A research proposal is a document written by a researcher that provides a detailed description of the proposed study.  It is an outline of the research process that gives a reader a summary of the researchers’   intention to carry out a study.

It is therefore a detailed work plan on how a research activity will be conducted. The research proposal is ones way of showing that one has an idea that is of value and can contribute important knowledge to the specific field.  A research proposal is intended to convince the readers that one has a worthwhile research study and that one has the competence and the work-plan to complete it.

The proposal should have sufficient information to convince readers that one has an important research idea, that one has a good grasp of the relevant literature and the major issues, and that methodology is sound. A research proposal should address the following questions:

  • What one plan to accomplish,
  • why one want to do it and
  • How you are going to do

To propose means to state an intention, suggestion. It indicates a researcher’s intention to carry out a study. A Research proposal is written in future tense since the study has not yet been carried out. A research study starts with a brief introductory section that narrows down to the specific problem to be studies.


A proposal is divided into the following sections


This is the first section of the proposal. However it is the last to be written. It includes  the following:

Title page

It is often times referred to as the cover page, this section is where one indicates the title of the  research, name, institutional information . This section includes

  • The research title
  • Name and student number
  • Statement- A research proposal submitted in partial fulfillment for the degree of (insert the name of the Degree) of kenya Methodist University
  • Month and year of submission

Declaration Page

This includes the declaration by the student and supervisor:

c) Dedication

This is not compulsory and may apply to an individual who has had a major impact on the researcher. It should not exceed 25 words


This refers to individuals who in one way or the other have contributed to the success of the study. It should not exceed 150 words


This summarizes the major areas in the proposal. It should not exceed 500 words. It should be comprehensive with no paragraph.

f) Table of contents

This indicates all the section in the proposal. The page numbers should be included

  1. g) List of tables
  2. h) List of figures
  3. g) Abbreviations and acronyms

The Research Process

The research begins with a selection of identification of a subject/problem to be studied. Once the subject has been identified, the researcher takes the following steps:

  • Formulating the research problem.
  • Defining the hypothesis.
  • Research design.
  • Determination of the type of data to be collected.
  • Data collection procedures and data analysis and generalizations
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