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Thesis, major paper, and major project proposals

Learn more about the typical elements of a thesis, major paper, or major project proposal.

Introductory section

Just as with the introduction to an essay, the introductory section of a research proposal provides context so the reader understands why the study is necessary and an important work for you. Depending on the requirements of the program, the introductory section may include (but isn't limited to):

  • The problem or opportunity being explored
  • Existing knowledge about the problem, based on information from the organization under study and similar problems
  • Information about the organization under study
  • Primary and secondary research questions
  • Potential impacts if a solution isn't found to address the problem
  • Conceptual and/or theoretical frameworks
  • Literature review (may also be a separate section of the proposal)
  • Student's connection to the project
  • Anticipated aims and outcomes for the project

When you're approaching the introduction to your research proposal, check the handbook that is appropriate for your project to determine the specific expectations for your project. If you have questions about those expectations, please contact your instructor, advisor, or supervisor.

The information provided in this section was gathered from RRU thesis and major project handbooks, current in 2020, from programs in the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, the Faculty of Management, and the College of Interdisciplinary Studies. If the details here differ from the information provided in the handbook for your project, please follow the handbook's directions.

Image credit: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


Defining a Topic

How Do I Write My Introduction and Conclusion?

Philosophy of Research

Theoretical Framework

  • In USC Libraries' Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper guide

Thesis Statements/Problem Statements/ Research Questions