The abstract and the proposal are important sections of a research paper. It is paramount to know the difference between these two so you can use them effectively to the success of your research paper. The common feature about these two sections is that their quality determines if the reader will read and appreciate the entire text or otherwise. Being a first impression, it is advisable that you write more than one draft, and maybe make use of a checklist. This article focuses on the difference between the abstract and the proposal.
While the abstract gives a summary on the contents of a research paper, the research proposal gives the specifics (plan) on how the research will be conducted.
The abstract is written after completing the research paper while the proposal is written before the research work is done; it lays a foundation for the research process.
The abstract helps the reader to know the contents of the research paper without necessarily reading the complete paper, while the research proposal is used as a tool to convince your supervisor or the dissertation committee that you have a viable project, and you have the capacity to deliver accordingly.
The research paper proposal focuses on giving a rationale for every decision made for instance, the methodology, the topic, the population size, objectives and aims of the study etc.
Research paper abstracts are mostly associated with social sciences that use APA writing format while a research paper proposal is mandatory in all research assignments whether writing in APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard and Turabian.
The research proposal focuses on informing the reader what will be achieved and the significance, while the research abstract states what has been achieved.
To write the research paper proposal and abstract effectively, it is paramount that you contact your supervisor for finer details.