Format Research Proposal -University of Ottawa

University of Ottawa

A research proposal presents a research project that offers an answer to a clearly defined research question. It seeks to convince the reader of the feasibility of this research project, which is to say that it is important in the field of study, that it can be accomplished with the specified approach, that it can be supported by sufficient data, and that it can be done in the required timeframe. Here is the suggested format for this type of paper.

Research Question

Formulation of the research objective into a clear question What do you want to address? Why is it important? What is your position? Why? What directed you to this project? What sparked your interest?


Explanation of the validity of the research project Why is your project worthwhile? What new insights would it bring? Would its results provide valuable information needed to solve a problem? Would its results open up possibilities for further research?

 Literature Review

 Proof of the validity of the research project What is known and unknown? How are the sources similar or different? Which sources are the most convincing? Why? In what way will your project be innovative? How will it fill the gaps in the literature?

Theoretical Framework

Viewpoint or angle from which the topic will be addressed On what basis are you making your arguments? What assumptions are you bringing to your project? How are they supported by theory? How does your theoretical framework enable you to do address your topic?


 • Description of the methods that will be used for data collection and analysis What kind of methods will you use? (Qualitative, quantitative) What kind of materials will you use? (Types of sources, analytical tools) What are their strengths and weaknesses?

 • Justification of the methods that will be used for data collection and analysis How will you conduct your project? Why? How will your chosen methods allow you to answer your research question? How will they allow you to draw new or unique conclusions?

Research Plan

Timetable for the research project What steps will you follow in order to complete your project? When will each step be done?


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