UGC NET Paper-1: Writing a Research Proposal

Writing a Research Proposal

After having formulated a conceptual framework, the next step is to put everything together in a way that provides adequate information about your research study, for your research supervisor and others. This overall plan, called a research proposal, tells a reader about your research problem and how you are planning to investigate. Broadly, a research proposal’s main function is to detail the operational plan for obtaining answers to your research questions. In doing so it ensures – and reassures the readers of – the validity of the methodology to obtain answers accurately and objectively.

Universities and other institutions may have differing requirements regarding the style and content of a research proposal, but the majority of institutions would require most of what is set out here. Requirements may also vary within an institution, from discipline to discipline or from supervisor to supervisor. A research proposal must tell you, your research supervisor and a reviewer the following information about your study:

  • What you are proposing to do;
  • How you plan to proceed;
  • Why you selected the proposed strategy.

Therefore it should contain the following information about your study

  •  A statement of the objective/s of the study
  • A list of Hypotheses, if you are testing any hypotheses.
  • The study you are proposing to use
  • The setting for your study
  • The research instruments you are planning to use
  • Information on sample size and the sampling design 
  • Information on data processing procedures
  • An outline of the proposed chapters for the report 
  • The problems and limitations of the study
  • The proposed time frame 


  1. Research Methodology-Methods and Techniques by C.R. Kothari, New Age International (P) Limited, Publishers, ISBN (13) : 978-81-224-2488-1
  2. Research Methodology- a step-by-step guide for beginners by Ranjit Kumar , SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd, ISBN 978-1-84920-300-5, ISBN 978-1-84920-301-2 (pbk)


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