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.