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7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Computer English For Computer Major Master Candidates Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Dr. Peng Xinguang Sep. 07, 2007
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology How to Develop a Research Proposal for the Master Candidates Unit 7
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Developing a Research Proposal In the life of a master candidate there are several milestones such as defending your research proposal, or submitting the thesis. This unit is concerned with one of the earliest milestones in thesis writing: developing a research proposal. All master candidates are required to formally submit a research proposal and defend it before a panel, before starting out on research.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Developing a topic The task of establishing a suitable topic is often a significant hurdle. While supervisors in some departments may suggest topics, other supervisors expect students to have quite a clear idea of the thesis topic before the preliminary supervision discussions take place.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Fostering Your Ideas For students who have had a break from university studies, establishing a broad topic area or even a potential topic is a process that should begin before you enroll. It involves reading in your area of research interest, thinking, discussing and, attending related seminars or conferences. These activities can assist in fostering ideas.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Establishing a Gap For students who know the general topic area they wish to research, reading widely in the area of interest will help to identify research issues, or questions that need further investigation. The process of developing a topic is ultimately one of establishing a gap in current research that a thesis could aim to address.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Appointment with Academic If you have made an appointment with an academic to discuss research topics, keep in mind that the discussion will be most fruitful if you are prepared. The academic will most likely ask you about your research interests, particular aspects of those research interests, your familiarity with the literature, and so on.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Appointment with Academic The academic is unlikely to give you a topic, but through discussion can help you to come up with your own. Furthermore, discussions with the academic should assist you in refining an existing topic, or to establish a research space in the current research in the field.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Refining Your Topic Once you are closer to establishing your topic, you need to address a number of issues to make sure your intended topic is suitable. This process may lead you to further refine your topic, but hopefully not abandon it. It is important that early in your master candidate the following issues are addressed.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Supervision The process of selecting a supervisor is a significant hurdle in itself. While some departments may allocate you a supervisor, it is very helpful if you have in mind the person you think would be most suitable. Departments are keen to attract research students, so it is worth your while to make appointments, and speak to various people about supervision. Remember too when looking for a supervisor, to consider questions of availability, expertise, and personality.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Sustaining Your Interest An important question is whether your topic can sustain your interest for a long period. For full-time master candidate students this means approximately three years. Your should find your topic challenging and exciting.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Facility Considerations Facility considerations are important for master students who generally have limited access to funds. What equipment do you need for your study? Is it available in your department? What facilities are available for research students in your department ? Will you need to travel to carry out field studies? These are some of the questions you should consider, and your supervisor may be able to offer advice on additional facility sources.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Improvement Contribution Finally, an important consideration in developing your topic is whether your chosen topic is a significant one. For Master Degree candidates, their research is required to make an improvement contribution to their field of study or to apply known techniques in a new area. For this reason it is necessary to establish a gap or space in the field your research.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Preparing Research Proposal Our university (faculty) requires students to submit a research proposal before they can begin their research project. Expectations differ from department to department: some departments require only several pages, while others expect a more substantial piece of work, which will later form the basis of your introductory chapter.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Main Components The main components of a research proposal or project plan are as follows: a brief literature review that highlights the gap in research that your research aims to address, the scope of your research, aims, proposed methodology, data analysis and implications of the research.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Main Components Preparing a research proposal forces you to consider project design issues early on, and to think through potential problems. Presenting your research proposal to faculty members is a valuable opportunity for you to receive constructive feedback on your project from experienced researchers.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Research Proposal Structure Depending on the scope of your research proposal, not all of the following need be included in your proposal. It is also possible to combine some sections, or change the order. The development of your research proposal will be in consultation with your supervisor.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Title Page 1. Title page should include: University Name : Taiyuan University of Technology; Thesis Proposal for Master Graduate Student; The Name of Graduate Student: Your Name; The Names of Your Supervisors; The Name of the Degree Sought; Computer Application Technology, or Computer Software and Theory; The Name of Affiliation College: College of Computer and Software; The date of submission.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Proposal Page 2. Proposal page should include: Your Research Field; The Title of Your Thesis (Project); Thesis Type: Theoretical Research, Application Research, Production Application, Others; Significance of Your Research; Research Trend in National Inside and Outside (Literature Review);
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Proposal Page the Statement of Research Problem; Experiment Design Plan and Research Method (Steps); Research Schedule; Expected Outcomes; References.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Abstract and Contents 3. Abstract part should include: The problem under investigation; the research methodology and theoretical orientation; and the expected outcomes and implications of the research. 4. Table of contents should include: The inclusion of a table of contents will depend on the scope of your research proposal.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Introduction Part 5. Introduction: depending on the scope of your proposal, the introduction will contain a number of sub-sections. background to the study; the significance of the study/ aims and significance of the study; the statement of the problem; research questions and hypotheses; definitions
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Literature Review Part 6. Literature review: The literature review provides the rationale for your research topic. It should give an overview of the current research on the topic area. The literature review should identify a gap in the research. This is important because it shows why your topic is important. The literature review should also review relevant methodologies, which show how your research is to be done.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Research Methodology 7. Research methodology/design: This section will include a number of subsections. It should describe the type of study you propose to do as well as how you propose to do it. You need to describe your participants, your data collection procedure and method of data analysis, as well as the limitations of your project.
7 © Department of Computer Science and Technology, Taiyuan University of Technology Timeframe and Outcomes 8. Proposed timeframe: Research schedule provides a brief timeline for your project; 9. Expected outcomes: What you hope to achieve; 10. References: A full list of all references cited in your proposal. Our university criterion: 10 references in foreign language and 20 Chinese references at lest
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