Writing A Research Proposal

(A Course Note)

Basically, research proposal is the first chapter of the research report, the hardest part to be written. This part challenges us to be able to draw present condition relates to the topic, convince the reader about what is the significance of our research, specify the problem, and provide relevant literature review and theoretical frameworks. If this part, the first chapter, is done, the following chapter will be easier to be written because we only need to compile the result of research, relate the result with the theory that we have provided in the first chapter, analyze, discuss, and then conclude it.

A research proposal generally consists of:



Additional explanation


Background of the study This part is also called Introduction, rational, or many other names.


Statement of the problem


Objective of the study


Limitation of the study Including the operational definition. Operational definition is concept of variable. Variable is concept which has been given indicators. The indicators must be based on the theory and we may not just use our assumption.


Significance of the study Why your research is important?


Literature review We can use the theories and the previous research which relate with our topic. The things that we need to write are: what kind of the research (the previous research that we use), what is the major finding, the methodology, and the conclusion of that research.


Theoretical framework What theory that you will use. Theoretical framework is rarely used in capstone project report.


Research methodology



*In writing the introduction, we must pay attention to the following points:


It presents the specific problem under study.


It describes the research strategy.


It is important because it plays a key role in showing the relevance of the research.


It sets up the readers’ expectations and can make it easier to navigate the long next to follow.


It is the most difficult section to write.

*Before writing the introduction, consider the following questions:


Why is this problem important?


How does your study relate to the previous works in the area?If other aspects of this study have been reported previously, how does your study differ from the earlier work?


What are the primary objectives of the study, and what are the links to the theory?


What are the theoretical and practical implications of the study?

Two important points in background or introduction are:

  • Explore the importance of the problem
  • Describe relevant scholarships.

In writing  research proposal, we can use some models of guide, for example ‘CARS’ model. CARS stands for Creating A Research Space consist of some moves such as:

Situation Nowadays condition and relate it with our topic.
Problem Negative evaluation of this situation.
Solution The present research is introduced to overcome the problem.

To know more about CARS model, you can google it.

To make us easier in classifying the literature reviews, we can summarize them using this kind of table

Researcher Name Topic Major Finding Method Conclusion Resource

Maybe, we feel hard to start writing because of too many factors make you think twice or more. However, just begin to write! Write everything that you wanna write in your research proposal. Then, if it is done, just edit it. It is because if you think too much, you will never finish your writing.

*Resource: Presentation slides of Dr. Soepriyatna.

This posting is a course note with Dr. Soepriyatna.

Picture: http://essaypoint.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/research-proposal-writing.png


About Endang Sriwahyuni

a long life learner, an educator, a writer, and a dreamer.

Posted on March 21, 2012, in anything, My World. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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