How To Write A Research Proposal

Whatever your research goal, knowing how to write a research proposal can help you get there. Do you want to learn how to make the best beer, develop the fastest car, or discover the best design for a camping stove? Consider how you can explore your interests, then follow the lead of academics to write a research proposal.

  1. Do your homework on the topic. What sources are available to you about your topic? What can you do that is new? Can you uncover new information or combine known information in new ways? Develop and explore your goals. Brainstorm and do some preliminary research before you write a research proposal.
  2. Write an introduction. Put your goals in writing by creating an introductory hypothesis explaining your idea, outlining relevant background information, and describing what you hope to discover. Give an overview of your research question.
  3. Describe the materials and methods. Discuss the materials and methods that you will put to use in order to prove or disprove your hypothesis. What are the ideal conditions for your research? What are your concerns about gathering valid information and how will you address them?
  4. Create a discussion section. Consider what your potential conclusion will mean and where you, or other researches will be able to go from here. Here's your opportunity to discuss what you intend to do with your discoveries whether or not they are as you expected. What is the next step for your research?
  5. Revise as needed. If you are going to submit your research proposal, check the guidelines for the organization and make sure you are addressing all of the necessary points and providing sufficient information as well as meeting their format requirements as you write a research proposal.

Your research proposal should contain an overview or introduction to your research questions, an explanation of materials and methods, and further discussion. Follow these steps for how to write a research proposal and discover a great way for you consider your interests, focus goals, and proceed with making your discoveries.


Lunsford, Andrea A. The Everyday Writer, 4th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009.

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