Writing The Proposal
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Writing The Proposal

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Writing The Proposal Writing The Proposal Presentation Transcript

  • Level 3: Independent Study
    • Writing Your Proposal
  • Today’s Session
    • Purposes of the ISPs
    • Core elements and criteria for success
    • Research Questions in ISPs
    • Literature Reviews in ISPs
    • Methodologies in ISPs
    • Time Frames
  • Why a research proposal?
    • To convince your supervisor and/or external examiner of the value of the study
    • To demonstrate initial expertise
    • To demonstrate competency
    • To serve as a ‘contract’
    • To assist you as a planning tool
  • Core components
    • A description of the research question/problem/creative enterprise
    • An indication of why this is important/relevant to communication
    • A preliminary survey/review of relevant literature
    • A description of the proposed methodology
    • A time frame
  • Or in plain English...
    • What do you want to do?
    • Why do you want to do it?
    • Why is it important?
    • Who has done similar work?
    • How are you going to do it?
    • How long will it take?
  • A Good Proposal …
    • Clearly defines a research question/creative issue relevant to ‘communication’
    • Shows how appropriate literature provides a background to the problem
    • Uses other sources to identify/support the problem/issue
    • Clearly specifies the objectives
    • Provides a conceptual framework and clearly states theoretical assumptions
    • Outlines an appropriate design and methodology
    • Shows that the necessary resources to complete the study are available
  • A Bad Proposal …
    • Is too long
    • Is poorly structured with weak language use
    • Is too ambitious
    • Doesn’t provide a preliminary survey/review of the literature
    • Fails to integrate theory into the literature review
    • Fails to provide a conceptual/theoretical foundation
    • Is unclear about the methods to be used
    • Outlines inappropriate methods
    • Fails to include references or a preliminary bibliography
    • Is guilty of plagiarism
  • Marking scheme 15% Discretionary: innovativeness of proposal, thoroughness of research to date 20% Link between initial aims of the study and proposed method/procedure 35% Systematic support: evidence, argument and other forms of justification 30% Clear and detailed description
  • Finding a Question
    • Observation of the world
    • Concern with theory
    • Previous research
    • Practical concerns
    • Personal interest
  • Choosing a Question
    • A broad area of study is not a research question
    • Draw up a list of possible questions
    • Examine the advantages and disadvantages of each
    • Show evidence in the proposal that you have considered the issues
  • Strategies
    • The question interests you
    • It is neither too extensive nor too limited to be of value
    • You have the resources/skills to explore it
    • You are aware of the theoretical background which informs the question
    • It is ‘researchable’
  • Limiting a Question: Definitions
    • Define your terms
    • Define the use of those terms in different disciplines
    • Think about your reader
    • Don’t provide ‘dictionary’ definitions
  • Limiting a Question: Boundaries
    • Make it clear what you are going to study and what you are not going to study
    • Specify limits to space, time, size, approach etc.
  • Why Review the Literature?
    • A preliminary review positions your study in a conceptual framework
    • It provides an overview of the area for the reader
    • It may clarify the research question/area
    • Shows evidence of reading
    • -> interest
    • -> commitment to the study
  • How to do the review
    • Survey a range of relevant literature in the general area of your study
    • This literature should be academic not journalistic to add to the credibility of your study
    • Select from that survey literature which informs your research question/problem/issue
    • Show you have understood the issues by synthesing the findings into the proposal
    • A good review provides an argument
  • How not to do the review
    • Show no evidence of reading
    • Fail to include a preliminary bibliography
    • Describe a number of books/articles you have read without showing how they connect to each other or to your study
    • Plagiarize from the back cover of books or from Amazon
  • Why a methodology?
    • It shows the reader what you are going to do in order to answer your research question/explore your issue including materials and methods
    • It shows you are considering the nature of appropriate methodology for the question you are interested in
    • It demonstrates that you are capable of answering the question
  • How to write the methodology
    • Think about the question and how it might be answered
    • Think about how the artifact you make reflects on the nature of the issues you identified
    • Examine the ways that data could be generated
    • Examine the ways that such data could be analysed
  • Why a Time Frame?
    • It helps you to plan
    • It helps you to stay focused
    • It acts as a disciplinary mechanism
    • It acts as part of the contract between you and your supervisor
    • But remember there is a tendency to be over-ambitious. Time frames change. Showing how you deal with such changes is a measure of your research competence.
  • How to do a Time Frame?
    • Month by month plan
    • Tasks list
    • Updated lists
    • Logs
    • Link to research diary
      • Note: non-submission of the research diary will incur a 30% penalty.
    • In conjunction with your supervisor.
  • Using a Blog as a Research Diary
    • Web logs (known as blogs) are free online journals which can be used to:
      • Make notes
      • Develop arguments
      • Exchange ideas
      • Stick & paste thoughts/links
    • Some advantages
      • Chronological archive
      • Immediate response
      • Community of learners – network of resources
    • Examples
      • http:// cmcgoun.wordpress.com
  • Conclusion
    • Word length – 1500 words
    • The proposal contributes 10% of your final mark for the Independent Study
    • Submission is a requirement for the successful completion of the unit.
    • See Calendar for the submission date for the proposal
    • See Calendar for the submission date for the completed Independent Study project
    • See supervisors pages for information on who is available and what their research interests are
  • To do …
      • Identify possible supervisors
      • Arrange preliminary tutorials – present your work to date – record feedback, suggestions
      • Complete and submit the supervision agreement form (See Calendar) to the Inter-professional Programmes Office