I. Introduction

The introduction typically begins with a general statement of the problem area, with a focus on a specific research problem (social issues), to be followed by the rationale or justification for the proposed study. The introduction generally covers the following elements:

  • State the research problem, which is often referred to as the purpose of the study.
  • What is the rationale for doing this? Why is this important to you Briefly describe the major issues and sub-problems to be addressed by your research.
  • What are the key elements or "sides" of the social issue you are researching? State your hypothesis or theory.
  • Set the boundaries of your proposed research in order to provide a clear focus. Also, this keeps you on track so your writing does not start going off into left field somewhere.

II. Audience and Publication Identification

  • Identify the audience (user) of a document.
  • Is it a specialized audience? The audience is the publication genre to which you choose to submit your proposal. Is it a magazine, an academic journal, a website, a conference organization, an online video website?
  • Is the audience a general population? Is it the only a small group of your genre publication's readers? Is it everyone who reads or watches it?
  • How will this group benefit from your effort?

III. Acquiring and Organizing Essential Information

  • Where will you obtain your information? Where is the first place to search?
  • What kinds of research can you do? How are you going to use the library and other resources?

IV. Literature Review

  • Literature reviews can be described as a short version of your source reviews.
  • Why is this piece of work relevant to your research?
  • Is your audience going to understand why you are using it?
  • Literature Review Dos and Don'ts (scroll down to Lit Review section)

V. Timeline

Provide key dates for completion of elements of project. (These dates are only examples.)

  • October 14-16 Plan the proposal.
  • October 17 Turn in proposal.
  • October 19 Go to library for research tutorials
  • October 22 Source Review completion #3
  • October 25 Meet with group members to consult about work done.
  • October 30 Email a progress report to Jennifer
  • November 5 Meet with Jennifer, turn in proposal
  • November 10 . . .
  • November 16 . . .
  • November 24 Peer review drafts of document.
  • December 2 Plan visual part of presentation.
  • December 4 Turn in the entire portfolio for the project.

VI. Method of Presentation

  • If you are asked to present your document to the contact person of the genre publication, how would you present it?
  • What visual rhetoric will you be using in the presentation and why?
  • What if you are asked to present it to a large group?
  • Keep in mind what the audience needs and expects.
  • What tools will be useful for your presentation?

VII. Conclusion

  • Convince your audience, your genre of publicaton, of the impact of your proposed research.
  • Consider the use of jargon. Is it appropriate? Is it helpul?
  • Communicate a sense of enthusiasm and confidence without exaggerating the merits of your proposal. That is why you also need to mention the limitations and weaknesses of the proposed research.

Adapted from professional writing plans presented by Dr. Diana Cardenas, professor of Rhetoric and Composition, TAMUCC

Introduction and Conclusion adapted from Paul T.P. Wong's "How to Write a Research Proposal," http://www.meaning.ca/archives/archive/art_how_to_write_P_Wong.htm