Delta State University
Social Science 470/570
task of your group project is to prepare a research proposal.
In a research proposal, you are suggesting a research project that you
intend to undertake. Proposals are
generally submitted to funding agencies that finance research projects, and to
oversight committees that evaluate research projects.
proposal should be 10-15 pages, and should include the following elements:
An executive summary: This
is a one-page (maximum) summary of your proposed research project.
What is the question that your project will address?
In what context? How will
you study this (i.e. what methods will you use?).
Who will benefit from this project?
Be concise, and just give the most important information in the executive
summary. You should probably write
this last, after you have completed the proposal.
An introduction: Introduce
your project, and say what you intend to cover in the proposal.
A context and research question:
Briefly state the context in which you intend to undertake your study.
This context should frame your research question.
The research question is a concisely worded statement (in the form of a
question) of exactly what you intend to study.
Make sure it is worded in a way that suggests a nuanced answer (e.g., do
not write a yes/no question). The
question should provide you an ability to discuss an issue and develop an
A literature review: Your
literature review provides the theoretical context for your study.
What is already known on this topic?
You should find articles, books, or book chapters on your topic,
summarize them briefly (in 2-3 sentences), and combine them to show where your
study fits into the issue you are studying.
A review of existing literature is a good place to start when you are
developing a research project, as it provides clues as to what sort of research
A methodology: How do you
intend to study the issue you have identified?
Your methods should stem from your research question.
If you want to study the effect of alcoholism on crime rates in
Mississippi counties, you should propose methods derived from a post-positivist
perspective. If you want to study
how Cleveland residents living below the poverty line understand their options
at assistance from social services agencies, you should propose methods derived
from an interpretivist perspective.
A justification: This is the
so-what issue. Prepare a clear
statement summarizing the utility of this research. Who will benefit from the results of your research?
Why is your research important? What
contribution will it make? This is
where you “sell” this project.
A conclusion: Provide a one-
or two-paragraph conclusion that summarizes the study and leaves the reviewer
with a sense of how important this project is.
Attachments: Provide a c.v.
(resume) for each project member.
for Preparing an Effective Proposal: