Writing An Undergraduate Research Proposal

It’s not enough to only state what you intend to do, you need to indicate why and how.

Explain the thought process behind the steps you will take to execute your project or answer your research question.

Once you have a draft, plan to seek feedback from trusted sources.

You should also plan to attend a workshop at the Writing Center and review their resources on writing personal statements.

Each application is a different, and you need to carefully read and understand all the questions being asked to assure your proposal addresses them.

Stay focused on your topic and make sure to fully answer the questions that are asked.Starting early will also give you time to seek feedback, which is a necessary part of proposal writing.Ask for a critique from faculty mentors, advisors, and writing tutors to assure your intended message is clear and that your proposal addresses the key points.If you propose to travel to archives to conduct research, describe why you chose those archives and what special collections you plan to access at the archives.If you intend to conduct focus groups, indicate why you chose to do focus groups and how you plan to recruit participants.The proposal should demonstrate why the project is worthy of support, and why the topic is of interest to you, the applicant.Avoid simply writing a summary of what you’ve done (unless specifically asked to do so); rather, focus on your project or research, and what you’re hoping to accomplish.While there is no magic formula to follow for a successful proposal, following these general guidelines will help you develop a thorough, well-developed proposal.The applications for OUR programs will ask you to answer specific questions relating to your project, including some combination of the following: A good proposal clearly outlines the project or research question and convinces others of its merits.If you are applying for OUR Programs you should also review the criteria specific to the program to which you are applying to ensure your proposal is appropriately tailored.Start by brainstorming answers to the following questions: Use your answers, in conjunction with the guidelines below, to develop the first draft of your proposal.


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