the first part of every single research article is its proposal. what you have to do is read through a few research articles. you can find research articles in any of the nursing specialty journals in a medical library. there is a defined structure to the way they are written. in short, a proposal is a paper that summarizes "this is what has been investigated and tested before, this is what the previous investigation and testing hasn't addressed and what i think needs to be examined, so this is what i propose to do and how i intend to go about it".
the steps of research as they should appear in an official research report or an article (which is an abridged version) are as follows:
- introduction: introduction of research problem introduction of objectives introduction of how objectives will be achieved (methodology), optional introduction of main findings and conclusions
- literature review: review of previous work relating to research problem (to define, explain, justify) review of previous work relating to methodology (to define, explain, justify) review of previous work relating to results (particularly reliability, etc.)
- method (how the results were achieved): explanation of how data was collected/generated, explanation of how data was analyzed explanation of methodological problems and their solutions or effects
- results and discussion: presentation of results interpretation of results discussion of results (e.g. comparison with results in previous research, effects of methods used on the data obtained)
- conclusions: has the research problem been "solved"? to what extent have the objectives been achieved? what has been learned from the results? how can this knowledge be used? what are the shortcomings of the research, or the research methodology? etc.
a proposal goes through step #3 at which point you propose (recommend, suggest) what you hope your piece of research is going to show. do you notice anything familiar about those 5 steps that are listed above? do they in any way, shape or form look like the nursing process? if i told you that a proposal was a goal
you hoped to achieve would that help you out any? that goal is based upon information you gathered (assessment) from reading other research (literature review) that has been previously done on that subject.
here are some other links to how to write a proposal: