【Graduate School】How to Write a Research Plan

 ”Graduate school” is the place you will do your research.

First assume your research topic, and you will do experiments, surveys, questionnaires, statistics, or long-term observation, and analyze the issue more profoundly.

【The Significance of a Research】

 Those who plan to go to the graduate school, must have done the research at the universities. Many of you have written “Graduation thesis” based on your research.

“Research plan” is a thesis consisting of about 2,000 letters (Each graduate school has different criteria regarding its size and format, and thus please check the application guidelines carefully. )

 Basically, it would be preferable that your “Research topic” is based on the research you have done it at the universities . At Graduate school, you will continuously do the higher level of research (experiments, surveys, and analyses), and will make a discovery, development, or suggest another points of view for a certain issue.

【How to Prepare a Research Plan】

In the research plan, you must have these 5 sections written below.

①Research topic and its background

The research topic should be the basis of your research plan, and the topic must be

*Related to the contents of your majors or the research you did at the universities.

(”Literature” related field → “Science” related field, or a certain “Science” field→ different “Science” field( complete change of research’s contents ), these situation will nearly be acceptable.

*You must have a certain basis of your research with your graduation school’s professor’s (whom you want to study under) , which means you must have more than 2 same research keywords.

*It would be preferable that your research will have some contribution or provide some merits to Japanese society or world.

②Previous study(先行研究)

 Previous study means “Studies already have been done by another researchers,” and you must cite them in your research plan, and analyze its effects or importance and describe them. Your research topic cannot be as same as the previous studies’.

 One advice about how to start writing “Research plan,” you might be able to start with ②previous study.

For example, you will start searching a thesis or books on the web of each graduate school, refer them, and start thinking about the concept of your research plan.

This is the concrete process. First, think about ” 5 Research Keywords” about your research. Use these words and search on the web, and find your target “professors” or “graduate schools.” In this process, please find somebody who have about 2 research keywords, which are same as yours.

 Then, please find “Previous study (a thesis and books) ” related to these 5 keywords (including target professor’s writings). While you go though these process, you may feel loss in thought or feel the necessity of changing some of your research keywords, but reading the previous study might give you an inspiration, and finally you will find out the research contents that you really want to work on. Then, you may confirm your 5 research keywords on your own. Next, you will come up with ①research topic, and you can start write bout the entire research plan. Furthermore, the advantage of reading previous study might be the chance you can deepen your knowledge of your research field.

③The purpose, contribution and the significance of a research

④The method of research (concretely)


While you are writing the research plan, please start contact with professors. Please make sure with them about what they think about your research plan. Eventually, the point would be how your target professors evaluate your research plan.

In terms of the quality of the paper, as the required skill for your writing, even though a person who does not have any knowledge about this field, read your paper, then he or she understands it completely…like this, you need the logic in your writing.

 Such as know-how of writing, the choice of references and its use, editing, we will teach students in “Graduate School preparatory Course” of EHLE Institute “Japanese Language School” and “Vocational School.”

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