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successful writing tips for researchers


Finding a Research Paper Proposal Example in the APA Writing Style

Many students are often intimidated or turned-off by the idea of writing a research paper. To add to this there is also the dreadfulness of first needing to write a research paper proposal for instructor approval. The APA Style Manual is a great place to start when looking for formatting and citation examples for papers written within the social sciences. The book is considered the final say when it comes to writing academic articles in these fields, and is often cited by several other books and websites.

A simple online search will give you a number of free samples for you to use for reference. Just beware that you don’t download a paper from a disreputable site; stick with academic websites and databases just to be sure you are getting accurate information. If you have time to double-check, look for these common elements in research paper proposals:

Title Page:

This is the easiest part of writing a research paper proposal in the APA style. Your page will include your paper’s title, your name, and your college or university’s name. In the college and graduate levels you may be asked to also include the submission date, any funds (if research was part of specially funded project) and your advisor’s name.


The second page of your research paper proposal should include an abstract of the work you intend to accomplish. This will be quite different after you have completed your research and have likely come up with a different solution. But it does still need to be included so that your instructor gets a general idea of the problem you are attempting to solve and your process for doing so.

In-Text Citations:

Every idea or sentence that references someone else’s work needs to have an in-text citation that tells the reader where you found that information. This is important to both give your paper credibility and to inform the reader of where he or she needs to look in order to find the same information. You should never misrepresent information so be sure you understand the idea, concept or data you are citing in order to be sure you won’t later be criticized for not presenting the correct information.


You may not have all of your references figured out yet, but it’s a good idea to present a several citations you plan on consulting at the start of your research. Your instructor may have some good ideas and present you with additional resources, so it’s a good idea to be as thorough as possible in order to give your instructor a good idea of what it is you will be seeking to accomplish with your paper.

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