Research Proposal's Content - Guide

Writing a research proposal is a challenging task due to the constantly changing trends in research designs. The research proposal is a blueprint or a detailed plan for an intended study that allows the research project to complete smoothly. The main aim of a research proposal is to justify the need to study and to present concrete ways in which a proposed study should be carried out. The procedures and design elements for conducting research study are governed mainly by principles of the discipline in which the research problem resides.

A research proposal comprises an extensive literature review and provides persuasive evidence that there is a need for a proposed study. Every college or university has a different research proposal format, but mostly it is between three to five pages. You should follow the format provided to you by your professor. A research proposal should contain all the important information needed to design a complete research study, which allows readers to assess the usefulness and validity of your proposed research study. Keep in mind! A research proposal is judged on your writing quality, and therefore, your research proposal must be compelling, coherent, and clear. The research proposal should comprise the following sections.

Title Page

The title page is the main part of a research proposal; therefore, it should be

  • Appealing
  • Short
  • Concise
  • Relevant

The title page should contain the following information

  • Student Name
  • Student Number
  • Name of Supervisor
  • Degree
  • Date


An introduction provides a brief overview of your study, along with research questions. An introduction outlines a need for a proposed study in terms of its contribution to a field. Remember! An introduction should not exceed one page in length. The proposed subheadings for the introduction section include

General Aims: Whether you want to learn how to start an essay or research proposal, one point to remember is that specifying your paper goal is a must, as this makes the reader understand why you are interested in a particular topic. Under this heading, you will write about the general question and problems answered by the proposed research.

Background: This is a short statement of the present state of knowledge of a study area.

Methods: Briefly describe the overall procedure and methods and how these address the general objectives

Significance: Briefly discuss the scope and significance of research in a field. Make sure to discuss what other studies have said about your research topic and its relation to other scholars’ research. If you are confused, get help from a paper writing service now.

Literature Review

The literature review is written within the context of existing studies and knowledge in your discipline. It provides recognition to other researchers and helps you point out the significance of your research study. Make sure to include existing gaps in the previous studies, as this will provide novelty to your research study.


Provide a full description of the research design and the specific procedures used in the research study. The methodology should be detailed enough so that it can be replicated. If you are using a methodology that is developed by other researchers, then cite the relevant study. Describe the theoretical approach and the type of resources used. Explain any type of limitation that your study has in terms of applicability and reliability of results.

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It is also known as Literature Cited, Work Cited, or References. The style depends on the academic discipline or field. Keep that in mind! Whatever style you choose should be followed carefully throughout the proposal.

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