Existing and potential academics usually have to write research proposals to get funding, secure admissions, or attract supervisors. Irrespective of the aim, an excellent proposal is crucial to increased opportunities in academics. Here are five key points to keep in mind while writing that smashing proposal. We can’t overemphasize these enough!
1. Understand the purpose:
Identify a problem your research addresses. This sustains your interest and keeps you focused throughout your writing. You don’t want to start with something you’ll easily lose interest in.
2. Establish an engaging title:
As a grad student, you can hardly avoid the question “What are you researching on?” This indicates the need to have a catchy yet understandable title that any supervisor would want to grab the phone and discuss further with you.
3. Have a strong methodology:
So yeah, you know what you want to research on and you have an amazing title. Now how are you going to achieve your research objectives? This section of your proposal should be packed with sufficient reasons why your desired method is better than other alternatives. It’s not enough to explain the process. Justify them!
4. Have a strong theoretical and conceptual underpinning:
There’s nothing as satisfying as having a good theory. It’s like having the right recipe for your favorite dish. A good theoretical framework provides an opportunity to spot your research originality or contributions early enough.
5. Be analytical:
We can’t overemphasize these points enough. While writing the proposal, do more than describe the situation or the process. Every section of your proposal should be more analytical than descriptive. One way to do this is to demonstrate the relevance of key ideas to your work. Another way is to present both sides of an argument while citing relevant scholars and sources. In academics, there’s always an opposing view to any subject. Take advantage of this debate to make a case for your proposed research idea.
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