Writing an Effective Research Proposal Sample in 3 Steps

Writing a research proposal is a serious step. You can’t simply write it and forget about it. A proposal is a foreword to a bigger project. Therefore, it should include all the necessary ingredients and show directions for further investigation.

Here’s what a decent research proposal sample should look like:

Step 1️⃣: Sample Research Proposal Parts

In the first place, writing a research proposal, you should answer the following questions:

  1. WHAT you will do – the main goals.
  2. HOW you will do it – methods and techniques.
  3. WHY you will do it – novelty and significance of the study.

A research proposal can’t be a self-sufficient document, but readers should understand the main scope of the study after reading it.

Step 2️⃣: Sample Research Proposal Structure

In more detail, an outline for you proposal should look like this:

  • Title;
  • abstract;
  • introduction and literature review;
  • research hypothesis;
  • methods;
  • conclusion and justification;
  • bibliography;
  • appendices (if necessary).

Step 3️⃣: Research Proposal Format

The format requirements for a research proposal are similar to those for other academic papers:

  • include in-text quotes to support your main points;
  • start a bibliography on a new page;
  • include subheadings for main parts and never start a new part at the bottom of the page when less than two lines are left.

📝 Example of a Research Proposal

And finally, here it goes, a good example of a research proposal:

Title: Watching funny cat videos online improves a student’s motivation and productivity.


The impact of the emotions after watching funny cat videos on the well-being and overall energy levels of students will be explored. Fifty high school students (twenty-five girls and twenty-five boys) will view three 2 minute funny cat videos. Then they will be suggested to continue their routine homework assignments.

A control group will be doing the same assignments without watching the videos. It is predicted that the group watching the videos will have better scores on the same assignments, and they will complete the task faster. Implications of the results for teaching process and future research will be discussed.

Literature review

Many researchers agree that watching funny cat videos helps the viewers relax and improve their cognitive abilities (Doe, 2007; Smith, 2010). Most students make procrastinate with doing their homework, watching videos online or texting their friends in social media. Empirical research suggests that in this way, students might subconsciously look for the ways to reduce the tension and improve their concentration through getting positive emotions and distracting from the subject matter for a while (Lee, 2004).

Several studies have explored the effects of procrastination through web browsing on students’ academic performance (Doe, 2007; Lee, 2004). Most of these studies concluded that considerate procrastination can be good for the final outcome. However, this study will analyze the effects of a particular type of procrastinating activity, watching funny cat videos.


Fifty high school students attending a public school in Boston, Massachusetts will be invited as participants. The control group will include fifty students attending the same school. The school is located in a predominantly middle-class area. Parents or legal guardians will give their official consent for the students’ participation in this experiment.


The participants will watch three funny cat videos before doing a standard assignment, while a control group will be asked to do the same task without procrastinating. After each student is finished and the materials are collected, the students will be thanked for participating.


The test scores will be compared with the students’ usual achievements. The standard deviation will be compared with the results of a control group, whereas the level of students’ prior achievements should be taken into account.


The findings of this study will be reevaluated in light of the initial hypotheses. If the findings support the initial prediction, the finding scan be used in class and for designing effective homework assignments.

The limitations of this study will be discussed along with the possible ways to reduce them. Future research could analyze the effects of other procrastinating strategies on the students’ performance.


  1. Doe, J. (2007). The effects of leisure web browsing on learning outcomes in high school. Boston, MA: Boston Press.
  2. Lee, L. (2004). Major procrastination strategies used by high school students and their effects on learning outcomes. Educational Psychology, 25(4): 11 – 15.
  3. Smith, J. (2010). The main reasons behind the cat videos enormous popularity with the audience. Computer Studies, 1(2): 24 – 27.
Was It Helpful?
Thank you for feedback 👋
Related Articles

357 Philosophical Topics to Write About for Essays & Term Papers

There is a joke that in successful relationships, one becomes happy, and in unsuccessful, one becomes a philosopher. Unfortunately, that could be true only if the person read philosophical books on philosophy or developed their philosophical research theories in the latter case. Philosophy is a Greek word meaning “love for...

Contextual Analysis: Definition & Goals + Contextual Analysis in History

📍 Contextual Analysis Explained In this part, we will define the concept and its main goals. Contextual Analysis Definition A contextual analysis is used to evaluate an item in historical and cultural contexts. It studies the issues from political, economic, and philosophical angles. Let’s choose a famous painting by Vincent...