Research Proposal Outline: Learn to Propose the Plan Properly
- Apr 12, 2021
Through a research proposal, a specific study or research project is being proposed. Belonging from the various academic domains, and is thus asked for approval and acceptance to draft the entire research paper later on. Without the acceptance of the research proposal, you will not be able to write nor conduct the research paper. Based on the how sound the plan is and the potential impact of research, the research proposal is being evaluated. A research proposal can be considered to be a prologue to the research paper. It is a brief version of the entire research paper.
Difference Between A Research Paper Outline and A Research Proposal Outline
A research paper outline covers up the entire research paper and thus discusses the research paper in great detail but does not include a lot of details regarding the research paper methodology. It mostly discusses and breaks down the research paper topics into several headings and sub-headings to give in-depth insights about the research topic. Whereas a proposal outline covers all the elements of a research paper except the data analysis and also proposes a particular method to conduct the research. It discusses in detail the introduction and the literature review section, rest are mentioned briefly. A research proposal outline includes everything that of a research proposal.
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Ways to Write the Research Proposal Outline and Understand Its Elements
The following is the generic outline and the common elements that are being written for a proposal:
Abstract or the executive summary
The research abstract, also known as the executive summary is a short description about the research and has to be written within 100 to 250 words. It is the approach to the research a paper and must include the aims, objectives, questions, hypothesis and the research methodology used.
Similar in nature with the research paper introduction. You have to define the problem of the research topic and state its significance.
- The general idea that is to be studied has to be described first.
- Explain why this topic is important under the broader area of study.
2. Background or Literature Review
A description about what is previously stated and known on this topic and mention the previous relevant studies. Also state why the previous studies are not enough to describe the problem in detail.
- Summarise the facts that you know about this domain. A summary of the basic background information has to be included on the topic gleaned from your review of literature session. (information can also be included from the class and book, but the bulk outside sources should be the bulk)
- Discuss the various critical studies that have already been done on this topic.
- Point the gap in these critical studies and explain why they are insufficient. You have to answer the questions that are left unresolved.
- You must choose one such question and conduct your research based upon that question indicating a knowledge gap.
3. Research rationale
A description of the research questions that are to be examined and then exploring whatever you will claim or establish through this research.
- Explain how the research questions are related to various other larger issues that are generally raised in the research paper introduction.
- Describe each of the specific claims like the aim and objectives and the hypotheses, and then evaluate them with the questions.
- Explain what will be the outcome of the research if the hypothesis turns out to be true.
- Explain what will be the outcome of the research if the hypothesis turns out to be false.
4. Methods and Design
This is the section where you have to explain how you would collect the data and examine the research questions mentioned in the above sessions. You do not have to come up with an original or new method. Look for various journals and relevant articles to determine the methods that can be used standardly to assess language knowledge in the chosen area of research and adapt one of those methods as per your needs.
Research Method: How would you collect the data and why?
- The general methodology that you have chosen has to be discussed for your research, to judge and verify your hypothesis.
- It has to be explained as why the chosen method would be the best for your research purposes.
- Whom would you be choosing as the sample and why so have to be mentioned in brief.
- The sample has to be described by you and give the proper explanation for choosing this sample. You must include demographics such as the age, the varied language background and different kinds of socio-economic information, only if they are relevant to the design.
- Also mention that if there exists any kind of participants whom you would like to exclude and why.
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Research Design: Describe the stimuli and give reason for your assumptions.
- Describe the kinds of variations and manipulations you would do or perform to analyse and validate the authenticity of your hypotheses.
- Describe the different factors that would vary if you had to present a person with the stimulus sentences.
- State how varying these different factors will let you confirm or rather disconfirm the stated hypotheses.
- Analyse and state the significant differences you would need to detect to confirm or disconfirm your hypotheses. To be precise, state how can your hypotheses be disconfirmed by your information and data?
- State the kinds of factors that you would need in your research to control for.
- Also describe the various types of effects that would be likely to take place that would have an impact on the results that will decide the confirmation of the hypotheses.
- It has to be described how you with the help of your design control or rule out the apparent effects.
- You have to explain the way in which you will be presenting the stimuli.
- You have a set of samples. Now state here, what are going to do for the research
- State how the results will be analysed and determined by you.
- State the kinds of results that would help in confirming the hypotheses.
- What kind of results would disconfirm your hypothesis
5. Ethical Consideration
It is a very important part of your research proposal outline. You need to consider the various ethical values like protection and privacy of the respondents’ data and information, while conducting your research work. You also have to carefully conduct the data collection process and thus need to respect the basic participant’s rights.
The respondents or your sample should not be subject to harm in any manner. In a similar way, before conducting the study they must give their full consent for using their data.
It is the moral duty of the researcher to provide complete privacy and confidentiality to make the respondents feel comfortable while sharing their information.
6. Research limitations
The research limitations refer to the shortcomings, restrictions and flaws of your research. These generally include:
- Small sample size
- Unavailability of resources.
- Wrong methodology
- Restrictions faced while conducting the research methodology
Listing the limitations indicates your honesty to the reader and also makes it clear to the reader that you have a complete understanding of the research topic.
7. Significance and Conclusion
In general, you will have to discuss how your proposed research study will be gradually leading to a significant improvement and contribute as original studies, fill up the existing literature gaps in that domain and how much beneficial it would be for the future researchers in this field.
Bibliography is a must. You have to mention the various sources from which you have taken up all the critical facts and information. You may also mention any reports of any organisation to mention some important statistics. Referencing is generally done in some particular style, mostly in Harvard or APA style.
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