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Research Project or Thesis Proposal MT, MA and PhD

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Presentation on theme: "Research Project or Thesis Proposal MT, MA and PhD"— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Project or Thesis Proposal MT, MA and PhD
Graduate Student Seminar October 23, 2013

2 Introductory Note There are many ways of conceiving an MT, MA or a PhD thesis or research project proposal This presentation is based on our experience over the years as former graduate students, and as professors

3 Scope of this presentation
The: What Who When How of the MT, MA or PhD thesis or research project proposal in CTL

4 What is a thesis proposal?
An academic document, in which the graduate student exposes his/her plans for the research project or thesis A contract between the student, the supervisor, and the other Committee member(s), stating that the student’s plans would normally lead, upon completion, to the approval of a thesis or research project (based on relevance, originality, feasability) A plan that might be adjusted and modified throughout the process of the thesis completion

5 Who is responsible for the thesis or research project proposal?
The thesis proposal is: conceived and written by the graduate student only oriented and corrected by the supervisor oriented and approved by the thesis committee (MT: no committee is required, MA: supervisor + 1 other member / PhD: supervisor + 2 other members) further approved by the Department Head, and by the School of Graduate Studies

6 When is it expected? A thesis committee should be formed early if possible to support your thesis proposal writing journey. At the latest, the committee should be formed when your proposal is approved. After completion of all required courses, and in the case of the PhD thesis proposal, after completion of the Comprehensive Examination In the case of the PhD, no later than the end of second year of full-time residence It is immediately followed by the submission of the Ethical Review Protocol

7 How to proceed? Identify your area of specialization and a research question (discuss with your advisor) Contact your potential supervisor (most suitable specialist in that area) Prepare a short preliminary draft of your thesis proposal under the guidance of your potential supervisor Identify other potential members of your thesis committee (based on the complementarity of their expertise and on their compatibility) Submit this short preliminary draft to the potential committee members, and set up a first meeting to form your committee. Then work on drafts of your proposal with the support of your committee members until they approve it.

8 How long should it be? MT Research Project: 20 to 30 pages
MA Thesis Proposal: pages PhD Thesis Proposal: pages + Ethical Review Protocol

9 What should it include? Methodology Expected results Timetable
Bibliography Appendices Ethical Review Protocol Front page Abstract Table of contents Introduction Research question(s) Rationale Literature review & Conceptual / Theoretical framework

10 Front page Title Name Program Date How to reach you
Any instructions for the readers?

11 One-page Abstract Research question Importance
Conceptual / Theoretical framework Methodology Expected results

12 Table of contents Abstract i Introduction Research question Rationale Literature Review & Conceptual /Theoretical framework....7 Methodology Expected results Timetable Bibliography Appendices Ethical Review Protocol

13 Introduction What is your research question?
Why is it relevant and original? What contribution do you want to make to your field of inquiry? How do you intend to proceed? Give an overview of your thesis proposal

14 Research Question(s) Topic Problem Issue Concern

15 Rationale Originality Theoretical and social relevance
Pedagogical implications

16 Literature Review & Conceptual / Theoretical Framework
Establish links with your research questions Present and discuss existing knowledge (theories, concepts) Point to gaps Elaborate a conceptual framework Remember to provide a definition for any new concept you are introducing

17 Methodology Disciplinary orientation (links with your research question) Methods Overall research design Participants Procedures Data collection Instruments Data processing Data analysis

18 Expected Results Expected contribution of your thesis
Expected limitations of your thesis

19 Timetable Establish a tentative timetable
Plan for up to two months for the approval of the Ethical Review Always plan 2-4 weeks for feedback from your supervisor and your thesis committee Plan 9 weeks between approval of your completed Ph.D. thesis by your thesis committee and the oral examination

20 Bibliography List quoted references only
Follow the American Psychological Association (APA) Guidelines Consider using RefWorks or Zotero to manage your references

21 Appendices Put in the appendices any document that is relevant to your thesis proposal, but that would be too long or too specific to be explained in detail

22 Ethical Review Protocol
Wait for approval from your thesis committee before completing your Ethical Review Protocol Append your Ethical Review Protocol, as well as your questionnaires, interview schedules, tests, etc.

23 Further Readings Graduate Supervision, Guidelines for Students, Faculty, and Administrators, University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies -- Intellectual Property Guidelines for Graduate Students and Supervisors, University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies

24 Further Readings Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper - The purpose of this guide is to provide advice on how to develop and organize a research paper in the social sciences.

25 What else? Attend sessions given by OISE Student Services, Education Commons, CTL Do you have any questions? Would you like to make suggestions?

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