Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Course & Subject Guides

Writing a Research Proposal @ Pitt: Writing & Citing

This guide is designed to assist students or those with limited experience in writing a research proposal for scientific research.

When it's Time to Write . . .

  • Write clearly. Don't make your readers guess what you mean.
  • Write concisely. Don't waste limited space on repetition or unnecessary text.
  • Write from the reader's point of view. Make reasons, assumptions, and connections explict. 
  • Assume non-experts in your field will also read your proposal. Knowledgeable "lay" readers should understand the introductory and general sections. Avoid jargon.
  • Have a professional colleague read your draft for content.
  • Have a non-expert read and critique your draft for readability and comprehensibility.
  • If English is not your native language, have a native speaker review your draft for grammar and expression.
  • Check factual data -- numbers, dates, names, etc. -- when you enter them in the document. It may be easier than catching mistakes later.
  • Proofread very carefully!

Citing Sources Using a Citation Manager

Keep track of all of your reference lists and bibliographies. Pitt's library resources work with citation management tools and allow you to import citations from sources like PittCat and article databases.