TO WRITE A RESEARCH PROPOSAL
is not one single format for writing research
proposals. Donor organisations, different disciplines
and academic institutions all have different requirements
and different formats.
However, there are several key components that should be
included in every research proposal and they are as
• The research problem’s description.
• A valid argument of why the problem you are researching is
• A literature review that is relevant to the research
• A description of the research methodology being proposed.
• A good description of the research findings and how they will
be disseminated or used in the future.
you can make your proposal make sense to the reader, the
reader must clearly understand what the proposed research is
about. Therefore, you should begin your research
question using a simple and clear formulation.
Take a look at the following examples:
research project will explore the growth of vigilantism
amongst different sectors of the population within South
Africa, with particular research and focuses on the factors
that maintain and promote vigilantism in South African
rural Mpumalanga, many community projects are reliant on
micro-enterprises, such as spaza shops and community
gardens, to expand the income generating potential of these
communities. The following research is an
investigation to what extent these micro-enterprises
actually broaden these communities economic
are some elements that you can use to flesh out the
• Where does the research question come from?
Has it arisen from a debate in literature, if so make sure you
introduce the debate in
• Quantify or clarify any particular concepts which are not
clear to the reader.
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