Steps in Writing a Research Proposal for Masters Degree

With such humongous competition for academic places, a perfectly written research proposal can help you a lot. Nowadays, every student is enrolling himself in master’s or Ph.D. degrees to do better. Due to this, students write extraordinary proposals that can stand out and help them secure admission. The problem is that writing a research proposal is not an easy task. It takes a lot of time and effort to write a proposal. First of all, finding a suitable topic is the biggest problem.

Along with this, many other steps make a research proposal difficult to write. Therefore, students must know how to write a perfect proposal. Keeping this view, today’s article is all about writing a research proposal. It will discuss the 8 major steps required to do this. So, let’s start our discussion with the following question;

How Do I Write A Research Proposal For A Masters Degree?

            The research proposal is important to undertake your studies further. Many universities and colleges around the world ask for such proposals before admission. It enables the admission committee to analyze the scope and importance of your proposal. Also, they judge your research skills by looking at your proposals. So, you must be able to write an astonishing piece of the proposal. It is also where problems start appearing. Many students do not know how to write a perfect research proposal. Either they hire dissertation proposal writing services or they look for some guidelines. Below are some guidelines that can help you structure a good-looking proposal:

  • Title: Before commencing the writing of your proposal, you need to select a topic. Be as concise as you can while choosing your title. Selecting a very broad topic can create problems for you while writing a research proposal.
  • Introduction: In this section, you should introduce your topic. You must describe all the questions and issues central to your research.
  • Research background: This section is basically an expansion of the introduction. You take a look at the information available already about your research proposal. You should mention it in your proposal.
  • Research methods: This section contains information about the methods you wish to apply to carry out the research. It must not be detailed but should be a brief description.
  • Schedule your work: Every research proposal contains a schedule of work. In that schedule, you should provide an estimate of the total time that the research will take.

What are the 8 steps of writing a research proposal?

            Writing a research proposal without knowing how to write it can be hectic and time-consuming. You might not end up with a good-looking proposal. It is why below are the 8 steps that you can follow to structure a perfect proposal. Let’s describe each step one by one.

Identify the problem

            The first and foremost task in the entire proposal is identifying a problem. A well-identified problem can solve many of your problems. Once a problem is identified, you know what to do, and it sets a direction for your research. When you have defined a problem well, you know what you are going to do next. It allows you to formulate the research objectives and questions easily.

Reviewing the literature

            The next step in writing a research proposal is reviewing the literature. In this step, you look at your field’s current knowledge and past and recent happenings. It allows you to identify the potential gap areas where you can center your research. This extensive review exposes you to large academic data that will be beneficial for you in actual research as well.

Setting research questions and objectives

When you know the problem and have studied the literature, it is easy to set the research objectives and questions. In this section of your research proposal, you tell what questions will be addressed. Knowing the previous literature is very helpful in setting the research objectives. You also develop your hypotheses or problem statement at this stage.

Choosing the study design

            The research design is also called the methodology of the research. This section describes what methods you will be using to answer your research questions. Always remember that you are writing a research proposal, and there is no need to go into much detail about the methods. Just mention them and give a brief detail about the procedures.

Deciding on data collection methods

            The data is an integral part of any research. Without a proper data collection plan, your research proposal remains incomplete. You must decide what techniques and methods you will use to collect the data. Also, you mention the target population and sample in this section of the research proposal.

Collecting the data

After doing all the steps mentioned above, it is time to collect the actual data. The data gathering techniques vary from research to research. If you are a science student, you must describe what experiments you will be using to collect the data in your proposal. Sociology and psychology explain their methods of collecting data accordingly.

Processing and analyzing the data

            Once collected, the next step is processing and analyzing the data to drive useful conclusions. In order to do this, you have to list all the analysis methods in your proposal. A research proposal must describe all the analysis methods you are going to use in your research. Otherwise, writing a research proposal is useless.

Project timeline

While writing a research proposal, you must also mention the project timeline. It must be in the form of a table that shows the time taken by each step. For example, in that table, there should be a mention of how much time the literature review will take. The same is the case with all other sections of the research. Therefore, you must give the project’s estimated time details in your proposal.


            Undoubtedly, writing a research proposal is an uphill task. You need to take several guidelines into consideration while writing it. The above mentioned steps and guidelines can help you a lot in creating a good-looking research proposal.

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