Emily Sutton

Writing Tips for UK Students

7 Smart Tips On How To Write A Research Proposal With Maximum Success Rate

Whether it comes to your competition or the professor you get for this assignment, learning how to write a research proposal can make all the difference in the world. It can be the factor that affects the success of your application. A research proposal is usually between 2,000 and 3,000 words, but it also persuades supervisors, professors and funders that your work is worth a little attention and support. So, how do you write a good proposal to make an impression?

1. Give yourself time

Time might be limited. Competition is likely to be fierce. But at the same time, rushing will get you nowhere, as you are likely to make mistakes. Instead, you have to take one thing at a time, focus, write, proofread, edit, write some more and so on.

From this point of view, make sure you never rush. Take your time and write your proposal without any pressure on your shoulders. While it does not mean that you can take weeks to write a proposal, keep in mind that you want quality over speed.

2. See it as a temporary option

A research proposal is self explanatory – just a proposal. Simply put, it is not set in stone. Keep in mind that when writing a research paper, things may evolve. As the work goes further, you will get new ideas and you might have to go in different directions at times.

To help you understand what a research proposal is, you should see it as nothing but a temporary outline. While this is not always the case, the proposal is not really a definitive summary of your final work.

3. Keep it crystal clear

Many newbies come up with confusing ideas and paragraphs when learning how to write a research proposal because they try to impress. Bad idea. If the supervisor or professor is lost, your proposal will be a massive failure.

Instead, make sure you state everything clearly. Your ideas, questions and solutions should be easy to understand and straight to the point. Focus on the questions – these are more important at this stage of your work.

4. Use your passion

Your passion must be palpable. You want the passion for the topic to shine and make the difference. A research proposal is a persuasive piece of work. You need to grab your reader’s attention and convince them of the importance of your project.

5. Opt for a good presentation

It is worth noting that those reviewing applications have seen hundreds – if not thousands of applications. Many of them have been rejected. They have seen pretty much everything. When you submit your application, there will be dozens of other proposals coming at the same time.

You need to ensure your proposal is extremely well presented. At the same time, it must be clearly written. Be straightforward or direct or your proposal will not stick in their mind.

6. Avoid plagiarism

Avoid getting templates for your research proposal. You can find templates for free, but you can also go the extra mile and pay for a premium one. Those templates have been used before, so you want something original instead.

Other than that, if you refer to any authors or publications in your proposal, they must be mentioned. It is the safest way to avoid plagiarism. Furthermore, paraphrase when you have to.

7. Keep it real

Learning how to write a research proposal involves using a bit of realism too. You are less likely to impress anyone if you come up with an unrealistic purpose. Your intellectual profile and your personal ambition will, indeed, impress. But on the same note, supervisors and professors will also consider the likelihood of completion.

Keep the final purpose of your research paper reasonable. You would rather complete a task to 100% by the book than finish it at 80% and leave gaps.

Final words

Bottom line, knowing how to write a research proposal will bring in a plethora of advantages and will most likely increase the chance to get accepted. Small details often make the difference, but you also have to see the bigger image. Once you are done with it, proofread it a few times every few days, only to ensure your writing is coherent and there are no mistakes.


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