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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.


Whether you will be writing a thesis, major research paper, or major project as your capstone project for your Master’s degree, you’ll likely be writing a proposal at an early stage of the project's development. The proposal communicates to your thesis committee, supervisor, advisor, and/or instructor the issue or problem you intend to investigate in your project, as well as how you plan to complete that investigation. A proposal is your opportunity to persuade your readers that your research will contribute significant information to your field of study and explain how you’ll be able to do that work within scope and on time. After reading your proposal, your committee or supervisor should not only be convinced of the merit and need for your research, they should also be excited to support you during your development of the work.

Many RRU programs engage students in the process of developing research proposals within courses, and the information provided in this resource does not replace program-specific deliverables and instructions. Rather, the goal of this resource is to provide an overview of common elements of a research proposal and link students to supporting resources. If you are unsure of the approach to take in your research proposal, please consult your project handbook and speak to your instructor or supervisor. If you don't know how to access the project handbook, please ask your instructor or supervisor.

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How Do I Write a Research Proposal?

  • In SAGE Research Methods: Writing Up; look for the How Do I Write A Research Proposal? drop down option. Access via this link requires a RRU username and password.

Research Proposals

  • Overview of research proposals from The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation; access via this link requires a RRU username and password

Image credit: Image by Mohamed Assan from Pixabay