METU School of Foreign Languages Academic Writing Center ODTÜ/Yabancı Diller Yüksek Okulu Akademik Yazı Merkezi
WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL What is a research proposal? A research proposal presents and justifies a research idea and the practical ways in which it can be solved. It analyzes and synthesizes the existing research about a particular topic and describes the writer’s own idea for a new study, based on the assessment of gaps or problems in the research literature. It answers three questions: (1) what the project is, (2) why it’s important, and (3) how it will be handled. More precisely, a proposal is a demonstration of a commitment to an extensive study. Before starting: Answer the following questions before starting to work on the proposal: Are you familiar with other research in related areas? Do you have clear understanding of the project? Do you have the ability to go through the steps and complete the project? Do you have the motivation to go through ALL the steps? YES to all the questions means you are ready to write your research proposal! Defining the project: Keep these in mind when defining the research project through the proposal: Make sure you benefit those who are participating in the research. (They have the right to know what you are doing and share your findings. Your research should empower you with new understandings and also empower those who are participating with you.) Choose your methodology wisely. Will it be qualitative (i.e., based on interviews and questionnaires) or quantitative (i.e. based on statistics and numbers)? Sometimes a combined methodology can make the most sense. (e.g. You can combine a qualitative preliminary study with a quantitative main study.) Decide on where you will conduct the research carefully. This is a major decision. (Conducting a research project away from home can actually be more productive because it can give a better control of the variables.) If you conduct research in conjunction with another...
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