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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Writing a Research Proposal

This guide will help you understand what a research proposal is, how to write one, and will show you the proper resources to perfect your proposal.

University of Illinois Resources

University of Illinois Graduate College
Conducts proposal writing workshops, offers one-on-one reviews and critiques, and provides guidance in all areas of study.

Center for Writing Studies
Offers proposal writing tips as well as general writing assistance in all disciplines and at all stages of the writing process.

Research Data Service
Offers support for writing Data Management Plans (DMPs), an increasingly common requirement for funding proposals.

Library Guide on Finding Grants, Fellowships, and Scholarships
A guide for faculty, researchers, and students
on how to find funding support for your research or studies.

Find Proposal and Grant Support
The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) presents writing and financial support for faculty members doing sponsored research activities.

Writing Guides

Guidelines on Writing a Research Proposal
An informal guide to writing M.A. research proposals.
The Art of Writing Proposals
Suggestions on how to write a good proposal, by the Social Science Research Council.
Dissertation Proposal Workshop (Online)
A site dedicated to helping students write research and grant proposals for conducting empirical social-scientific fieldwork. Includes a useful suggested proposal-writing timeline.

Proposal Templates and Examples

A Systems Perspective of Professional Development in a K-12 School District
Dissertation proposal preparation in Instructional Systems Technology by John B. Keller at Indiana University.

University of Texas at Austin
This page showcases dissertation proposals in a range of subjects, from Classics to Chemical Engineering.

University of Maryland Department of Computer Science
Two students' dissertation research proposals. 

Dissertation Proposal and Human Subjects Institutional Review Board Examples
Examples of dissertation proposals and final dissertations, as well as International Review Board applications and forms from Western Michigan University.

Template for an APA-Style Research Proposal
An APA-style research proposal template by Dr. Jody Davis, Professor of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University. The template may need to be modified for your specific program.