This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor. Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. The exact format and requirements for a research proposal can vary slightly depending on the type of research being proposed and the specific demands of the institution you plan to submit your proposal to, but there are a few basics that are almost always needed. Overall, a good research proposal takes time to write and must identify what the proposed research will address and why the proposed research is so important. Come up with a title for your proposal. Your title will vary based on the type of research you’re doing, but in general, you’ll want it to be concise and descriptive.
After reading your title, your readers should know what to expect from the proposal and be interested enough to read on. You’ll also want it to be clear and accurate enough that your proposal when come up during searches for your research topic. A title page introduces the title of your proposal, your name, and the primary institution you are connected to. Each sponsoring agency may specify a format for the title page. If an agency does not, apply the APA style.
Include a «running head» in the upper left corner. The running head will appear on all pages of the document and should write research proposal a shortened version of the title. Include the page number in the upper right corner.
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The page number should appear on all pages of the proposal. 3 of the way down the page. Double space it, and immediately below the title, insert your name. Below your name, list the institution you are affiliated with and the names and affiliations of any co-investigators you’re working with. In some styles, you may include their contact information as well.
Summarize the proposal in your abstract. The abstract is a summary of the problem addressed in your proposal. Your proposed solution and objectives should also be included, along with your projected funding requirements. Center the word «Abstract» at the top of the page. Begin the text of your abstract directly below the word «Abstract. The text of you abstract will usually be between 150 and 250 words. List keywords that will come up in your proposal.
Choose 4-5 keywords that capture the main points of your paper, suggesting what the topic is about as well as terms that are closely related. Keywords should be phrases that many readers might be searching for. Choosing the right keywords will ensure that your proposal shows up in search engines for readers who could benefit from it. Your keywords can be single words, or phrases of 2-4 words. Longer research proposals often include a table of contents on the third page, listing each major section of your paper. Brief proposals that only span a few pages do not often need a table of contents.
Leaving out a table of contents is common, but depends on the type of research you’re doing and the institution you’re submitting the proposal to. Especially long proposals may also need a list of illustrations, figures, or tables. List all major parts and divisions of the proposal. Restate and center the title of your paper before moving into your introduction. Include a quick note about the topic being discussed and a definition of the theory from which your proposed research will be based. Write «Statement of Problem» before moving into a paragraph detailing the problem.
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