How to Write a Research Proposal

How to Write a Research Proposal

A research proposal is a formal document that is well structured to explain a research study to be carried out and the reason behind such a particular study. The document also explains how a researcher intends to conduct the research study. A research proposal is written to convince the supervisor or the university that particular research is necessary concerning the program being pursued and manageable within the indicated time frame and available resources. A good research proposal convinces the intended parties about the suitability and manageability of particular research, and revision is requested in cases where a research proposal is not convincing. Also, a good research proposal should be specific in articulating the selected research topic to become unambiguous. Proper articulation of the topic to be researched ensures that even the research context is easily introduced to the reader. It is important to read more about the topic selected before starting on a research proposal to avoid vague statements that might lower the quality of a research proposal in terms of how it convinces the reader. It is also important that the research topic is unique to make it original. The uniqueness of a research topic depends on the extent to which a research proposal fills the existing literature gaps or the problem it intends to solve. Research proposals on topics that other researchers have written about should be avoided because instructors usually reject them. Also, the methodology included in a research proposal should be practical. It will be easy for the researcher to carry out an intended study and produce reproducible results. 

Sample Research Proposal: The Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement is one of the most renowned equality struggles in the United States, culminating in enacting the Equal Rights Act of 1964. A majority of the people of color gained access to fundamental rights in the country. Some renowned activists are associated with the movement’s establishment, whereby the point-man is Martin Luther King Junior. Still, their efforts were thwarted because they had not established their position as renowned social activists in the country at the time. The Civil Rights Movement took place between the 1950s and the 1960s in the country. The movement is regarded as a period of economic boom. However, not all races benefited from the economic boom that defined the country at the moment. A majority of the African Americans that had not benefited from the emancipation of the serfs at the time began migrating northwards to cities such as Pittsburg.

 In the reconstruction period, most African Americans took up white-collar jobs at a rate that had never been experienced in the country, leading to a period that indicated that people of color were on track to gaining stability in the country. The 14th Amendment ratified in 1868 ensured that most African Americans had access to greater opportunities. However, racism was mostly institutionalized in the country at the time. It was stated that it was imperative to keep them apart in the capacity to separate white people from their black counterparts.

When one considers the extent of deprivation, discrimination, and prejudices experienced by blacks in contemporary America, there is little doubt that colorism remains a major social challenge even in the 21st century. Even though previous research has focused on colorism and skin tone stratification, there is little research on the impact of colorism from gender stratification for black men and women. While examining whether color or gender was more important to social outcomes for black Americans, researchers have observed near-ubiquity of colorism for black women in terms of income, wages, and access to social amenities compared to black men. Such findings point to a persistent trend of colorism that operates along a continuum of light skin preference even among blacks. Even as African Americans strive for greater political participation and representation, the major question that comes into mind is how the impact of colorism influences their political decisions. To find solutions to such questions, there is a need to evaluate how skin color influences the choice for political candidates for Black and non-Black voters. Current research indicates that darker-skinned black people favor liberal policy positions as their lighter-skinned counterparts align with conservative political ideologies. One may argue that African Americans need to confront intra-racial colorism as the first step in seeking alliances and coalitions with other minority groups.

However, there are concerns that such a move runs the risk of dividing the Black community based on the individual’s proximity to Whiteness. Burgeoning literature in American political science has consistently focused on the effect of skin tone in political decisions. Particularly, scholars have paid greater attention on the effect of black male candidates’ skin tone in informing the political choices made by white voters. The results indicate that whites prefer black candidates with a lighter tone, and are therefore willing to vote for them, provided that they have the right ideologies and tend to veer off the rightist-leftist debate. Most of the black representatives that are in Congress come from predominantly black communities or neighborhoods. Still, it is surprising to note that most of the research on the effects of colorism focus on the attitudes that the white electorate holds towards black candidates based on skin tone. Black representatives have historically been held in high regard because they speak and act upon matters of specific concern. They are expected to use their elevated political status to address the socioeconomic issues that affect the blacks. Any perceived alignment with the white majority will likely deny them votes within the African American racial group. Extant literature postulates that women and men respond differently to their political candidates, based on their subjective assessment of the candidates’ racial inclusivity, which determines how they vote. Compassion towards a racial group is likely to be induced in women instead of their male counterparts. Allyship has often lured women, and this was evident in the Obama era, whereby a majority of the white voters did not entirely agree with his ideologies but had to be allies because of the fear of being racist. This is significantly different from the Trump era, which saw a growth in the ‘friend’s defence,’ with some political factions stating that they were not racist, although some of their friends were. Whites have never desired to be referred to by the term racist because this is a form of aversion based on the perception that it conjures in public. Individuals have resorted to being allies of the African American community. Whenever they show sympathy or affiliation to racial minorities, they easily appeal to black women instead of men. There are glaring gender gaps in vote choices within the United States, and these stem from the subjective assessment of compassion towards the most vulnerable groups in society. Studies indicate that black women were not supportive of George Bush whenever he held a conservative Republican stand against issues of race. Still, this gender gap disappeared whenever he expressed compassion towards minority groups. It is a similar case in skin tone, whereby women will overwhelmingly support candidates with a lighter tone in instances where they express compassion towards the African American community. In the absence of this defining feature, women resort to candidates with a darker skin tone because they have developed a sense of identity due to this skin tone.

In 2013, President Obama reiterated that Kamala Harris was the best-looking attorney general, and at the time, she was serving as a California attorney. The crowd burst into laughter, but in 2016, she was elected as a senator, becoming the second woman of color to serve in the highest legislative house. While the president’s comment was meant to be humorous, it had a profound effect on her election, and this proved that black women with a lighter tone stand a chance of winning elective posts based on the favor that they gain from the white electorate. Gender remains instrumental in understanding the variant ways in which colourism influences political beliefs