Academic Research Proposal Template
Depending on your subject, your referencing may involve in-text citations or footnotes.
Either way, your proposal will need a full reference list or bibliography at the end, including all of the secondary works you have mentioned in your literature review and primary sources (if applicable).
Often, the less ‘filler’ in an academic proposal, the better, as this means it is clear to your readers that your work is content-oriented.
Often, the title of a subsection will be enough to introduce it. From here onwards, this sample is split into 13 sections according to the sections that should be included in an academic research proposal.
A good way of making your research aim clear is to state a clear research question, and back it up with 2-4 specific assertions or objectives. This is where you explain how and where you plan to carry out your research. Again, depending on the nature of your research, this section could be anywhere from one or two sentences to several paragraphs. Note: this is like a preliminary contents page, but it does not need to be very specific, and can suggest sections rather than chapters at this stage, but the academics reading your proposal will be impressed to know that you have some idea how you may wish to present your work, and that you have some way in mind of translating your research to paper. It is surprisingly important, as it shows that you can recognise the limited scale of your work. Note: this section is optional, but may be helpful to show your potential supervisors that you are being realistic and recognise that your project has limits.
Every project needs distinct limiting factors in order to be manageable.] Naturally, the scope of this project is limited. It also will help you to know the scale of your work in the preliminary stages of planning, and help you to have realistic expectations of yourself.
Depending on your subject, there will probably be a specific set referencing pattern for written work (Chicago, Harvard, MLA, Social Sciences? Before you start writing, make sure you know what the convention for your subject area is, learn it and stick to it.A good way of presenting a literature review coherently is in the form of a narrative, which can either be chronological or thematic. Note: this is where you sell your research proposal to the reader. State whether you will plan to use different methods of data collection, and if so what they will be. Will you be using qualitative or quantitative collection of data?You need to explain, clearly and simply, how your research will complement the field you have just described in your literature review: what you will add, how it fills an existing gap, why the academic world would benefit from your research, etc. Do you have the necessary skills and qualifications to undertake your research (for instance foreign languages, statistical analysis, laboratory training, etc)?A good title structure can often be “Short Title: Longer Explanation of Your Field”.Your academic institution may have a preferred format for the title, or even a title page. If there is no preferred format, keep it simple and clear, and use a ‘serif’ font that is easily legible. Note: this summarises the central theme of your research.
Each section includes example notes and guidance on the suggested length and content.