How To Write a Research Proposal: Tips and Rules

Before writing a research paper, students should compile a convincing proposal for it. The readers of this article will get to know how to do it to impress the teacher.

When students need to write a part of a research paper , they often find this task challenging. But before that, they should compile a research proposal. This might confuse them even more because they hardly understand the requirements of the paper. This article will be more useful to you than many literature study guides for teens. The readers of this article will get smart tips on how to write an excellent research proposal.

The Aim of Writing a Research Proposal

Students need to compile this paper for the following reasons:

  • Showcase their research and writing skills
  • Train critical thinking
  • Practice carrying out a research study
  • Single out the logical steps that they need to take to achieve their research goals
  • Work with multiple reference books and assess which of them best address the problem 
  • Agree or disagree with other scholars’ opinions and back up one’s individual vision of the problem
  • Detect the mistakes that other scholars made and offer solutions for them
  • Apply diverse methods of collecting and processing information related to the research problem and associative learning
  • Compare the efficiency of these methods
  • Foster their curiosity and obtain profound knowledge on the chosen topic

Those who assign this task to paper writers miss their chance to develop. This task is the best preparation for the proper research. It is a great exercise to improve one’s analytical thinking. Many graduates will need the above-listed skills at their future work.

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The Questions That the Author Should Ask to Themselves

Before starting the paper, its authors should think about the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the topic of the study?
  • What is its significance?
  • Which problems can it help to solve?
  • How is the topic related to the contents of the course?
  • How popular is this topic among other scholars?
  • What do other scholars think about it? How does the student’s approach differ from what other scholars think?

A research proposal should prove that the student understands the topic and is genuinely interested in it. This needs to be a promising sphere of study. It should be something that the young specialist can turn into a sustainable business. This idea should be rather complicated and beneficial for mankind.

The Structure of the Paper

A typical research proposal features the following sections:

  • Introductory part
  • The background and the significance of the research
  • Sources of information
  • The essence of the research and the method applied
  • Preliminary assumptions and conclusions
  • Final thoughts
  • Citations

It might happen so that the teacher would ask students to modify this structure. However, the paper should never contain the findings of the study and the author’s analysis of those findings. These parts will be included in the proper research. The proposal should only justify the relevance of the research.

The author might include their timetable in the paper. Usually, they put it after the section devoted to methodology. The author explains how long it took them to write each part. This will help the readers to estimate the complexity and feasibility of the project. It will take you a long time and you should take a break and lift your spirits with college memes.

The Most Widespread Mistakes

Before writing a research proposal, it would be wise to read books on improving one’s writing skills. The primary merit of this paper is conciseness. Yet too many authors would lose focus and pay excessive attention to irrelevant details. Stay concentrated on the topic. Resist the temptation to write about insignificant phenomena that are connected to it.

Authors who do this task for the first time tend to forget about contextual boundaries. They need to set them from the onset. These boundaries determine the time frame, the place, and the people involved. The reader should understand the environment of the research.

The author needs to be persuasive and coherent, just as when writing an essay. Yet, they should not convince the reader that they have the right opinion or the correct approach. Instead, they should emphasize the importance of their research. A smart trick can help the writer in this aspect. 

They should imagine that they are researchers who create a commercial product. They need to persuade investors to support them. If they fail, they will not get money from any other source. This is the style that the student should stick to when writing a research proposal.

Some students forget about the bibliography or select poor sources for their paper. Their work needs to be grounded in foundational research. Research that other scholars carried out allows readers to better understand the scope of the issue. Plus, it enables them to predict the development of the project. 

Literacy is essential, even if the author is not a language major. They should correct mistakes and misprints before submitting the paper. Some think that teachers will forgive their misspellings because their major is an exact science. Alas, such an approach does not work.

It is impossible to talk about the ideal length of the paper because it varies from one school to another. Some teachers say it is enough to write 10 pages. Others require their students to write 30-35 pages. In certain schools, 2500 words are the norm (around 7 pages).

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Someone Should Proof-Read the Work Once It Is Finished

Even if the student writes the paper themselves, they might ask someone to check it in the end. A professional editor will correct potential mistakes and make sure the text is logical enough. They might ask questions to the student and suggest that they should add or change some parts. Experienced writers never skip this step to improve their texts.

The editor will tell the writer whether their research proposal is interesting to read. This paper is formal, but it should not be boring! The readers need to feel the writer’s enthusiasm.


These tips should be relevant for any type of research proposal. Yet, students should not rely only on recommendations that they found online. They need to discuss the task with their teachers to make sure that they understand all the requirements correctly. It is acceptable to rely on templates of research proposals that the student finds online. But they should format the text according to the standards of their school.