Preliminary Research Proposal

Preliminary Research Proposal-44
Being clear about these things from the beginning will help you complete your thesis in a timely fashion.A vague, weak or fuzzy proposal can lead to a long, painful, and often unsuccessful thesis writing exercise.

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What style of work is published in your sub-discipline? To that end, a proposal needs to show how your work fits into what is already known about the topic and what new contribution your work will make.

Specify the question that your research will answer, establish why it is a significant question, show how you are going to answer the question, and indicate what you expect we will learn.

Another problem is that the nature of argument for a position rather than the reasoned rejection of alternatives to it encourages shepherding a favored notion rather than converging more directly toward a truth. A good proposal helps one see and avoid these problems.

Literature review-based theses involve collection of information from the literature, distillation of it, and coming up with new insight on an issue.

(One 'old saw' about research in the social sciences is that the finding is always: "some do and some don't".

Try to avoid such insight-less findings; finding "who do and who don't" is better.) One problem with this type of project is that it is often impossible to tell when you are "done".

Because they address well-bounded topics, they can be very tight, but they do require more planning on the front end.

Theses which are largely based on synthesis of observations, rumination, speculation, and opinion formation are harder to write, and usually not as convincing, often because they address questions which are not well-bounded and essentially unanswerable.

The proposal should situate the work in the literature, it should show why this is an (if not the most) important question to answer in the field, and convince your committee (the skeptical readers that they are) that your approach will in fact result in an answer to the question.

Theses which address research questions that can be answered by making plan-able observations (and applying hypothesis testing or model selection techniques) are preferred and perhaps the easiest to write.

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