Writing a concept paper is an integral part of academic life, and students often write concept papers based on a research question before embarking on full-fledged research. A two or three-page document gives important information about the research, including the topic, objectives, and techniques. The paper authorizes the research supervisor to evaluate how thoroughly the student comprehends the research. Based on that evaluation, the supervisor may offer suggestions and direction for carrying out the research. In some circumstances, the supervisor may also determine that the student should pursue an alternative research question to the one initially suggested. Writing a concept paper builds the foundation for your research; therefore, this article will provide a comprehensive overview of the concept paper in research.
What is a concept paper?
A concept paper is like a research proposal that research students submit to their research supervisors or doctoral committee to give them a clear idea about the research. Writing a concept paper involves informing the supervisor about the research question, problem, aims and objectives, and research methodology. However, it is a brief document written for conceptual clarity; therefore, it must not exceed three pages. Also, the researcher informs the supervisor about the data collection techniques and what kind of data the researcher will collect, i.e., primary or secondary data.
Research supervisors evaluate the concept paper and determine whether a student understands the conceptual underpinnings of the topic and allow them to carry on if it is feasible. Alternatively, if the student does not demonstrate ample conceptual understanding, research supervisors ask students to choose a different research question that they can justify with conceptual clarity.
What is the purpose of writing a conceptual paper?
Writing a concept paper aims to serve the following objectives:
- To justify the significance of the research
- Articulation of unique and novel attributes of the proposed research
- How will it contribute towards value addition in literature?
- To convince the supervisor that the proposed research is a feasible endeavor and can be completed within the specified time
- Demonstration of the feasibility of data collection methods within the prescribed limits of resources
- What will be the implications of the research?
What are the basic components of a concept paper?
Students should keep in mind the following aspects while writing a concept paper:
Title of Research
Writing a concept paper entail identifying a unique research topic that should provide the crux of the entire topic. It should be precise yet comprehensive enough to help the reader understand the gist of your research. The title should specify the various aspects of the issue which you will investigate. Remember that your topic should not be too broad and must focus on a specific concept or part of the issue. It is imperative to remove redundancy and use words carefully, which means you must eliminate words that lack substance.
A problem statement is the most crucial thing to take care of while writing a concept paper. A problem statement is the central idea of the research around which the entire research revolves. A problem statement is the author’s stance on the issue. It is a logical and coherent statement that encapsulates the core idea of research, and the entire research develops and expands to support the central tenet. The problem statement informs the reader about the aims and objectives of the research. It introduces the readers to the problem that you are investigating, why it is worth investigating and how the investigation of the research problem will lead to an enhanced understanding.
A statement of the problem is crucial and makes or breaks the research. The purpose of a research problem is to captivate the reader’s interest and convince the reader about the rationale of the research. It must be coherent and captivating enough to pique the reader’s interest. A research problem is not a mere conjecture; instead, it is a logical statement that takes a strong position on an issue.
Remember that the research problem must encapsulate the key ideas that will be elaborated on and expanded in the later part of the research. Therefore, students must pay heed to write a strong problem statement while writing a concept paper. Students often write vague problem statements that distort the research’s purpose, and their concept paper gets rejected. Therefore, if you need help writing a strong problem statement for your concept paper, you can always reach out to expert writers at Academic Writing Services.
Brief Literature Review
A literature review is another important section to work on while writing a concept paper. Unlike the literature review chapter of the main body, the literature review in a concept paper is brief and concise. The purpose of the preliminary research review is to convince the supervisor that you are familiar with the latest developments in your field and that the previous research has not covered the issue you are investigating.
A preliminary literature review encompasses identifying relevant literature and briefly summarising the studies while also pointing out the gaps in the existing studies. Furthermore, the author argues how the proposed research will address the existing gaps. It is imperative to use credible sources such as journals and books while writing a literature review for a concept paper.
Writing a concept paper entail specifying the precise research questions that will help the researcher address the research problem. Questions direct the entire research process and convince the reader how the research will address the research problem. Therefore, you must write straightforward research questions directly relevant to your research problem. Students often write vague research questions in concept papers which compels the supervisor to reject the paper. Therefore, if you need any help in writing questions for a concept paper, you can always take help from experts at Dissertation Proposal Help.
Methodology is the most important section while writing a concept paper. Methodology informs the reader about the practical aspects of your research and how you intend to address the specific research problem. A methodology must be chosen carefully, and you must highlight the key aspects of your methodology and what techniques you will use for data collection and analysis.
In the references section of a concept paper, the author provides references of the works cited in the literature review and research methodology.
Writing a concept paper entail specifying the key aspects of your research. It aims to convince the research supervisor that you possess the desired conceptual clarity for undertaking research and justifies the significance of your research.