The Difference Between A Research Paper And Proposal?

For a very long time there are students who have struggled to get the difference between a research paper and a proposal. More often, these students do not understand the difference between these two, particularly since a lot of people tend to use these terms interchangeably, which is not really supposed to be the case. Ideally, you are supposed to write the proposal first, present it to your school then when it has been accepted, you can then move on to write the dissertation.

This is also one of the main reasons why a lot of scrutiny on your work is normally done during the proposal process. Should you proceed to have an easier time with the proposal, there is a good chance that you will already have an easy experience with the final paper.

The following is a brief discussion that will highlight the key differences between the proposal and the final paper that you will be presenting to your institution in recognition of the work that you have been doing:

  • Pay attention to the tense
  • Proposals are shorter
  • Focus on the findings

Pay attention to the tense

The first thing teachers will always look at when grading your papers is the tense you used. Did you write it in the past tense, or future tense? Proposals are traditionally written in future tense, because you intend to carry out the study later on. On the other hand, the study will take place in the future. So when you are done with the study and you write it, you will be writing it in the past tense, because it is something that you have just finished doing. You also have to be careful not to mix up the tenses in your paper when you are working on it, for this will only make things more complicated and wrong.

Proposals are shorter

Generally, proposals will the shorter of the two, because there are at least two chapters that are supposed to be missing. Most of the time you only have three or four chapters in them.

Focus on the findings

If you present findings in your proposal, that would be wrong. Findings are only supposed to be there when you actually carry out the study, not when you are proposing to work on it. The same applies to the chapter on analysis.

Get help when you need it.

You want your paper to look like you know what you are doing, so when you get in trouble, ask someone for help. Most schools have writing labs or tutors who are available to help on difficult projects like this. Your instructor should be more than willing to help you through a difficult portion whether online or in person. Do not ever think you are pestering your instructor because they get paid to help you learn and succeed.

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