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Confirmation of Candidature Writing the research proposal Helen Thursby.

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Presentation on theme: "Confirmation of Candidature Writing the research proposal Helen Thursby."— Presentation transcript:

1 Confirmation of Candidature Writing the research proposal Helen Thursby

2 Outline Why ‘confirmation’? Research plan Structuring the proposal UoN guidelines Details of each section

3 Why ‘confirmation’? to provide support in the early stages of candidature to determine whether:  the research ‘direction’ is sound  the methodology is appropriate  the standard of writing is satisfactory Confirmation and progressConfirmation and progress ref: UoN OGS

4 Research plan (1) Start early Be familiar with expectations and specific school requirements for confirmation. Prepare a research timetable Create deadlines for each stage up to submission date Chart the sequence of administrative tasks required e.g. confirmation of candidature, ethics approval, annual progress reports

5 Research plan (2) Other important items to include in the timeline: writing the literature review seminar attendance beginning and completing chapters data collection fieldwork

6 Structuring the proposal Structure may vary according to discipline. Sections may include: Routine information – cover page Statement of Topic Aims of the research Literature review Theoretical orientation Methodology Research program timetable Tentative thesis chapter outline References

7 Suggested format Title Abstract (one page) Introduction (3-6 pages) – intro to subject, rationale, context, research question(s) or hypothesis Literature review to establish: - why the particular approach was taken - how this work will contribute to knowledge in the field Methodology (2-3 pages) Outcomes – results to date and expected outcomes (2-3 p) Timeline for completion (1 page) Bibliography Copies of publications produced (if applicable) Appendices as required

8 UoN guidelines for the written document “In accordance with the Rules Governing Research Higher Degrees, candidates are required to satisfy the following requirement(s): i.Present to the Confirmation Committee a written document containing at least: –A critical review of recent work in the field, –An updated research proposal, –An updated plan of research, –An updated timetable for completion of the thesis, –A comprehensive statement of the resources required to complete the project within the funded period. Office of Graduate Studies Ref: UoN Confirmation Year GuidelinesOffice of Graduate Studies

9 The title reflects the research question in one succinct phrase provides an adequate degree of focus for the reader is less than 20 words can be revised during the project

10 Abstract is a brief summary of about 300 words includes –the research question –the rationale for the study –the hypothesis (if any) –method –main findings

11 Introduction In the introduction you State research problem – the purpose of the study Provide the context and show its necessity and importance Present the rationale – why it is worth doing Describe main issues to be addressed by your research Identify the key independent and dependent variables or Specify the phenomenon you intend to study State your hypothesis or theory, if any. (Phenomenological research may not have a hypothesis). Set the boundaries/scope so as to provide a clear focus Provide definitions of key concepts

12 The Literature Review (1) is sometimes incorporated into the introduction ensures that your research is original gives credit to those who have laid the groundwork demonstrates your knowledge of the research problem and understanding of the related theoretical and research issues

13 The Literature Review (2) shows your ability to critically evaluate relevant literature information shows your ability to synthesise the existing literature provides new theoretical insights or develops a new model as the conceptual framework for your research convinces your reader that your proposed research will make a significant and substantial contribution to the literature (resolve an important theoretical issue or fill a ‘gap’)

14 Some problems with Literature reviews Poor organisation and structure Lack of focus, unity and coherence Being repetitive and ‘wordy’ Failing to cite influential papers Failing to keep up with recent research Failing to critically evaluate cited papers Citing irrelevant or trivial references Depending too much on secondary sources

15 Methods This section: tells your Research Committee HOW you plan to conduct the study provides your work plan describes the activities necessary for the completion of the project contains sufficient information for the reader to determine whether methodology is sound demonstrates your knowledge of alternative methods to make the case for the appropriateness and validity of your approach

16 Results You need to give some idea of the kind of data you will be collecting describe statistical procedures to be used to answer your question or test your hypothesis describe any results at this stage

17 Finally... It is important to convince your reader of the potential impact of your proposed research. Communicate your enthusiasm but don’t exaggerate Mention the limitations and weaknesses of the proposed research (may be justified by time or financial constraints and the early stage of your research).

18 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) UoN states: The Doctor of Philosophy is an ungraded degree awarded for research that demonstrates that the candidate has the capacity to conduct research independently at a high level of originality and quality. The research should uncover new knowledge either by the discovery of new facts, the formulation of theories or the innovative re-interpretation of known data and established ideas. research/domestic/eligibility

19 References Paltridge, B. and Starfield, S. (2007) Thesis and dissertation Writing in a Second Language. A handbook for supervisors. Abingdon, UK. Routledge. Thomson, P. and Walker, M. (Eds) (2010) The Routledge Doctoral Student’s companion. London: Routledge

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