Compose the Research Proposal Your Professor will Undoubtedly Love


During the semester, most professors tend to assign the task of composing a research paper proposal to their students. Even if you do not have to submit a research proposal, it is necessary to compose one anyway. You may be interested to know why students should write this type of research paper. First, a research paper proposal enables you to clarify your topic and research plans. Second, it allows refining ideas and moving the research in the right direction. Third, a research proposal prevents you from falling into procrastinating behavior. Your professor insists on writing proposals in order to help you succeed in the research. However, if the proposal is not required, you should primarily focus on the content, rather than on formatting. 

Students will probably not experience any difficulties with developing the proposal, if they strictly follow the basic steps of preparing to compose their papers. Thus, students should not perform a new task in this case. They can just use the information collected during the selection of a research topic. How long is a research paper proposal? This type of research paper should ordinarily consist of 200-250 words. Nevertheless, the length of the research paper proposal may vary slightly. In order to avoid problems, always check your syllabus! The research proposal intends to demonstrate the evidence of the work you have managed to complete.

How to write a research paper proposal

An effective research proposal should comprise the following sections:

#1 A short introduction to the topic you are going to research.

You should be specific when writing this part of proposal.

#2 The selected research question and/or thesis.

This section does not require much research because your thesis may change. However, you should indicate clearly what your main question is and what answer you expect. Do not forget to be as narrow and specific as possible. Moreover, keep in mind that you should be able to answer the question comprehensively, support your thesis with adequate evidence, and meet the length requirement at the same time. For example, if you need to submit a ten-page paper, make sure you can prove your thesis, satisfying the requirement for page count. Please note that a research paper is not an opinion piece. Therefore, you are not allowed to use the word “should” in your question or thesis.

#3 A review of several main sources you are going to use.

In this section, you should name several key sources that you can mention in your introduction to the topic. Remember that it is necessary to indicate how you are planning to use these sources and explain briefly their value.

Please acquaint yourself with helpful tips for developing a research paper proposal your professor will love.

#1 Scope.

Your research topic should be broad enough to find plenty of evidence. However, it also should be narrow enough to meet the length requirement. If you realize that your topic is broad, try to split it into chunks and then select one of them.

#2 Do not use unnecessary words!

Your professor probably wants to read the proposal quickly, clearly understand your plan, and make sure that you are able to start working on the research paper. Try to avoid fluff. It will encourage your professor to give you positive feedback.

#3 Significance.

Keep in mind that your research topic should be significant and contribute to the existing body of knowledge. You are not expected to write about something that has never been studied before. However, a SparkNotes on your topic indicates that this topic is overdone. If you realize that your topic is overdone, you may compare and contrast the ideas of two or more writers about this topic. Remember that you should always follow the guidelines provided by your professor. It will allow you to monitor whether your research proposal meets the guidelines and correct the mistakes before you get buried in the research.

#4 Prepare yourself for feedback.

Sometimes it is difficult to handle negative feedback. You put a lot of effort into performing this project, and now your professor is criticizing your work. Nevertheless, it is hard to overestimate the importance of professor’s feedback. Thus, your professor may tell you that your research proposal does not meet the requirements, or the research topic is broad, or you will be unable to find appropriate sources. Such feedback prevents you from working on the wrong thing and shows you a right direction. You professor may also give valuable advice on how to narrow the research topic or find helpful sources. In fact, you should be interested in the professor’s recommendations.

#5 Choose two.

If you compose an informal research proposal, or if your professor does not require it, select two ideas and ask the professor, which one is better.

#6 Read the instructions to avoid losing points.

The assignment instructions provide the details about content and format. That is why you should read them carefully in order to avoid losing points. Before submitting your research paper proposal, do not forget to re-read the instructions and make the necessary corrections.

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