The academic nightmare of most Nigerian students usually visits them in their final when it is time for them to graduate but the institution tells them, hold your horses you owe us a research project that you have to do yourself. The worst of them all is the time you be confronting your project supervisor for the submission of your proposal. This the point the majority of them begin their journey from one agent to another just in search of someone to help them write their project especially the proposal.
Writing a project proposal that is academically acceptable is not an insurmountable task it only requires process and intention. And that is what this article will help you figure out.
After reading this article and applying the steps prescribed you will be able to comfortably write and submit a project proposal that will get you an A.
Proposals for academic research follow similar criteria but also make different author demands.
A research proposal to carry out educational or scientific research should be based on a concrete plan. It not only describes what you are going to do with analysis but also specifies all the qualitative and quantitative study methods that you want to use.
Writing your proposal
An academic writing research proposal analyzes a topic and suggests a hypothesis for that topic.
The proposal must propose and/or demonstrate what the study is attempting to do. It will also provide an in-depth analysis of the approaches and theories to be used within the project to support the hypothesis, including a study of relevant literature. Note that the same principles of writing a proposal apply to whether the project is strictly informative or pursuing a persuasive point.
We have broken these concepts into simple step-by-step guidelines that will serve you well on any plan for academic research. We have broken these concepts into simple step-by-step guidelines that will serve you well on any plan for academic research.
Some of the important parts of a good quantitative or qualitative research proposal include:
- Determining the general topic;
- Performing a review of Literature
- Identifying a difference gap in the literature;
- Identify a problem and frame a statement of purpose:
- Writing an Introduction to the study;
- Determine research hypotheses and/or research questions
- Determine the research method:
- Research Design Determination:
- Determine the sample size and sample characteristics:
- Determine the procedures for data collection and data analysis:
Determine the general topic
The first step in writing a proposal for academic research is to identify a general topic or subject matter to be investigated. This first point is usually the easiest as the research proposal will be linked to a course's overall theme. In such a case, a professor who leads the class, department chair of the school, or academic advisory committee will normally determine the general subject for investigation.
Perform a review of the literature:
The next step is to read as much literature on the general topic as time allows. While you are reading the literature, it is recommended that you take copious notes and then summarize the purpose and findings of each study relevant to the general topic of the proposed research.
Identify a difference or gap in Literature:
The overall purpose of the literature review is not to have notes on a whole host of different journal articles and books on a particular topic. The purpose is to understand what studies on the subject have already been carried out and then to identify any glaring gaps in the literature. Identifying gaps in the literature will open opportunities for the general subject area to be added to the body of knowledge.
For example, both Chika and Tunde found that servant leadership in the Nigerian Christian community was widely respected and taught, making up only a small percentage of the Nigerian population. However, no one in the non-Christian Nigerian community has yet investigated attitudes towards servant leadership that makeup over 90 percent of the population. This is an obvious gap in the literature.
Identify a problem and frame a statement of purpose:
After you have reviewed the literature and hopefully identified an obvious gap in the literature, next you need to identify a gap-related problem and frame a statement of purpose as to why you are investigating what you are proposing and why others should be concerned with the study. If the question can not be answered by your readers, so what? Or the question why should I care about your answer? Then you may find it interesting, but it's not important to anyone else.
Determine research hypotheses and/or research questions:
Next, you need to identify and develop carefully defined research hypotheses and/or questions. Research hypotheses identify what you will be investigating and what you expect from your research study to find. Research hypotheses are normally found in proposals for statistical research comparing discrepancies and/or associations between independent variables (or causes of phenomena) and dependent variables (or causal effects). For qualitative research studies, study questions are normally found.
Determine the research method:
The chapter on the method is the second of the two main parts of the research proposal. It is important to include a method section in good academic writing that outlines the procedures you are going to follow to complete your proposed study. The method section generally includes the following sections: research design; sample size and sample characteristics; data collection and data analysis procedures.
Research Design Determination:
The next step in good academic writing is to outline the research design for the research proposal. It is highly recommended that you describe two or three possible alternatives for each part of the design and then explain why you propose the specific design that you have chosen. For example, you could describe the differences between experimental, quasi-experimental, and non-experimental designs before exploring why you are proposing a non-experimental design.
Determine the sample size and sample characteristics:
you will describe the sample size and participant characteristics in the sample size in this section of your research proposal. Explain how you have determined how many people to be included in the study and what attributes they have to make them unique for the study.
Determine the procedures for data collection and data analysis:
the final section outlined in this guide is the procedures for data collection and analysis. In this section, you must explain how to obtain the data, e.g. through a questionnaire survey, if you are performing quantitative analysis, or through one-on-one surveys, if you are conducting a qualitative or mixed review of processes.
You also need to follow a scheme after collecting the data as to how to analyze the data and report the results. You may run the data through Excel or better yet SPSS in a quantitative study and if you propose a qualitative study you may be using computer programs such as ATLAi.
To conduct a narrative or grounded theory study exposing the main themes of the interviews proposed.
In conclusion, it may seem daunting to come up with a research proposal, but remember that it is just a means to an end. Basically, you're just giving reasons to ask a certain question and answer it. Keep that in mind and you'll probably convince your supervisor that it's worth answering your question and giving you that A that you desire to graduate.