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Outline of the Research Proposal: Title of study Introduction (Statement of the Problem) Significance of the research Objectives of the

the research Conceptual Framework Literature Review Methodology Research Design Data Analyses Results and Discussion Literature Cited

A TITLE MAY BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU THINK the title is the distinctive name of the research proposal it introduces your reader to the framework and perspective of the proposal it encompasses the focus or concept of your paper an effective title accurately represents the content of the proposal


The title should be informative and clear. A nonspecialist scientist should be able to understand from the title what your research is all about. Should be short (10 to 15 words), simple and fully explanatory. Appealing to an audience that has a general (and specialized) knowledge of the field. It encourages the reviewer to keep reading.

There should be no wasted words. Should be concise, descriptive and comprehensive Should delimit the study Can emulate work of outstanding researchers

EXAMPLE OF A: BAD TITLE: Wood Biodiversity


The Mexican sunflower, Tithonia diversifolia: an organic nutrient source for soil fertility improvement in Ghana

Objectives of the Study: Identifies what the research wants to achieve Is corollary to the problems

Scientific Hypothesis

It is a statement of an objective in such a way that the objective can be tested by experimentation

Scientific Hypothesis
Statement of an objective in such a way that it can be tested by experimentation

A statement of something you have reason to believe may be true but which is not yet definitely proven to be true by experimental results or reasoning

Scientific Hypothesis

A hypothesis prediction or explanation of the relationship between one or more independent variables

All variables relevant to the study should be identified when formulating a hypothesis/hypotheses

Scientific Hypothesis

But what is it good for?

Scientific Hypothesis
A well-reasoned hypothesis focuses the mind on what has to be done in order to meet the objectives of the project.
It can lead you to more research ideas beyond the ideas for the initial objective(s)

To increase maize yields by application of green manure Hypothesis?

Scientific Hypothesis

Application of green manure will increase yields of maize

Scientific Hypothesis
Better hypothesis for this objective?
The use of green manure in maize cultivation will be cost effective/economically competitive or superior to the current fertiliser regimes used by farmers

The use of green manure will be environmentally sound/sustainable

Scientific Hypothesis (2)

(objective: to investigate how people get treatment for malaria)

Individual and household factors influence peoples treatment-seeking behaviour for malaria.

Good Hypothesis?

Scientific Hypothesis
(objective: to determine how people get treatment for malaria)

More useful hypothesis?

Individuals education, disposable income, time available, ease of finding a doctor or clinic, influence peoples behaviour for seeking treatment for malaria.

Scientific Hypothesis (3)

Cigarette smoking is harmful to health Good hypothesis?

Scientific Hypothesis
Better hypothesis?
Cigarette smoking is harmful to health irrespective of other factors which may cause people to smoke (e.g. social drinking) or factors which harm their (respiratory) health (e.g. air pollution) or intrinsic factors which pre-dispose them to such problems (basic susceptibility to disease)

Conceptual Framework
A diagrammatic representation with full explanations

Related to the hypothesis which are tentative or probable explanations of events that occur

Conceptual Framework
Is the researchers own meaningful organization of the research variables Identifies the variables of the study and their interrelationships

Finalize your title & research objective(s) Construct your hypothesis/hypotheses Prepare the conceptual framework