How to Write a Proposal and Conceptual Framework

Proposals are generally written to solve a problem. A proposal identifies an issue and gives a recommendation to resolve it. Conceptual frameworks are used to help identify the problem by using a broad set of ideas and theories. Writing a proposal using a conceptual framework is often done by researchers to apply for federal grants. Using a conceptual framework with a proposal helps the researcher identify his problem better and find the best solutions. A good proposal has nine elements and begins by stating the problem.

State the problem. The first step in writing a proposal is to provide a clear explanation of the purpose of the project. It includes the problem, an explanation of why the answer to it is important and an explanation of how the results will benefit the community or organization.

Write a literature review. This section of the proposal shows the readers the relevant literature pertaining to this subject. It should contain reliable citations and references offering credibility that the writer of the paper performed the proper research.

Offer your own perspective. The conceptual framework is needed for this section, allowing the researcher to offer his own perspective and inquiries. The conceptual framework takes the writer's ideas and uses them as a guide and map for the proposal. A personal perspective in a proposal of this kind is important and necessary to develop a solution to the proposed problem. This includes an explanation of which theories and concepts are used in the study and how they are relevant.

Offer a clear hypothesis. With a hypothesis, it is important to explain why testing it will be beneficial. It’s also important to offer information regarding the conceptual framework and how it fits into the hypothesis.

Explain your methodology. In the proposal, the methods used for collecting and analyzing data should be revealed. You need to explain what the methods are, why you chose them and why you believe they are valid.

Describe the scope of work. The proposal should state the procedures you will be following along with the sequence of events. A time line is also offered in many proposals that shows the sequence of tasks and the amount of time each will take.

Describe the management plan. This part of the proposal states the people that will be assisting in the project and what responsibilities each person involved will have.

State the qualifications of individuals assisting in the project. It is important to include qualified individuals as part of the project. The proposal should offer the qualifications and experience of each member.

Create a budget that is as accurate and detailed as possible. Proposals are usually written to obtain grant money from the government. The agencies offering the grants want to know exactly why the money is needed and where it will be spent.

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About the Author

Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.