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Postgraduate Concept Paper Template - Kenyatta University Graduate School

The Postgraduate Concept Paper Template provided by Kenyatta University Graduate School is a guide for students to structure and present their research ideas and proposals for postgraduate programs. It helps students in organizing their thoughts and developing a clear and concise concept paper that outlines the objectives, methodology, and potential significance of their proposed research.

Q: What is a postgraduate concept paper? A: A postgraduate concept paper is a document that outlines the main idea and research objectives of a postgraduate research project.

Q: What is the purpose of a postgraduate concept paper? A: The purpose of a postgraduate concept paper is to provide an overview of the research project and obtain approval from the university.

Q: What should be included in a postgraduate concept paper? A: A postgraduate concept paper should include the research topic, objectives, methodology, literature review, and significance of the research.

Q: Why is the concept paper important? A: The concept paper is important because it allows the university to evaluate the feasibility and relevance of the research project.

Download Postgraduate Concept Paper Template - Kenyatta University Graduate School

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How To Write a Concept Paper for Academic Research: An Ultimate Guide

How To Write a Concept Paper for Academic Research: An Ultimate Guide

A concept paper is one of the first steps in helping you fully realize your research project. Because of this, some schools opt to teach students how to write concept papers as early as high school. In college, professors sometimes require their students to submit concept papers before suggesting their research projects to serve as the foundations for their theses.

If you’re reading this right now, you’ve probably been assigned by your teacher or professor to write a concept paper. To help you get started, we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide on how to write a proper concept paper.

Related: How to Write Significance of the Study (with Examples)

Table of Contents

What is the concept paper, 1. academic research concept papers, 2. advertising concept papers, 3. research grant concept papers, concept paper vs. research proposal, tips for finding your research topic, 2. think of research questions that you want to answer in your project, 3. formulate your research hypothesis, 4. plan out how you will achieve, analyze, and present your data, 2. introduction, 3. purpose of the study, 4. preliminary literature review, 5. objectives of the study, 6. research questions and hypotheses, 7. proposed methodology, 8. proposed research timeline, 9. references, sample concept paper for research proposal (pdf), tips for writing your concept paper.

Generally, a concept paper is a summary of everything related to your proposed project or topic. A concept paper indicates what the project is all about, why it’s important, and how and when you plan to conduct your project.

Different Types of the Concept Paper and Their Uses

writing a concept paper

This type of concept paper is the most common type and the one most people are familiar with. Concept papers for academic research are used by students to provide an outline for their prospective research topics.

These concept papers are used to help students flesh out all the information and ideas related to their topic so that they may arrive at a more specific research hypothesis.

Since this is the most common type of concept paper, it will be the main focus of this article.

Advertising concept papers are usually written by the creative and concept teams in advertising and marketing agencies.

Through a concept paper, the foundation or theme for an advertising campaign or strategy is formed. The concept paper can also serve as a bulletin board for ideas that the creative and concept teams can add to or develop. 

This type of concept paper usually discusses who the target audience of the campaign is, what approach of the campaign will be, how the campaign will be implemented, and the projected benefits and impact of the campaign to the company’s sales, consumer base, and other aspects of the company.

This type of concept paper is most common in the academe and business world. Alongside proving why your research project should be conducted, a research grant concept paper must also appeal to the company or funding agency on why they should be granted funds.

The paper should indicate a proposed timeline and budget for the entire project. It should also be able to persuade the company or funding agency on the benefits of your research project– whether it be an increase in sales or productivity or for the benefit of the general public.

It’s important to discuss the differences between the two because a lot of people often use these terms interchangeably.

A concept paper is one of the first steps in conducting a research project. It is during this process that ideas and relevant information to the research topic are gathered to produce the research hypothesis. Thus, a concept paper should always precede the research proposal. 

A research proposal is a more in-depth outline of a more fleshed-out research project. This is the final step before a researcher can conduct their research project. Although both have similar elements and structures, a research proposal is more specific when it comes to how the entire research project will be conducted.

Getting Started on Your Concept Paper

1. find a research topic you are interested in.

When choosing a research topic, make sure that it is something you are passionate about or want to learn more about. If you are writing one for school, make sure it is still relevant to the subject of your class. Choosing a topic you aren’t invested in may cause you to lose interest in your project later on, which may lower the quality of the research you’ll produce.

A research project may last for months and even years, so it’s important that you will never lose interest in your topic.

  • Look for inspiration everywhere. Take a walk outside, read books, or go on your computer. Look around you and try to brainstorm ideas about everything you see. Try to remember any questions you might have asked yourself before like why something is the way it is or why can’t this be done instead of that . 
  • Think big. If you’re having trouble thinking up a specific topic to base your research project on, choosing a broad topic and then working your way down should help.
  • Is it achievable? A lot of students make the mistake of choosing a topic that is hard to achieve in terms of materials, data, and/or funding available. Before you decide on a research topic, make sure you consider these aspects. Doing so will save you time, money, and effort later on.
  • Be as specific as can be. Another common mistake that students make is that they sometimes choose a research topic that is too broad. This results in extra effort and wasted time while conducting their research project. For example: Instead of “The Effects of Bananas on Hungry Monkeys” , you could specify it to “The Effects of Cavendish Bananas on Potassium-deficiency in Hungry Philippine Long-tailed Macaques in Palawan, Philippines”.

Now that you have a general idea of the topic of your research project, you now need to formulate research questions based on your project. These questions will serve as the basis for what your project aims to answer. Like your research topic, make sure these are specific and answerable.

Following the earlier example, possible research questions could be:

  • Do Cavendish bananas produce more visible effects on K-deficiency than other bananas?
  • How susceptible are Philippine long-tailed macaques to K-deficiency?
  • What are the effects of K-deficiency in Philippine long-tailed macaques?

After formulating the research questions, you should also provide your hypothesis for each question. A research hypothesis is a tentative answer to the research problem. You must provide educated answers to the questions based on your existing knowledge of the topic before you conduct your research project.

After conducting research and collecting all of the data into the final research paper, you will then have to approve or disprove these hypotheses based on the outcome of the project.

Prepare a plan on how to acquire the data you will need for your research project. Take note of the different types of analysis you will need to perform on your data to get the desired results. Determine the nature of the relationship between different variables in your research.

Also, make sure that you are able to present your data in a clear and readable manner for those who will read your concept paper. You can achieve this by using tables, charts, graphs, and other visual aids.

Related: How to Make Conceptual Framework (with Examples and Templates)

Generalized Structure of a Concept Paper

Since concept papers are just summaries of your research project, they are usually short and  no longer than 5 pages. However, for big research projects, concept papers can reach up to more than 20 pages.

Your teacher or professor may give you a certain format for your concept papers. Generally, most concept papers are double-spaced and are less than 500 words in length. 

Even though there are different types of concept papers, we’ve provided you with a generalized structure that contains elements that can be found in any type of concept paper.

parts of a concept paper

The title for your paper must be able to effectively summarize what your research is all about. Use simple words so that people who read the title of your research will know what it’s all about even without reading the entire paper. 

The introduction should give the reader a brief background of the research topic and state the main objective that your project aims to achieve. This section should also include a short overview of the benefits of the research project to persuade the reader to acknowledge the need for the project.

The Purpose of the Study should be written in a way that convinces the reader of the need to address the existing problem or gap in knowledge that the research project aims to resolve. In this section, you have to go into more detail about the benefits and value of your project for the target audience/s. 

This section features related studies and papers that will support your research topic. Use this section to analyze the results and methodologies of previous studies and address any gaps in knowledge or questions that your research project aims to answer. You may also use the data to assert the importance of conducting your research.

When choosing which papers and studies you should include in the Preliminary Literature Review, make sure to choose relevant and reliable sources. Reliable sources include academic journals, credible news outlets, government websites, and others. Also, take note of the authors for the papers as you will need to cite them in the References section.

Simply state the main objectives that your research is trying to achieve. The objectives should be able to indicate the direction of the study for both the reader and the researcher. As with other elements in the paper, the objectives should be specific and clearly defined.

Gather the research questions and equivalent research hypotheses you formulated in the earlier step and list them down in this section.

In this section, you should be able to guide the reader through the process of how you will conduct the research project. Make sure to state the purpose for each step of the process, as well as the type of data to be collected and the target population.

Depending on the nature of your research project, the length of the entire process can vary significantly. What’s important is that you are able to provide a reasonable and achievable timeline for your project.

Make sure the time you will allot for each component of your research won’t be too excessive or too insufficient so that the quality of your research won’t suffer.

Ensure that you will give credit to all the authors of the sources you used in your paper. Depending on your area of study or the instructions of your professor, you may need to use a certain style of citation.

There are three main citation styles: the American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), and the Chicago style.

The APA style is mostly used for papers related to education, psychology, and the sciences. The APA citation style usually follows this format:

how to write concept papers 1

The MLA citation style is the format used by papers and manuscripts in disciplines related to the arts and humanities. The MLA citation style follows this format:

how to write concept papers 2

The Chicago citation style is usually used for papers related to business, history, and the fine arts. It follows this citation format:

how to write concept papers 3

This is a concept paper sample provided by Dr. Bernard Lango from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (modified for use in this article). Simply click the link above the download the PDF file.

  • Use simple, concise language. Minimize the use of flowery language and always try to use simple and easy-to-understand language. Too many technical or difficult words in your paper may alienate your readers and make your paper hard to read. 
  • Choose your sources wisely. When scouring the Internet for sources to use, you should always be wary and double-check the authenticity of your source. Doing this will increase the authenticity of your research project’s claims and ensure better data gathered during the process.
  • Follow the specified format, if any. Make sure to follow any specified format when writing your concept paper. This is very important, especially if you’re writing your concept paper for class. Failure to follow the format will usually result in point deductions and delays because of multiple revisions needed.
  • Proofread often. Make it a point to reread different sections of your concept paper after you write them. Another way you can do this is by taking a break for a few days and then coming back to proofread your writing. You may notice certain areas you’d like to revise or mistakes you’d like to fix. Make proofreading a habit to increase the quality of your paper.

Written by Ruth Raganit

in Career and Education , Juander How

Last Updated May 30, 2022 04:34 PM

sample concept paper kenyatta university

Ruth Raganit

Ruth Raganit obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the University of the Philippines – Diliman. Her love affair with Earth sciences began when she saw a pretty rock and wondered how it came to be. She also likes playing video games, doing digital art, and reading manga.

Browse all articles written by Ruth Raganit

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How to Write a Concept Paper

Last Updated: March 20, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff . Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,626,105 times. Learn more...

If you’ve got a great idea for a new product, program, or service, writing a concept paper is one way to seek funding for it. Concept papers describe the purpose and projected outcomes of the project, and are delivered to potential sponsors. To create a successful one, use clear, passionate language that expresses why your project matters, and who will benefit from it. Above all, show the sponsor that the goals of your project match up with the kinds of initiatives they want to support.

Sample Concept Papers

sample concept paper kenyatta university

Establishing the Purpose

Step 1 Grab your reader’s attention.

  • For instance, you could start off your paper with an attention-grabbing statistic related to your project: “Every year, 10.5 million pounds of food go to waste due to one common pest: rats.”
  • Giving your concept paper a descriptive title, like “Lock the Rat Box: Humane, Hands-Free Rodent Control,” is another good way to grab their attention.

Step 2 Explain why you are approaching this sponsor.

  • Try something like: “The Savco Foundation has long been committed to funding projects that foster healthy communities. We have developed Lock the Rat Box as an easy, cost-effective means to lower illness rates and sanitation costs in municipalities, and are seeking your support for the project.”

Step 3 Describe the problem your project addresses.

  • For instance, your concept paper could include a statement like: “Rats are a nuisance, but also a serious vector of diseases such as rabies and the bubonic plague. Municipalities across the United States spend upwards of twenty million dollars a year combating these issues.”
  • Include references to verify any data you cite.

Explaining How your Concept Works

Step 1 Share the basics of your method.

  • For instance, your project may involve building a prototype device to humanely trap rats.
  • Your methods might also involve activities. For instance, you may propose advertising programs to educate communities about rat problems, or sending investigators to study the extent of the issue in various communities.

Step 2 Emphasize what makes your methods unique.

  • Try using statements like: “While previous governmental services have explained rat infestations via poster, radio, and television campaigns, they have not taken advantage of social media as a means of connecting with community members. Our project fills that gap.”

Step 3 Include a timeline.

  • For example: “February 2018: sign a lease for a workshop space. Late February 2018: purchase materials for Lock the Rat Box prototype. March 2018: conduct preliminary tests of the prototype.”

Step 4 Give concrete examples of how you will assess your project.

  • Other assessment tools could include things like surveys to gauge customer satisfaction, community involvement, or other metrics.

Step 5 Provide a preliminary budget.

  • Personnel, including any assistants
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Consultants you may need to bring in
  • Space (rent, for example)

Step 6 End with a project summary.

Reviewing the Draft

Step 1 Keep it short and neat.

  • If the application requests a particular format, follow the directions exactly.
  • Otherwise, type your paper in a standard font at a readable size (12 point is good), number your pages, and use reasonable margins (1 inch all around is fine).

Step 2 Check that the language of your concept paper is action-oriented.

  • For instance, avoid statements like “We believe that our product, Lock the Rat Box, could potentially help certain municipalities at least control rat infestations.”
  • A stronger statement would be: “Lock the Rat Box will curtail rat infestations in any mid-sized municipality, and completely eradicate them in many cases.”

Step 3 Use vocabulary that your reader will understand.

  • If you are writing for a general, non-expert audience, ask someone unfamiliar with your project to read your concept paper and tell you if there were any parts they did not understand.

Step 4 Include contact info.

  • Have someone who has not previously read your concept paper take a look at the final draft before you submit it. They’ll be more likely to catch any lingering errors.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

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Write an Expression of Interest

  • ↑ https://www.aub.edu.lb/ogc/Documents/Writing_Concept_Paper.pdf
  • ↑ https://ovpr.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/2557/2018/09/How-to-Write-a-Concept-Paper.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.ias.edu/sites/default/files/media-assets/Guidance%20Doc_Concept%20Paper.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.umass.edu/cfr/grant-writing/guidelines-letter-intent

About This Article

wikiHow Staff

To write a concept paper for a new product, program, or service, start with a descriptive, attention-grabbing title. Then, explain why you’re approaching the sponsor by describing what your project goals have in common with their company mission. Next, describe the problem you want to solve, and the methods you’ll use in order to solve it. Additionally, include a timeline for implementing your methods, and a preliminary budget with a list of the estimated costs. Finally, end your paper with a short summary reiterating your project’s purpose. For more advice, including how to make your paper stand out with proper formatting and action-oriented language, keep reading. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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    If the application requests a particular format, follow the directions exactly. Otherwise, type your paper in a standard font at a readable size (12 point is good), number your pages, and use reasonable margins (1 inch all around is fine). 2. Check that the language of your concept paper is action-oriented.

  21. PDF Kenyatta University School of Education Office of The Dean Guidelines

    iii NB// All students registered in the School of Education must adhere to the guidelines presented in this document and must make due reference in their proposal document (i.e.…School of Education, Kenyatta University [2013].Revised proposal writing guidelines).Any other person may use aspects of this guideline to enhance their academic proposal writing skills without any obligations.

  22. Research Papers (RP)

    This research ... Phenotypic and Genotypic Characterization of Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase-Producing Clinical Isolates of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella Pneumonia in Two Kenyan Facilities: A National Referral and a Level Five Hospital 

  23. Research Papers

    Influence of Gemba-kaizen Strategy on Performance of Bamburi Cement Plc in Kenya . Endusa, Sarah (University of Nairobi, 2021) The study sought to determine the influence of Gemba-Kaizen strategy on performance of Bamburi Cement Limited in Kenya. The study was anchored on the dynamic capabilities theory and the theory of lean management.