Research Proposal Instructions
Prompt: In 2,000-2,500 words, create a research proposal for your research topic that includes an abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, rationale, conclusion, and references (the last of which not counting towards the word count) in that order.
- You may use first person, but not second person. Only use first person when absolutely necessary to talk about the fact that you are proposing research. Some sections like the literature review should not have any at all, but you will likely need it in the methodology.
- Your grammar, spelling, and punctuation should be flawless. Visit the Liberty University writing centers if you want extra help: https://www.liberty.edu/academics/casas/academicsuccess/index.cfm?PID=38382
- You must use APA formatting.
- When proposing that you will be doing an action if your proposal is accepted (like in your methodology), speak in the future tense.
- Use Level 1 APA headings to differentiate between main sections where appropriate.
- Your abstract should be a general, 150-250 word summary of what sections and topics are contained in your research proposal; avoid arguing or going into detail there.
- Remember to look over the comments your instructor has made on your other related assignments and be sure to update sections of your research proposal for this assignment. Learn from past mistakes and successes.
- Keep your audience in mind throughout. While your professor will grade your essay, remember that your audience will likely be someone who can grant money to support your research. Assume that person, committee, or organization is somewhat interested in your research topic. How can you show them that your plan to study it is a good one that deserves financial support? It will be easier to convince them if you can show you’ve done your research, your reasons for studying this topic lines up with theirs, and your plan to study it will be effective.
- Remember that the introduction of your literature review is not the same as the introduction overall—the overall introduction usually focuses on the topic and segues into introducing the research hypothesis or question, which is typically the last sentence of the introduction.
- In your conclusion, summarize your main ideas and emphasize the importance and future helpfulness of what you are doing.
- Once you have put together all the pieces, read through your proposal several times to make sure that tone, ideas, and arguments stay consistent throughout. You’ve sorted out the puzzle pieces, but you need to make sure they all fit.