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How to Draw Up a Proposal


The purpose of a proposal is to outline your intended research, experiment or project. A proposal is reviewable by individuals in the position to approve or deny your continuation on the project. A proposal may be required when asking for support for your project, such as financial support or the use of a facility to continue your project. Divide your proposal into specific parts, using each section to outline specifics that are important for a committee to decide whether to support your project.

Write your abstract by describing your overall project in general terms. Provide enough information for your reader to get a good idea of what you intend to do. Keep your abstract short enough for your reader to scan it quickly for important information. Include your hypothesis in your abstract.

Organize your research design statement by explaining the specific process you will use to test your hypothesis. Include any specific research techniques you intend to use, as well as any specific texts you will review as part of your research. Write your research design statement with a clear, step-by-step process that you will follow through your research.

Write the research problem that you intend to address. Explain the significance of your research and state the reasons that previous research failed to fully answer your hypothesis. Use your research problem section to explain the perspective of your research and the reason you should address your hypothesis from your research point of view.

Construct a complete literature review, outlining the primary literature sources you intend to use for your research and how they fit into your overall research scheme. Explain the significance of each source and the specific insight that each source adds to your research. Outline your research, specifying how each source contributes to each section of your work.

Write your significance of research section. Ask yourself how your hypothesis will change or advance your field of study. State the potential effects of your hypothesis by explaining these changes. Consider the impact of your research on your field as well as on the subject of your research.

State your research questions. Include all relevant questions and explain how answering each fulfills your hypothesis. Use your research questions section to develop a series of questions, standards and experiment requirements to serve as your final test for whether or not you support or deny your hypothesis.

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About the Author

Kristyn Hammond has been teaching freshman college composition at the university level since 2010. She has experience teaching developmental writing, freshman composition, and freshman composition and research. She currently resides in Central Texas where she works for a small university in the Texas A&M system of schools.

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