Research Paper Writing Tips: Creating a Strong Proposal

Sometimes when writing a research paper, you are asked to create a proposal before beginning your work. The proposal is a way your instructor can get a big picture for your research paper. We have outlined the elements that make for a strong proposal below.

  • Thesis Statement:
  • You will present your thesis statement in your proposal. This is your chance to share the topic of your paper, and the points you intend to make about the paper. Your thesis statement should be concise and to the point--usually one or two sentences included in the introduction of your paper.

  • Approach to Topic:
  • Your proposal will also have a section dedicated to your approach to your topic. How will you present the information you have found in your research? What is the best way to develop your argument? These are ideas you should be exploring, and your proposal can be a great place to flesh out exactly how you plan to tackle your topic.

  • Vital Information:
  • The vital information about your topic should also be included in your proposal. A good way to determine what information is vital is by thinking about whether or not this information is needed to understand the topic. Although your paper will include a slew of information, what information is key to the basic understanding of your topic? This can be a great place to include vital charts or data to help your professor better understand your research paper plan.

  • Types of Sources:
  • Another bit of information, which can make for a strong proposal, are your types of sources. Including the types of sources you plan to use in your paper will allow your instructor to better understand how you plan to prove your point or make your argument.

  • Relevance to You:
  • Some other important information that can be included with your proposal to strengthen it overall is the topic’s personal relevance. By revealing why you intend to research this topic, how it affects you, and why it is important you can help your instructor understand why exactly you have selected this topic. Also, if there are areas for improvement, your instructor will be able to better advice you with the knowledge of topic’s personal relevance.

Although you may choose to set-up your proposal with a different organization, or perhaps include more information, these are the key elements to a strong proposal. The inclusion of your thesis statement, approach to topic, vital information, types of sources, and relevance for you will be the strongest presentation of you term paper’s plan.