How to Organize Your Social Science Research Paper

A research proposal aims at justifying the essence of studying a research problem. It gives practical ways to conduct the proposed study. The standards of a predominant discipline with the problem govern the research design. It makes the research proposal to be exact or less formal than a general project proposal. A research proposal has more detailed literature reviews. The review provides enough evidence of the existence of any proposed study.

A proposal should describe the research method with the academic or professional needs. It also describes the anticipated outcomes and their importance at the end of the study.


Make your introduction the idea pitch of the importance of the research problem. Readers should know your intentions and gain a sense of love for the topic from the introduction. They should also develop excitement about the possible results of the proposal. Remember that many proposals don’t have a summary (abstract) before an introduction. Your introduction should look like a two to the four-paragraph narrative.

Background and significance

Here, you explain your proposal’s entire content. Please give a detailed description of why it’s vital. You can present it separately or mend it into the introduction section to create a flow. In this section, don’t assume your readers know much about the problem like you. Choose the most relevant information needed but not everything that you learned. Chose an appropriate way to explain your research aims.

Literature review

Connect your proposal study significance and background sections to the literature synthesis. Now you review previous studies that relate to your research problem under investigation.

The literature review section is dense. It should make the reader grasp all the main arguments hindering the proposed study.

Don’t be afraid to challenge conclusions made in the earlier research. Do this as a way to support your proposal.

Research methods and design

Write this section well with logic. The section boosts the reader’s vital confidence. The section justifies that the proposed methods and designs will tackle the problem. These methodologies help readers to interpret well the results of your study.

Use examples from the literature review in describing the entire research design. Consider all the methods researchers use to gather data. Be open to the methodological approaches you intend to use in your research. Use a technique that will aid to do data analysis and the external validity tests.

Preliminary implications and support

The essence of this section is to bring arguments on how and in what ways you think you will tackle the research. How will you revise, refine or extend existing knowledge of the subject under study? Explain how the expected results will affect future scholarly practice and research. How will it influence theory policy-making and the intervention methods? Base the answers to these questions on your objectives and aims.


It reiterates the essence of your proposal, providing a summary of the whole study. The section must be one to two paragraphs. It should explain why a research problem is vital to investigate.

  • Citations – It’s vital to cite all the resources you used in the entire process. The section has two preferred forms:
  • References – list only the literature cited or used in the proposal.
  • Bibliography – list everything cited or used in the proposal. Add extra citations to critical sources relevant to understanding the research problem.


The above is a summary of how to tackle your social science research paper. Get a pen and paper to give it a try.

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