Easy Writing Tips: Creating a Research Paper Proposal Outline
Research paper proposal outlines help students in two ways. Firstly, the university makes sure that students have research supervisors who can support the projects and have access to the necessary facilities; such as labs, equipment, and literature. Secondly, students demonstrate whether they have enough skills to develop their ideas and complete their research successfully. An outline is not a comprehensive proposal; but rather represents the subject area, explains why the subject is important, and what methods and techniques can help students obtain the desired outcomes.
You can create a good outline if you follow the easy steps described below, along with some tips and things to keep in mind.
- Start with your project title.
You need to compose a good title, but at this stage, it does not make sense to spend lots of time and consider every word. You should instead create a simple title that communicates a summary of the ideas that you have in mind.
- Describe your project briefly.
You should write about what the project is and what problem you will focus on. Try to formulate your research question clearly and make sure that it is not overambitious. If you are not sure and cannot come up with a single research question, it is fine to write down two or three main questions and mention that you are planning to do more background research to narrow down your topic.
- List the methods and approaches that you want to use.
You need to choose the methods that can help you investigate the topic or answer the research questions. It is a good idea to develop a plan of action and describe how you are going to obtain the results step-by-step. You can plan to conduct a survey or organize field trips. Either way, keep in mind that you have a limited amount of time to complete the research.
- Do some initial reading and create a bibliography.
Every supervisor expects you to do some initial research so that you can understand the scope of the problem and learn useful methodological approaches. The bibliography should include the sources to which you have referred to. Moreover, it is a good idea to identify the key texts for further research.
- Think about your research while you are writing an outline.
You should understand whether your research question is important or if it is better to consider another one, why you want to study a particular issue, and whether you can collect enough data for analysis or not. You are the author, so you can change the most questionable parts and improve your outline.