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Q: What is the justification of a research?

Asked on 28 Jan, 2020

Research is conducted to add something new, either knowledge or solutions, to a field. Therefore, when undertaking new research, it is important to know and state why the research is being conducted, in other words, justify the research. The justification of a research is also known as the rationale. Writing the justification or rationale comes from an in-depth search and analysis of the existing literature around the topic. A comprehensive literature search typically reveals gaps in previous studies that you may then wish to explore through your research. You need to write the justification in the Introduction section of the paper.

For more information on the justification or rationale of research, you may go through the following resources:

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Answered by Editage Insights on 29 Jan, 2020

how to write justification of the study in research proposal

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Sample Budget Justifications

Because sponsor requirements differ, the sample budget justifications below should be seen as a starting point, rather than one-size-fits-all. We’ve included some guidelines on what additional information particular sponsors require in the Annotated versions. However, it is essential to read the solicitation and the sponsor’s proposal preparation guidelines to see what is required for each individual proposal.

Budget Justifications for use with research sponsors:

Budget Justifications for use with non-research sponsors:

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After identifying a problem you’d like to address in your study, the next step is to write a research proposal. In your research proposal, you can provide critical insights into your systematic investigation, including your methodology and the significance of the study. 

In educational assessment , your supervisor would always ask you to present a proposal before commencing the study. If you need research funding, you’d also have to submit a proposal in many cases. So how do you write an effective research proposal? 

First, you need to understand your research problem clearly and show why there’s a need to solve this problem. In this article, we’ll discover several tips for writing an effective research proposal and common pitfalls you should look out for.   

What is a Research Proposal?  

A research proposal spells out the critical issues your research is about and how you plan to go about your investigation. This is where you lay out a solid background of your proposed field of study, outline existing arguments and demonstrate the originality of your systematic research. 

Writing a research proposal is one of the most important aspects of any systematic investigation as it allows you to justify your efforts. After reading your document, people should understand why your topic is essential and why your solution is a feasible approach to solving the issue. 

Sometimes, you might be asked to submit a chapter breakdown with your proposal to give your supervisor a step-by-step insight into how you would conduct the study. 

Learn About: Research Report: Definition, Types + [Writing Guide]

What is the Purpose of a Research Proposal?

Why should you bother about writing research proposals? A research proposal serves two significant purposes: justification of your study and justification of your method. 

First, it is an opportunity to justify the need to study an existing problem. In other words, this is where you show people the far-reaching impact or effects of the research problem. For example, suppose you’re researching the use of drugs amongst teenagers. In that case, you must communicate the impact of this behavior and why it’s necessary to address this problem. 

Next, a research proposal is an opportunity to present the practical ways the proposed study should be conducted. At this point, you should also convince your supervisor and show why your research method or theory is most suitable for this particular investigation. 

Some other reasons why you should write a good research proposal include: 

What are the Qualities of a Good Research Proposal?  

Types of Research Proposals and When to Use Them  

Depending on your type of research, you may submit an approval proposal or a funding proposa l. In some cases, you’d have to turn in both; that is if your supervisor doubles as the project’s proposed financier. 

1. Approval Proposals 

An approval proposal is common in final undergraduate dissertations where a professor is assigned as your project supervisor. Typically, your supervisor would ask you to draw up a road map that justifies your study and shows that the research problem is worth investigating. You’d need to submit this document for the professor’s approval before going ahead with your research. 

When writing an approval proposal, you need to present information such as the purpose of the research, its importance, previous research in the same area, how your research will be conducted, a timeframe, and the resources that will be needed. 

2. Funding Proposal 

A funding proposal is submitted to an external organization to seek funding for your research. Funding proposals are like business pitches because you’re trying to convince someone or a team to invest in your idea. So, you need to use persuasive language that sells the validity and relevance of your research. 

Funding proposals also require that you emphasize your expertise in the field of study. Have you conducted similar research in the past? Great! Now’s the time to mention that. Do you have academic qualifications in a particular field of study? Mention that too. 

To recap, your funding proposal must communicate the following:

In educational research, we can also identify five(5) categories of research proposals which are:

Explore: 33 Fundraising Ideas for Clubs & Non-Profit

1. Renewal Proposals 

A renewal proposal requests additional support for a study that’s already in progress and about to come to an end. Here, you need to show the outcomes you’ve already achieved and why additional support is necessary to the investigation. 

2. Continuation or Non-competing Proposals

This type of proposal applies to research that spans multiple years. Typically, the sponsor has already provided funding for an initial period (typically one year), and you’re presenting the proposal to request the release of additional funds for the following year. Here, the proposal approval depends on the availability of funds and if the sponsor is satisfied with the work you’ve done so far. 

Free to use: 21 Sponsorship Form Templates

3. Pre Proposal  

Sometimes, a sponsor would ask you to submit a pre-proposal in the form of an abstract or letter of intent for your study. After the pre-proposal is reviewed, the sponsor notifies the investigator if a full proposal is required.

4. Unsolicited Proposals

As the name suggests, an unsolicited proposal is submitted when there’s no express call for it. Researchers submit unsolicited proposals to sponsors who might have some interest in their field of study. 

5. Solicited Proposals

Any proposal submitted in response to a formal call or request is known as a solicited proposal. Such solicitations, typically called Request for Proposals (RFP), or Request for Quotations (RFQ), usually have a specific format and technical content requirements and may specify certain award terms and conditions. 

What Should Be Included in a Research Proposal? (Content and structure)

In most cases, your supervisor would let you in on the guidelines for writing a research proposal. In the case of research that requires funding, the sponsors will specify the different information that you should include in your proposal. 

Nevertheless, it pays to have some idea of the content and structure of a proposal. Typically, your research proposal should include the following information:

Your proposal should clearly state the working title of your research paper, and this title should include relevant keywords. Your title should capture the intention of your research and draw attention to the specific issue your study will address. 

This section should highlight the critical issue(s) that you want to investigate and why these are important. At this point, you can refer to previous research efforts and any gaps your study will address. 

This is where you create a well-defined frame for your study, and it’s an intelligent way to grab your reader’s attention. Here, you have the chance to answer critical questions relating to your research, such as, “why is this study important?” How does it fit into the existing strengths of the department? How will it add something new to the current body of literature? 

You don’t have to go into details here, but it pays to highlight key ideas that will build readers’ interest in your work. 

Read: What is Educational Research? + [Types, Scope & Importance]

Prioritize one or two research questions here and use them to narrow the aims and objectives of your study. While you might not answer these questions in your proposal, you should explain how you intend to answer them—are you adopting a qualitative research method ? Would your approach be empirical, doctrinal or theoretical, etc.? 

This ties to responding to specific research questions. Once you’ve narrowed it down to particular aims and objectives, you should show the reader how you intend to achieve them. Depending on how deep you want to go, you can state the primary and secondary data sources , details about fieldwork, sampling technique, and data analysis methods for your study. This section should also contain a realistic timeline for completing your research. 

Why should anyone fund or approve your research? This section is where you convince them that your study is significant and relevant to your field and even related fields. In this section, you should show how your systematic investigation adds to the existing body of knowledge. You should also set out reasons why it is timely to research your proposed topic. 

Unlike an abstract, a proposal requires a list of initial references and sources for your study. You should mention critical articles and texts discussed within your research proposal, as well as a selection of sources that may be relevant to your project. 

Examples of Research Proposals 

Now, let’s look at some practical examples of research proposals. You can use these samples as templates when drafting your proposal for the first time. 

Example 1: Research Proposals From York St John University  

Example 2: Sample Research Proposal From The Open University  

Example 3: Sample Research Proposal From The University of Houston  

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Research Proposals

If you want your research proposal to be accepted at the first go, you should avoid these common mistakes: 

1. The research topic is too broad.  

If your research topic doesn’t speak to a single, specific problem, it gives the impression that your study lacks a central focus. For example, a research topic that aims to “investigate the behaviors of children” will leave lots of questions like:

2. The aims and objectives of your research are poorly-aligned 

If there are discrepancies between your aims and objectives, and your specific research questions , your proposal might be rejected. When this happens, your investigation will appear to pull in several directions, making it difficult for anyone to follow through with the core ideas of your study. 

3. There’s no justification for your study 

One of the most important reasons for a research proposal is the justification of your study. In other words, you need to convince all parties that your research is relevant and worth investing in. Poor justification of the research topic is a common reason for proposals to be rejected. 

Other things that can ruin your chances of proposal approval include:

4. When your research has a weak theoretical background and fails to fill a clear gap in the existing literature

5. Failing to acknowledge and discuss landmark studies and critical literature in the topic area

6. Relying heavily on outdated sources and not incorporating more recent research that builds on the “classics.”

7. When your research design is impractical or not well-articulated

8. Poor writing and sloppy presentation of your ideas

How Long Should My Research Proposal Be? 

Different universities and faculties have prescribed word counts for research proposals. For example, the University of Westminster states that a research proposal should be 2,000–3,500 words (4-7 pages) long. In cases where there’s no prescribed word count, you can go with 1,000-1,500 words for your paper. 

Top Tips For Writing Your Research Proposal


Your research proposal determines whether you’d go further in your systematic investigation, so you want to get it right. If you cannot present your ideas in a way that appeals to your supervisor or prospective financier, you will miss the chance to pursue this area of interest. 

Fortunately, writing a research proposal doesn’t have to look or feel overwhelming. We’ve shared a simple guide for writing an effective proposal and several examples to help out in this article. By leveraging all of this information, you should get through writing your proposal in no time.  


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How To Write Significance of the Study (With Examples) 

Related: How to Write a Concept Paper for Academic Research

Table of Contents

Watch video: a quick guide to significance of the study.

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What Is the Significance of the Study?

Related: How To Write Scope and Delimitation of a Research Paper (With Examples)

Where Should I Put the Significance of the Study?

Related: How to Make Conceptual Framework (with Examples and Templates)

Why Should I Include the Significance of the Study?

The purpose of the Significance of the Study is to give you space to explain to your readers how exactly your research will be contributing to the literature of the field you are studying http://dissertationedd.usc.edu/draft-your-significance-of-the-study.html '> 1 . It’s where you explain why your research is worth conducting and how significant it is to the community, the people, and various institutions.

How To Write Significance of the Study: 5 Steps

1. use your research problem as a starting point, 2. state how your research will contribute to the existing literature in the field, 3. explain how your research will benefit society, 4. mention the specific persons or institutions who will benefit from your study, 5. indicate how your study may help future studies in the field.

You must also specifically indicate how your research will be part of the literature of the field you are studying and how it will benefit future researchers. In our example above, you may indicate that through the data and analysis your research will provide, future researchers may explore other capabilities of herbal plants in preventing different diseases.

Tips and Warnings

Significance of the study examples, example 1: stem-related research, example 2: business and management-related research, example 3: social science -related research., example 4: humanities-related research.

Future researchers – this study covers information involving meditation as an approach to reducing anxiety levels. Thus, the result of this study can be used for future discussions on the capabilities of meditation in alleviating other mental health concerns.

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1. what is the difference between the significance of the study and the rationale of the study, 2. what is the difference between justification and the significance of the study.

In Justification, you are expressing the logical reasoning behind the conduct of the study. On the other hand, the Significance of the Study aims to present to your readers the specific benefits your research will contribute to the field you are studying, community, people, and institutions.

3. How should I start my research’s Significance of the Study section?

Moreover, you may start the Significance of the Study by elaborating on the contribution of your research in the field you are studying.

4. What is the difference between the Purpose of the Study and the Significance of the Study?

5. what is the significance of the study in tagalog, 17 thoughts on “ how to write significance of the study (with examples)  ”, leave a reply cancel reply, read more how-to guides for students:.

What is Research Justification and How is it Done? (C)

The justification of the investigation refers to the basis of the investigation or the reason why the investigation is being carried out. The justification should include an explanation for the design used and the methods used in the research.

The justification for the project is to try to explain why a solution to the problem described in the research needs to be implemented. The rationale must be correctly addressed so that the entire research project can be strong.

characteristics of scientific research

In an investigation one must justify virtually everything that is done. Each aspect of the study design has an influence on what is learned from the study.

Critics may detract from the findings if they believe that there is something atypical about the people who were selected for the study, some bias that makes certain people selected, something unfair about the groups compared, something bad about the approach of the questions, etc.

Therefore, you need to provide a reason for home aspect of the study. To see how a foundation makes a difference, one must imagine that two different studies are being read with similar designs and methods but with different reasons. Then one should ask what is considered most persuasive; that will have the best justification.

How to Write a Research Rationale

1- state the statement.

A good narrative of justification must begin with a brief summary of what one wants to declare, which will be the focus of the piece.

The statement should state what changes are believed to be imposed, what budget is needed, what policies should be implemented, the problem at hand, etc.

It should be a simple statement, for example: you want to do a study on the cultivation of peaches in this locality.

2- Establish reasons

Once the statement has been made, the reasoning should begin. For example, if you want to do research on the cultivation of peaches in a village, you should give details of why this topic is important.

In this case, it could be said that peaches are of great economic importance for this locality.

It is important to frame the argument with the audience in mind. So in this case one should not only talk about the fact that peaches are important, one should talk about how this study would help increase the GDP of the community, the creation of jobs, etc.

3- Provide support

An argument can be made to strengthen the investigation, but if one does not have support for these arguments the reader will not be able to convince himself that it speaks the truth.

Any support should be provided in the form of statistics, studies and expert opinions.

For example, if you want to study peaches, you can include figures and studies on the impact of peaches on local economy and jobs.

As far as possible, serious studies should be found to support the argument. As long as more support is offered, the justification will be stronger.

4- Discuss budget problems

The research budget should be an important part of the justification. Relevant information on the budget should be included, including the resources needed to conduct the research and the impact it will have; the possible revenues that will be generated or what costs will be saved.

In the case of the study of peaches could be mentioned the budget necessary to carry out the research and the possible positive economic impacts on the locality that the study would have.

Difference between good and bad justification narratives

All aspects of a good project justification must be based on logical reasoning or foundation.

To see how good reasoning makes the difference, one could imagine that two studies are being read with similar designs and methods but with different foundations.

The most logical, partial and professional narrative will be the most appropriate. In the following cases it can be observed:

Research question

Example of bad justification: I was curious.

Example of good justification: a discrepancy was noticed in the investigation and it was wanted to put to the test.

Example of bad justification: I know these teachers.

Example of good justification: these teachers represent the population that other researchers have been studying.

Example of bad justification: we did not bother comparing them with other people because we knew they were honest people.

An example of good justification: they were compared to another group that was similar to them in all respects, except in their knowledge of this subject of particular interest.

Information Collection

Example of bad justification: it was easier to do it this way and / or had no time to do anything else.

Example of good justification: the information we collected was directly relevant to the discrepancy we wanted to know a little more.


Example of bad justification: the patterns we observe make sense and support my personal experiences.

Example of good justification: the patterns we observed were consistent with one version of this theory and not with the other. Therefore, questions arise about the second version of this theory.

Example of a justification for the investigation

Poppy study on the hiv epidemic in the uk and ireland.

Several reports have suggested that age-related co-morbidity occurs earlier in HIV-infected subjects on effective antiretroviral therapy compared to HIV-negative subjects.

However, control populations within these studies are not always closely matched to HIV-infected populations and therefore such findings need to be interpreted with caution.

POPPY attempts to recruit HIV-infected individuals of different age groups and a good equivalence of unaffected HIV control population to be able to determine the effects that HIV infection has on other medical conditions.

Across the United Kingdom, those of black or white African descent, and those who acquired HIV through sexual intercourse account for 84% of older people receiving HIV treatment in 2009 (A. Brown, personal communication) .

Clinics participating in the POPPY study have provided care for

Of the patients who received treatment at these clinics in 2008-2009, 12,1620 fell into one of these groups, of which about 19% were> 50 on their most recent visit.

Recent Posts

Writing a research proposal

How to write a research proposal.

For many subjects, writing a research proposal is a key part of your postgraduate research degree application. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and how you want to contribute to the subject.  

We use the proposal to match your interest with an appropriate supervisor to make sure you have the best support during your degree. We are looking for originality and relevance when assessing the overall quality of your application, including your suitability for this level of study.  

We highly recommend that you explore which academic researchers are working in your subject area and contact them first with any questions, this is a good opportunity to firm up your ideas, further explore the topic and talk with others in your field.  

What is a research proposal?  

A research proposal is a concise and coherent document, usually between 1500 – 2000 words, maximum 4 x A4 pages. You should outline your proposed research project, why it is of relevance (rationale), what research questions are you going to ask, what you hope to achieve (aims and objectives) and how you plan to carry out your research (methodology).   


This page is your comprehensive guide to writing a research proposal and will cover seven key elements of a proposal:  

Working title

You should include a title for your thesis in the proposal.

Your title may change as you further your research, but at this stage it's important to state succinctly what your research will cover.


Briefly identify your idea, what is your ‘research question’?

It could be the theory you want to test, or a more open question. It would be useful to give examples, 3-5 research questions from recently completed PhDs in a relevant field. You should discuss the context around your research topic, such as current debates and issues. The important thing here is that you introduce your research project with clarity and in a way that stimulates your reader’s interest.

Demonstrate the significance of your research project.

To do this, explain why your research is important, what makes it original and how it will contribute to existing knowledge within its field.

Aims and objectives

What are you hoping to achieve with your research?

Try and produce four or five bullet points of objectives for each aim, which demonstrate your understanding of how to meet your research aims. You can use the SMART acronym to support you in creating objectives, which involves making your objectives: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific.

Literature Review

Demonstrate your knowledge and awareness of relevant literature

A literature review is a discussion and evaluation of academic literature or a relevant body of knowledge (for practice-based research). You should use this section of your proposal to show that you are familiar with work in your chosen topic area and that your research will contribute something new and/or meaningful to it.


Explain how you plan to carry out your research

The methodology section of your research proposal is where you explain how you plan to carry out your research. This should include the research techniques and methods you will use, why these are most appropriate and how you will implement them. You should also include a discussion of the research strategy (general approach) you will adopt, with appropriate justification, including the analytical approach. The section should also contain the range of research findings that will be gathered from the research and how you will analyse or evaluate this. For practice based research, include how will your portfolio of artefacts, code, software, compositions, computer games etc. articulate the originality of your research?

Reference all the materials you used in the preparation your proposal

You may also list references that you didn't directly draw upon, to demonstrate awareness of literature relating to your proposed material.

Support from academic staff in drafting your research proposal

Your research proposal will be read by academics with an interest in your field of research. You are therefore encouraged to contact members of academic staff informally prior to submitting your application to discuss to your research proposal. This can often speed up the applications process, as you can identify the member(s) of staff you have spoken to on your research degree application form.

Use the Huddersfield Research Portal to browse academic staff profiles and search using key words to find staff members who share your research interests.

Changing aspects of your research proposal after gaining a place as a research student

Your research proposal is your starting point, and we understand that as your idea develop s , your proposed research is likely to change. As such, you will not be obliged to adhere to the specifics of your proposal if you are offered a place as a research degree candidate at Huddersfield. However, as the proposal is the foundation of your working relationship with your supervisor(s), you will need to discuss any changes with them first. 

Useful tips for writing a research proposal

Once you have written your proposal, what next?

Once you have written your research proposal you will need to complete an application form. Look at our how to apply webpage for more information.


How to apply for a research degree

Our step-by-step guide will help you to make the most out of your application for a research degree


Scholarships and funding

Explore our funding options, including scholarships and Doctoral Loans.

How to Write a Research Proposal

Lindsay Kramer

Once you’re in college and really getting into  academic writing , you may not recognize all the kinds of assignments you’re asked to complete. You know what an essay is, and you know how to respond to readings—but when you hear your professor mention a research proposal or a literature review, your mind might do a double take. 

Don’t worry; we’ve got you. Boiled down to its core, a research proposal is simply a short piece of  writing that details exactly what you’ll be covering in a larger research project. You’ll likely be required to write one for your  thesis , and if you choose to continue in academia after earning your bachelor’s degree, you’ll be writing research proposals for your master’s thesis, your dissertation, and all other research you conduct. By then, you’ll be a research proposal pro. But for now, we’ll answer all your questions and help you confidently write your first one. 

Here’s a tip: Want to make sure your writing shines? Grammarly can check your spelling and save you from grammar and punctuation mistakes. It even proofreads your text, so your work is extra polished wherever you write.

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What is the goal of a research proposal?

In a research proposal, the goal is to present the author’s plan for the research they intend to conduct. In some cases, part of this goal is to secure funding for said research. In others, it’s to have the research approved by the author’s supervisor or department so they can move forward with it. In some cases, a research proposal is a required part of a graduate school application. In every one of these circumstances, research proposals follow the same structure.

In a research proposal, the author demonstrates how and why their research is relevant to their field. They demonstrate that the work is necessary to the following:

A research proposal also demonstrates that the author is capable of conducting this research and contributing to the current state of their field in a meaningful way. To do this, your research proposal needs to discuss your academic background and credentials as well as demonstrate that your proposed ideas have academic merit. 

But demonstrating your research’s validity and your personal capability to carry it out isn’t enough to get your research proposal approved. Your research proposal also has to cover these things:

If you’ve already read our post on literature reviews , you may be thinking that a research proposal sounds pretty similar. They’re more than just similar, though—a literature review is part of a research proposal. It’s the section that covers which sources you’re using, how you’re using them, and why they’re relevant. Think of a literature review as a mini-research proposal that fits into your larger, main proposal. 

How long should a research proposal be?

Generally, research proposals for bachelor’s and master’s theses are a few pages long. Research proposals for meatier projects, like Ph.D. dissertations and funding requests, are often longer and far more detailed. A research proposal’s goal is to clearly outline exactly what your research will entail and accomplish, so including the proposal’s word count or page count isn’t nearly as important as it is to ensure that all the necessary elements and content are present. 

Research proposal structure

A research proposal follows a fairly straightforward structure. In order to achieve the goals described in the previous section, nearly all research proposals include the following sections:


Your introduction achieves a few goals:

In a research proposal, an introduction can be a few paragraphs long. It should be concise, but don’t feel like you need to cram all of your information into one paragraph. 

In some cases, you need to include an abstract and/or a table of contents in your research proposal. These are included just before the introduction. 

Background significance

This is where you explain why your research is necessary and how it relates to established research in your field. Your work might complement existing research, strengthen it, or even challenge it—no matter how your work will “play with” other researchers’ work, you need to express it in detail in your research proposal.  

This is also the section where you clearly define the existing problems your research will address. By doing this, you’re explaining why your work is necessary—in other words, this is where you answer the reader’s “so what?” 

In your background significance section, you’ll also outline how you’ll conduct your research. If necessary, note which related questions and issues you won’t be covering in your research. 

Literature review

In your  literature review , you introduce all the sources you plan to use in your research. This includes landmark studies and their data, books, and scholarly articles. A literature review isn’t merely a list of sources (that’s what your bibliography is for); a literature review delves into the collection of sources you chose and explains how you’re using them in your research. 

Research design, methods, and schedule

Following your research review, you’ll discuss your research plans. In this section, make sure you cover these aspects:

Beyond a comprehensive look at your research itself, you’ll also need to include:

Suppositions and implications

Although you can’t know your research’s results until you’ve actually done the work, you should be going into the project with a clear idea of how your work will contribute to your field. This section is perhaps the most critical to your research proposal’s argument because it expresses exactly why your research is necessary. 

In this section, make sure you cover the following:

In other words, this section isn’t about stating the specific results you expect. Rather, it’s where you state how your findings will be valuable. 

This is where you wrap it all up. Your conclusion section, just like your conclusion paragraph for an essay , briefly summarizes your research proposal and reinforces your research’s stated purpose. 


Yes, you need to write a bibliography in addition to your literature review. Unlike your literature review, where you explained the relevance of the sources you chose and in some cases, challenged them, your bibliography simply lists your sources and their authors.

The way you write a citation depends on the style guide you’re using. The three most common style guides for academics are MLA , APA , and Chicago , and each has its own particular rules and requirements. Keep in mind that each formatting style has specific guidelines for citing just about any kind of source, including photos , websites , speeches , and YouTube videos .

Sometimes, a full bibliography is not needed. When this is the case, you can include a references list, which is simply a scaled-down list of all the sources you cited in your work. If you’re not sure which to write, ask your supervisor. 

Here’s a tip: Grammarly’s  Citation Generator  ensures your essays have flawless citations and no plagiarism. Try it for citing journal articles in MLA , APA , and Chicago  styles.

How to write a research proposal

Research proposals, like all other kinds of academic writing, are written in a formal, objective tone. Keep in mind that being concise is a key component of academic writing; formal does not mean flowery. 

Adhere to the structure outlined above. Your reader knows how a research proposal is supposed to read and expects it to fit this template. It’s crucial that you present your research proposal in a clear, logical way. Every question the reader has while reading your proposal should be answered by the final section. 

Editing and proofreading a research proposal

When you’re writing a research proposal, follow the same six-step writing process you follow with every other kind of writing you do. 

After you’ve got a first draft written, take some time to let it “cool off” before you start proofreading . By doing this, you’re making it easier for yourself to catch mistakes and gaps in your writing. 

Common mistakes to avoid when writing a research proposal

When you’re writing a research proposal, avoid these common pitfalls: 

Being too wordy

As we said earlier, formal does not mean flowery. In fact, you should aim to keep your writing as brief and to-the-point as possible. The more economically you can express your purpose and goal, the better.   

Failing to cite relevant sources

When you’re conducting research, you’re adding to the existing body of knowledge on the subject you’re covering. Your research proposal should reference one or more of the landmark research pieces in your field and connect your work to these works in some way. This doesn’t just communicate your work’s relevance—it also demonstrates your familiarity with the field. 

Focusing too much on minor issues

There are probably a lot of great reasons why your research is necessary. These reasons don’t all need to be in your research proposal. In fact, including too many questions and issues in your research proposal can detract from your central purpose, weakening the proposal. Save the minor issues for your research paper itself and cover only the major, key issues you aim to tackle in your proposal. 

Failing to make a strong argument for your research

This is perhaps the easiest way to undermine your proposal because it’s far more subjective than the others. A research proposal is, in essence, a piece of persuasive writing . That means that although you’re presenting your proposal in an objective, academic way, the goal is to get the reader to say “yes” to your work. 

This is true in every case, whether your reader is your supervisor, your department head, a graduate school admissions board, a private or government-backed funding provider, or the editor at a journal in which you’d like to publish your work. 

Polish your writing into a stellar proposal

When you’re asking for approval to conduct research—especially when there’s funding involved—you need to be nothing less than 100 percent confident in your proposal. If your research proposal has spelling or grammatical mistakes, an inconsistent or inappropriate tone, or even just awkward phrasing, those will undermine your credibility. 

Make sure your research proposal shines by using Grammarly to catch all of those issues. Even if you think you caught all of them while you were editing, it’s critical to double-check your work. Your research deserves the best proposal possible, and Grammarly can help you make that happen. 

how to write justification of the study in research proposal

Research Paper Guide

Writing Research Proposal

Last updated on: Feb 8, 2023

Writing a Research Proposal - Outline, Format, and Examples

By: Nathan D.

12 min read

Reviewed By: Rylee W.

Published on: May 21, 2019

Research Proposal

Worried that you will not be able to write a good research proposal? It is a common dilemma, and no student could escape it. A research proposal is a document that outlines the scope, objectives, methods, and timeline of your proposed project.

It needs to be approved before you can submit the final research paper or apply for funding. It is an essential part of  research paper writing  and one cannot move forward with his research without it.

In this post, we have explained the different steps involved in writing a great research proposal. This will help you in formulating your proposal and increasing the chances of acceptance.

Read on to know more about it.

Research Proposal

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What is a Research Proposal?

As per the research proposal definition, it is a concise summary of your research paper. It introduces the general idea of your research by highlighting the questions and issues you are going to address in your paper.

For writing a good and ‘acceptance worthy’ proposal, demonstrating the uniqueness and worthiness of your research paper is important.

Below is a detailed definition that will help you understand it better.

‘A research proposal is a document that is written to present and justify your interest and need for researching a particular topic.’

Similarly, a good proposal must highlight the benefits and outcomes of the proposed study, supported by persuasive evidence.

How to Create a Research Proposal Outline?

Sometimes students don’t realize how important a research paper proposal is and end up putting all the information together without following the basic outline or thinking this through.

To summarize its importance, if you want a successful research project, you need to write a great proposal for it. Without a good proposal, you will not be able to communicate the essence of your research properly. This may lead to the rejection of your proposal.

Before starting with the outline, you need to understand the basic components. A clear outline is important when it comes to presenting the literature review and writing the entire paper.

Here is a basic format you can follow while writing your proposal.

It might seem like a dreadful task and especially for the students who are new to this. It requires good writing as well as research skills.

Here is a sample template to further explain the outline.

Research Proposal Template


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How to Start a Research Proposal?

Many students think that starting a research proposal is the same as creating an outline. No, it is not and knowing how to start with your research proposal on the right track is like getting done with half of it.

Below are the important steps to start a research proposal.

Writing a research proposal is tricky, but when you start it beforehand then you will have enough time to understand your main topic’s different aspects.

Procrastinating and leaving it for the last few days before submission will only land you in trouble.

How to Write a Research Proposal

Now you have the basic outline you can follow. Let’s discuss how to write it by following the format mentioned above.

1. Choose the Title Carefully

Your proposal title should be concise and clear to indicate your research question. Your readers should know what to expect in the paper after reading the title. Avoid writing titles in a general perspective or phrases like “An investigation of …” or “A review of …” etc. Make it concise and well defined.

2. Add a Concise Abstract

‘How to write an abstract for a research proposal?’

The abstract is a short summary that is around 100-250 words. The abstract should include the research question, hypothesis of your research (if there is any), the research methodology, and findings.

If the proposal is detailed, it will require a section of the contents after the abstract. For it, knowing  how to write an abstract  will be helpful and can save you from making any blunders.

3. Add a Strong Introduction

You need to start with a strong introduction. The introduction is written to provide a background or context related to your research problem. It is important to frame the research question while writing the proposal.

Your entire proposal will revolve around your research question, and this includes the proposal’s introduction also. If the research question is not specific and has a very general literature review, then your proposal might seem insignificant. A specific research question will make your research focused on.

Start the introduction with a general statement related to the problem area you are focusing on and justify your study.

The introduction usually covers the following elements.

Have a very clear and concise idea about your research, and make sure that you do not deviate from the main research question. A clear idea will help you craft a perfect thesis. Here is how you can create a crisp and interesting  thesis introduction  along with a basic guideline.

4. Clarify the Research Objectives

Your research objectives will explain what the writer is trying to achieve. Moreover, these aims and objectives must be achievable. It means that it must be framed according to the:

However, it is beneficial to read all the developments in the field and find research gaps before deciding your objective. It will help you come up with suitable aims for your projects.

5. Add Relevant Literature Review

A separate section dedicated to the literature review will allow you to conduct extensive background research and support your research question with credible sources and research.

The following are the basic purposes of the literature review.

A literature review is an important component. Learning  how to write a literature review  will help you compose an engaging and impressive literature review easily.

Keep your literature review organized by adding a subheading to maintain a smooth flow in the content. Try not to bore your readers and your instructor or the committee. Write it in an engaging manner.

6. Mention Significance of the Research

The significance of your research will identify the importance of your work. It should be mainly stated in the introductory paragraph.

You must highlight how your research is beneficial for the respective field of study. Similarly, you can also state its contribution to the field in both the broader and narrow sense.

7. Explain the Research Methodology

‘How to write a methods section of a research proposal?’

This section explains how you are going to conduct your research. Explain why the specific method is suitable for your research and how it will help you attain your research goals. Your research methodology will give you an organized plan for the research.

Mention sufficient information regarding your research methodology for readers to understand how you are conducting your research. It must contain enough information regarding the study for another researcher to implement it.

Choose the type of research methodology that is suitable for your research. Quantitative research is suitable for projects involving collecting and analyzing statistical data like that in social sciences, medicine, and psychology. Qualitative type is used in a theoretical type of research like that in literature.

Some research involves both; if your research topic also involves analyzing both the statistical data and theory, then make sure that you use them appropriately.

For a qualitative approach, the method section of your proposal needs to be more detailed and elaborate compared to the one in the quantitative approach. How you will collect your data and analyze it according to the qualitative approach should be described with great care.

When you choose a quantitative approach for your research, the method section should contain answers to the following elements.

Have detailed knowledge of all the research methodologies to justify your approach towards the research problem.

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8. Present the Hypothesis or the Expected Research Results

In the research proposal, this section will contain the results of the research, but since this is a research proposal, you do not have the results yet. This is why you will add the expected research results here. These results are those that you aim to obtain from the research.

Sometimes the researcher gets the same kind of results, but sometimes, the results could differ from the expected ones.

9. Mention the Ethical Considerations

It is an essential part of your outline. Researchers need to consider ethical values while conducting research work. Furthermore, you also have to be very careful in the data collection process and need to respect the rights of the participants.

They should not harm them in any way, and full consent should be obtained from them prior to the study.

Lastly, the writer’s moral duty is to promise complete confidentiality to feel comfortable while sharing information.

10. Discuss the Research Limitations

The research limitations indicate the flaws and shortcomings of your research. These may include:

Listing the limitations shows your honesty and complete understanding of the topic.

11. Add Proper References and Citation

Don’t forget the references section. You don’t want to get blamed for plagiarism. Always give references to the authors and the literature you have studied for your research.

There are two ways to cite your sources.

Follow a specific format for the citation section as instructed by your supervisor. It can be written in APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard style. Both references and bibliography are included in it.

12. Edit and Proofread

Many students prefer not to proofread the proposal after completion, which is a grave mistake. If you proofread the paper on your own, you may fail to identify the mistakes. Use online tools or have a helping hand from your friend to give it a good read.

In the end, edit the document as per the needs.

Why Do Research Proposals Get Rejected?

An analysis of 500 rejected proposals allowed us to identify the common blunders made in them. These blunders caused the rejection of otherwise promising research. Therefore, to maximize the chances of acceptance, you must avoid these mistakes.

Here are some of those mistakes.

These are the common ways that result in rejection.

If you desire to make it shine, stick to your instructor’s guidelines and stay away from committing these mistakes. They will kill the purpose and effort you have put into your proposal and tarnish your reputation also.

Research Proposal Examples

Looking for some helpful and detailed research proposal examples to get you started? Examples are great for a quick understanding of how something works or is written, in our case.

Here are some complete research paper proposal samples to help you write your own.







Research Proposal Topics

You can take ideas for your topic from books, journals, previously done research, and dissertations.

Here are a few topics you can choose from.

If you want to know more about finding a topic for your research paper and research paper topic examples, here is a list of interesting  research paper topics .

Research proposals can be critical because they require great attention. If you are inexperienced, you are likely to suffer. In a worst-case scenario, your proposal may get rejected.

Your dedicated professional and experienced essay writer at  5StarEssays.com  is always here to help you. Being a professional  write an essay  service, we know how to craft a compelling research proposal and help you get it accepted.

If you have any queries, talk to our representative or place your research proposal  order  now.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a strong research proposal.

Your proposal must explain 'why' your research is important in addition to explaining the methods that you will use. You should also position yourself within your field of study and give an overview of why this specific topic could be significant.

How many pages a research proposal should be?

Research proposals typically range between three and five pages in length. Research proposal formats vary across disciplines.

You should follow the format that is standard within your field, with special attention to what your faculty mentor prefers.

What tense should a research proposal be written in?

In a research proposal, use future tense for actions to be undertaken in the study. For example: "A survey method will be employed", and "a close-ended questionnaire will be used."

How long is a research proposal?

When writing a research proposal, it is best, to begin with, what you want to know more about. There is no set length for these proposals so they can be anywhere from 2,500 words up or down depending on the topic and scope of your study.

Does a research proposal have chapters?

Like a research paper, the introduction and conclusion of your proposal should be brief. In every chapter you include in your proposal, begin with an informative intro paragraph that captures what will follow in each section.

Similarly, for chapters near their end, conclusions summarize points discussed throughout the sections but also highlight what is most important about them overall.

Nathan D.

PhD Essay, Literature

Nathan completed his Ph.D. in journalism and has been writing articles for well-respected publications for many years now. His work is carefully researched and insightful, showing a true passion for the written word. Nathan's clients appreciate his expertise, deep understanding of the process, and ability to communicate difficult concepts clearly.

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Thank you. payment completed., you will receive an email from us to confirm your registration, please click the link in the email to activate your account., there was error during payment, orcid profile found in public registry, download history, how to write the rationale for your research.

The rationale for one’s research is the justification for undertaking a given study. It states the reason(s) why a researcher chooses to focus on the topic in question, including what the significance is and what gaps the research intends to fill. In short, it is an explanation that rationalises the need for the study. The rationale is typically followed by a hypothesis/ research question (s) and the study objectives.

When is the rationale for research written?

The rationale of a study can be presented both before and after the research is conducted. 

Basis for writing the research rationale

The study rationale is predominantly based on preliminary data . A literature review will help you identify gaps in the current knowledge base and also ensure that you avoid duplicating what has already been done. You can then formulate the justification for your study from the existing literature on the subject and the perceived outcomes of the proposed study.

Length of the research rationale

In a research proposal or research article, the rationale would not take up more than a few sentences . A thesis or dissertation would allow for a longer description, which could even run into a couple of paragraphs . The length might even depend on the field of study or nature of the experiment. For instance, a completely novel or unconventional approach might warrant a longer and more detailed justification.

Basic elements of the research rationale

Every research rationale should include some mention or discussion of the following: 

Example of a research rationale

Note: This uses a fictional study.

Abc xyz is a newly identified microalgal species isolated from fish tanks. While Abc xyz algal blooms have been seen as a threat to pisciculture, some studies have hinted at their unusually high carotenoid content and unique carotenoid profile. Carotenoid profiling has been carried out only in a handful of microalgal species from this genus, and the search for microalgae rich in bioactive carotenoids has not yielded promising candidates so far. This in-depth examination of the carotenoid profile of Abc xyz will help identify and quantify novel and potentially useful carotenoids from an untapped aquaculture resource .

In conclusion

It is important to describe the rationale of your research in order to put the significance and novelty of your specific research project into perspective. Once you have successfully articulated the reason(s) for your research, you will have convinced readers of the importance of your work!

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What (Exactly) Is A Research Proposal?

A simple explainer with examples + free template.

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Expert Reviewed By: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | June 2020

If you’re nearing the end of your degree program and your dissertation or thesis is on the horizon, or you’re planning to apply for a PhD program, chances are you’re going to need to craft a convincing research proposal . If you’re on this page, you’re probably unsure exactly what the research proposal is all about. Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Overview: Research Proposal Basics

What is a research proposal?

A research proposal is a simply a structured, formal document that explains  what  you plan to research (i.e. your research topic),  why  it’s worth researching (i.e. your justification), and  how  you plan to investigate it (i.e. your practical approach). 

The purpose of the research proposal (it’s job, so to speak) is to  convince  your research supervisor, committee or university that your research is  suitable  (for the requirements of the degree program) and  manageable  (given the time and resource constraints you will face). 

The most important word here is “ convince ” – in other words, your research proposal needs to  sell  your research idea (to whoever is going to approve it). If it doesn’t convince them (of its suitability and manageability), you’ll need to revise and resubmit . This will cost you valuable time, which will either delay the start of your research or eat into its time allowance (which is bad news). 

A research proposal is a  formal document that explains what you plan to research , why it's worth researching and how you'll do it.

What goes into a research proposal?

As we mentioned earlier, a good dissertation or thesis proposal needs to cover the “what”, the “why” and the “how” of the research. Let’s look at each of these in a little more detail:

Your proposal needs to clearly articulate your research topic. This needs to be specific and unambiguous . Your research topic should make it clear exactly what you plan to research and in what context. Here’s an example:

Topic: An investigation into the factors which impact female Generation Y consumer’s likelihood to promote a specific makeup brand to their peers: a British context

As you can see, this topic is extremely clear. From this one line we can see exactly:

So, make sure that your research proposal provides a detailed explanation of your research topic. It should go without saying, but don’t start writing your proposal until you have a crystal-clear topic in mind, or you’ll end up waffling away a few thousand words. 

Need a helping hand?

how to write justification of the study in research proposal

As we touched on earlier, it’s not good enough to simply propose a research topic – you need to justify why your topic is original . In other words, what makes it  unique ? What gap in the current literature does it fill? If it’s simply a rehash of the existing research, it’s probably not going to get approval – it needs to be fresh.

But,  originality  alone is not enough. Once you’ve ticked that box, you also need to justify why your proposed topic is  important . In other words, what value will it add to the world if you manage to find answers to your research questions ? 

For example, let’s look at the sample research topic we mentioned earlier (factors impacting brand advocacy). In this case, if the research could uncover relevant factors, these findings would be very useful to marketers in the cosmetics industry, and would, therefore, have commercial value . That is a clear justification for the research.

So, when you’re crafting your research proposal, remember that it’s not enough for a topic to simply be unique. It needs to be useful and value-creating – and you need to convey that value in your proposal. If you’re struggling to find a research topic that makes the cut, watch  our video covering how to find a research topic .

Webinar - How to write a research proposal for a dissertation or thesis

It’s all good and well to have a great topic that’s original and important, but you’re not going to convince anyone to approve it without discussing the practicalities – in other words:

While it’s generally not expected that you’ll have a fully fleshed out research strategy at the proposal stage, you will need to provide a high-level view of your research methodology and some key design decisions. Here are some important questions you’ll need to address in your proposal:

So, make sure you give some thought to the practicalities of your research and have at least a basic understanding of research methodologies before you start writing up your proposal. The video below provides a good introduction to methodology.

How long is a research proposal?

This varies tremendously, depending on the university, the field of study (e.g., social sciences vs natural sciences), and the level of the degree (e.g. undergraduate, Masters or PhD) – so it’s always best to check with your university what their specific requirements are before you start planning your proposal. 

As a rough guide, a formal research proposal at Masters-level often ranges between 2000-3000 words , while a PhD-level proposal can be far more detailed, ranging from 5000-8000 words . In some cases, a rough outline of the topic is all that’s needed, while in other cases, universities expect a very detailed proposal that essentially forms the first three chapters of the dissertation or thesis. 

The takeaway – be sure to check with your institution before you start writing.

The length of a proposal varies tremendously, depending on the university, the field of study, and the level of the degree.

How is a research proposal structured?

While the exact structure and format required for a dissertation or thesis research proposal differs from university to university, there are five “ essential ingredients ” that typically make up the structure of a research proposal:

For a detailed explanation of each of these, and step by step guidance covering how to write a research proposal,  have a look at this video post .   You might also consider using our free research proposal template here .

Final thoughts

As you write up your research proposal, remember the all-important core purpose:  to convince . Your research proposal needs to sell your research idea in terms of suitability and viability. So, focus on crafting a convincing narrative and you’ll have won half the battle.

how to write justification of the study in research proposal

Psst… there’s more (for free)

This post is part of our research writing mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project.

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Myrna Pereira

I truly enjoyed this video, as it was eye-opening to what I have to do in the preparation of preparing a Research proposal.

I would be interested in getting some coaching.


I real appreciate on your elaboration on how to develop research proposal,the video explains each steps clearly.

Christopher Makuvaza

Thank you for the video. It really assisted me and my niece. I am a PhD candidate and she is an undergraduate student. It is at times, very difficult to guide a family member but with this video, my job is done.

In view of the above, I welcome more coaching.

Zakia Ghafoor

Wonderful guidelines, thanks

Annie Malupande

This is very helpful. Would love to continue even as I prepare for starting my masters next year.


Thanks for the work done, the text was helpful to me

Ahsanullah Mangal

Bundle of thanks to you for the research proposal guide it was really good and useful if it is possible please send me the sample of research proposal

Derek Jansen

You’re most welcome. We don’t have any research proposals that we can share (the students own the intellectual property), but you might find our research proposal template useful: https://gradcoach.com/research-proposal-template/

Cheruiyot Moses Kipyegon

Cheruiyot Moses Kipyegon

Thanks alot. It was an eye opener that came timely enough before my imminent proposal defense. Thanks, again


thank you very much your lesson is very interested may God be with you


I am an undergraduate student (First Degree) preparing to write my project,this video and explanation had shed more light to me thanks for your efforts keep it up.

Synthia Atieno

Very useful. I am grateful.

belina nambeya

this is a very a good guidance on research proposal, for sure i have learnt something

Wonderful guidelines for writing a research proposal, I am a student of m.phil( education), this guideline is suitable for me. Thanks

You’re welcome 🙂


Thank you, this was so helpful.

Amitash Degan

A really great and insightful video. It opened my eyes as to how to write a research paper. I would like to receive more guidance for writing my research paper from your esteemed faculty.

Glaudia Njuguna

Thank you, great insights

Thank you, great insights, thank you so much, feeling edified


Wow thank you, great insights, thanks a lot

Roseline Soetan

Thank you. This is a great insight. I am a student preparing for a PhD program. I am requested to write my Research Proposal as part of what I am required to submit before my unconditional admission. I am grateful having listened to this video which will go a long way in helping me to actually choose a topic of interest and not just any topic as well as to narrow down the topic and be specific about it. I indeed need more of this especially as am trying to choose a topic suitable for a DBA am about embarking on. Thank you once more. The video is indeed helpful.


Have learnt a lot just at the right time. Thank you so much.

laramato ikayo

thank you very much ,because have learn a lot things concerning research proposal and be blessed u for your time that you providing to help us

Cheruiyot M Kipyegon

Hi. For my MSc medical education research, please evaluate this topic for me: Training Needs Assessment of Faculty in Medical Training Institutions in Kericho and Bomet Counties


I have really learnt a lot based on research proposal and it’s formulation

Arega Berlie

Thank you. I learn much from the proposal since it is applied


Your effort is much appreciated – you have good articulation.

You have good articulation.

Douglas Eliaba

I do applaud your simplified method of explaining the subject matter, which indeed has broaden my understanding of the subject matter. Definitely this would enable me writing a sellable research proposal.


This really helping


Great! I liked your tutoring on how to find a research topic and how to write a research proposal. Precise and concise. Thank you very much. Will certainly share this with my students. Research made simple indeed.

Alice Kuyayama

Thank you very much. I an now assist my students effectively.

Thank you very much. I can now assist my students effectively.

Abdurahman Bayoh

I need any research proposal


Thank you for these videos. I will need chapter by chapter assistance in writing my MSc dissertation


Very helpfull

faith wugah

the videos are very good and straight forward


thanks so much for this wonderful presentations, i really enjoyed it to the fullest wish to learn more from you

Bernie E. Balmeo

Thank you very much. I learned a lot from your lecture.

Ishmael kwame Appiah

I really enjoy the in-depth knowledge on research proposal you have given. me. You have indeed broaden my understanding and skills. Thank you

David Mweemba

interesting session this has equipped me with knowledge as i head for exams in an hour’s time, am sure i get A++

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Posted: February 24th, 2023

How to Write a Research Proposal

Knowing how to write a research proposal is a valuable skill for students and researchers, as it allows them to present their research plans in a clear and organized manner. Research proposals have stricter standards and guidelines compared to other types of proposals, and these guidelines can vary by discipline or department. The main purpose of a research proposal is to provide a justification for conducting the research and to outline a plan for conducting it. It is often required for seeking approval for a research project, applying for funding, or obtaining ethics committee approval and  to identify a suitable supervisor. It outlines the details of a proposed research project, including the research question, the purpose of the study, the methods and techniques that will be used, and the expected outcomes.

Here are some tips for writing a strong research proposal: Start by identifying a clear research question or problem. Your proposal should be centered around a specific research question or problem that you want to explore. This will help guide the rest of your proposal and keep you focused on your main objectives. Provide a thorough literature review. A literature review is a critical component of a research proposal. It should provide evidence of the need for your research and demonstrate that you have a good understanding of the current state of knowledge in your field. Explain your research methods. In this section of your proposal, you should describe the methods and techniques you will use to collect and analyze data. Be specific and provide details on your sample size, research design, and data analysis methods. Outline your expected outcomes. In this section, you should describe what you hope to achieve through your research and how your findings will contribute to the broader field of study. Follow the guidelines of your institution or funding agency. It’s important to follow any guidelines or requirements for your research proposal, as these may vary depending on the organization you are submitting your proposal to. Edit and proofread carefully. A well-written proposal is essential for a successful research project. Make sure to proofread your proposal carefully and have someone else review it for you as well. By following these tips, you can create a strong research proposal that will help you get the support and funding you need to carry out your research project.

How to write your PhD research proposal in the UK

As you consider pursuing a PhD, you have two options: you can apply for a funded PhD program in which you conduct research on a specific project, or you can design your own research project and fund it yourself or seek external funding. If you choose to design your own research project, you will need to write a research proposal that will be a central part of your PhD application. The following guide will help you through the process of writing your research proposal: The research proposal is an important part of your PhD application in the UK. It serves as an outline of your proposed research and is used to assess your suitability for a studentship or self-funded place. The proposal should be around 1500-4000 words long and should include the following elements: Title: This should give a clear indication of your proposed research approach or key question.

Background and Introduction: The introduction of the proposal should provide a clear and concise explanation of the research project, including the topic, problem statement, research questions, background and context, and the importance of the research.

The literature review should demonstrate familiarity with the most important research on the topic and explain how the proposed research fits in, builds upon, or challenges existing knowledge or theory.

The research design and methods section should describe the overall approach and specific steps to be taken to answer the research questions, including the type of research, research methods, practicalities, and anticipated outcomes.

Plan of Work and Time Schedule: Provide an outline of the stages and time lines for completing the research, including writing up your thesis. For full-time study, your research should be completed within three years, with writing up completed in the fourth year of registration. For part-time study, your research should be completed within six years, with writing up completed by the eighth year.

Bibliography: Include a list of references to key articles and texts discussed in your proposal, as well as a selection of sources appropriate to the proposed research. It is important to note that your research proposal is just the starting point, and your ideas may evolve as you begin your research. It is therefore important to keep an open mind and be willing to adapt your approach as necessary. Also, one should carefully consider the audience and purpose of the research proposal, as well as any guidelines or requirements, when writing and formatting the proposal. The proposal should be well-organized, clearly written, and concise, with a strong argument for the importance and feasibility of the proposed research.

Some students may wonder if the school can provide feedback on their draft research proposal. Universities often recognize that graduate students may still be in the process of developing their research topic and may be open to providing feedback. It is recommended that students reach out to a member of the school’s staff with expertise in their proposed area of research to discuss their proposal. If the proposed research aligns well with the school’s research strengths, the staff member may be able to offer advice on the draft proposal before the student submits a formal application. Writing a research proposal can be a challenging task, but following these ten tips can help you create a strong and effective proposal.

Follow the instructions provided by the funding organization or research council. Make sure that your proposal meets all of the criteria for the competition. Before writing your first draft, create an outline of your proposal using headings and subheadings such as Introduction, Background Material, and Methodology. Keep your proposal easy to understand by avoiding jargon and using clear, plain language. Remember that review committees may include researchers from various disciplines, so use the KIS principle – Keep It Simple. Make a strong impact in the first few sentences of your proposal by showing how your research is innovative and valuable. Be enthusiastic about your project and focus on a central question or problem to be addressed. Choose a clear and understandable title for your project. If applicable, emphasize the multidisciplinary aspects of your proposal. Show that your research is feasible and that you are competent to conduct it in the best environment for your goals. Explain how your research will make a contribution to knowledge or address an important question in your field. Get feedback on your proposal from others and make any necessary edits. Remember that your research proposal is not a binding document, but rather a flexible plan for an exciting project that you hope to pursue.

By and large, writing a research proposal can be a challenging task for the first time, but following these ten tips can help you create a strong and effective proposal.


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Research Paper Guide

Writing Research Proposal

Nova A.

Research Proposal - A Complete Format Guide and Template

10 min read

Published on: Dec 9, 2017

Last updated on: Dec 15, 2022

Research Proposal

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A research proposal is the first and integral step in writing a  research paper . It is considered a complex task because it requires multiple skills and a critical approach.

It is an essential part of any degree program and as a student, you will need to write one when you are nearing the end of your graduate or post-graduate degree. If you are planning to apply for a doctorate program, you will need to write a convincing and good research proposal.

If you are reading this, you are probably looking for help.

This guide offers a comprehensive outlook of the steps required to write a winning research project proposal.

What is a Research Proposal?

A research proposal is essentially a formal, structured document that states the aim of your study (i.e. the subject matter), why it's worth studying (i.e. the rationale), and how you intend to pursue it (i.e. the practical approach).

The goal of the research proposal (it's kind of work) is to persuade your study supervisor, committee, or institution that your study is relevant and manageable (given the time and resource restrictions you will face).

The most significant term is "convince," which means your study proposal must persuade the reader that it is worth reading (to whomever will give it approval). If it doesn't persuade them (of its suitability and manageability), you'll have to rewrite and resend it.

This will cost you much time, either delaying the start of your study or depleting your research time limit (which is not good news).

Keep in mind, an engaging proposal is a reflection of the writer’s subjectivity. Here you will also explain the nature and significance of the research study to persuade the audience.

How Long is a Research Proposal?

The length of a proposal varies in different course programs. It consists of only a few pages for writing a bachelor’s or master’s thesis proposal. But the proposals for PhD dissertations are long and detailed due to their complexity when developing research strategies.

What Goes into the Research Proposal?

A writer must answer the following questions to write a research proposal.

Specify what you will contribute to a specific research field. Be clear and brief while defining the research problem. When adding the research question, make sure that the topic is clear and it provides a clear picture and explanation of the topic. Do not start writing your proposal without having a clear picture and idea of your research question.

Before you begin, ask yourself, why are you doing it? This is a question that matters the most in research proposals.

It will direct you to conduct a thorough review of the literature. Also, offer convincing evidence to explain the contribution of the topic to the existing field.

Describe what methods and techniques you will use to conduct the research work. Similarly, discuss why you are the correct person to carry out this research. But never make the mistake of proposing a solution that is not feasible.

Here are some questions that you must answer in your research proposal;

Research Proposal Format

how to write justification of the study in research proposal

The research proposal steps included in the format are discussed below in detail.

A title page is the first section of a research proposal that includes:

Abstract and Table of Contents

A research proposal abstract provides a concise summary of your paper. It should be no more than 250 words. On the other hand, an organized table of contents will help the readers to navigate the document. Both these sections are required if the proposal is too long.

Related:   How to Write an Abstract - A Step by Step Guide

A well-structured research proposal outline is a way to organize your ideas before writing a research paper. It will decide what headings and subheadings the research paper will have.

Research Paper Introduction

The introduction should be brief and catchy to grab the reader’s attention. It must include the below-given elements.

Background and Significance

The background and significance section explains the detailed context of your research work. You can merge this section with the introduction. However, create a separate section with extensive information if the proposal is lengthy.

Highlight the following key points while writing a background and significance section.

Literature Review

A comprehensive literature review is important. It is a thorough analysis of literature sources that are relevant to the research topic. A strong review aims to convince readers about the valuable contribution to the existing knowledge by giving information.

Moreover, this section is usually challenging to complete because it contains lots of information. However, a strong literature review aims to convince readers about a valuable contribution to the existing knowledge.

Analyze what research questions are raised by others. Similarly, identify the methods used by them.

Don’t be afraid to challenge the findings of others. Just make sure that you have challenged their results with substantial and relevant information.

Here are the 5 C’s that can make up a  literature review .

By using them, compare and contrast the main theories and methods. Also, identify the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches while writing a literature review.

Research Design and Methods

The methodology section explains the overall strategy and steps you should take to address your research questions.

Don't just compose a list of methods but try to prove that your method is the most relevant and practical approach to answering the questions.

When writing, always be specific. Using multiple methods in your work can confuse the readers.

The below table will help you identify the methodology in a research proposal.

A hypothesis is the first step in setting a clear goal for your research. It sets a clear objective for researchers and also helps other readers understand what's being studied.

Furthermore, if your hypotheses are well-worded and easy to follow, conducting research becomes much more efficient.

The substantive, methodological, and theoretical frameworks are generally highlighted in the discussion. The primary purpose is to analyze the significance of your findings in light of the research problem. This section also explores new and fresh insights for future research studies.

It is likely to be connected to the introduction, research questions, and hypothesis. Thus, stick to the purpose of the research to make it easier for the audience to understand.

Research Paper Conclusion

The conclusion is a summary of the entire research study. It describes the importance and significance of your proposal.

Moreover, this section should be one to two paragraphs long that emphasizes on:

Lastly, discuss the prospects for future implications.

A research proposal formatting must include proper citations for every source that you have used. Similarly, the referencing list should also contain full publication details. Remember, writing the work cited list properly will increase the credibility of your work.

A standard paper proposal has two kinds of citations.

Always choose the specific citation formats required by the professors. It includes APA, MLA, and Chicago.

Research Proposal Examples

Have a look at the sample research proposal for a better understanding.

Force to Service - APA Research Proposal

Detailed Template for a Research Proposal

A Sample Research Proposal with Comments

Format for a Research Proposal

Research Proposal on Coronavirus Disease in Jhapa District

Research Proposal Topics

Below is a list of interesting and easy research proposal topics.

If you still need more ideas, here are some  research paper topics  to help you choose a good topic.

Research Proposal Writing Strategies

Follow the below-given writing strategies to write a perfect research proposal.

Hopefully, this guide will help you understand the structure of a research proposal. But there are cases when students lack good research and writing skills. For this, they prefer to seek writing help from different paper writing services.

While doing so, they often fall victim to the low-quality research proposals delivered by such scams. In return, they get nothing but low-quality papers.

So to avoid this, you can always reach out to  MyPerfectWords.com . Our  professional writer  only aims to write high-quality research proposals and papers for you at affordable rates. 

So contact us to get the best  essay writing help  online!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need a research proposal.

The research proposal is your chance to tell the audience what the project will be about and how important it is. It also shows your ability to conduct the research efficiently. 

How far in advance should you plan a proposal?

A researcher should plan the proposal almost eight weeks before begin writing a research paper. 

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Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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Justification Thesis Proposals Samples For Students

2 samples of this type

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“Credit Crisis And The Effect On Capital Structure Of Dutch Smes”: Thesis Proposal Sample

[First Last Name]

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Good Thesis Proposal On Practical Proposal

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Dear Audience, Following the many apparent problems faced by musicians in the industry, this letter will essentially present solutions to the financial constraints faced by the upcoming musicians and a justification of the same.

Description of the problem

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  1. How is research justification or justification of a study written

    The best way to write this is to introduce the current literature in the background/Introduction section and then highlight the gaps in the literature that have not been addressed or are yet to be understood. This will help set up the need for the current study and thus justify the need for this research. Related reading:

  2. How to Write a Research Proposal

    Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We've included a few for you below. Example research proposal #1: "A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management" Example research proposal #2: "Making Healthy Connections: Mentoring, Monitoring and Measurement"

  3. What is the justification of a research?

    The justification of a research is also known as the rationale. Writing the justification or rationale comes from an in-depth search and analysis of the existing literature around the topic. A comprehensive literature search typically reveals gaps in previous studies that you may then wish to explore through your research.


    in this video Dr. Nelson, explains the importance, structure and content of a justification statement of a research proposal. To learn more about RineCynth A...

  5. How to Write a Problem Statement

    Step 3: Set your aims and objectives. Finally, the problem statement should frame how you intend to address the problem. Your goal here should not be to find a conclusive solution, but rather to propose more effective approaches to tackling or understanding it. The research aim is the overall purpose of your research.

  6. Justification Research Proposals Samples For Students

    Another activity area of our write my paper website is providing practical writing support to students working on Justification Research Proposals. Research help, editing, proofreading, formatting, plagiarism check, or even crafting fully original model Justification papers upon your demand - we can do that all!

  7. How to Make a Justification Step by Step?

    The Steps to make a justification In a correct way are: describe the problem, establish the reasons for it, create a base of support to demonstrate your need and finally discuss the budget. The justification of a project must explain why a particular solution needs to be implemented to the problem described in the paper.

  8. Sample Budget Justifications

    However, it is essential to read the solicitation and the sponsor's proposal preparation guidelines to see what is required for each individual proposal. Budget Justifications for use with research sponsors: Sample Budget Justification for Non-Federal Research [DOCX] - July 29, 2022

  9. How can I provide a justification of my topic research?

    Justify how the study can improve policy or decision-making. Testing existing untested theory. Creating new theory, protocol or model. Justification based on personal or work experiences....

  10. Writing Research Proposals: Tips, Examples & Mistakes

    A research proposal serves two significant purposes: justification of your study and justification of your method. First, it is an opportunity to justify the need to study an existing problem. In other words, this is where you show people the far-reaching impact or effects of the research problem.

  11. How To Write Significance of the Study (With Examples)

    How To Write Significance of the Study: 5 Steps 1. Use Your Research Problem as a Starting Point 2. State How Your Research Will Contribute to the Existing Literature in the Field 3. Explain How Your Research Will Benefit Society 4. Mention the Specific Persons or Institutions Who Will Benefit From Your Study 5.

  12. What is Research Justification and How is it Done? (C)

    The justification should include an explanation for the design used and the methods used in the research. The justification for the project is to try to explain why a solution to the problem described in the research needs to be implemented. The rationale must be correctly addressed so that the entire research project can be strong.

  13. How to write a research proposal

    Useful tips for writing a research proposal. Maintain a focus in your proposal: Your research proposal should be clear and concise, outlining your research idea and its benefits to your chosen field of study, in a way that the reader can clearly understand. Remember, your proposal is just the starting point and an outline and does not need to ...

  14. (Pdf) How to Write a Research Proposal

    Regardless of your research area and the methodology you choose, all research proposals must address the following: (1) what you plan to accomplish, (2) why you want to do it, and (3) how you...

  15. How to Write a Research Proposal: Structure, Examples & Common Mistakes

    A research proposal's content typically varies in length, from 3 to 35 pages, with references (and appendices, if necessary). But like any academic activity, start the proposal writing process by first carefully reading the instructions. Make sure to clarify anything that needs clarification and only proceed once everything is clear.

  16. How to Write a Research Proposal

    In a research proposal, the author demonstrates how and why their research is relevant to their field. They demonstrate that the work is necessary to the following: Filling a gap in the existing body of research on their subject. Underscoring existing research on their subject, and/or. Adding new, original knowledge to the academic community ...

  17. How to Write a Research Proposal

    Your proposal title should be concise and clear to indicate your research question. Your readers should know what to expect in the paper after reading the title. Avoid writing titles in a general perspective or phrases like "An investigation of …" or "A review of …" etc. Make it concise and well defined. 2.

  18. How to write the rationale for your research

    The rationale for one's research is the justification for undertaking a given study. It states the reason (s) why a researcher chooses to focus on the topic in question, including what the significance is and what gaps the research intends to fill. In short, it is an explanation that rationalises the need for the study.

  19. What Is A Research Proposal? Definition + Examples

    A research proposal is a simply a structured, formal document that explains what you plan to research (i.e. your research topic), why it's worth researching (i.e. your justification), and how you plan to investigate it (i.e. your practical approach). The purpose of the research proposal (it's job, so to speak) is to convince your research ...

  20. How to Write a Research Proposal

    The main purpose of a research proposal is to provide a justification for conducting the research and to outline a plan for conducting it. It is often required for seeking approval for a research project, applying for funding, or obtaining ethics committee approval and to identify a suitable supervisor.

  21. Writing a Research Proposal

    State the problem and offer a detailed explanation. Mention the rationale of the study and indicate why it is worth pursuing. Pinpoint the critical issues addressed by the research. Explain your chosen type of research methodology and sources that you are planning to use. Define the boundaries of the research clearly.

  22. Justification Thesis Proposals Samples For Students

    First, for quantitative studies, which this study is, the words "what" or "why" are most appropriate to begin the research question (RQ) if the research design intends to find a cause-and-effect relationship ("what") or the reason for such relationship ("why") (Creswell 130). Moreover, directional ... Read more Literature Finance Structure Capital