Foundations of Research Methods

Dr. Andrew Austin


Example of a Research Proposal


This is a proposal adapted from a published research article.




Prospectus.  For purposes of this class, the prospectus is a short proposal for the longer proposal.  The prospectus is necessary for establishing the foundational elements of the proposal and includes the topic, the theory, the hypothesis, the main concepts/variables, the method, the procedure, and the study's importance.  It is important to keep it one paragraph and within the word count. The word count for this prospectus is 274. This is a formal document, so all rules of proper style and format apply.




Title page and executive summary The title and executive summary pages are unnumbered and double-spaced. The executive summary (or project summary) is a single block paragraph with the title "abstract" (without the quotation marks).  The word count in the example is 231.


What follows are sections of the body of proposal. I am presenting the components that make up the body of my mock proposal in separate files for your convenience.  The proposal example, which is adapted from a paper I wrote, is longer than what I am expecting.  I left much of the length because of all the examples of proper style and format that the many pages convey.  Although I am not expecting students to write at this level (the paper was published), I do expect that they will attempt to approximate it. That means that the paper needs to be well written with proper mechanics observed.



Literature review/specification of theory and concepts




Works Cited.  The works cited section has been cut to a page because all the different types of examples are covered early on.  For more varied types of citations, please consult the Chicago Style guide to citing sources using the author-date system (scientific notation).