How to Write a Report Proposal & Presentation

Undergraduate courses of varying academic disciplines may require report proposals with corresponding presentations. Proposals serve the general purpose of introducing a research question or idea and follow some general academic principles. Review and follow the assignment criterion for the report proposal and presentation as delivered by the professor. Different academic disciplines require different formats for research proposals, and some professors may require their own format for undergraduate research reports.

Report Proposal

Step 1

Identify the research question or idea, in other words, what the report is trying to solve, find, identify or argue. This is the purpose of the report. Thesis-driven presentations should use background information to establish the basis of the thesis.

Step 2

Cite and write about previous research on the subject. Give a general survey of important works and concepts that establish the basis or relevance of the research.

Step 3

Establish any holes in previous research, according to the Claremont Colleges Writing Centers. Clearly state what your report will prove or solve and explain how this fills the holes in previous research or establishes the groundwork for further research.

Step 4

Write the conclusion with careful attention to any potential problems within your argument or research. Remember that your professor will review the report proposal and he will provide useful feedback on anticipated research dilemmas. Research dilemmas include anything from potential loopholes in argumentation to difficulty finding or obtaining information on a subject. Write the introduction last, since it summarizes the proposal.

Step 5

Distinguish between qualitative, or argument-based, research and quantitative, or numbers-based, research. Undergraduate students are not usually given the opportunity to propose and conduct their own statistical research, but students in laboratory classes may include statistical analysis in reports. Quantitative reports focus less on argumentation and more on statistical methodology and potential problems that could interfere with the quality of the study.

Proposal Presentation

Step 1

Prepare for the presentation by reviewing the assignment guidelines one more time. Unless indicated otherwise, deliver the presentation in the same order as the report proposal.

Step 2

Pay attention to time constraints and stick to the outline. Time the presentation before it is given.

Step 3

Provide an outline with source references for the students and professor.

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