What is a concept paper? 15 TIPs to write

Students often struggle with writing concept papers because they don’t know what to write about.

A concept paper is a term that most students will hear for the first time when starting college, but it can be difficult to understand exactly what this assignment is asking you to do. 

This guide explains everything you need to know about writing a concept paper including how long it should be and tips on brainstorming ideas.

What is a concept paper?

A concept paper is a document that serves as an introduction to your research. Its main goal is to introduce the problem and the need for further study. The purpose of this document is clearly stated in its name, it should be used as a concept (or outline) of what will be written later on in the project. 

This type of document can also be used by students who are not sure about their topic or if they have chosen one that has been studied before. The idea behind using such a paper is to find a new information and different perspectives on previous studies done on similar topics so you can write something original and interesting with no plagiarism involved at all!

What is a concept paper?
What is a concept paper?

What is the Purpose of a Concept Paper?

Concept papers serve many purposes, but mostly they help researchers organize their thoughts and ideas into structured paragraphs which makes writing easier than just free-styling it without any plan whatsoever!

A concept paper’s objective is to lay out the fundamentals of a grant proposal so that everyone involved in the planning and implementation (from your organization or partners) is on the same page. This helps you receive letters of commitment from your partners and promotes successful connections.

Concept papers are also short papers submitted by prospective students alongside an application to a graduate program in computer science. They are supposed to describe your research interests, why you want to do research in this area, and, most importantly, how you plan to do research in this area.

How Long is a Concept Paper?

How Long is a Concept Paper?
How Long is a Concept Paper?

Typically, students who are applying to different programs write several concept papers (about three to four pages) on different topics. The concept paper is the student’s opportunity to show what they’re capable of through their writing, not just what they’ve done in the past.

It is a chance to show that you’ve done your homework and that you know the literature on a specific topic. It is something that differentiates you from other applicants, and can really help you stand out. If you do a good job, it could even help get you an invitation to visit the department!

And these documents usually do not exceed more than 10 pages, since most professors consider them as drafts for future projects rather than stand-alone pieces

How to Write a Concept Paper?

 A concept paper is a high-quality essay that provides the most important and valuable ideas to your reader. Thus, many students struggle with writing a concept paper. To learn how to write a concept paper, read the following tips:

 

How to Write a Concept Paper?
How to Write a Concept Paper?
  1. Introduction

The introduction is your first step in providing your reader with a general idea of what you will be researching and presenting in your paper. To write a great introduction, start with the most important. For example, you might mention the history of your topic and how it has evolved over time. This will give your reader a general idea of what you will be talking about later on.

  1. Contextualizing your research

After meeting the reader’s expectations, it is time to present your topic. You should begin by contextualizing your research. To do this, you must provide your reader with the necessary knowledge for understanding your topic clearly.

Your research must be understood by your readers. For this reason, you need to include the necessary context in order for the reader to understand what you are talking about. Therefore, here is where you will write about why your topic is important and what it entails.

  1. Goals of your study

After contextualizing your research, provide your reader with the goals of your study and list all crucial aspects that will be examined. If necessary, provide a general idea of what you plan to achieve through your research.

  1. Outline

Write an outline for your concept paper. Many students leave this step for later on as they think it’s not very important. However, it is very important to outline your concept paper before you start writing it. The main reason for outlining your concept paper is that it will help you determine the structure of your future thesis. It will also save you a lot of time when trying to find information in your text and keep track of all crucial aspects of your study.

  1. Conclusion

The conclusion is where you sum up all the crucial points of your paper. You should mention the importance of your topic, why it is important, and what you have achieved through your research. If necessary, provide a brief conclusion for each subtopic in order to clarify everything that has been mentioned throughout your concept paper.

  1. Supporting details specifically related to the context of your study
  2. Supporting details specifically related to the goal of your study
  3. Supporting details regarding the outline of your concept paper (to be used as a reference if needed)
  4. Supporting details specifically related to the conclusion of your concept paper (to be used as a reference if needed)
  5. Supporting details specifically related to the context of your study (to be used as a reference if needed)
  6. Supporting details specifically related to the goal of your study (to be used as a reference if needed)
  7. Supporting details regarding the outline of your concept paper (to be used as a reference if needed)
  8. Supporting details specifically related to the conclusion of your concept paper (to be used as a reference if needed)
  9. List of all cited literature and their respective authors (if needed)
  10. Bibliography (if needed)

F.A.Q

Why concept paper is important?

A concept paper is a concise paper that outlines the important aspects of the study. Its purpose is to give an overview of the research. As a result, it aids the supervisor in determining whether the study is pertinent, doable, and useful. If so, they might propose looking into an alternative research topic. 

It also aids the supervisor in determining your grasp of research and, as a result, whether or not you will require assistance (and, if so, how much). 

Parts of a concept paper

Parts of a concept paper
Parts of a concept paper

A concept paper consists of five-part including project vision, project scope, project aims, timetable and milestones, and project management.  They are all essential components in the process of writing a thesis. It provides an idea of what you will be studying throughout your Ph.D. studies and there is no other term paper that can give the reader a clear idea of your future research. Therefore, you should think carefully and write it with great care. 

Types of concept paper

There are four categories of concept paper: theory synthesis, theory adaptation, typology, and model.

Theory synthesis is a paper that presents or builds a new theory. Theory adaptation is a paper that discusses existing theories and tests or combines them to address an empirical problem. Typology papers make comparisons across phenomena/objects of interest and identify similarities and differences. A new typology may be proposed or existing ones may be re-formulated, enhanced, or combined. Model papers present or develop theoretical models.

The conclusion of a concept paper should be the most elaborate section since it provides an overview of what you have done in your research. You can also include key points that summarize the main ideas of this project and any recommendations for future work on this topic. A strong conclusion will leave readers with new knowledge or insights they did not have before, which is always good when trying to make an impactful argument or idea.

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