Components of a Research Proposal

In general, the proposal components include:

  • Introduction: Provides reader with a broad overview of problem in context.

  • Statement of problem: Answers the question, “What research problem are you going to investigate?”

  • Literature review: Shows how your approach builds on existing research; helps you identify methodological and design issues in studies similar to your own; introduces you to measurement tools others have used effectively; helps you interpret findings; and ties results of your work to those who’ve preceded you.

  • Research design and methods: Describes how you’ll go about answering your research questions and confirming your hypothesis(es). Lists the hypothesis(es) to be tested, or states research question you’ll ask to seek a solution to your research problem. Include as much detail as possible: measurement instruments and procedures, subjects and sample size.

    The research design is what you’ll also need to submit for approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) if your research involves human or animal subjects, respectively.

  • Timeline: Breaks your project into small, easily doable steps via backwards calendar.