How to Write a Research Proposal in Tourism: Definition and Main Objectives

Writing guide
Posted on August 31, 2020

A research proposal is one of the standard academic assignments written by skilled students who have reached an outstanding level of knowledge. You may be assigned it or will choose it on your own. Completing such a complex assignment, students prove how knowledgeable and skilled they are. The main purpose of this project is to suggest disclosure of an important issue within a concrete scientific area.

It’s not a completed assignment like a research paper. A researcher suggests some project, which is associated with a perspective sphere. For example, students write research proposals about tourism. They choose a problem and offer an effective solution to it. Brilliant minds can overcome some serious impediments and help to develop tourism quickly and productively. Oftentimes, they lack the money and a research proposal is supposed to convince potential sponsors that the idea is worth a try.

Students write it depending on three types. Firstly, they are assigned the project by an academic supervisor. Secondly, they decide to conduct a study on their own. This type has two variables. A student requires a research proposal on tourism to achieve academic objectives or to gain sponsorship to support his/her project. Thirdly, students write a brief summary of a research proposal to receive approval from their professors.

Topic Selection

Everything begins with the selection of a topic. It must focus on a currently relevant problem, which doesn’t have a plain solution or it isn’t quite effective. Review the problem from a new angle and suggest a better solution.

Tourism is a broad sphere. One may cover multiple interesting and important issues. Here are some of them:

  • Potential Dangers of Journeying to Other Countries;
  • Common Hazards When You Visit an Exotic Place;
  • The Role of Tourism in Historical Development of a Personality;
  • How Globalization Affects Tourism?
  • Social Interaction between People Who Regularly Visit Other Places;
  • Why Tourism Cannot Exist without Attractions?
  • How Politics Can Affect Tourism: Advantages and Disadvantages;
  • The Role of Culture in Tourism and How It Can Benefits Its Development;
  • What Is Doom Tourism and How It Affects People?
  • The Meaning and Actual Use of Educational Tourism;
  • Responsible Tourism and Its Functions;
  • Why Sexual Tourism Is Dangerous and How to Prevent Problems;
  • Potential Dangers of Dark Tourism and How to Deal with It;
  • The Pros and Cons from Taking Regular Trips;
  • How Can Tourism Help to Improve Mental State?

You’re welcome to use our topics. They cover relevant and interesting issues, which attract the attention of many people. Using our list, you may likewise rework the topics and create similar ones.

Preliminary Measures

There are several steps you are supposed to undertake before you begin to write your assignment. After you choose a topic, research it. Find as many information sources as you can to have a credible database. Sort it out and implement the most effective facts, statistics, results, etc.

It’s impossible to remember all those facts. Therefore, make notes and bookmarks. Reread them after you finish your searching. Think about where and how they can be used in your assignment. Perhaps some of them aren’t convincing or fitting.

Mind that some educational institutions set a limit for the use of literature sources. You cannot exceed it or your assignment will not be accepted. If the limit is 30 sources, don’t provide 35 or more sources.

A Research Proposal Outline

After you’re through with the preparations, go to writing. However, don’t be hasty and create an outline. It includes all the sections of your research proposal. Mind that the outline and the demands to it vary from one educational institution to another. That’s why you must discuss it with your academic supervisor.

It underlines the topic of your research. Tell what is your project about in a few words quickly and precisely.

Your abstract is a brief summarization of the whole project. It quickly explains to your audience what you’re going to disclose. Its length is about 200-350 words. Highlight only the most significant parts and topics that are discussed in your research.

The next part after the abstract is the introduction. Sometimes, it’s likewise called “Background”. Different educational institutions prefer the first or the latter variant. These sections may exist separately if there is such a division. At times, they are referred to as to the same notion and thus, have the same objectives. Consider the following points:

  • Why did you choose this topic?
  • What other literature works discussed it?
  • How will you contribute to the further development of the issue?

You must obligatorily answer these questions in your introduction/background.

Research Question
Use this section to state the problem of your assignment. You have to explain to your audience the main purpose of the entire assignment. Devote some time and revise it several times. Create different variants of this section to choose the most suitable one. If it’s not logical and informative enough, your readers and potential sponsors may reject your proposal from this point on. Commonly, it’s about 100-150 words long.

Literature Review
This is the longest part of writing research proposals. You must review multiple information sources to get the proofs for your own theory. You have two options to use the literature review. Firstly, you provide researches of other authors to prove that your theory is realistic. Secondly, you conduct in-depth research to develop your own proposal.

This section demonstrates your scientific skills and knowledge. It shows that you have taken the matter seriously and are aware of the possible outcomes (both good and bad). Obligatorily mention methodology, research areas, findings, theory, and practical uses. Provide an impartial critique and reveal some gaps in the theories of other researchers.

Theoretical Framework
It’s also necessary to determine a concrete theoretical framework. You will have different theories, which are based on the literature review. Therefore, you need to select a definite approach that will help to conduct a proper study. You also should explain why this or that framework is suitable.

Methods and Designs
In this section, you must highlight the methodology applied to your research. It is also dependent on the literature review because you choose methods and designs depending on the found facts. Provide methods you have opted for to fulfill the procedure. Give justification for your choice. Explain why you have chosen these methods and how they benefit your research.

Methodology and framework show that you have conducted in-depth research and analysis of the chosen area. Highlight the strong and weak points of your assignment. Highlight the following points:

  • Participants. Tell who is involved in your research. Who will help to sponsor the project and who will assist in the theoretical and practical issues? Mention your criteria.
  • Data collection. Describe the methods you’ll use to compile the required information. Don’t forget to mention the equipment and instruments/materials.
  • Analysis and discussion. What will you do with the received information? How will it be used? Tell what tools you’ll implement for the analysis and explain how your analytical skills help to disclose the main question.
  • Limitations. Don’t be afraid to confess that your research proposal has some limits and restrictions. It’s a normal situation and you won’t lose grades or trust of your investors. Your project is only a proposal and a completed research paper will surely provide the solutions to those weaknesses.

Make sure this section highlights these issues in detail.

The issue of morality is commonly present in every research proposal. You must be 100% confident that you don’t insult, humiliate or abuse the feelings and beliefs of other people. You ought to be impartial and keep some personal emotions at bay. Try to understand all the ethical issues, which may appear as a result of your research. You are obliged to follow a special moral code. Obligatorily consult the ethic committee and receive approval from it.

Communicating Results (if necessary)
Sometimes, students have to add a special section called “Communicating Results”. It’s not compulsory but it must be present under definite circumstances. Some researchers write their research proposals as the beginning of something bigger. They may intend to share their outcomes with other communities of scientists. Thus, tourism is related to business, financing, marketing, ecology, history, culture, and other areas. If you intend to use your proposal as a bridge for future collaboration, obligatorily mention the relation to the chosen sphere(s). To reach the targeted audience, write your assignments for scientific societies, communities, and journals. It may be used as a research paper, thesis, conference presentation, and so on.

Significance of Research
It’s of great importance to convince your readers that you propose a worthy project. This section must combine enthusiasm with confidence that your theory is credible and will provide the excepted dividends in reality. Provide clear arguments but don’t be too pushy. Operate with actual facts and remain impartial.

You’re obliged to show the time required to fulfill the study. You must mention all the necessary steps and stages, which help to make a study. Obligatorily mention the time necessary to make a literature review, check your information sources, create an outline, receive approval from an ethics committee, testify your designs, analyze the results, and finish your assignment.

Commonly, students intend to carry out a study that must be financed. They don’t have enough money and so, they write research proposals to convince investors that the suggested project is profitable. You must provide a full list of expenses, which will be required to make a proper study. It includes the cost of publication, materials, assistants, etc.

Reference List
Provide all the information sources you’ve implemented into your text. Create the reference list according to the assigned writing format.

Appendices (if necessary)
Some educational institutions demand appendices. These may be letters to participants or different forms of surveys you’ve used to gather evidence. Oftentimes, it includes the budget of the project.

Post-Writing Steps

After you complete the main writing sections, revise your project. Reread it at least twice to be sure it doesn’t have logical or/and grammatical mistakes. It’s better to apply several methods to make sure you haven’t omitted any drawbacks. Here are our suggestions:

  • Read differently. Apply different ways to revise your assignment. Read aloud, in your head and from the last sentence to the first one.
  • Ask others to assist. Don’t be shy to ask your friends, senior students or friends to help. Ask them to read your research proposal in tourism or at least to listen to you. Other people are more likely to detect some specific errors or weak parts.
  • Use smart applications. Try intelligent programs, which help to detect different types of mistakes. Thus, you’ll be able to verify your grammar, spelling, stylistics, punctuation, uniqueness, citing, etc. Some applications make the checkup simultaneously with a researcher. Thus, you’ll receive instant feedback. Besides, such apps like Grammarly even provide the correct variants of your mistakes.
  • Read guides. Make use of special guides offered on educational websites. They teach how to edit and proofread properly.

It’s also important to know typical mistakes. If you are aware of them, you won’t repeat them. Consider the following mistakes:

  • Too lengthy sentences;
  • Not citing landmark works;
  • Focusing on irrelevant issues;
  • Using unknown words without explanations;
  • Incorrect citations;
  • A lot of grammar mistakes;
  • Inappropriate lexicon.

Remember these mistakes for good. Knowing them, you will become more attentive and concentrated. Thus, you won’t deprive yourself of essential grades.
Writing a research proposal on tourism is a complex and lengthy process. Make use out of our guide because it provides the main insights concerning the major stages of preparing, writing, and checking this project. Stick to our structure and prompts to create a real masterpiece.

  1. Massey University (2019). Research proposal structure.
  2. Taylor C. Ph.D. (2019). How to Write a Research Proposal.
  3. University of Southern California (2019). How to Approach Writing a Research Proposal.
  4. Writing a (2011). How to Write a Research Proposal.
  5. (2019). 15+ Research Proposal Examples & Samples.
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