Collate Ideas And Write A Research Proposal Quicker
Why Write a Research Proposal?
A proposal is basically an offer. So a research proposal must be an offer to do research. But you know that.
I believe that what you actually want to know is how to write a research proposal that will be successful and get you what you want.
And nobody can tell you the “right” way.
There are just too many variables for a simple answer. It depends on what they want and why you want to do the research.
What Is The Process?
If you are looking for postgraduate work or getting a Phd then the universities will have a process that you must follow. Some will ask for no more than 2000 words whilst others want 3500.
Perhaps you want to do research for a sponsor as governments, businesses (both profit and non –profit organisations), foundations and clinics often want people to carry out necessary research into all sorts of topics.
And each of them will have a process that you must follow to have a chance of getting their attention.
Where To Start The Process
So the starting point must be to ask yourself what it is that you want and why it is important to you. If you are passionate about Celtic History there is no point in applying to do research that involves lab work or climate change..
Is there a particular topic, theory, trend, or issue that motivates your curiosity and drives you to learn all about it or fix the problems associated with it?
Are you prepared to devote the time required to complete the project be it a dissertation, a research paper or a result? It will take years of your life to reach the conclusion you set out to prove or disprove.
If not then you will never convince anyone that you are the only person for them to consider taking on.
Step Back To Research Properly
Having got the idea and certain of your motivation the research starts by looking for the person, body or organisation that are looking for people such as yourself.
When you find who is offering what you want you look on their site to see what they want by way of submissions and when they are accepting them.
They All Want A Different Research Proposal
Then the fun starts. Say you narrow it down to a list of three potential placements that are based on your preferences as to location, cost, benefit etc. It is unlikely that you will be able to send the same proposal to each of them as their requirements will be different.
Some place emphasis on a sound methodology for conducting your research (primary, doctrinal, theoretical and/or empirical) whist others are more concerned with being convinced that you have the ability to understand the topic well enough to communicate complex ideas clearly, concisely and critically.
Therefore you must research the Institution you are applying to before you actually apply. That way you have a better chance of being accepted as you have given them what they want in the way that they want it.
Research Is An Art And A Science
Research used to mean a trip to the library but the world’s biggest source of information is now the internet. Of course you will always need reference books but the internet is the place to start.
The difficulty is that there is so much information out there that finding what you actually want gets more difficult every day as more and more pages go online.
Put Simon de Montfort into Google and you get 593,000 results. One of them is right for you but which one? The search engine algorithm gives you the results in the order it thinks is best but how many haystacks do you have to search before finding the needle you actually want?
Every reference book is by its very nature out of date by the time it is published. Proper research requires current information so that one can see what is happening rather than what has happened.
Is anyone already doing research into the topic you want to be involved with? Are they close to a breakthrough which would make your research proposal a waste of time?
Get Your Research In One Place
Tough questions indeed and it will take a lot of time to sift through all of the search engine results to find if you are up to date or simply going down a well trodden path.
This video shows you the tool in action.
There is more information and a behind the scenes explanation which you can read here. The tool is marketed as to be used for businesses but I believe it is best used for research purposes.
So when you start to prepare your research proposal you can have all the relevant up to date references easily to hand. And when you are doing the actual research for your project then you will be updated with any new developments as soon as they hit the web.
You may already be doing this via Google Alerts but that is limited in what it reports to you. This tool covers forums and web pages and social media. You will be “in the know” about what anybody is saying or publishing about your subject.
Check it out here as it is NOT a sales page but rather an introduction to a tool you wonder how you lived without.