- Academic Research and Writing Tips / Tutorial

The Academic Proposal

Most students recognize the academic proposal as the first step in writing a graduate thesis or dissertation. It is usually sent to the instructor who measures the worth of the topic. The purpose of the academic proposal is to convince a supervisor or academic committee that the topic chosen is worthy of being considered. This is sometimes called the rationale. The academic proposal should indicate the plan of action as well as the theoretical positioning that will be taken.

Academic Proposal

An academic proposal begins with a rationale for choosing the topic. Why is this topic worthy of research? Why will it be useful? This should summarize your intent of the future thesis paper. This proposal should have a literature review of scholarly journal articles discussing the topic and research that has been completed on the topic. It should build on existing studies and show an outline of exploring new territory. The next step is an outline of the intended methodology that includes any cost, any resources needed, and a timeline to how you will complete this. What do you plan to learn as to the proposed research? Why it is worthy of doing research?

As stated earlier, it needs to begin with a rationale showing the importance of the topic. It should give any limitations as to the methodology that will be used and a thorough research of the literature is needed. The outline of the methodology should compare existing research with what you are researching.

It is important to give enough information to clearly outline the subject. This can include scholarly journals, books, and professional website information such as government and education sites. Express your plans with confidence so that you are able to follow through with your rationale.

The beginning of your academic proposal should begin with the selection of the topic. What do you know about the topic? Why is it important to you? What will be your thesis? Begin with brainstorming for specific ideas about the topic. Create an outline showing how you plan to go from point A to point Z.

Plan how to research the topic. What keywords are needed for researching the topic? What keywords are needed for the EBSCO sites or others? Use a thesaurus to help find key words. What information does the Internet have on previous studies? Do a thorough literature search on the topic and how it relates to your thesis. Organize the material carefully with an emphasis toward your thesis.

Write a rough draft of the academic proposal. Consider each word in the draft. Are there unnecessary words? Have you made mistakes in spelling? Read the draft out loud as you listen to each word. Take a break from writing and proofreading. Does the academic proposal make sense? Do you need to make changes? Do you need to do further research? How up to date are the journal articles? Do you need to make research the topic for more supporting data to back up the thesis? Be sure to give enough information to establish the reliability of the academic proposal. Be willing to address any questions about the proposal as they happen.

Take time to proofread the proposal again? Read each word carefully? Does each sentence flow smoothly? Are there spelling mistakes? Carefully consider each word in the proposal.

Take a look at your resources. Have you cited the author and where the information comes as a citation in the body of your proposal? Have you created a reference page? Have you followed the style of writing the instructor wants? Take a look at all citations, footnotes, and the reference page to check for any errors.

An academic proposal should have a rationale, a review of the literature, and an outline showing where you are going in the research. Write a rough draft. Proofread it. Take a close look at the citations and resources. Now you should have a successful academic proposal.