Phd Research Proposal Literature Review

Think very carefully about the scope of your research and be prepared to explain how you will complete it within this timeframe.Research proposals are also used to assess your expertise in the area in which you want to conduct research, you knowledge of the existing literature (and how your project will enhance it).This section should lay out, in clear terms, the way in which you will structure your research and the specific methods you will use.

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Your references should provide the reader with a good sense of your grasp on the literature and how you can contribute to it.

Be sure to reference texts and resources that you think will play a large role in your analysis.

Remember that this is not simply a bibliography listing ‘everything written on the subject’.

Rather, it should show critical reflection in the selection of appropriate texts.

Crucially, it is also an opportunity for you to communicate your passion in the subject area and to make a persuasive argument about what your project can accomplish. It is normal for students to refine their original proposal in light of detailed literature reviews, further consideration of research approaches and comments received from the supervisors (and other academic staff).

Although the proposal should include an outline, it should also be approached as a persuasive essay – that is, as an opportunity to establish the attention of readers and convince them of the importance of your project. It is useful to view your proposal as an initial outline rather than a summary of the ‘final product’.Potential supervisors, admissions tutors and/or funders use research proposals to assess the quality and originality of your ideas, your skills in critical thinking and the feasibility of the research project.Please bear in mind that Ph D programmes in the UK are designed to be completed in three years (full time) or six years (part time).Quite often, students who fit the minimum entrance criteria fail to be accepted as Ph D candidates as a result of weaknesses in the research proposal. (1997): Supervising the Ph D, (Open University Press, Milton Keynes). To avoid this, keep the following advice in mind: Bell, J. (2001): How to Research, (Open University Press, Milton Keynes). (2000): The Research Student's Guide to Success, (Open University, Milton Keynes). Please check carefully with each department to find out whether a specific template is provided or required.In general, however, the following elements are crucial in a good research proposal: This can change, but make sure to include important ‘key words’ that will relate your proposal to relevant potential supervisors, funding schemes and so on.This section should discuss the texts which you believe are most important to the project, demonstrate your understanding of the research issues, and identify existing gaps (both theoretical and practical) that the research is intended to address.This section is intended to ‘sign-post’ and contextualize your research questions, not to provide a detailed analysis of existing debates.Be as specific as possible in identifying influences or debates you wish to engage with, but try not to get lead astray into a long exegesis of specific sources.Rather, the point is to sketch out the into which your work will fit.

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