How to write research plan

Having a research plan for your research project that you are going to do is very much important for various reasons, no matter whether it is a professional or a personal research. Learning more about process involved in creating a research plan will help you stay more focused and systematic to reach your goal and also to gain better outcomes.

What is a research plan?

To describe about a research plan we can say that, it is whole summery of your entire research project, from starting to the final result. If you are working as a team in your research project it helps your team to understand the whole project and it keeps your team well organized also it helps you to maintain a team. If you are working alone in your project it keeps you to stay more focused on your project. Within the research plan you can mention your goals, the process to attain them and all other extra information to reach your results.

Professional researchers produce their research plan in order to deliver their objectives and change in resources to keep everyone updated about the information. This research plan can also help the external members who are related to the project like stakeholders to understand about the project.

How to write a research plan

Following the seven steps below you can write your own research plan for the project:

1. Define the project purpose

You have to start write your research plan by defining the project purpose like what and why you have undertaken the research. By being clear in the main objective of your project helps you in a better way to achieve your result, whether you are in a group or working alone. If you are doing a group work defining the purpose of your project helps you split the work among group accordingly. If you want to do research about the history of a country you can assign some other member to research about the culture of the country and so on.

2. Identify individual objectives

If you are clear with your main goal of the project then move on to identify each step of the goal to reach the result. In other word, identify the individual objective. If you work alone in your project, then the individual objective may help you with identifying the intermediate goals which need to be solved first and the others which can be dealt later on. If you are working as a team, then you can split the work with your team members based on the individual objectives which can make you achieve your result faster. You can allocate task to your team members in which they are stronger.  

3. Select a research method

Once you are done with identifying your goal and individual steps involved in it, now you can move on to find your research method. Choosing in which method you are going to research can help you build your project even before you start it in real time. It is not compulsory for you to choose only one research method you can use different research method at different phase of the project but you should plan accordingly on those methods. This will help your team work more effectively. On identifying who is going to work on which research method based on their capability, will help you with reaching the goal faster. For example, someone from your team may be good at research which involves interviews.

4. Recruit participants and allocate tasks

Add members to your team if you can. If there are some people along with you to help you with your work it can not only occupy less time but also to make your work easier. It can create more time for you to focus more on your specific works, which are more valuable like documenting changes, allocating tasks and display of result. Once you find how many members you need to help you, allocate them individual works as soon as possible so that they can work individually to their tasks to complete the project effectively.

5. Prepare a project summary

Basically project summery holds a brief explanation about your research. This maybe entirely different from your research project which may have some questions to be asked in interview or introduction to the project.  That can help you with recruiting participants to your team and also in field of study and meetings. It can be beneficial in other ways like to keep you on the topic when presenting in meetings or the points to be remembered while discussing in the meeting.

6. Create a realistic timeline

After completing the recruitment and assigning project tasks for the participants, then move on to creating a tentative timeline to place the goals of the project. While creating your timeline, place every goal with a little extra time, so that it can help you to manage time if it was not completed on the deadline.

Creating a physical timeline in the form of a paper sheet, whiteboard display or digital presentation manually can also help your team. Even if you are working alone in a project, it can help you run towards the goals as per schedule.

  1. Determine how to present your results

Plan how you are going to display or present your result, even before starting your project, because you should properly convey the whole idea of your project to the audience. You can present your research results on many different ways like a power point presentation, pamphlet or booklet that depends on the purpose of your research and to whom you are presenting. If you do research for a company as an employee for commission, you have to do a professional presentation or when you are doing research for yourself then you may not them.

Instructions for creating a research plan

The following are some tips you can use to create your research plan in a better way:

Write detailed sections

When you consider writing your research plan, write it more specifically. Writing more specific research plan can help you especially when you are working as a team. It helps the team members to identify their individual tasks and work accordingly. If you work alone writing specific plan help you identify the important aspects of your project.

Meet your plan participants before installing changes

If you want to make any changes in your plan to make it better, consider meeting with your team members before installing the changes. Communication within the team is the key to success. Conducting meetings with team members regarding the changes you want to make help them being updated on their individual tasks. Prioritize inviting only those members of the team who needed to be updated about the changes, so that it can save them from being distracted.

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