is proposal writing a real-life experience, but it helps you to develop effective, life-long organizational habits and skills. 
research proposal

The good news is that once you have written a research proposal, you will always know how to write a research proposal, no matter type of investigation you will do.  Almost all proposals have the same sections, although the actual structure, order, and elements may vary based on the nature of the investigation, the field of study, and the overall scope. Some of the sections that are distinctly described in this module are usually combined in a variety of ways in actual proposals. There is not one absolute form for a research proposal.

REFLECTION:  In your Reflection Journal, answer the following questions in one or two paragraphs: (1) Why do you think that there is not one set form for a research proposal? (2) Outside of being a professional researcher, when would you need to write a research proposal as an employee or even outside of your employment?

Stage One What are the Key Elements of a Research Proposal?
Stage Two Writing My Research Proposal
Teacher Resources Unit Overview and Lessons are available in BCPSOne.