I believe that your proposal, and the defense thereof, is actually the MOST important part of the thesis. Here your are defining everything you are going to do and why, then after your defense you just have to do it. It is VERY important that you, your chair, and other committee members are on the same page here. If not, this could lead to major problems down the road (and I have seen this happen).
The Three Proposal Chapters
Although the chapters will be ordered as above in your final research proposal, I recommend conducting this project by saving the introduction until last for several reasons. The slides below provide some general guidance on this process.
Develop a Research Question
First, you will need to pick a topic and develop a preliminary research question. For example, is the death penalty related to less crime?