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Research Proposal on Motivation

The topic of our discussion is a research proposal, its purposes, peculiarities, and structure. This type of paper is similar to a social issues essay, as it presents the idea writer wishes to pursue. A good research proposal on motivation proves that the student has already thought out his or her project and has spent a lot of time on gathering and reading available information, analyzing, and organizing their ideas.

Research proposal on motivation: general info

This type of academic writing is not a one night project, because you will not be able to present your ideas in the correct way. It is important to mention that writing your research proposal on motivation is the second step after choosing the appropriate topic. You have a subject to write about motivation. And now you have to create an analytical question to answer to the audience. The base of good research proposal is a good research question.

What is an analytical question? There is no common example of it – this can be presented in various forms and one is not necessarily better, than the other. No matter if you are writing a social issues essay or a research proposal, your analytical question should be descriptive, moving from “what” to “why” and “how”. Your aim is to use the “what” to answer the “why”.

Research proposal on motivation: specific parts

Like any other academic papers, your research proposal on motivation should contain the following parts:

  • The question your paper should answer.
  • A brief review of the literature used and your arguments on the topic. You can review the theory and prove your awareness of the evidence and arguments.
  • State what your explanation and arguments will be.
  • An explanation of how your ideas differ from the positions of other authors.
  • A short outline of the parts of the paper.
  • As in the case with a social issues essay, and as seen in a motivation essay example, the writer should present short bibliography including interviews, databases, online directories, etc.
  • The research proposal on motivation should be informative – high quality is of primary concern when writing this type of paper. Writing 3-4 pages will be enough. The more effort you put into writing the better the estimation of your reader will be. The more detail you include in your research proposal the more useful it will be.

The earlier you start your writing your paper the better the result will be. If you do not follow your instructor’s directions you will not succeed in your purpose.
A standard research proposal on motivation is should not be longer than 10% of the whole paper. For instance, if the total amount of words in your research paper is ten thousand words, the research proposal should be one thousand words.
A standard research proposal on motivation consists of:

  1. A topic.
  2. A paper thesis.
  3. A planned research outline, following a particular academic style. This part should prove the student has researched relevant sources.

Just as a social issues essay and motivation essay example has an annotated bibliography; the research proposal should present the same, proving the importance of all the sources used.

Research proposal on motivation: writing secrets

The most important part of research paper is the research proposal. The quality of this part may influence your professor to accept your paper or send it back for revision. To avoid this unpleasant situation, one is recommended to follow these helpful tips:

  • Write a research proposal title that will attract your reader’s attention. Think of some catchy idea to keep the audience interested. Follow the rule: Try to be as concise as possible in your paper.
  • Construct the paper abstract. When writing a research proposal on motivation, give a brief summary in 250-300 words, including the research question, reasoning used, methods, and findings.
  • Create an introduction. Write your study aim, prove the topic understanding, describe key points and main issues, and explain the boundaries.
  • Provide a review of the resources. No matter whether you are writing a social issues essay or your research proposal on motivation, outline all sources used in the writing process.
  • Explain method implementation. Demonstrate how your chosen methods benefit your research and show your knowledge of them.
  • Try to predict your own results and discuss their potential impact. The reader will have a desire to know the possible drawbacks and benefits of your research.

Motivation research proposal example

The Influence and Significance of the Self-Determination Theory (Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation) Involvement in Educational Process


Motivation is one of the factors, which encourage the person to the commitment of some actions and play a crucial role as the psychological determinant. There is plenty of different theories, which try to explain mechanisms of motivation and its affection on various aspects of life. The Self-determination theory (Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation) consists of two points of a view on the psychological triggers. The essence of this theory is developed throughout the duality of the psychological determinants, which function as a prompt for the further concernment of a person. This theory has wide applicability regarding an educational process and may serve as a model for practical implementation. The variety of ways of involvement of teaching methods based on the Self-determination theory (Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation) have not had proper functional usage in the real paradigm of a current educational system. The evaluation of the influence of teaching according to principles of this theoretical approach suppose to show a considerable advancement of student motivation. The specific testing and the student’s rate would provide the coherent results of the practical involvement of the Self-determination theory (Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation) and create a space for further investigation as well. The analysis of the data within the involvement of psychological approach to the evaluation of student’s results helps to understand the weakness of this particular research and in theory itself.


The motivation composes a critical aspect of the successful completion of any activity. And the importance of the proper application of methods which are aimed to advance the motivational level of students plays a key role in the entire pattern of an educational process. For the centuries professors and psychologists discussed the advantages and possible ways of realization of different theoretical approaches in the frames of a current educational system. Before the discussion of the influence of particular models of motivational advancement, it is necessary to understand the importance of motivation itself. Motivation composes a considerable significance to an individual as a psychological phenomenon. Exactly due to the motivation person can commit some action, such an approach to the evaluation of motivation is called the self-determinative. Another important point here consists of the variety of theoretical approaches, which are aimed to describe and evaluate distinct motivational paradigms.

The matter here is that the appearance of motivation is a complicated process, which could be realized within external triggers and inner intentions of an individual. Each professor is able to find a personal approach to students and advance their motivational level by some other means. However, the Self-determination theory (Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation) is one of the most applicable to the pattern of an educational process. As it was mentioned before, the motivation is possible to treat ambivalently, as an inner paradigm and as a suite of different outside influences. The application of such a theory in the pattern of an educational process would help to understand its practical meaning and possible ways of further investigation. The analysis of results would show the functional significance of this approach and contributes to defining perspectives for the entire educational system.

Literature review

Before the evaluation of the background knowledge about the Self-determination theory (Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation) into the pattern of an education system, it is necessary to understand the entire scope of importance of this aspect into the attitude of students towards education. As it was mentioned before, the motivation is a very complicated phenomenon, which is necessary to analyze from two different sides at once. According to Ames “A qualitative approach to student motivation is concerned with how students think about themselves in relation to learning activities and to the process of learning itself. The salience of specific goals in classroom structures can orient students toward qualitatively different patterns.”(268) So to say, the motivation of students compose one of the most important aspects of a successful educational process.

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Discussing self-determination as the main theory in the paradigm of development of motivation. As it was mentioned before, the affection on the motivation could be caused by some internal or some external factors. The self-determination theory claims that Intrinsic and Extrinsic component together create the motivation in the form, which is appropriate to whatever activity. This concept is developed exactly from the different types of emotional and psychological triggers, which may appear during some activity. Ryan and Deci in their work underline the differences between two main types of motivation, which, as the result of their balance, help to develop the collective self-determination motivation of a person towards some particular activity or process (55). This conception has critical importance regarding involvement in the educational system. Frequently, self-determination could serve as the single argument for the student in the decision-making about school performance. That is why the proper pattern of a correlation and successful involvement of some models of teaching has a critical role in the motivation of students.

The discussion of practical importance of the self-determination theory implementation in a standard educational process paradigm should be based on the balanced corporation of Intrinsic (personal attitude towards the activity, the individualistic desire to active performance, etc.) and Extrinsic (the specific combination of incentives and triggers, which are aimed to affect the person and advance personal motivation) motivation. The investigation provided by Noels et al. has a practical character. It had more linguistic nature and was developed with the aim to describe the correlation between the teacher’s working attitude and the further context of a student’s course performance. Even with a distinct principal purpose, this research could serve as the excellent theoretical base for the investigation of the Self-determination theory (Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation) impact into the pattern of an education system. The matter here is that the motivation has a variation character and the result of the Extrinsic motivation affection on a student is possible to observe in different ways.

Also, the full description of possible perspectives of the Self-Determination theory concerning current educational system was discussed in work by Deci, Edward et al., where the authors described the method in different ways, discussing it as a factor of a behavioral regulator, aspects of some human needs, etc. Also, the authors provide an evaluative analysis of various works based on motivation and its impact on the educational process. According to the authors, there is a considerable difference between results of students, who possess proper amount of Intrinsic motivation and continually obtained the outside influence, which formed the stable Extrinsic motivation, comparing to students, who did not have such specific approach towards their motivation. Such paradigm of research, which had Deci, Edward et al. is based on the belief of several recent decades about the considerable impact of external motivation on the development of self-determination and formation of a concernment in some process as well. The authors underline, that the self-determinative theory “…supports for competence (e.g., optimal challenges and performance feedback) and relatedness (e.g., parental involvement and peer acceptance) facilitate motivation. However, such supports will facilitate intrinsic motivation and integrated internalization only to the extent that autonomy-supportive rather than controlling interpersonal contexts accompany them” (333). On the other words, there is a close connection between Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation. The matter here is that the previous paradigms of student’s inducement partly had a mistaken character.

The correlation between inside and outside triggers in very high, it is possible to trace the entire pattern of such connection in the experiments of different authors mentioned above. That is why the educational system should pay considerable attention to the various approaches to the personal involvement of students in the educational process. The problem of low rate and performance level among students is possible to fix within the means of particular changes in the theoretical approach of teaching itself. The studies by Deci, Edward et al. and Ryan and Deci could serve as the excellent example of the practical application of different approaches developed on the based of the Self-determination theory (Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation).


Taking into the account the research question and the background information mentioned above, it is possible to suppose the most appropriate method of the investigation here as qualitative. Regarding current education system, there is a need to provide a practical evaluation of a self-determinative motivational theory affection on students performance in the result of particular outside triggers, which should stimulate the development of an individual concernment of a student in the rate and personal advancement as well.

Before the practical study itself, it is possible to apply The Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) developed by Duncan and McKeachie, which always provides a correct and coherent statistical information (119). The next step should consist of a division of student into two groups: one, which should obtain the additional motivational triggers from the outside (including a specific atmosphere during the classes, professor’s performance, etc.) and the second group should continue the stable pattern of courses teaching.

After the space of a year of the practical involvement of experiment paradigm, it is necessary to provide The Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) developed by Duncan and McKeachie one again (119). The results of both tests should be compared and correlated with the rate of every particular student in each experimental group.


The results of this study would show a considerable difference between two groups participated in the study. According to the background information and the research question, discussed above, it is possible to suppose positive changes in the attitude of the first group of students towards their educational performance and considerable advancement of student’s rate, comparing to the second group of students. The analysis of tests, rate and the general level of well being of students would show a substantial practical effect of the Self-determination theory (Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation) in the pattern of an educational system.


It is hard to deny the importance of motivation in the pattern of an educational process. But at the same time, the question of involvement of different motivational theories in reality of a current educational system is investigated poorly. This practical study would contribute to the general paradigm of changes, which should be realized in the further educational reforms. There is plenty of different approaches for a motivation advancement in the frames of the current education system. However, the importance of the Self-determination theory (Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation) has not many practical pieces of evidence. The matter here is, that the great number of psychologists, for example, Deci and Ryan in their works underline the functional advantage of the Self-determination theory (Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation) comparing to the other motivational theories. That is why it is possible to suppose this research as a significant contribution to the psychological view of the paradigm of the further development of an educational system.

The matter here is, that, as other practical investigations, this one contains some number of weaknesses, which is necessary to take into the account during the analysis of result and the evaluation of the practical importance of the study itself. The limitations in participants number might cause the weaknesses. Also, there is a chance of issues related to the time limitations. So to say, the time limit may appear as too short for the arriving of any results, which would satisfy the requirements of the research question. These factors and some others require additional improvement in the further investigations, based on this research. That is why the following development of this study is obvious and should be provided with the necessary changes, which would be determined according to the weaknesses of this particular investigation.

Works Cited

Ames, Carole. “Classrooms: Goals, Structures, and Student Motivation.” Journal of Educational Psychology, vol 84, no. 3, 1992, pp. 261-271. American Psychological Association (APA), doi:10.1037/0022-0663.84.3.261.
Deci, Edward L. et al. “Motivation and Education: The Self-Determination Perspective.” Educational Psychologist, vol 26, no. 3-4, 1991, pp. 325-346. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.1080/00461520.1991.9653137.
Deci, Edward L., and Richard M. Ryan. “Self-Determination.” The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2010. Wiley Online Library, doi:10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0834.
Duncan, Teresa Garcia, and Wilbert J. McKeachie. “The Making of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire.” Educational psychologist, 40.2, 2005, pp. 117-128.
Noels, Kimberly A. et al. “Perceptions of Teachers’ Communicative Style and Students’ Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation.” The Modern Language Journal, vol. 83, no. 1, 1999, pp. 23-34. Wiley-Blackwell, doi:10.1111/0026-7902.00003.
Ryan, Richard M., and Edward L. Deci. “Intrinsic And Extrinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions.” Contemporary Educational Psychology, vol. 25, no. 1, 2000, pp. 54-67. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1006/ceps.1999.1020.

Research proposal on motivation help

Writing a motivation essay example or research proposal sample on motivation is quite often an assigned task among college and university students. Of course, writing can be interesting and exciting, but if the submission deadlines are near, the situation changes. Students assigned to write a research proposal on motivation, for example, become nervous and helpless.

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