How to write a formal proposal - المنارة للاستشارات

How to write a formal proposal

How to write a formal proposal
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 Reasons for Preparing Formal Proposals 

  • Formal proposal can develop the researcher's skills in thinking and designing the study.
  • Formal proposal can help to Learn how to conduct a comprehensive literature review to identify the study problem that has not been adequately addressed or has been ineffectively investigated to reach to the wanted results.
  • Formal proposal can Improve and develop general skills in research and writing.
  • Formal proposal considered as a practice that defines the logical steps that must be carried out to achieve the objectives of the research.
  • Formal proposal considered as a careful review of the different methods of collecting and analysing data related to the research problem.    
  • Formal proposal can provoke the researcher’s sense of curiosity and to helping him to be an effective participant in scientific research field.

Formal Proposal Questions

  • Regardless of the study or thesis problem that you are reviewing and investigating, the methodology that you will follow in studying that problem to reach to the wanted results, a good proposal must have the following questions:
  • Using the formal proposal answer the question: What are you planning to accomplish?

Be clear and concise in the study problem and the proposal.

  • Using the formal proposal answer the question: Why do you want to conduct the study?

You should conduct a literature review and provide convincing evidence that the topic you are working on is rich and deserving an in-depth investigation and scrutiny. Make sure before you complete your study that you have got an answer to this question and identify the study problem (Why do I want to study this topic?).


  • Using the formal proposal answer the question: How will you conduct the study?

Ensure that what you propose is actionable, the methods used are appropriate and achieving your study goals and your wanted results that are available and applicable.

write a proposal

 Common Mistakes to Avoid 

  • Failure in summarizing.

formal proposal must be focused and concise, and there should be no separate and complex aspects that are not related to the goal of the proposal so that it will lead to the wanted results.

  • Notable works are not cited in the literature review section in your proposal.

Proposals should be grounded in the main research topic and be supported by the previous and related works.

  • Failure to define the boundaries (for example, time, place, people, etc. ...)

as with any paper, the formal proposal must tell the reader how and in what way you will examine and study the research problem that lead to the wanted results.

  • Failing to develop coherent and convincing evidence for the formal proposal

the study proposal must answer the question: Why is the study worth funding?

  • Bad or inaccurate writing in your formal proposal.

 Whether in terms of improper grammatical rules or incoherent paragraphs and distracting ideas, all of these matters lose the value and credibility of the formal proposal.

Many details about secondary issues, and few details about the essence of the study

the formal proposal should focus on a specific number (carefully selected) of the main research questions in order to support the argument that the research should be carried out to solve the research problem. But it should not be dominant and dominating the public narrative.

 The Structure of Writing a Formal Proposal 

Starting the process of Writing the formal proposal:

Most formal proposals, academic and research proposals are organized in the same way in most social sciences, and the text of research proposals generally varies in length between ten, five and thirty pages, followed by a list of references. However, before starting to write the proposal. You should read the study requirements well, and if you encountered any difficulties, you should refer to your supervising professor to explain to you everything that is ambiguous to you and that’s will help you to identify the thesis problem.

 The Best Step to Start is to Ask Yourself These Questions: 

  • What do I want to search about this topic?
  • Why is this topic important?
  • How might it be important within the areas covered by the study?
  • What are problems that this study might solve?
  • How can the study play a new role over the related and previous studies?
  • What exactly should I plan to do and can I do it with the time I have?

 Most formal proposals should include the following sections: 


  • What is the study main problem?
  • What is the subject of study related to this problem?
  • What methods should I use to investigate the problem?
  • Why is this research important, and why should a person read their proposal carefully?

 The Importance of the formal proposal (importance section): 

In this section, you will explain the context of the proposal and answer all the questions that may come to the mind of your professor or funder about your study. This section can be incorporated into the introduction or you can create a separate section to help organize and flow the narration of your proposal. However, as you write the importance of the formal proposal, you must assume That the reader does not have the slightest idea about the problem and the topic of the research, noting that this section is not an article in which you write the details and information you have reached on the topic to reach the wanted results, but rather, it is the section in which you will explain the objectives of your research and the importance of doing it.

 Literature review (previous studies): 

Consider the following five points for writing an effective literature review:

  • Citation: to maintain the primary focus of the literature on your research problem.
  •  Compare the arguments, theories, methodologies, controversies, and different findings expressed in the literature, and what researchers agree upon?
  • Describe the main areas of contention and argumentative discussions among researchers?
  • Criticism of previous literature: What are the most convincing arguments, and why?, What approach, results, and methodologies may seem more realistic and reliable, and why? Pay attention to the verbs that are used to describe what the author says (ex: affirm, clarify, argue, etc.).

 Hypotheses and implications (results): 

When considering the potential implications of your study, ask the following questions:

  • What would the results mean for your theories and hypotheses?
  • What subsequent research suggestions could arise based on the potential results of the study?
  • What will the results mean for stakeholders?
  • Will the results affect the methods and forms of analysis?
  • How can the results contribute in solving social, economic, and other problems? 

 Video: How to Write a Successful Research Proposal | Scribbr 


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