How To Write A Research Proposal? 11 Things To Include In A Thesis Proposal

How to write a research proposal? what should be in it? whether it is a research
proposal for a bachelor’s study, or a master’s or a PhD, roughly speaking, the general steps
are similar and the main components are more or less the same. so in this video, let’s talk about these general
stuff, roughly speaking… First, a very obvious question — what is
a research proposal? What does it do? when we are writing a research
proposal, we are essentially just proposing to do a research study, we need to tell the
reader what is it that we want to research — what is the question that we want to have
answered, and HOW this question will be investigated and answered. That is what a research proposal does — for
us to clearly propose our research ideas to the supervisor, or the professor, or the manager,
or whoever it is that is gonna read and hopefully approve the proposal. That’s why we need to write a proposal before
doing a research study. What’s the first step in designing a study?
if we look at how we start writing a research proposal, most students will probably start
with a topic in mind. usually, when I meet my students for the first
time and I ask them what they want to research about, they would normally have an idea, which
is good. they might have a topic in mind, they have
some ideas in which they are interested, or they may have some personal story or anecdote
which represents a general research topic that they want to go into; and this is a great
starting point. so, really, the first step in writing a research
proposal is to have or to choose a topic which is of interest to you. But having a topic in mind is really not enough. nobody can do a research study on a topic. a topic is too general, it’s too broad, too
wide, too non-specific… how can we collect and analyze empirical data
to address something so general and broad? we got to take this broad, general topic and
narrow it down into a researchable question. How can we do that? the best way and maybe the only way to do
that is to read about it. the idea behind academic empirical research
is that no matter what topic we are thinking of, chances are there have been plenty of
people who wrote and researched about it. so it is our job as the researcher to read
about it. it is only through reading relevant literature
on our topic AND RELATED TOPICS can we know what’s been done on this topic already; it
is only through reviewing relevant literature can we decide on a specific area to focus
on or a particular direction to go into from within this general topic we are interested
in. After we’ve conducted our lit review or preliminary
lit review for the proposal, we can decide on what specifically this proposed study is
going to investigate. In other words, at this point, we are going
to define our research study. research definition can come in different
forms, sometimes it is formulating a problem statement and a bunch of research questions,
or maybe your professor will ask you to develop a central research question and a number of
investigative questions, or maybe conceptualizing a model for testing, or developing hypotheses
so that they can be empirically tested; or maybe your professor asks you to do a combination
of the things I just mentioned. But regardless, the idea is to clearly define
what your proposed study is going to investigate – be it in the form of questions or hypotheses
or models, or any other way shape or form. You will notice here that research definition,
or the formulation of main research questions, is generally done AFTER the lit review, which
means your central research questions should not be answered by the lit review, they should
be answered through the collection and analysis of empirical data. If your research questions can all be perfectly
answered just by reading some text books and articles, then what’s really the point of
conducting empirical research? All right, Now that we know WHAT our proposed
study is going to investigate, next we need to decide on HOW this investigation can be
carried out. In other words, we need to make various methodological
decisions for this proposed study. In this method or methodology section of the
research proposal, most universities and colleges would probably ask for the following aspects
to be clarified – research design, data collection instrument, sample, procedure,
planned data analysis, ethical considerations, and maybe budget. Let’s take a look at them all. Under research design, you are expected to
explain which type of research your proposed study is going to fall under — is it exploratory,
descriptive, correlational, causal, etc.? There are different kinds of research typologies
and research designs. For those of you who are interested, I have
several other videos on the topic of research design, check out the links in the description
box. Usually, as we propose a study, we need to
able to determine what type research it is and motivate why it is so. That’s why many times research design needs
to be clarified as the first element of the method. Because after all, the type of research may
indicate or even dictate, to a large extent, what methodological approaches are required. Next, we need to indicate in the proposal
what kind of empirical data is needed for this study and how we are going to collect
those data. For most business, management, economics,
and social sciences programs, students are required to collect some empirical data in
their thesis research. In other words, most of the time, we cannot
just do a big lit review and then call it our research thesis. So, in the proposal, we need to clearly say
whether we need qualitative data or quantitative data or both and why that is. And with that, of course, we need to describe
how we are going to collect these data — will we create a survey, or are we going to interview
people, or conduct observation, or perform experiments, or use other data collection
instruments. Not only we need to decide on what instrument
to use, we also need to preliminarily develop this instrument so that the reader can see
that this developed data collection instrument can indeed collect all the necessary data
to address our research questions. We also need to indicate in this methodology
section from whom we are going to collect data. In other words, who’s going to be the sample. Generally speaking, we are expected to describe
the population, the sample, and the sampling procedure. For instance, we might say that our population
is all employees of a certain organization while a portion of this population will be
taken as the sample via a stratified sampling procedure. Many times, we are also required to motivate
or justify why that is – so why this sample is proper and why this sampling procedure
is the correct one to use in this situation. I spoke about various sampling procedures
in another video, I will link it on the screen. We also need to describe the data collection
procedure — in other words, how will the instrument be used on the sample. For instance, what is the time frame for the
data collection? How will the respondents be approached? In what kind of settings will the data collection
be administered? What are the different steps involved in this
process? And then, we need to describe in the proposal
how we plan to analyze the collected data. For quantitative data – what kind of statistical
software and analytical procedures will be used? For qualitative data, what types of coding
is required and how will the data be interpreted? In planned data analysis section, we need
to clearly describe what we are going to do to analyze the data and to convince the reader
that we are capable of handling the data properly. After that, we talk a little bit about research
ethics. once again, depending on the university, there
may be different requirements to address ethical issues. this can be sometimes just a simple formality;
or this can be a real key consideration for the proposal. for example, for my own undergrad research,
this was just a couple of small paragraphs — that I promised I would treat the data
confidentially; that participation in the study was strictly voluntary; no payment would
be made to the respondents, things like that. but for my doctoral research, this was a big
deal — I had to sign a scientific researcher ethical code of conduct; my proposal had to
be reviewed and approved by an ethics committee; so ethics was much bigger a deal for my doctoral
research project. but in general, if you are writing a research
proposal for your own bachelor’s or master’s thesis, this section wouldn’t be too difficult,
just follow the instructions given by the faculty and most likely, you’ll be fine. Then — budget: this is also something that’s
more of a formality. for most bachelor’s and master’s dissertations, you are the one who’s
going to have to pay the costs involved in carrying out the research, so it is your own
budget for everything really. although it is good that you list everything
out and calculate how much money you might need to spend. obviously, for commercial or governmental
research project proposals, this budget section will have a lot more practical value. Sometimes, you might also need to put in the
proposal a ‘planning’ chapter — in which you indicate a clear time planning for various
steps involved in the research project. and usually this will come with some kind
of visual illustration, maybe a Gantt chart or something like that, to show that all the
main components and steps are carefully and clearly planned out. So, these are the main sections of a research
proposal. Good luck with writing your own! Thanks for watching this RR video, please
like and sub, see you next time.

44 Replies to “How To Write A Research Proposal? 11 Things To Include In A Thesis Proposal

  1. Wow! Great video full of information to share. Just a suggestion 'though, more visuals (e.g. photos, video)? At any rate, thank you for this. 🙂

  2. waaaw it is so amazing the way u explain all steps thank u somuch it is really useful for me cz I preparing research proposal 😍 go forward and make more vedios abt research preparing 😍

  3. I'm going to have an exam in research, as young as 13. huhu this helped A LOT I understand this better than my class XD

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