How to Write a Research Proposal APA Format 6th Edition

You want to write a research proposal in APA format 6th edition but no idea where to start? A research proposal is an assignment many students encounter in the course of their study. This guide has explained the writing process from the beginning to the end.

How to write a research proposal APA format 6th edition
What is a research proposal?

A research proposal outlines what you want to look into, why you think it is important and the steps you will follow while doing the research. It helps the instructor accept your idea or suggest any modifications before you start doing your project.

A research proposal allows you to show your deep understanding of a certain field and reveal your ability to communicate your ideas with clarity. It is necessary to apprehend the importance of the research proposal.

The writing process involves a number of steps like brainstorming, selecting a topic, drafting, and writing. The research proposal format varies depending on the field of study. However, all formats should include the following elements:
• Cover page
• Introduction
• Literature review
• Research methodology
• Reference list

There are some changes in how the sections are divided. The goal is to present your ideas to the instructor. This guide uses a research proposal sample to explain what you should cover in each section. It will reflect the research proposal APA format 6th edition.

Research Proposal APA Format 6th Edition

research proposal APA format 6th edition_LI
Before you start writing, find a topic you are interested in, and related to your field. This involves a lot of reading, research, and innovation. This makes it easier to write the research proposal. These questions will guide you when writing your proposal:

• What should I research?
• Why is it important?
• How is it related to my field of study?
• What problems will I solve when I undertake the project?
• How does it improve on the previous researches?
• How should I plan my work and complete it in time?

The APA format outline can help when writing a proposal for a research paper. The basic outline requires an abstract, an introduction, and reference for the paper. The following are the important research proposal APA format 6th edition guidelines:
 Font – 12-point Times New Roman
 page margins of 1 inch
 use double line in spacing
 Place a running head on each page
 Use a ½ inch indent on each paragraph

A research proposal APA format 6th edition includes the following sections:


Heading 1 should be centered, bold, and using title case. Heading 2 should be left-aligned, in title case, and bold. Heading 3 should be indented, bold, using sentence case and a period. The body text should be after the full stop. Heading 4 and heading 5 should be indented, italicized, bold, sentence case, and a period. The text should begin after the period

Title page

The title must show what your project is about. The title page includes the regular font and margin formatting guidelines. It also includes the following additions:
• Running head which includes page number in the top right-hand corner
• Full title in title case
• Your name without titles or degrees
• The department and institution
The department or institution may provide their preferred title formatting requirements.


This is where you declare that your research is original and not copied or presented elsewhere.


research proposal APA format 6th edition tips

In this section, you dedicate your work to someone for the help or support they provided in the course of the project.


The research proposal abstract gives an overall summary of your report. It should be one paragraph (utmost 250 words). It indicates the problem statement, the methodology used, results of the research, and conclusions. This helps the instructor to understand your topic before reading the proposal.

The research proposal format 6th edition requires the header ‘Abstract’ to be centered. Also, the first line of the abstract should not be indented.
Keywords related to the research should be included at the end of the research proposal abstract. The keywords help to find your document if stored in databases.

Table of contents

This helps your supervisor explore your document with ease. It includes all the headings with links to their location in the document.


This is the initial part of every research proposal format. It should explain what you are doing and why. The introduction should:

• Introduce the topic
• Provide the background and context of your area of study
• Describe the problem statement and research questions

These questions will guide you when writing the introduction:
• Who is interested in the topic?
• What is currently known about your problem?
• What new ideas will the research add?
• What was missed from the previous researches?

Sometimes the introduction, problem statement, objectives, research questions, and purpose of the research sections are separated. This is to provide more details of the research.

Research question

research question

The main aim of the project is to answer the research questions. The questions should be narrow and focused. They should show the objective of your report. When writing, narrow down the question to different aspects. Explain to the reader how you wish to answer the question. The section includes:
• The research questions
• How the question relates to your area of study?
• How do you want to answer the question?
• Is there an opposing point of view?

Literature review

This section must be included in every research proposal format. It shows that your proposed project has a good foundation in the existing knowledge and what you are adding to that knowledge. It indicates that you are not replicating what is already done.
You should do the following in this section:

• Differentiate main theories, methods, and disagreements
• Show the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches
• Show how you will challenge and improve the work of others

Research design and methodology

This section describes the way you will conduct your research. It shows every step you will take when answering the research questions.
Methodology shows:

1. Research type

• Will you perform quantitative or qualitative research?
• Will you gather original data or use primary and secondary sources?
• What will the research design be, experimental, correlational, or descriptive?

2. Sources of data

• Show your area of study (school, government, etc.)
• Indicate how you will be selecting subjects (case studies, random sampling)
• Show where and when you will gather the data

3. Research methods

• Procedures and tools, you will use when collecting and analyzing data e.g. surveys, observations, experiments, or interviews
• Why you will choose these methods to help answer your questions?

4. Practicalities

• The time required to collect the data
• The way you will access your sources or participants
• Are there any obstacles and how to address them?

You should explain why the methods will be the appropriate ones, valid, and the best approach to answering the questions.

Summary and conclusion

Show why your work is important. You indicate the potential effects of the research and insist on what you target to add to existing knowledge on the subject. This section answers the following questions:

• How does the information collected support or oppose your argument?
• Why is your research important?

Reference page

The reference list or APA reference page is where you list all the sources cited in the proposal. All citations will differ for every type of source. Full details of publication are listed here. These details help in locating the source of the information. Various institutions will give the recommended number of sources to be included.

Research schedule

Sometimes you will be required to include a complete timeline of the proposal. It will show what will happen in every stage and how much time every section will consume.


The budget will show how much the project will cost. This can include travel costs, materials, assistance, and time.

In-text citations

In-text citations are placed inside the document before or after mentioning the source. You include the last name of the author and the year of publication, e.g. (James, 2020). It is for identifying the full source in the bibliography.

In summary

Students get confused when tasked with writing a research proposal APA format 6th edition. This is because of the many formats available from the first edition to the current research proposal APA format 7th edition. This guide has taken you through the APA format outline. It will help you when tasked with writing a research proposal.

Are you still finding it hard to write a research proposal APA format? Stress yourself no more. Seek professionals writing help and be sure to get quality service.

Get 20% Discount on This Paper
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Try it now!

Get 20% Discount on This Paper

We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

Australia Assessments has gained an international reputation of being the leading website in custom assignment writing services. Once you give us the instructions of your paper through the order form, we will complete the rest.


Essay Writing Services

As we work towards providing the best custom assignment services, our company provides assignment services for any type of academic essay. We will help you develop professionally written essays that are rich in content and free from plagiarism.


Admission and Business Papers

Our skilled team of professional writers will ensure that we help you craft a remarkable admission essay for your desired Master's program in your institution of choice. We won't stop there. Once you enter the job market, we will be available to secure you a position at your desired worksite by creating an outstanding portfolio or resume.


Editing and Proofreading

Our editorial team is always available for all editing and proofreading services. They check completed papers by our writers and also provide professional opinions to papers completed by our clients.


Technical papers

We harbor professional academic writers with different qualifications in diverse academic fields. As such, we are capable of handling both simple and technical papers. Ensure that you provide us with correct and complete instructions in the order form.