Basic Instructions On How To Write A Topic Proposal For A Research Paper

Before starting on a research paper project, some instructors require students to submit a written proposal which details several aspects of the project, including the topic, methods of study, reasons behind choosing the topic and more. Despite a topic proposal being only about a page long, many students stress out over this small assignment and procrastinate to even get started. This usually happens because they simply don’t know how to write one. Here are some basic instructions on how to write a topic proposal for a research paper without trouble:

Express Your Proposed Topic

There are four major components of a research paper proposal, the first of which is simply stating what you wish to write about. Keep your ideas focused and narrow so that you aren’t overwhelmed with content and have trouble providing a thorough study; however, be sure your ideas aren’t too narrow that you simply can’t find enough credible resource material to use in your study. Don’t make the project any harder than it has to be.

State Why You are Interested

The next section should let your instructor know why you are interested in the chosen topic. Since you will be working on this project for the greater part of a semester (or sometimes two semesters) you should select a topic that will keep you interested and working hard throughout that time. Look for areas of study that have some questions worth answering. You are bound to get your proposal approved if you can demonstrate that you are conducting work in an area that has yet to be explored.

Describe Your Methodology

Next, describe you will go about your study. Some disciplines regularly see studies conducted in the lab, while others involve conducting surveys in the field. If you’re in history or literature you spend most of the time studying your topic by locating texts in the library. No matter what your methodology is you should be clear so that it is clear for any other academic to simply read this section and be able to conduct the same study exactly.

Include Works on the Topic

The last section requires you to list the resources you plan on consulting. This section is important in letting your instructor know whether or not you have given your project idea enough thought. He or she may come up with suggestions for further readings and could save you some time by telling you that some resources you have listed won’t be helpful in your proposed study.

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