Chapter 14: The Research Proposal

14.1 What are the Goals of a Research Proposal?

The research proposal has a set of specific goals:

  1. To present and justify the need to study a research problem.
  2. To present a practical way in which the proposed research study should be undertaken.
  3. To demonstrate that the design elements and procedures being set forth to study the research problem meet with the governed standards within the predominant discipline in which the problem resides.

Regardless of the research problem being investigated and the methods chosen to study that problem, all research proposals must address the following questions:

  1. What do you plan to accomplish? Be clear and succinct in defining the research problem and what it is you are proposing to research.
  2. Why do you want to do it? In addition to detailing your research design, you must also conduct a thorough review of the literature and provide convincing evidence that the topic is worthy of study. Be sure you answer the “so what?” question.
  3. How are you going to do it? Make sure that what you propose to do is doable. In other words, make sure you have the time, the resources and, most importantly, the stamina to undertake what you are proposing to do.


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