Purpose and Types of Research Proposal

A research proposal is generally a document which proposes the various facets of a research project, usually magnifying topics based on science or academia. A research proposal can be solicited or at other times unsolicited. Often students wonder, what is the basic purpose of research proposal and what does it take for writing a research proposal in a non-conventional and substantial way? Research proposals focus on evaluating the charge and the potential impact which is required to carry out the proposed research plan in a strategic and coherent way. The fundamental “purpose of research proposal”  kingpins the areas of detailed studies and makes sure that the research proposal being drafted is feasible. 

Following a few of the “research proposal template” and “research proposal samples” can give you a potent idea of concocting your “research proposal format” and a briefing of the topic you have chosen for your research work. The “research proposal format” constitutes a few keynotes as

  • Introduction
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography

The ultimate “purpose of research proposal” is to make your research paper spectacular by incorporating all the aforesaid elements which abide by the “research proposal format”. 

Before you head off and start planning, you need to know what kind of proposal you’re making. This will help you focus on the important elements of your document and know the level of detail you need to go into.

There are six types of proposal:

  • Formally Solicited

A formally solicited project proposal is made in response to an official request for a proposal. In a way, this is the easiest way to create a proposal for a new project, since the Request for Proposal (RFP) document will usually tell you exactly what the customer or audience wants and sometimes even directions for preparing the proposal.

RFP forms aren’t to be confused with project request forms though – the former is a way to directly react to specific needs and desires, whereas the latter is a way for higher management to request a project of their teams.

Therefore, for formally solicited proposals you should take a more structured approach. You have to respond directly to the contents of whatever rough details have been relayed to you, essentially turning feedback into a quantifiable project which you can then judge the worth of starting.

  • Informally Solicited

Informally solicited project proposals are the same as formally solicited ones, except the information they are based on isn’t set out in a specific document. This makes them a little harder to deal with (more research is involved in analyzing them) but you at least have a rough starting point.

It’s pretty much just a lack of detail that separates formal from informal – formal proposal requests have set details, goals, deliverables, and potentially even methods, while informal ones could be based on a conversation. If you’ve been asked for a proposal but haven’t been given any specifics, it’s an informally solicited one.

Again, the approach for this isn’t too different from a formally solicited one, but you’ll have to put in some extra legwork in defining details like the objectives and method, and in assessing how viable the whole thing is.

  • Unsolicited

Unsolicited project proposals are the project equivalent of cold calls – nobody asked to receive one, but (if you’ve done your homework) it can still provide a ton of value. These are proposals which are thought of by the person submitting them and can be inspired by anything, from a eureka moment in the employee’s daily work to a casual conversation with a customer.

Arguably these are the hardest proposals to write, as you’ll have to be extra persuasive (nobody asked for the proposal so they’ll need extra nudging). This means gathering more evidence than usual to prove the proposal’s worth and taking extra care when writing to make sure that it’s convincing.

  • Continuation

Continuation project proposals are by far and away the easiest to write, since these are essentially reminders/updates for ongoing (and already approved) projects.

  • Renewal

Once an ongoing project has finished or outlived its usefulness (and support for it is going to be terminated), a renewal project proposal can be written to make the case for its continued support.

Much like continuation proposals, these are less about convincing the audience of the project’s worth by itself and more about showing why it’s valuable to continue doing it. This usually means weighing up the return benefits with the resources it takes to upkeep the practice.

It’s also good to compare the project you’re trying to get renewed support for with other continuing projects – this puts its worth in context of other ongoing efforts, and can indicate areas better suited to being discontinued.

  • Supplemental

A supplemental project proposal is required when you need to ask for extra resources for a project (beyond those originally proposed). The main aim when writing these proposals is to be able to justify the extra resources and produce updated estimates of what the project will now take to complete.

If the project’s scope is being increased to have a further reach then this will read as an extension of the original document with a focus on explaining the benefits of expanding the scope.

However, if problems or new information have arisen that mean the original goals require extra resources, you should instead focus on reiterating the benefits that the project will bring, explain why such problems and/or information weren’t seen in advance, and reassure the audience that the operation is still worth the investment.

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