Tips on Writing a Computer Science Research Proposal

Writing a research proposal in any discipline is a real challenge, but writing a computer science research proposal requires not only theoretical knowledge and the ability to dig in literature, but also practical experience and relevant background. It is only normal if you feel stuck just beginning to compose your research proposal. Along with the guidelines received from your professor and rules from textbooks, you can benefit from these expert tips written by expert academic writers at academic writing company. Use them to get started and keep going.

Clarity the Problem You Address

The basic idea is to find a field in Computer Science which was previously underestimated or not researched enough. Seeing this field, you need to identify a problem that evolves from this field being not studied enough or an issue that will be solved if you do proper research in this field. It is better if you find at least several problems in one area and present them to your professor or supervisor. He or she will choose one with you, and you can start working on it. Though in the research proposal the problem statement is not the first part of the paper, without deciding on it, you should not start writing at all, or it can all be gone in vain. Sometimes, it is not obligatory to confirm your problem statement with your professor or supervisor, but we strongly recommend to do it to share vision as well as responsibility for the chosen research direction. Someone would say that it sounds like manipulation, but we are sure it is just about efficiency.

Write a Detailed Research Plan

Writing a plan is boring, and it takes too much time, so students often tend to skip this step and go directly to writing. Unfortunately, this approach just doesn’t work. You need to write a thorough plan and confirm it with your professor or supervisor. Without a plan, you will get stuck too often, not knowing what to do next. Being stressed about it, you will start procrastinating, feeling that you don’t have enough progress you will get even more stressed. Lots of computer science research proposals were not submitted on time (or at all!) due to this circle of stress and procrastination. To avoid it, you need a detailed plan. In this case, even if something goes wrong, you always know where to pick up. There are two plans — the one you present to your professor, and the one you use for yourself. Think about yourself as about a manager of this computer science research project and write a plan considering risks, limitations, and strengths.

Elaborate On Research Methods

Unlike in many other disciplines, in Computer Science, methods often exist in the form of algorithms, and you need to prove why the chosen algorithms are the best for the particular research and problem in question. Most probably, you will use combined methods — one classical, and one or two specific for Computer Science. Sometimes, this part should also include time for completion and even budget, if you submit your research proposal as an admission document for grant or scholarship. Don’t overestimate your abilities to write fast and don’t underestimate the costs.

Just Know It’s Going to Be Better

Maybe this point sounds silly, but it is essential to know it. You need to remember, that writing a research proposal for the first time is always challenging, for everyone, not only for you. If you get stuck, it doesn’t mean you are not good enough, or you’ve chosen a wrong path, or you should do something else. More of it, writing a research proposal is often harder than doing research and writing a research report itself. When dealing with a proposal, you have to plan everything in advance, decide on a problem, write a problem (thesis) statement, choose literature, confirm every step, decide on methods, etc. Later you will use this preparation work for your more important papers, such as thesis or dissertation. Think in advance about hardships and come up with some small motivating treats for yourself.

When you are done with writing the main parts, start making formatting and checking your text with grammar and spelling checkers and anti-plagiarism software. Students often overestimate the amount of time they need to write research proposals and don’t have enough time in the end to make final check-ups. Make it a rule to check every 2-3 written pages gradually, and you will both improve your writing skills, rest a little, and make sure when the deadline becomes scarily close, almost entire paper is perfectly formatted and checked for mistakes and plagiarism. Following your plan and thinking in advance will lead you through this challenging period of writing a computer science research proposal. Good luck!

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