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Cleveland State University ESC 720 Research Communications Dissertation Proposals Dan Simon 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Cleveland State University ESC 720 Research Communications Dissertation Proposals Dan Simon 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cleveland State University ESC 720 Research Communications Dissertation Proposals Dan Simon 1

2 Outline 1.The Purpose of the Proposal 2.The Dissertation Committee 3.Candidacy Exam Assessment 4.Expectations 5.Dissertation Proposal Structure 6.Questions and Answers 2

3 The Purpose of the Proposal Why are you writing a dissertation proposal? To demonstrate that you are capable of independent research To demonstrate that you can communicate clearly To demonstrate that you are passionate about your research To demonstrate that you are organized enough to conduct a significant research project To obtain feedback from your committee Not to demonstrate that you are an expert 3

4 Outline 1.The Purpose of the Proposal 2.The Dissertation Committee 3.Candidacy Exam Assessment 4.Expectations 5.Dissertation Proposal Structure 6.Questions and Answers 4

5 The Dissertation Committee Choose your committee carefully – Do not include members who will not contribute – Do not leave out faculty who can contribute Discuss your proposal with your committee members as you are preparing it – Meet with each committee member 2 or 3 times – Prepare and ask specific questions Your candidacy exam is primarily a discussion between you and your committee – Be prepared to take notes 5

6 Outline 1.The Purpose of the Proposal 2.The Dissertation Committee 3.Candidacy Exam Assessment 4.Expectations 5.Dissertation Proposal Structure 6.Questions and Answers 6

7 Candidacy Exam Assessment The student has demonstrated: 1.A deep, general, fundamental understanding of the principles underlying a particular field of study, as well as those underlying related fields Depth of knowledge Breadth of knowledge 2.A familiarity with advanced methods of analysis and synthesis that are powerful and generally applicable 3.The ability to independently read and understand the significance and limitations of the relevant literature 4.The ability to formulate, initiate, and complete new and innovative research projects that contribute to the advancement of the field Impact on advancement of the field Adequacy of the scope of the research Adequacy of the depth of the research Adequacy of the approach and method for the research goals 7

8 Candidacy Exam Assessment The student has demonstrated: 5.The ability to communicate effectively in written and oral form Quality of the writing style Organization of the written proposal Organization of the presentation Clarity of language usage Ability to answer questions Quality of slides 6.The ability to conduct application-oriented interdisciplinary research Application-oriented research Interdisciplinary research 8

9 Outline 1.The Purpose of the Proposal 2.The Dissertation Committee 3.Candidacy Exam Assessment 4.Expectations 5.Dissertation Proposal Structure 6.Questions and Answers 9

10 Expectations 1.Define a clear research question 2.Define your approach to answering the question 3.Discuss the originality or significance of your approach 4.Discuss how your research will augment the existing literature 5.Persuade your committee that you are the right person for the research 10

11 Expectations 1.Define a clear research question Check the literature Look for controversy Get ideas from your advisor (maybe) Use your own unique insights, experiences, and knowledge base 11

12 Expectations 1.Define a clear research question 2.Define your approach to answering the question 3.Discuss the originality or significance of your approach 4.Discuss how your research will augment the existing literature 5.Persuade your committee that you are the right person for the research 12

13 Expectations 1.Define a clear research question 2.Define your approach to answering the question 3.Discuss the originality or significance of your approach Why did you choose that approach? What are the limitations of your approach? 13

14 Expectations 1.Define a clear research question 2.Define your approach to answering the question 3.Discuss the originality or significance of your approach 4.Discuss how your research will augment the existing literature You should be continually reading during your years as a doctoral student Use RefWorks! 14

15 Expectations 1.Define a clear research question 2.Define your approach to answering the question 3.Discuss the originality or significance of your approach 4.Discuss how your research will augment the existing literature 5.Persuade your committee that you are the right person for the research What papers will you publish from your research? 15

16 Expectations The Candidacy Exam, or Proposal Defense Remember that your committee wants you to pass Do you understand your topic well enough to explain it to non-experts? Have you thought long enough and deeply enough about your topic to discuss it with experts? 16

17 Outline 1.The Purpose of the Proposal 2.The Dissertation Committee 3.Candidacy Exam Assessment 4.Expectations 5.Dissertation Proposal Structure 6.Questions and Answers 17

18 Dissertation Proposal Structure Title: clear and concise Abstract: up to 500 words Literature review: thorough Overview: a short summary of … Your research questions and objectives Your approaches The significance of your research Context: how does your research relate to the literature? Research approaches: specific, including a timeline Preliminary results: ideally, already submitted for publication 18

19 Outline 1.The Purpose of the Proposal 2.The Dissertation Committee 3.Candidacy Exam Assessment 4.Expectations 5.Dissertation Proposal Structure 6.Questions and Answers 19

20 Questions and Answers What is the required format? All of the components of good writing especially apply to the dissertation proposal There is no required format – but if you use CSU’s dissertation template you cannot go wrong – How long should it be? Between 40 and 100 pages (double spaced) Do you think I can write a document that long? Your proposal will likely be the accumulation of several previous papers, assignments, and presentations 20

21 Questions and Answers How does the timing work? Iterate your proposal until your advisor says it’s good Give it your committee (hard copy or – their choice) Schedule your candidacy exam for at least two weeks later Can I look at some sample dissertation proposals? Probably – but remember that each proposal is unique 21

22 Questions and Answers What if my research takes a different direction after I defend my proposal? It’s okay, to a certain extent – proposals are not binding agreements – but it’s best to inform your committee When should I defend your proposal? About halfway through your dissertation research Remember you need 20 credits of xxx 899 How much work do I need to accomplish in my dissertation research? Enough to publish two or more significant papers Your proposal should not promise more than necessary 22

23 References proposal.aspx https://www.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/webteam/shared/pos tgraduate/pdfs/A_Guide_to_Writing_your_PhD_Proposal.pdf https://www.bae.ncsu.edu/grad/pages/PhD_Research_Proposal.pdf 23


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