Functions of a Concept Paper

In addition to being an “accompaniment” to a full-blown research, the concept paper explains what the project is about. It also explains the reason for conducting the project and how it will be carried out. Perhaps because it contains some parts found in a research paper, it is sometimes mistaken for a full-length research paper. However, you should be careful to make the distinction between the two. A concept paper is merely a “prelude” to the research you intend to carry. In explaining the what, why, and how of your intended project, you are defining your concept. Think of it as your plan of action, your vision, the preliminary phase of your research project. As the preliminary version of your research project, your concept paper’s aim should be clear: to gain the approval of important stakeholders so you can proceed and carry out your research project.

In the sample concept paper, the concept was introduced by giving background information about the topic. The introductory idea also took the form of the topic’s significance and the perceived need for it. The sample concept paper also includes information about the aims of the project and why it is important to conduct it. This information is contained in the expected outcomes. This part is meant to convince the research adviser or the head of the funding agency to approve it.

Another basic information that you should include in the concept paper is the manner of implementation, or how you will carry out the project. Readers of your research—including your research adviser and possibly the head of the funding agency—need to be convinced of the viability of your project or the likelihood that your project will meet the expected outcome/s at the designed time. The information you will include in this section is just as important as the Introduction and Objectives section because this is where you convince your reader that you have planned out your project so well that you can envision when you will start and complete it.