What Is a Concept Paper: Definition, Format, and Example

A research paper will begin with concept paper writing. Instructors will require their students to submit well-written concept papers to have an overview of their research plans as well as assess the viability of their topic. Read the blog to learn more about the document.

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Research papers and dissertations are common and important writing tasks for undergraduates and post-graduate students. Researchers and other professionals from academic and scientific institutions also write research papers. These research and studies are often lengthy and time-consuming. A research study can last for one to two years, it can even exceed this time depending on the field and complexity of the research study. However, before they can write these lengthy documents, they will first need to create a concept paper for dissertation and research.

The concept paper will act as a proposal paper for dissertation and research papers. Writing this document will be the first step in proceeding with the research. Students and professionals will need to choose the best outline and format for their concept paper to gain the approval of the reader. This document is essential not only for students but also for researchers that are looking for individuals to fund their study. In this article, readers can learn how to write a concept paper and read a conceptual paper example to act as a guide in writing.

Concept Paper Definition

Before starting to write the document, individuals should learn what is a concept paper. This document is a summary of a research study that students and professionals will undertake. The concept paper should provide the study’s purpose, background, and research questions. The goal of this document is to capture the reader’s interest and provide information that shows the research’s merit. The researchers should view a concept paper as a proposal and write it to make the readers support the study.

Concept Paper Format

A standard concept paper format will be around two to three pages long. Undergraduates and post-graduate students typically write in this type of concept paper format. For researchers in specific fields that are looking for funding, their proposal document can be over 20 pages long. Since the definition of a concept paper states that it is a summary of a research study, most documents will need to provide complete information that will lengthen the page count. The documents that take 20 pages long often give multiple background information of related studies to emphasize the importance of the researcher’s endeavors. Papers for dissertation and research papers tend to be shorter since they are not asking for monetary funding and their topics are less complex. Individuals should look at sample papers to find the perfect format for their papers.

How to Write a Concept Paper

Individuals should consider looking at concept paper examples to better understand the document’s outline. This will make writing a concept paper an easier task. For a standard outline, individuals can follow the list below when writing the document. 

1. Title

After learning the definition and correct format of a concept paper, individuals can now begin to write the document. The first task in writing a concept paper is choosing a title. This is important for every document since its readers will know and remember a research study based on its title. Researchers should write short titles that are direct to the point. The best titles for this type of document are in question format. A question statement directly tells the readers what questions and problems the researchers are going to answer. Consider looking at research document examples to get an idea of how most researchers format their titles.

2. Introduction to the concept

Once the researchers establish a working title, they can then proceed with writing an introduction. The introduction of the concept paper should provide background information about the study. The introduction should also briefly tell the readers why the study is important and how it can benefit others. For researchers that are looking for monetary funding, they should state how an organization or institution will benefit from the study. A research study about video games as storytellers can spark the interest of an education-focused institution which will increase the chance of a researcher to receive funding. 

Researchers should also consider the introduction as the first impression of the concept paper and the study. They should state the main objective and problem they are trying to solve. Try expounding on the title of the concept paper. Researchers can use the title as a guide when creating their thesis statement, in most research, the title is the thesis statement. Consider looking at sample thesis statements to get an idea of how to structure the sentence. Citing this in the introduction will help readers understand the purpose of the study.

3. Background research

The next section of the concept paper will be the background research section. Here, researchers should indicate the related studies that others have made. They should include studies that are closely related to their thesis statement or title. Citing these studies will show the readers that the topic has gained the attention of other experts. The researchers should also cite the limitations of these studies and that the researcher’s work will try to answer some of those limitations. 

An extensive version of this section is mostly found in longer concept papers. Individuals who are trying to make a case for their research and gain funding will need to make an extensive version of this section to provide more information to possible sponsors. They will need to fill this section with a large number of background studies that are relevant to their work. For documents that are only two to three pages long, researchers can cite some studies and state which limitation they are trying to solve.

4. Objectives

While the introduction will state the main objective of the study, the objective section will provide all the specific objectives of the research. Researchers should use consistent phrasing when stating the objectives in a concept paper. Use the word “To” at the beginning of each objective statement. Avoid using statements that are in question format. Before the researchers state the objectives, they should restate the thesis statement in a paragraph before the lists of objectives. Most concept paper examples will show a list type objective section. It will be easier for the reader to recognize the objective in this format.

5. Need for the study

The next step in writing a concept paper is citing the aim and need for the study. After stating the thesis statement in the introduction, the researchers should explain their objectives further in this section. Students can use a method where they address the problems they stated in the previous sections. If the previous sections state that future researchers will need to create video games solely for educational purposes, researchers can write a response in the “aim and need” section of the concept paper. They can state how the researchers will develop a game to measure student’s recall capacity.

The need for the paper simply refers to the importance of the research. While the “aim“ talks about the purpose of the researchers, the need should state the effects of the research on a targeted group or society. Individuals should provide evidence to the claims they will be stating. This will help show their’s and the concept paper’s credibility. They should consider referring to previous researchers that have done an extensive study about the topic.

6. Research methodology

The research methodology section of the concept paper will include the instruments and measuring devices that the researchers will use. This includes laboratory equipment, computer software, questionnaires, types of tests, and other means of gathering and interpreting data. The researchers should state how they will prepare the tools and how they will authenticate the information. This section should also include the target population, type of data, and the timeline for the research. Researchers should provide all the information of their methodology. Try asking the questions who, what, where, when, and how to write a complete research methodology for the concept paper. Some concept paper outlines can also include a research timeline. This is basically a timeline of how long the research will last.

7. References

Similar to other academic documents, a concept paper should include a reference list. The researchers should cite the sources that they used while writing the document. Individuals can also use in-text citations in the aim and need section and background section. When writing the reference list, make sure to use a consistent format. Individuals can look at sample papers to find reference list formats. For students, they should ask their professors which referencing format to use. The common formats are APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard styles.

Conceptual Paper Example

“Using Video Games as Educational Tools to Help High School Students Write Better Essays”

Introduction

Most high school students dread essay writing homework. Writing assignments often include reading thick books that authors have filled with blocks of text. They will need to do research and reading the blocks of texts can feel exhausting to most students. On the contrary, video games tend to hold a person’s attention longer than any other medium. Despite the debate over the advantages and disadvantages of video games, there have been games that people developed to teach nursing and business students practical skills. There also have been some games that are made using real-life history that teachers can use to teach a class. However, there is a lack of research regarding the correlation between video games and writing abilities. This study will help in understanding the capacity of games to inform students and how they can help in essay writing. The study will help educators create an effective lesson plan in using video games as educational tools to help high school students write better essays.

Background Research

There have been studies that promote video games as effective educational tools for all education levels. However, there are still many aspects of video games and education that researchers have yet to analyze. The research of Utoyo, Arsa on video games as tools for education concludes that using video games provides an opportunity to improve education due to realistic simulations that only the medium can offer. (Widitiarsa, 2018). The researcher stated that the next step is to design educational video games to create the standards for effective educational games. However, this study does not mention video games as good teaching tools for writing essays or any type of written works.

There have also been reports of educators using video games to teach writing to students. Students were able to write game reviews, autobiographical pieces, and other writing works. The teacher used character images, famous video game quotes, and great writing lines to inspire students to think of essay topics (Jones, 2018). The students that are interested in games were able to freely discuss topics and ideas. They use articles from game journalists to back up their claims during open discussions. This report shows that some educators are already recognizing the ability of video games to act as a teaching tool for writing essays and other written works.

Objectives

The researchers aim to achieve their objective of using video games as educational tools to help high school students write better essays by answering the following specific objectives:

  1. To analyze the influence of critical thinking in using video games as educational tools to help high school students write better essays.

  2. To assess the influence of student’s writing skills in using video games as educational tools to help high school students write better essays.

  3. To assess the influence of video game genres in using video games as educational tools to help high school students write better essays.

Aim and Need for the Study

Most high school students often have difficulty with writing assignments. They dread the process of researching and writing down notes. Most students will carry this behavior up until college which can result in having difficulty writing their research papers and dissertation. Some teachers have already addressed this issue by using video game topics to help spark student interests. However, the researchers believe that targeted research is necessary to create an effective lesson plan in using video games as educational tools to help high school students write better essays.

The researchers aim to analyze the influence of critical thinking in using video games as educational tools to help high school students write better essays. The study will test how video games help in the development of critical thinking skills and how they can transfer to better essay writing. This will help educators understand how video games affect a student’s brain and thinking skills. The study also aims to assess the influence of student’s writing skills in using video games as educational tools to help high school students write better essays. The study will take into account the existing writing skills of high school students and observe how video games can help improve the existing skills. This will provide teachers and researchers quantitative data on the extent of how video games can act as writing education tools. Lastly, the study aims to assess the influence of video game genres in using video games as educational tools to help high school students write better essays. The researchers will use different games from different genres to assess how the different genres affect high school student’s writing skills. This will help to understand what type of games teachers should use to help students write better essays.

Research Methodology

The researchers will use three different video games from the following genres: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion from the Role-playing genre, The Sims 4 from the Simulation genre, and Firewatch from the Adventure genre to assess using video games as educational tools to help high school students write better essays. 

The researchers will conduct the study on 400 WXY high school students out of a population of 600 high school students. The researchers will take note of the students’ most recent English subject grades. This is to gather data on how existing writing skills can affect using video games as educational tools to help high schools student write better essays. The researchers will divide the students into three groups corresponding to the three video game genres state above. The students will play the games for an hour for a three-week period. After each week, the students will take critical thinking exams that will measure their critical thinking skills.

The researcher will collect primary data from the activities and secondary data from related literature. The researcher will analyze the quantitative data using descriptive and inferential statistics. The quantitative data will be from the assessment of how the different genres influence video games as tools to help high school students write better essays. The researchers will triangulate the qualitative data and report comparisons between the gathered data and existing data. 

References

Jones, Sarah. (2018, April 2018). Teaching Writing Through Video Games, Part I. Moving Writers. https://movingwriters.org/2018/04/18/teaching-writing-through-video-games-part-i/

Widitiarsa, Arsa (2018). Video Games as Tools for Education. http://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2669725

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Concept Paper Writing Services

Writing a concept paper is the foundation of any research study. The document will dictate whether a panelist will approve or decline a research study. This is why individuals should ensure that their concept paper effectively emphasizes the importance of their study. For individuals who feel that they don’t have the writing capabilities to create a concept paper, the writing services from CustomEssayMeister can help. The website offers a variety of services to help students and professionals with their writing tasks. They can find sample papers and how-to guides in essay writing. Students who are stuck in their thesis writing will find these services extremely helpful. Our experienced writers can write concept papers that will spark the interest of a panelist and perhaps get their approval.