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Topic: Research Proposal Specifics  (Read 870 times)

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Research Proposal Specifics
« on: September 09, 2003, 06:17:43 PM »
Okay...I am sitting here staring at a blank piece of paper (well computer screen)...what one earth are they looking for in the UK when it comes to a research proposal.  Is it acceptable to use first person?  Is it a bit of a personal statement rolled into what you want to study or should it take more of a format of an abstract? Very third person and academic?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!

;D
The wiring in our brain is not static, not irrevocably fixed.  Our brains are adaptable. -Mattieu Ricard

Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn. -Benjamin Franklin

I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions. -D.Day


Re: Research Proposal Specifics
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2003, 08:35:24 PM »
Hi there,

Let me forward you request to a PhD aquaintance of mine at SOAS...if he responds I'll post it here,

Samantha*** :)


Re: Research Proposal Specifics
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2003, 08:37:49 PM »
Forgot to ask...just so I can include that...what topics/ideas ?(For a PhD thesis you obviously have to be quite specific.)

Samantha** :)


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Re: Research Proposal Specifics
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2003, 11:56:32 PM »
Thanks Samantha... :)

Basically these are my general ideas....a PhD in Public Administration with an emphasis in the areas of Organizational Development/Evaluation and tie all that into the European Union and regionalization with a touch of the idea of the changing face of citizenship or identity.  :P

I of course will be a bit more erudite than that on my proposal!
The wiring in our brain is not static, not irrevocably fixed.  Our brains are adaptable. -Mattieu Ricard

Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn. -Benjamin Franklin

I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions. -D.Day


Re: Research Proposal Specifics
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2003, 09:18:31 PM »
For your friend:  It should be okay to use first person in a research proposal, as long as it isn't overdone.  "I propose to..." and that sort of thing.  It is best to talk about the topic, though, not yourself.
Give enough background to demonstrate that you have a knowledge of the subject area, important debates and themes in the scholarly literature, and most importantly what you will do differently.  The research proposal is just a way to get your foot in the door.  It needs to be plausible, but no one should hold you to it once you are accepted.


This is what my PhD aquaintance said. I definately hope it helps!

Samantha***


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Re: Research Proposal Specifics
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2003, 03:16:09 AM »
Great that's what I was worried about!  I have not been in a university for three years and I am sooooo out of the loop when it somes to what's hot and what's not... guess I will need to read up some!

Thanks so much!!!
The wiring in our brain is not static, not irrevocably fixed.  Our brains are adaptable. -Mattieu Ricard

Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn. -Benjamin Franklin

I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions. -D.Day


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Re: Research Proposal Specifics
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2003, 05:38:21 AM »
hi Vincepeeps
i just submitted my first draft of my research proposal to the university. The faculty (who will act as an advicer if i am accepted) told me to keep it very broad and general. It really is not very long (about 500 words) and not very detailed, just a general idea/direction of what you will be researching and what interest you. I hope this helps.
Stella


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Re: Research Proposal Specifics
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2003, 06:09:16 PM »
I just have to post this response to an email from the University to which I hope to apply.  The email was from the director of their international office.

As far as your research proposal, well what we'd be looking for is a statement of several hundred words, outlining precisely what it is that you want to spend the next three years of your life researching. The more information you can provide the better, so our faculty know both whether there is someone here who can supervise you, and whether or not you have clearly thought things through. The standard advice I give is, for you, what are the "big questions"? What big issue do you really want to address, and why is it important? Not just for you, but for the academic community in the world at large? By definition a PhD must be of publishable quality. So what is the provisional title of your book, what are the chapters, and give us an indication of a bibliography now, so we know what authors/critics you've used. And spell out your methodology, i.e. how you're going to get from point A to B, and the tools you'll employ as a result.

The fact that you've already done an MPA in the US is obviously a great start, but the best advice I can give is assume that you are a professor sitting at Exeter and you get an application for a PhD. Convince that professor that you have the right background and a research proposal that gets him to forget his morning coffee and go "Yes, that's an interesting issue/angle. I'd like to work with this person!"
[/i]

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!  Lord that is not exactly general.  Well I can only do what I can do!
The wiring in our brain is not static, not irrevocably fixed.  Our brains are adaptable. -Mattieu Ricard

Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn. -Benjamin Franklin

I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions. -D.Day


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Re: Research Proposal Specifics
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2004, 01:10:31 AM »
So I'm a little slow on the uptake... oops!  Better late than never.  Vnice - I hope this helps you out!

Here's the gist of what I was taught about a proposal.

State your hypothesis clearly.  

Mention prominent sources but limit yourself to just a few, and don't quote directly.  For example:  As suggested by Merton, the theories of this subject have not yet been decisively explored.  

Show the steps of your thesis clearly - how one proof leads to the next, leads to the next, leads to your conclusion.  

If possible, use your previous sources to demonstrate how they have NOT followed your topic to its logical conclusion.  One thing that universities want is originality, and a demonstrated knowledge that you understand what has been done in your area, and that you (and ONLY YOU!!) can fill the gap left in the scholarship.

Finally, demonstrate how you can walk on water and are the greatest thing since sliced bread, and ergo YOU are the ONLY candidate who could POSSIBLY do this topic.  But in the humblest of terms, of course.

Yes, it's definitely a tricky thing to write.  But not near as tricky as the thesis itself.  Don't worry.  As for word length, do a standard one of two pages (about 500 words), and fill it out for the universities requesting a longer one.  But remember - if you've been able to say it all in 500 words, why force someone to read four times that length?  Especially when they have about 50+ others the same length to read.  If you can get your point across quickly, they'll remember that (out of sheer gratitude!), and you'll have given yourself an edge.  

Okay, so there's my two cents.

For what it's worth, Vnice, the advice that director gave was pretty good.  If you can make a professor forget their coffee, you've done something amazing!  Good luck, and let me know if I can help any further!

Morgana
"Ha HA!" cried she, as she waved her wooden leg.


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