Great advice - example of research proposal paper

There are certain aspects of being a student that will always stick out in the student’s mind. One of them is researching and writing a dissertation. The reason that it has such a powerful hold on anyone’s mind that has actually accomplished writing one is that it is, in most cases, a whole new experience and also that the wordage far exceeds anything that they have written before, academically. Often, these two situations are seen as problems and the idea of a problem leads to stress which causes procrastination. It really doesn’t have to be that way. If you break the whole project up into workable sections and create deadlines for each section, you will work steadily and methodically through the whole piece. A good way to accomplish this is to plan your research proposal paper. If you do not know how to do this, you can learn more from reading this article, this will allow you to produce a fine example of research proposal paper for yourself.

 

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The first step that you need to take is to find out if your university department requires a research proposal paper. If it does, you also need to find out what the required word count is and when the paper needs to be handed in. Not every university will expect a research proposal paper. However, it really is in your own best interests to do one. If at this moment, you are wondering why anyone would take on work that isn’t obligatory, the reason is that it will save you time and work. Here are some reasons that a research proposal paper is a useful exercise to carry out:

  • Timing. The plan will help you to see how much time you should allocate to each stage of your project. It is easy to make mistakes when it comes to research. For instance, if you are carrying out interviews and focus groups, you might underestimate how much time it takes to organize them and then undertake them. Likewise, if you have distributed questionnaires, you may not realise the amount of time it takes to get the results back in.
  • Seeing the bigger picture. Often, when we start on a research project, it is easy to get carried away with the whole idea of it. This means that in our enthusiasm, we tend to overlook problems that may arise. Planning and writing a research proposal paper will help you to spot and eradicate any problems that you may have before you embark upon your research. It will also enable you to notice if your dissertation might have too many words or if you would need a large budget that you haven’t got. It is far better to notice problems in the early stages than to get half way through your research and realise that you have got a fatal flaw in your project.
  • Assurance. When you have written your research proposal paper and you know that there are not going to be any nasty surprises in it, you will enjoy the whole process so much more. Being confident will make you work steadily through it and avoid procrastination.
  • Working Dissertation Title. Titles are always in working mode right up until the work has been completed. The reason for this is that they will improve as you get more clarity towards your research. By the time you have finished your research and written your dissertation, your title will have been changed and tightened many times. It is important to remember to keep it brief.
  • Clearly state the problem. It is important to spend time trying to explain your research problem clearly and briefly. If you are vague about what you want to prove or test, this will cause problems throughout your dissertation. It’s no use stating that you are interested in gambling addiction or Turner’s paintings, you have to be specific about what aspect of these subjects you are going to research. For instance, both Girtin and Turner were commissioned to sketch Harewood House around about the same period. This focusses your research on one aspect of Turner’s career as an artist at a certain period in time and it also allows you to compare and contrast his art with another artist of the period.
  • Describe your aim. Here you can define your statement of intent. You are, in fact, making your problem even more specific. For instance, you can focus on “the death of Girtin allowed Turner to flourish in his career.” Can you see how because it is not about the whole of Turner’s career, you will not lose focus because that would be too wide? Alternatively, it is not so narrow so that you cannot develop sub questions to investigate. The skill is in getting a balance that produces enough research to conduct a dissertation and no more or less.
  • What are your objectives? You need about three objectives or sub questions that will help you to realise or deny your aim. For instance, if we stick to Turner and Girton, you might compare the sketches of Harewood House. Subsequently, you might critically compare early Turner with early Girtin. Lastly, you would have to deconstruct Turner’s later paintings and decide whether Girtin’s early death allowed him to flourish because Girtin was no longer painting. It has been suggested that Turner said that he would have starved to death if Girtin had survived. Obviously, that cannot be proved beyond doubt; however, an artistic and academic opinion that is backed up with evidence can be reached.
  • Background. This is a particularly interesting part of your research proposal paper. You need to provide a concise summary of the latest research and thinking on the subject. This is a very useful exercise because it will help you to notice areas that have not been researched yet. This means opportunities for you as a researcher.
  • Methodology. This will help you to gain clarity within your project. You need to work out which methods of research you will use for each objective. Once you have planned this, you can work out the steps that you need to take; how long each piece of research will last and also the costings for each step. Once you have done that, you will clearly be able to see if there are any flaws with your plan. It is better to discover them at this stage than later on. The reason for this is that it is less painful to re-think a plan before any work has been done.
  • Deadline yourself. Once you have got all your steps planned out, the most helpful attitude that you can take is to give yourself workable deadlines. The reason for this is that if you don’t, your sub conscious may see the handing in date as the only deadline but misread how much time you have. Be tough on yourself, it will take away so much pain in the grand scheme of your dissertation.
  • Conclude. Obviously, at this point, you don’t know the outcome because you haven’t conducted the research. However, for the sake of your research proposal paper you need to suggest what the outcome is likely to be. You should also suggest how this might be significant in the world of art research or whatever your proposal is about.
  • Citations. Give clear references to anything that you have referred to in your proposal paper.
  • Organised Headings. This is something that will give you clarity when you come to write your dissertation up. Give a clear plan of your sections, headings and subheadings. This will also help you to break it all down so if you feel like you are procrastinating, you can tell yourself that you simply need to work through that small section. It is amazing how much you can get done working on that basis.

Hopefully, you have now got a clear idea of what you need to put in an example of research proposal paper. However, if you are struggling with trying to find your research question or decide what your sub questions should be, you may find it difficult to write your proposal. There is no need to be hard on yourself, writing a proposal can be confusing and if you are tired or stressed, it can become downright impossible. You need to be kind to yourself so that you can focus on the bigger picture and not get caught up in the immediate problem. We can help you.

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