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How Is A Research Paper Different From A Research Proposal?
Your research proposal is the skeleton upon which the meat of your research paper hangs. It’s not an optional extra that accompanies a research paper, nor is it a summary of what your research paper is about. So what is it then? And how does it differ from your research paper itself?
The research proposal
Firstly, the research proposal is a written outline compiled for the purpose of laying out the research program. This document should detail the intentions and strategies of your research path in order to establish what the point and purpose of the entire range of experiments entails.
Your proposal should be very detailed and contain all the various aspects of the process. Details, among others, should include:
- The funds required for the program to be put into action
- A list of equipment that will be needed for experimentation
- A brief description of the purpose of the research
- Some background into past methods and how they will affect your research
- Who will be involved in the research
- What outcomes are expected and how do they relate to your theories
The proposal should be a forward looking document that depicts the potentialities of the research and must emphasize how required resources will affect the research if not successfully obtained (in the case of funding, equipment usage, etc.)
The research paper
In the case of the actual research paper, the conducted research, which will now have been carried out, is documented in a detailed way whereby conclusions have been established and outcomes recorded.
This paper will probably be longer than the proposal because it will contain the step-by-step process of the research done. These steps must be well recorded and include the following:
- An introduction to explain the background, purpose and theories of the research conducted
- A solid research plan that outlines the methods of research followed, as well as the sources being considered
- The documentation of collected data, whether it be information or physical evidence
- The scrutiny of the said data and experimentation for the purpose of finding a conclusion
- A documentation of the results of the experimentation process
- The conclusion derived from all the data collected
- A list of referenced sources used during the research program
These differences should help you get started on either one of these very different, but important parts of the research process.