How to Write a Research Proposal in Nutrition and Dietary Studies and Get Support

Writing guide
Posted on February 2, 2021

You need to start complicated and time-consuming research. That definitely terrifies you since you have no idea whether the issue under research is worth to be studied. In order not to go in blind, you should present a proposal for academic investigation. Once it is approved, you can keep researching the chosen topic. But how to succeed with the proposal?

In the article below, we will bring all the steps to light, provide all the details and, hopefully, give you enough support to draft a really outstanding research proposal. So, here we go.

How to Write a Research Proposal in Nutrition and Dietary Studies: The Definition

If you have never written a research proposal in nutrition and dietary studies before, it is obvious that you need to find out what this type of academic assignment really is. Roughly speaking, a proposal for academic investigation is a paper that covers the top important points of potential research. Generally, the information that they expect a student to cover in this paper is:

  • The topic of research and its main aim(s);
  • Expected outcomes of the research;
  • The framework in which you are planning to convey the research;
  • Types of methods and methodologies that will be used in the study (it is possible to offer more than two, yet explain the choice);
  • References to previous researches within the same scope.

As you can see, there is much to study, write and present. But what should the length of the proposal be? Since your proposal is not completed research and isn’t a fully developed assignment, it shouldn’t be long. The expected length of the paper is not less than 500 words and not more than 3000 words. The text is usually double-spaced in A4 paper and takes from 6

How to Write a Research Proposal in Nutrition and Dietary Studies: The Format

Step 1 — Choosing the direction and topic
Saying that you are writing research in nutrition and dietary studies doesn’t explain exactly what you are doing. Before you actually approach to any sort of research, you need to pick the topic of your investigation.

The right topic is often called to be one of the keys to success. You need to pick the issue that is relevant and manageable, interesting and engaging. In the perfect world, you take your time to explore multiple researches and think over what you can possibly contribute to them.

Then you come up to listing all the topics that seem to be appealing and consult your supervisor concerning which ones are the worthiest. To make the entire process a bit easier for you, we have decided to present you the list of the top burning issues that you might like:

  • Common Myths Concerning Nutrition: How to Know What the Truth Is?
  • Why Do GERD Problems and Related Disorders Affect Younger People More Often?
  • Types of Starch: Healthy vs Risky Choices;
  • Fat Body Increase and Its Consequences;
  • The Pros and Cons of a Vegetarian Diet. Is It Possible to Deal with Deficiency While Enjoying Efficiency?
  • What Diseases Go Hand in Hand with the Increase of Body Weight?
  • Do Antioxidants Really Help Patients Prevent Diseases?
  • Childhood Obesity vs Chronic Diseases: What Is the Connection?
  • How Nutrition Helps Strengthen Person’s Immune System?
  • Metabolism Complications Due to Inborn Reasons;
  • Nutrition and Allergies. Complications to Deal with for a Lifetime;
  • The Basic Rules of Nutrition That Everyone Neglects;
  • The Rule of 8 Glasses: Isn’t It Too Much to Drink during the Day?
  • The Notion of a Healthy Lifestyle and Its Myths;
  • Ways to Foster Healthy Eating Habits.

The title is one of the most essential elements when it comes to writing a proposal for academic research. It should be under 25 words. And these 25 words are to describe the main aim of the entire research work.

When you are working on a proposal for research, the title is often referred to as a pilot title that (if needed) can be then altered.

Also, you can come to your supervisor with an idea, not a title. In the process of negotiating, you then decide on the title together.

Step 2 — Writing an abstract
The abstract takes up to 500 words at least. In the abstract, there is essential data from each of the sections that will be covered in the paper. It is true that an abstract is the second page of your proposal, yet we suggest you make it the last to be completed just because it will be easier to write an abstract when other parts are covered.

Step 3 — Crafting a table of contents
Make a table of contents and present the headings and subheadings of the investigation. You can also go any other way of delivering the contents. Your supervisor can require any other format. One of the possible formats is presented below:

  • Title
  • Heading 1
    • Subheading 1.1
    • Subheading 1.2
    • Subheading 1.3
  • Heading 2
    • Subheading 2.1
    • Subheading 2.2
    • Subheading 2.3
  • Heading 3
    • Subheading 3.1
    • Subheading 3.2
    • Subheading 3.3

Here you can follow the same recommendation as in the case with an abstract part: complete a table of contents after completing other sections. It will take less time since you have all the stages completed.

Step 4 — Presenting the introduction
What does the basic information present? It deals with the core aspects of your research proposal topic and familiarizes a reader with the main ideas and purposes. The length of an introduction part varies depending on the topic and requirements from your supervisor.

In general, it is enough to write 500-700 words. To make the introduction really catching and thought-provoking, you can add images and diagrams.

Step 5 — Working on objective or problem statement
As the name of the section suggests, they expect you to state the problem/objective for research conducting. 100 or 150 words will be enough to state the problem. Use this word count to dwell on the issues connected to the already existing techniques in conveying the study. The difference between previous studies and yours is that you see the ways for overcoming these issues.

Talking on the problem statement, you also need to mention the tasks you are planning to perform in order to find a suitable solution to issues. The entire section is a focus on the problem. To write it accordingly, you need to take more time than while completing previous tasks.

Step 6 — Reviewing sources of literature
This part of your proposal for academic investigation is the longest and the most time-consuming. Though they expect a student to give some brief details of all the data gathered from research papers and books, the fact that these books and papers are multiple predetermines the size of the literature review block.

Rule one is to refer each of the sources correctly: the actual information a source delivers should be provided wisely and carefully without breaching the real message. To present data from all the sources that you used, you need really a great amount of time.

Step 7— Presenting the hypothesis
Make own statement about a possible outcome of the academic investigation that you plan to perform. The hypothesis that you present is usually the conclusion you make relying on the literature sources that you’ve studied.

Many students believe that if the final results (in the case of approved and completed research) do not match with the initial hypothesis, the whole work is a total fiasco. But that is not true. This is the exact case when the research should be concluded with a negative outcome. Yet still, the risks of such outcomes are very low.

Again, creating and presenting a hypothesis is what requires deep knowledge, great practice, and good skills. The total word count is up to 150 words.

If you believe that drafting a hypothesis is what brings you more trouble than any other block of the proposal, you can get in touch with your professor for tips and recommendations.

Step 8 — Elaborating on methodologies
What approaches are you planning to use while conveying research? In this section, you are to talk on the technical side of your approach. You need to use all the required terminology and dwell on methods that will become the core of your study.

You need not more than 600 words to talk on interviews, surveys, or questionnaires that will become your main tools during the process of studying. By presenting, answer the questions:

  • What were the reasons for your choice?
  • Why do you think these approaches will work?
  • How are you planning to reach the interviewees?
  • Where and when the survey will take place?
  • How will you process the results?
  • How will you present the results?

Please note that in case you are planning to use a vast number of approaches to study, the number of words in not the limit. Exceed 600 words!

What if you have doubts concerning the right choice of the methods or you have no idea what methods are the best? You always can contact your supervisor guided by the rule that it is better to ask twice than to make alterations over and over again.

Step 9 — Writing a schedule
And again on the word count: you need 100-200 words to complete a schedule. Actually, it is a table with time for different segments of the study. You need timelines for writing the review, hypothesis, etc.

Again, before actually offering a table with final terms, the specifications can be discussed with a supervisor. He/she always sets the deadline that you can build your schedule of issue researching.

Step 10 — Mentioning ethical approval
Since your topic touches people and engages them in the process of studying, you need to receive ethical approvals from different departments. Though this section is usually included in various researches in biology, since nutrition and dietary questions cannot be studied without human participants, you are desperate for those consents.

Step 11 — Adding references
Mention all the works that you have addressed while writing a research proposal. Deliver it as a list of literature. The main point here is to format this list in accordance with the requirements set in the guidelines (MLA, APA, Harvard, Chicago, etc.).

Step 12 — Specifying terminologies
Explain the most complicated terms of the topic in simple words and include these terms into this section of your proposal. Thus your readers will easily understand various highly-specialized terms.

What is the length of this section? It is predetermined by the quantity of terminologies and their complexity. But mind that the more details you provide, the better.

Step 13 — Proofreading
The stage of proofreading is conducted in three tries:

  1. You check it yourself: be patient and take time to reread the proposal two or three times finding grammatical, spelling and punctuation mistakes, misprints and inaccuracies in the proposal.
  2. You use free online tools: to check your work for mistakes and the percentage of originality. Though these tools cannot be treated as 100% effective, they work for most cases of the commonest mistakes.
  3. You ask for third-party help: You can address your family member or friend that is knowledgeable in writing proposals. A third-party proofreader can assist you in finding mistakes and inconsistencies.

When the research proposal for your nutrition and dietary studies is completed, send it to your supervisor. Mind that the proposal will also be reviewed by committee members. Once it is approved, you can start working on profound research and write another paper. Good luck with that too!


  1. Drummer, O.H. and Bassed, R. (2013). How to write a research proposal and conduct productive research. Pathology, 45, p.S23.
  2. Senf, C.A. (1982). Book Reviews : The Winning Proposal: How to Write It. Herman Holtz, Terry Schmidt, New York, McGraw-Hill, 1981, 381 pages. Journal of Business Communication, 19(2), pp.78–81.
  3. Turner, S.O. (1996). How to Write a Winning Proposal. American Journal of Nursing, 96(7), pp.64–65.
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