Research Proposal Critique Format

Research Proposal Critique Format

Parlindungan Pardede
Universitas Kristen Indonesia

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, to critique means to examine or to evaluate critically. Thus, critiquing is a process of evaluating something. Critiquing a research proposal is a great way to learn more about research proposals, writing, and the research process itself. By doing so, you can analyze how a good research proposal is written. To guide you critiquing a research proposal, you can use the following format.

Reviewer’s (your) name          :

Student Registration No.        :

 Research Proposal Critique of

……………………………… (Proposal Title)………………………………

A. Introduction

In one or two paragraph, briefly but concisely describe the proposal you are reviewing. Include the following info: the author(s)/writer(s), when and what it was written for, how it is outlined (how many parts/chapters/pages), and other relevant information.

B. Review

Review the proposal in terms of the following items, and write in terms of their order. Please note that not all proposal include all these items. A qualitative research proposal, for instance, does not include hypothesis and validity and reliability sections.

1. Title

Does the title give a clear and concise description of the scope and nature of the research? Do you think it’s too long or too short? Does it indicate the major variables or theoretical issues to be considered in the study, the nature of the research (descriptive, correlational, experimental, survey, or action research), and the target population?

2. Table of Contents

Is the table of contents effective, in the sense that it locates each section and major subdivision of the proposal?

3. Background

Based on your reading of the proposal, do you think the background provide information about (1) why the research is important; (2) what other studies have been conducted in this area; (3) how this research will add to knowledge in this area? Are these three convincing? Support your answer with argument and quotation from the proposal.

4. Research Problem(s)/Question(s)

Is/are the research problem(s)/questions clearly stated?

5. Research Objectives (Purposes)

Is/are the objective(s)/purpose(s) clearly stated? Does it/do they express what the study intends to accomplish? Is/are the objective(s)/purpose(s) directly based on the identified and formulated problem(s)?

6. Significance of the study

Does this section point out the benefit(s) to get if the study is done and to whom it is important?

7. Scope of the study

Is the scope of the study limited and for what reasons? Does/do the writer(s) describe the extent to which he/they believe the limitations degrade the quality of the research?

8. Operational Definitions

Are all the terms and abbreviations mentioned in the study clearly defined?

9. Literature Review

Based on your reading of the literature review, do you think the researcher(s) have a good grasp of publications concerning the issue in ESL/EFL teaching and learning? Is the literature review understandable? it well organized (Does it built to a clear statement of “what next”)? Have all the relevant theories/models been presented in a clear and concise manner? Are the works reviewed quite recent and relevant to the research objectives?

10. Hypothesis

(Please note that only experimental researches, causal-comparative, correlational studies, and some action researches have hypothesis). How many hypotheses are being stated? How clearly each one is stated? based on and consistent with the findings reported in the literature review? Do they match with research purposes? Are the hypotheses a prediction of the expected outcome of the study?  Would you be able to tell if the outcome doesn’t support the hypotheses?

11. Conceptual Framework

Does the writer show the relationship of the background to the problems and how the present proposed research could provide solutions to the problems or contribute to the literature in this section?

12. Methods

Is the research method and design appropriate for achieving the objectives and types of data to be collected and analyzed?

13. Participants (Population and Sample)

Does this section describes the population accurately and explains what technique to be used to determine the sample? Does it describe how to recruit the participants?

14. Data Collection Instrument and Technique

Does this section describe how the data will be collected? Does it include the specific technique, its procedure and the instruments for collecting data?

15. Data Analysis Technique

Is data analysis technique to be used explained? Is it consistent with the research method/design? What type of statistical analysis is suggested?  Is it appropriate with the obtained data?

16. Validity and reliability (Triangulation)

Does the proposal describe the steps to take to assess the instrument’s validity and reliability? If the study is a qualitative research and action research, is there any description of triangulation?

17. Research Procedure

Are procedures to follow for conducting the study described effectively? Is it consistent with the research objectives and method/design?

18. Timetable and Place

Is a detailed timetable and place for performing the project provided?

19. References

Are all the citations that appear in the proposal body presented in the References list? Are they recent and comprehensive to indicate the author’s familiarity with the body of knowledge he or she is investigating?

20. Others.

Evaluate also the references list and the grammatical, syntax, typographical aspects of the proposal.

C. Conclusion

Draw your conclusion based on the whole evaluation you have made. Finally, state whether you are confident that the project will be able to deliver all that has been promised.

To see how this format is applied, you might be interested to see Research Proposal Critique of “Use of MT in EFL Classes” as a sample.


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