When you are new to writing academic assignments in college, you might not be familiar with various tasks given to you. You might know what an essay is and how to respond to readings, but a research proposal or a literature review might throw you off. To prevent this from happening, follow this comprehensive guide on how to write a research proposal.

Definition of a research proposal

What is a research proposal? You might ask; it is a brief paper outlining the topics you’ll be researching for a more extensive study. And if you decide to pursue further education after receiving your bachelor’s degree, you’ll be writing research proposals for your master’s, dissertation, and all other research you pursue.

Not only does a proposal help you choose the appropriate format for your research, but it can be used to convince a grant, academic institution, or supervisor that your project is worthwhile.

Steps on how to write a research proposal

Most students start preparing a research proposal paper by presenting all the content in an unsuitable research proposal format or structure without understanding parts of a research proposal paper.

If you have no idea how to write a research proposal, don’t fret. Here is a guide on how to write like a pro;

  1. Begin by choosing a suitable study topic or theme
  2. Create your research question after assessing the topic you have picked
  3. Thirdly, organize the essential concepts and points you would like to talk about 
  4. Create an original research proposal outline with the necessary sections
  5. Choose an interesting topic for your research proposal
  6. Compose a brief abstract next
  7. After that, write an attention-grabbing introduction
  8. Discuss the objectives and significance of the research
  9. Provide a review of the literature
  10. Explain the research design
  11. Highlight the expected research findings or assumption
  12. Outline the moral significance
  13. List the limits of the research
  14. Provide citations and references at the end showing whether it is an MLA or APA format research proposal
  15. Lastly, edit and proofread

Research proposals, like all other forms of academic writing, are composed in a formal, objective style. Follow the appropriate research proposal structure outlined above. Your reader knows how to write a research proposal and expects that yours will match a similar research proposal template.

There is no other magic on how to write grant proposal research. You should write it logically and concisely. The concluding section of your proposal should include answers to all the concerns the reader may have had while reading it.

How to structure a research proposal

A research proposal outline is quite simple. To achieve the objectives of writing a research proposal, nearly all research proposals contain the following sections;  


The main presentation for your project is outlined in the research proposal introduction. Include a concise explanation of what you wish to do and why.

Your introduction should;

  • Introduce your topic
  • Give background and context of the research
  • Identify your issue and the inquiries your research seeks to address
  • In a research proposal essay, an introduction can contain a few paragraphs. However, don’t feel you have to squeeze all the information within one paragraph just because it needs to be brief.
  • In some circumstances, your research proposal can include an abstract and/or a table of contents before the introduction.

A preview of significance

Here, you should discuss the significance of your research and how it connects to previous findings in the discipline. You should describe in depth in your research proposal whether your research will revolve around the work of other researchers in a way that strengthens, challenges, or supplements it.

In this section, you will outline the current issues your study will attempt to solve. In other words, this is the part where you respond to the reader’s “so what?” question by describing why your work is relevant. You can check a research proposal example online to understand how to outline relevance.

You can describe your methodology in the research proposal in this section. If possible, list some underlying questions and problems your research will not address.

Literature review

It’s essential to show that you are familiar with the key research findings on your theme. A comprehensive literature review reveals to readers that the project you are working on is based on existing information or theory.

It also indicates that you are expanding on previous studies rather than copying what others have done or said.

A literature review is more than just a list of references. The resources you utilize are in-depth reviewed in a literature review, and the methods you used to conduct your research.

Describe in detail how your research project proposal will advance the ongoing discussions in the field in this section by:

  1. Contrasting and comparing the major theories, strategies, and conversations
  2. Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of various strategies
  3. Highlighting how you’ll expound upon, dispute, or connect earlier research

If you are unsure how to write a literature review, you can request our experts for a research proposal sample to learn more.

Research design and methods

Once the literature review is complete, clarify your primary objectives. This restores attention to your particular project. The next section, the study’s design or methodology, will outline your general strategy and the events you’ll take to address your research questions.

Ensure your research plans cover the questions;

  • About the kind of research that will undertake. Is it qualitative or quantitative research? Are you gathering new information or utilizing information collected by previous researchers?
  • Are you conducting descriptive, correlational, or experimental research?
  • What information are you utilizing? For instance, if you are performing social science research, you must explain the demographic you are examining. You should also describe how you will choose your respondents and get their information.
  • What tools will you employ to gather data? Are you going to do experiments? Or carrying out surveys? Observing occurrences? Write down all sampling techniques here, along with the reasons why they work for your research study.

Along with the above information, you can also include the following;

  • Your research proposal paper budget estimation
  • The timeframe of your research
  • How do you plan to handle any potential challenges?

Contribution to knowledge

Even if you cannot predict the results of your research paper until you carry it out, you should enter the project with a firm knowledge of how your effort will enhance your topic. This portion of your research proposal is possibly the most vital to your argument, given that it outlines in detail why your investigation is necessary.

This section should address the following;

  1. How can your work refute existing beliefs and false assumptions in your discipline;
  2. How will your work establish the foundation for further investigation?
  3. The relevance of your findings to experts, instructors, and other researchers in your field
  4. Issues that your work may contribute to resolve
  5. Policies that your discoveries may have an impact on
  6. How could your research be utilized in academic or other fields, and how can this expand or otherwise improve those fields

This part is not where you disclose the results you want to achieve. Instead, it is where you explain why your research will be helpful.


The conclusion is where you summarize everything in the paper. Just like in the conclusion paragraph of a traditional essay, your conclusion section clearly and precisely sums up your research proposal and restates the intended objective of your research.

Research proposal topics

If you are struggling to find a perfect topic for your proposal, don’t worry. Here, we have sampled various topics, including qualitative research proposal topics.

Business research proposal topics

  1. Describe how globalization affects small enterprises
  2. Dialogue about the value of company planning
  3. Effective business management: Share some tactics
  4. How can an organization adopt a new culture?
  5. How should corporate ethical policies be implemented?
  6. Describe the various business kinds’ advertising techniques
  7. Describe the best ways to advertise the same product to multiple generations
  8. Examine the effects of working extra hours
  9. What draws customers to virtual reality?
  10. Outline some of the most excellent tactics for a persuasive sales pitch.

Qualitative research topics

Finding interesting qualitative research proposal topics is a no mean task. Here is a list that might hasten the process.

  1. Explain how quickly the ozone layer is disappearing
  2. The top 30 tourist destinations worldwide
  3. Pros of online courses over traditional education
  4. How have firms made the transition to digital marketing online?
  5. Is it possible to detect and stop environmental hazards before they happen?
  6. The relationship between Windows and Apple products

Marketing research proposal topics

  1. Explain the sales techniques used in various cultural contexts
  2. Describe the differences between search engine optimization and paid search marketing
  3. Analyze the 15-year evolution of consumer behavior
  4. Evaluate the benefits of developing a reliable brand image
  5. Assess traditional and technological marketing
  6. Discuss the challenges of global marketing
  7. Research gamification’s effectiveness as a marketing strategy and present your argument
  8. Assess email marketing in the fashion sector through research and writing
  9. Describe marketing innovations and advertising analytics in your writing
  10. How do companies capitalize on impulse purchases?

Ph.D. research proposal topics

  1. Study the post-Macedonian empires’ evolution
  2. How to enhance drug development and testing for children
  3. Describe how progressive thinking in management is advantageous
  4. A quantitative assessment of how LGBTQ people are portrayed in the media
  5. Go over the moral dilemmas raised by worldwide electronic voting
  6. What effects does remote education have on health?
  7. Describe the social media marketing red ocean concept
  8. Explain the 21st-century desire for electric automobiles
  9. Evaluate your susceptibility to noise when working or sleeping
  10. Analyze the techniques for language learning in later life

Interesting research proposal topics

  1. How do plants in arid environments respond to invasive grass?
  2. Examine contemporary nuclear politics in your writing
  3. Examine a multicultural state’s political identity
  4. Describe the causes of socialism’s failure
  5. Analyze the causes of socialism’s failure
  6. Examine the psychology of Mandela’s influence
  7. Discuss how parenting styles and kids’ social attitudes are related
  8. Discuss the social credit system’s myths and realities
  9. Evaluate the morality of cloning
  10. Discuss the issues with genetic engineering
  11. Discuss how to imitate fish temperature tolerance
  12. How can virus mutations be prevented?
  13. Explain methods for improving the decision-making method in investments
  14. Discuss the idea of brain plasticity
  15. Investigate how American and British poets feel about the conflict

Law research proposal topics

  1. Discuss how international law protects human rights
  2. Explain consumer law and salesperson negligence in your essay
  3. Outline the criminal procedure law
  4. Examine the discrimination against women in criminal justice laws
  5. Discuss the Sexual Harassment Law in Practice
  6. Discuss the International Law on Marine Pollution
  7. Describe the regulation of international commerce
  8. How does the Plea-Bargaining Law affect the Criminal Justice System?
  9. Discuss how international trade law has changed
  10. What elements makeup US conventional business law?

Medical research proposal topics

  1. Contrast male and female subfertility
  2. Describe the characteristics of medical deontology and ethics
  3. Describe the common illness affecting athletes
  4. How can at-risk groups consume estrogen more safely?
  5. Explain how seasonal allergies affect your health
  6. Evaluate how accurate noninvasive screening is
  7. Recommendations for preventing anxiety and depressive illnesses
  8. Discuss how to keep pregnant women healthy
  9. Describe some cutting-edge medical procedures
  10. Describe how psychology and physical health are related

Education research proposal ideas

  1. What is the impact of social learning on education?
  2. What results does blended learning produce?
  3. Examine the classroom management strategies used in high school
  4. Explain the efficient ways that digitization can be used to improve education
  5. How to offer children with disabilities special education
  6. Which kid-friendly educational applications are the best?
  7. Examine the parenting techniques for dealing with the impulsive kid
  8. Describe how psychology may help schools
  9. What are the most effective ways for kids to study?
  10. Examine the distinction between theoretical and practical schooling

MBA research proposal topics

  1. Explain human resource management in healthcare
  2. What is the secret to the success of family businesses?
  3. Write an article on modern business startups
  4. How to deal with overqualified workers
  5. Find out how to increase the motivation and output of employees
  6. How may microfinance credit impact the performance of a company?

Bottom line

Hopefully, you have learned the insights on how to write a research proposal like an expert. If you need more specialized help, don’t hesitate to visit Acemyessays.com.