PhD Research Proposal: How to Craft a Winning One


Your PhD Thesis needs to be written professionally. Do not forget that the proposal itself is a convincing and solid framework of the PhD Thesis. The PhD Thesis is expected to underline the originality of your research.  Aside that, it must desalinate a significant contribution to the present intellectual knowledge.

PhD Research Proposal: How to Craft a Winning One

Other features of a top quality PhD Thesis are highlighted below:

  • The PhD research proposal is expected to support or challenge existing literature on the proposal problem.
  • It must explain why you are the right person to take up the proposal research.
  • It is expected to elucidate also the originality of the research problem
  • It is required to illustrate the critical thinking and skills utilized in disproving or disproving the research problem.
  • A good proposal will give explanation why the methodology utilized was chosen in the first place.

A well-written proposal is expected to answer the questions below:

  • What am I going to do?
  • Who has done any similar research work?
  • What did the last person who worked on this find out?
  • How am I going to do this study?
  • Why is this study very unique?

Various areas of a good research proposal

The parts below are expected to be present in the research proposal. The parts are highlighted below:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Problem statement
  • Research questions
  • Literature review
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Conclusion and discussion

How to write abstract

Vital parts of an abstract are highlighted below

  • Formation of problem statement
  • Construction of the scope and objectives of the research
  • Research methodology and methods construction. Methodology talks about quantitative, qualitative and theories of the research, while method talks about instruments involved in the investigation.
  • Findings and results without your own personal comments
  • Conclusion as well as concise outlined of its significance.

How to write the introduction

While writing the introduction part of the PhD research proposal, you need to keep the points below in mind.

  • Tell your readers about what the problem to be solved is
  • Tell them about those suffering from the said problem
  • Next, tell them exactly how you plan to solve that problem through your research
  • Tell the readers that you have got all it takes to solve the problem, including the equipments and the qualifications.
  • Tell the readers what they will benefit by the time you solve the problem
  • Tell them also what your expected result would be at the end of the research work
  • Stand for your claim in the introduction and only tell the readers the most important things and do not waste words unnecessarily.

How to write problem statement

What it s problem statement? It is as condition requiring urgent attention and also possible solution. Purpose of problem statement is to fill a gap in existing knowledge requiring serious attention. The problem statement should not be more than 2 lines; it can also be a one-liner.

Questions to answer while writing the problem statement are highlighted below:

  • What is the problem to be solved
  • Where is the particular problem, to be solved
  • How to solve the said problem
  • Why do you want to solve this problem?
  • Is this problem current or not?
  • Will the problem persist in the future if it is left unsolved now?
  • Who in particular is/are suffering from this problem?
  • Will this particular problem disprove or prove any existing knowledge?

How to write research questions

Points to note while writing research questions are highlighted below

  • Choose a particular topic that interest both you and the reader
  • Go through scholarly journals while investigating the topic to see what questions your peers have raised on the subject matter. Take very good note of questions that were not raised and elevate them.
  • Do not use simple facts to answer your research questions. Instead use field-tested research and critical analysis to answer the questions. The answer should require significant examination and it should be provoking.
  • The research questions should never be too narrow or too broad.
  • Never go into details until you have shown the research question to your supervisor.

How to write literature review

The points to keep in mind while writing literature review are highlighted below:

  • Does it discuss about how authentic the problem statement is?
  • Does it support the severity of the problem statement?
  • Do you agree or disagree with existing knowledge regarding the problem and why?
  • Is your conclusion or final judgment persuasive, logical and sound?
  • Do you find literature that disprove or prove the problem statement?

How to write methodology

Useful points to keep in mind when formulating research methodology are highlighted below:

  • Your methodology should be chosen based on the particular type of research being conducted
  • Make sure you institute concise and clear affiliation between the methodology and study
  • Ask yourself if the methodology provides answer to the research question
  • Provide good reason for choosing the particular methodology
  • Divide the method used into population, research design, instruments, sample, reliability, validity, result and implantation phases.
  • Finally, are you comfortable with the methodology?

How to write results

Points to consider when writing results are highlighted below

  • Make few lines of introduction at the start and few lines at the summary part.
  • Analyze your qualitative and quantitative data using SPSS.
  • Use inductive and deductive to organize all data collected.
  • Crosscheck your data a number of times for validity and reliability
  • Report what you find from your experimentation without adding any personal comment

How to write conclusion and discussion

Points to note are highlighted below:

  • Explain in clear times what was not known before, but is known now
  • Interpret the problem statement and show how you have bridged major knowledge gap using your literature review
  • Use evidence from your literature review to interpret the problem statement and hypothesis
  • Discuss reason behind the contribution of your research and provide argument that you have solved major problem to prevent such from continuing in the future.
  • Lots of documented evidence must be used to reconnect your claims.


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  1. Ojewola Gabriel Olugbemiga

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