How to Write a Research Proposal in Religious Studies? What This Paper Is For?

Writing guide
Posted on November 16, 2020

Depending on the educational establishment, a professor’s assignment, and the purpose of writing itself, a research proposal may differ in requirements. For example, students who are in the Doctor’s studies should submit such a paper for getting approval of their dissertation or a thesis. Students who actively work on launching researches or projects and need some funding for it have to persuade the investors or advisors committee of the relevance, significance, and importance of such a work. So, the main task of any student is to explain why their research matters, and how it will contribute to the subject or field.

Besides, some supervisors believe that it is an obligatory task of students to show their knowledge from the courses or classes and whether they succeeded in having a degree. Before writing, you should spend qualitative time on observations and discussions with your group. Find out why this subject is so important in today’s life, and how you, in particular, can change its impact it in the way it helps the society.

How to Write a Research Proposal in Religious Studies? Subject Matters

During the Religious Studies classes, you have for sure come up with their purpose and global impact on society. So, according to the official definition, Religious Studies are focused on studying and researching religious occurrence, beliefs, behavior and of course institutions. It does not solely explain who is God and what type of religions exist but how they affect the minds, and what principles such people follow. Thus, you have a wide range of topics you can base your research on.

For instance, popular approaches students follow to know inside out of this field are surveys and statistics. You can research how people from your community or friends consider religion, what are their beliefs and whether they find it challenging. As of now, many people believe that religion can deteriorate society by interpreting wrong its main purpose. While others think that a successful, law-abiding, and friendly person cannot survive without faith. Concerning the statistics, you can find the percentage of believers, or how many churches and mosques are built every year for human convenience.

Before selecting the topic, your group must have a faculty meeting to find out the professor’s motives. Do not neglect the opportunity to ask what topics are banned, banal and what are highly appreciated. One tip for those who have never coped with such a task, do not choose a paper on the Religion itself. Your work will only deal with definitions, and explanations that are well-studied. Choose one field such as Muslim Culture in Post-Soviet Countries and try to persuade the readers that it really matters in today’s life.

How to Choose the Right Topic

For your convenience, check the approximate list of the most popular topics within students. They will not only serve as the right choice to pick up but show the direction in which you should seek your unique and remarkable field.

  • Evolution of Religion in Middle-East Countries;
  • Women in Religious Institutions: Their Significance and Characterization;
  • How Children Are Involved in Religion?
  • Pope of Rome: The History of Elections and Controversial Beliefs;
  • Bible and Quran: Where Is the Most Truth?
  • Atheism as a Mainstream;
  • New Religious Trends;
  • Religious Attitude Toward Sex;
  • LGBT in Religion;
  • Online Religious Churches;
  • Muslim Principles;
  • Religion for Mentally-Ill People;
  • Christianity From the Monetary Point of View.

If you want to show actual trends in this field, pay attention to the topic of Online Religious Churches. As of now, in the era of Instagram and Facebook, you can come across many priests who deliver the significance of God via the Internet. They have their pages where they share prayers or try to attract as many people as possible to their community. Research it and prove whether it has any sense or it is a waste of time. Otherwise, you can speak of sects that are developing at lightning speed, for instance, one of the strangest ones is the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Find statistics about how many people do follow it, and whether it is a joke or a real community.

How to Write a Research Proposal in Religious Studies: Start From Scratch

In the beginning, students get puzzled whether to go for an outline or proceed with the title. Depending on your confidence, you can skip outline but as per experience, it saves time and patience when you do not know what to write. Note, the common length of the research proposal is 2,500 words.


This chapter is nothing but a table of approximate content. Students skip this part because they are too confident in composing the text. However, it will benefit your time. Do not worry if you did not come up with an idea because its purpose is to create a sketch you will look at during writing the main parts of a research proposal.

Otherwise, you can just draw some ideas or phrases to mention in the main body of your work. Spend some time on this exercise, set a timer for 10 minutes, and start writing everything coming up into your mind. After you hear the alarm, take a look at the list and underline the words and ideas that have a right to exist. Such an approach helps students who have been assigned a particular topic by the supervisor. However, if you solely choose what to write about, think of topics you can master without any auxiliary help. You may research what bothers you or find out challenges that you overview in your everyday life. But, remember your research proposal should not be biased but contain evidence, facts, purpose, and efficient methods.


When composing the title, it is necessary to follow two steps only:

  1. It should be short, descriptive and logical. Try to make up a title of no more than 5-7 words. A reader will lose concentration and interest if he sees a long and interrogatory title;
  2. Do not use such phrases as A Review of, A Research of, An Investigation of. It is quite clear that you will conduct research, analysis or investigation of a particular problem. Besides, such titles do not provoke any desire to continue reading or even sponsoring your projects.

As per the format, the title should involve the name of the selected topic, faculty together with an educational establishment, your name, and date. Some colleges may ask you to leave a date field empty. So, make sure you find out such details in advance. Use APA style for formatting this page.


Here comes a brief summarization of your proposal, and it should be no longer than 250 words. Note, a student should not reveal the whole purpose of writing but give a clear and precise idea of why his work is actual, how it contributes to the knowledge and subject. If possible, try to make this chapter as one paragraph without dividing it into a few sub-paragraphs.


This stage refers to the significance of the problem you research or background motives you have had when selecting the topic. Ask yourself questions such as Why my research matters? Does it raise new issues in Religious Studies? You have to show a reader that you do not write it only to get a grade but you address some challenges that should be fixed and moderated.

Literature Review

This part has much importance. First off, you demonstrate a reader’s previous or ongoing researches or sources on the selected topic. Secondly, you show that you spent some time on analyzing the challenges instead of copying or plagiarizing someone’s work. For example, you can mention the scientists or researchers who dedicated studies to Religion, and you can attach some quotes for evidence. No need to make it in the form of a table or list, it is not a bibliography yet. You can compose this chapter in the story-way, explaining who, when and why also contributed to its studies.


Make sure you add only realistic goals and instruments that help or will affect your studies. For instance, surveys, tests are realistic because you can do them with your colleagues, students, people from your communities. But, traveling around the world asking for feedback may seem unreliable statement especially if you need funding. Explain how the LGBT community in your town is accepted by the churches, and what you think are the ways to tolerate any sexual orientation and beliefs. Methods can be various such as an evening group focused on making aware people of such representatives, or toleration meetings to teach people how to treat everyone equally.

Reference List

To not beat about the bush, find online helpers that can cite everything for you, Keep in mind, if you attach the source by mentioning its name only, your research proposal can be detected as a plagiarised one, and you won’t get a supervisor’s approval. Structure all cited references in alphabetical order.

Time Frame

Set the time frames for conducting one or another research, hitting the targets, and submitting the work itself. If your professor does not mention the exact date, leave the field empty or write only a month.


For students who are in the Doctor’s course, there may be one more task. They have to mention an approximate budget if they require funding. Thus, you have to attach the final cost, justification of the amount, and methods on how you came up with such a cost.

How to Write a Research Proposal in Religious Studies? Final Observations

Do not hurry up to submit your work if you did not do any proofreading. First off, you need some time for relaxation and restarting your mind and brain. Secondly, only within a short time, you can quickly spot mistakes. Other helpful tips are:

  • Never leave a research proposal for the last moment. Students who care about their grades and urgently need funding for their projects outline ideas several months in advance. It helps to identify efficient methods, significance, and defining the contribution of the topic on the subject;
  • Spend time researching Internet sources. For example, find online groups where students from around the world, post their works and ask for feedback. Such an approach is aimed to spot the latest challenges in Religious Studies and trends that are popular to address;
  • Insert your text in online editors. Such services as Grammarly or Hemingway App are helpful for proofreading. In case of any mistake, a system highlights it and you correct it without any waste of time. The latter editor also helps to understand the readability rate of your sentences;
  • Check for overused phrases or words. Religion should not be repeated in every sentence. Try to play with words and substitute them to make you work look professional;
  • Find out whether you are persuasive enough. Your friends or relatives can listen to you delivering the speech. After they should tell you if they give you funding or you should rewrite some chapters;
  • Ask your professor about the bibliography. Some of them want to see not only a reference list but all the sources where you took your inspiration from;
  • Do not exceed the limit. If your required length is 2,500 words, write the exact amount. The only fluctuation possible is +-10 words;
  • If possible, do a presentation to attach visible materials for more persuasion. In this case, your last chapter of the work will be Appendices.

Finally, before submitting your work, you can speak to the professor, and explain to him what your research resulted in. In some cases, he would give you feedback whether it is acceptable or advise what to add more to get the top results. However, do not expect a faculty advisor to correct at the spot your work. Writing it independently is the highest target, especially in Master’s and Doctor’s degrees.

  1. Denscombe, M. (2012). Research proposals.
  2. Markgraf, J. (2009). LibGuides Public Services Quarterly, 5(4), pp.269-270.
  3. Smith, H. (2011). The world’s religions. Lahore, Pakistan: Suhail Academy.
Upgrade your essays with these FREE writing tools!
Get started now