Beranda > Tips Beasiswa > How to write a research proposal-2

How to write a research proposal-2

How to write a research proposal-2
How to write a research proposal
When you are applying for a research degree, like the PhD, you willvery probably have to write a
research proposal as a part of yourapplication file. A PhD is awarded mainly as the result of your
makinga genuine contribution to the state of knowledge in a field of yourchoice. Even though this
is not the Nobel Prize yet, getting the degreemeans you have added something to what has
previously been known on thesubject you have researched.

But first you have to prove you
arecapable of making such a contribution, and therefore write a researchproposal that meets
certain standards. The goal of a research proposal(RP) is to present and justify a research idea
you have and to presentthe practical ways in which you think this research should beconducted.
When you are writing a RP, keep in mind that it will enter acompetition, being read in line with
quite a few other RPs. You have tocome up with a document that has an impact upon the reader:
writeclearly and well structured so that your message gets across easily.Basically, your RP has to
answer three big questions: what researchproject will you undertake, why is important to know
that thing and howwill you proceed to make that research.
In order to draw the researcher’s attention upon your paper, write anintroduction with impact, and
that leads to the formulation of yourhypothesis. The research hypothesis has to be specific,
concise (onephrase) and to lead to the advancement of the knowledge in the field insome way.
Writing the hypothesis in a concise manner and, first, comingup with a good hypothesis is a
difficult mission. This is actually thecore of your application: you’re going to a university to do
this verypiece of research. Compared to this, the rest of the application isbackground scenery.
Take your time to think of it. When you have anidea, be careful at the formulation. A well-written
hypothesis issomething of an essay’s thesis: it provides a statement that can betested (argues
ahead one of the possible answers to a problem), it isan idea, a concept, and not a mere fact, and
is summed up in onephrase. In some cases, you will have no idea what the possible answerto a
problem worth being researched is, but you will be able to thinkof a way to solve that problem,
and find out the answer in themeantime. It’s ok in this case, to formulate a research question,
rather than a hypothesis. Let those cases be rare, in any way.
Another piece of advice when writing your hypothesis, regarding thetrendy research fields:
chances are great that they’re trendy becausesomebody has already made that exciting discovery,
or wrote thatsplendid paper that awoke everybody’s interest in the first place. Ifyou’re in one of
these fields, try to get a fresh point of view uponthe subject; make new connections, don’t be
100% mainstream. This willmake the project even more stimulating for the reader. Imagine that
youare writing about the trendiest subject, with absolutely no change inthe point of view, and you
are given the chance to make the research.Trends come and go, fast; what are the chances that, in
four years’time, when your research is done and you are ready to publish yourresults, one of those
well-known professors who dispose of hugeresearch grants has already said whatever you had to
say?
Remember how, in a structured essay, right after the thesis you wouldpresent the organisation of
your essay, by enumerating the mainarguments you were going to present? Same thing should
happen in a RP.After stating your thesis, you should give a short account of youranswers to those
three questions mention earlier. State, in a fewphrases, what will be learned from your research,
that your projectwill make a difference, and why is that important to be known. You willhave to
elaborate on both of these later in the paper.
The next step in writing your proposal is to prove that that particularpiece of research has not
been done yet. This section is usually calledLiterature Review. Inside it, you have to enumerate
and criticallyanalyze an impressive list of boring bibliography. The conclusion youshould –
objectively! – reach is that your idea of research has notbeen undertaken yet. Even more, you use
this opportunity to prove solidtheoretical knowledge in the field, and build the theoretical bases
ofyour project. One tip: don’t review all the articles and books in thefields even if you mention
them in the bibliography list; pay attentionin your analysis to those you will build on. Another
one: avoid jargonwhen writing your RP. The chances are great that the person(s) who willread
your and another 1000 research proposals are not specialists inthat very field – niche you are
examining. If you are applying for agrant with or foundation or something similar, it might
happen thatthose reading your paper are not even professors, but recruiters,donors, etc. And even
if they actually are professors, one of thereasons busy people like them agree to undertake a huge,
and sometimesvoluntary, work, is the desire to meet some diversity, some change fromtheir work
– so maybe they’ll read applications for anotherspecialisation. The capacity to get your message
across in clear,easy-to-grasp concepts and phrases is one of the winning papers’ mostimportant
advantages.
So far, you have proven you have a research idea, that you are familiarwith the field, and that
your idea is new. Now, why should your projectbe worth researching? Because it advances
knowledge, ok. But is thisknowledge that anybody will need? Maybe nobody knows for sure how
theshoelaces were being tied in the XIXth century, but who cares, beyondtwo lace-tying
specialists? Find arguments to convince the reader thats/he should give you money for that
research: practical use,accelerating the development of knowledge in your or other fields,opening
new research possibilities, a better understanding of factsthat will allow a more appropriate
course of action are possiblereasons. Be clear and specific. Don’t promise to save the world,
itmight be too much to start with. Even James Bond succeeds that onlytowards the end of the
movie.

We approach now one of the most difficult parts of writing a researchproposal: the methodology.
In short, what actions are you going to takein order to answer the question? When will you know
whether thehypothesis has been proven wrong, or has survived enough tests to beconsidered, for
now, valid? Those tests and the way you are supposed tohandle them to give rigor to your
research is what is understood undermethods. Methods divide in qualitative (interviews,
questionnaires) andquantitative (statistics, stuff that deals intensively with numbers).For some
projects qualitative methods are more appropriate, for somequantitative, while for most a mixture
of the two is adequate. Youshould pick your methods and justify your choice. Research
methodology,however, is too a complicated thing to be explained here. And this iswhy it’s so
tough: not much attention is given to teaching it inEastern Europe. Try, before writing your RP,
to read a bit more aboutmethodology – on the Internet you will find for sure some articles -and
decide which methods suit your project best. Don’t forget: readingtheoretical pieces of your work
and providing a critical analysis ofthose is also a kind of research. It’s fine to provide a rough
scheduleof your research; some grant programs will also require a detailedbudget, even though
for scholarships this is unlikely.
Conclusions: After working your way through the difficultmethodological part, you only have to
write your conclusions. Shortlyrecap why your hypothesis is new, why it advances knowledge,
why is itworth researching and how, from a practical point of view, are yougoing to do that.
Overall, the capacity of your project to answer theresearch question should come out crystal clear
from the body of thepaper, and especially from the conclusions. If this happens, it meansyou have
a well-written RP, and you have just increased you chances forhaving a successful application.
One last word: how big should your RP be? In most cases, this isspecified in the application
form. If it is not, we suggest that youkeep it at about 1500 words (that’s 3 pages, single-spaced,
with 12size Times New Roman). In fewer words it can be really tough to write agood RP. With
more you might bore your readers. Which we hope will nothappen.
How to write a research proposal-2
How to write a research proposal
When you are applying for a research degree, like the PhD, you willvery probably have to write a
research proposal as a part of yourapplication file. A PhD is awarded mainly as the result of your
makinga genuine contribution to the state of knowledge in a field of yourchoice. Even though this
is not the Nobel Prize yet, getting the degreemeans you have added something to what has
previously been known on thesubject you have researched. But first you have to prove you
arecapable of making such a contribution, and therefore write a researchproposal that meets
certain standards. The goal of a research proposal(RP) is to present and justify a research idea
you have and to presentthe practical ways in which you think this research should beconducted.
When you are writing a RP, keep in mind that it will enter acompetition, being read in line with
quite a few other RPs. You have tocome up with a document that has an impact upon the reader:
writeclearly and well structured so that your message gets across easily.Basically, your RP has to
answer three big questions: what researchproject will you undertake, why is important to know
that thing and howwill you proceed to make that research.
In order to draw the researcher’s attention upon your paper, write anintroduction with impact, and
that leads to the formulation of yourhypothesis. The research hypothesis has to be specific,
concise (onephrase) and to lead to the advancement of the knowledge in the field insome way.
Writing the hypothesis in a concise manner and, first, comingup with a good hypothesis is a
difficult mission. This is actually thecore of your application: you’re going to a university to do
this verypiece of research. Compared to this, the rest of the application isbackground scenery.
Take your time to think of it. When you have anidea, be careful at the formulation. A well-written
hypothesis issomething of an essay’s thesis: it provides a statement that can betested (argues
ahead one of the possible answers to a problem), it isan idea, a concept, and not a mere fact, and
is summed up in onephrase. In some cases, you will have no idea what the possible answerto a
problem worth being researched is, but you will be able to thinkof a way to solve that problem,
and find out the answer in themeantime. It’s ok in this case, to formulate a research question,
rather than a hypothesis. Let those cases be rare, in any way.
Another piece of advice when writing your hypothesis, regarding thetrendy research fields:
chances are great that they’re trendy becausesomebody has already made that exciting discovery,
or wrote thatsplendid paper that awoke everybody’s interest in the first place. Ifyou’re in one of
these fields, try to get a fresh point of view uponthe subject; make new connections, don’t be
100% mainstream. This willmake the project even more stimulating for the reader. Imagine that
youare writing about the trendiest subject, with absolutely no change inthe point of view, and you

are given the chance to make the research.Trends come and go, fast; what are the chances that, in
four years’time, when your research is done and you are ready to publish yourresults, one of those
well-known professors who dispose of hugeresearch grants has already said whatever you had to
say?
Remember how, in a structured essay, right after the thesis you wouldpresent the organisation of
your essay, by enumerating the mainarguments you were going to present? Same thing should
happen in a RP.After stating your thesis, you should give a short account of youranswers to those
three questions mention earlier. State, in a fewphrases, what will be learned from your research,
that your projectwill make a difference, and why is that important to be known. You willhave to
elaborate on both of these later in the paper.
The next step in writing your proposal is to prove that that particularpiece of research has not
been done yet. This section is usually calledLiterature Review. Inside it, you have to enumerate
and criticallyanalyze an impressive list of boring bibliography. The conclusion youshould –
objectively! – reach is that your idea of research has notbeen undertaken yet. Even more, you use
this opportunity to prove solidtheoretical knowledge in the field, and build the theoretical bases
ofyour project. One tip: don’t review all the articles and books in thefields even if you mention
them in the bibliography list; pay attentionin your analysis to those you will build on. Another
one: avoid jargonwhen writing your RP. The chances are great that the person(s) who willread
your and another 1000 research proposals are not specialists inthat very field – niche you are
examining. If you are applying for agrant with or foundation or something similar, it might
happen thatthose reading your paper are not even professors, but recruiters,donors, etc. And even
if they actually are professors, one of thereasons busy people like them agree to undertake a huge,
and sometimesvoluntary, work, is the desire to meet some diversity, some change fromtheir work
– so maybe they’ll read applications for anotherspecialisation. The capacity to get your message
across in clear,easy-to-grasp concepts and phrases is one of the winning papers’ mostimportant
advantages.
So far, you have proven you have a research idea, that you are familiarwith the field, and that
your idea is new. Now, why should your projectbe worth researching? Because it advances
knowledge, ok. But is thisknowledge that anybody will need? Maybe nobody knows for sure how
theshoelaces were being tied in the XIXth century, but who cares, beyondtwo lace-tying
specialists? Find arguments to convince the reader thats/he should give you money for that
research: practical use,accelerating the development of knowledge in your or other fields,opening
new research possibilities, a better understanding of factsthat will allow a more appropriate
course of action are possiblereasons. Be clear and specific. Don’t promise to save the world,
itmight be too much to start with. Even James Bond succeeds that onlytowards the end of the
movie.

We approach now one of the most difficult parts of writing a researchproposal: the methodology.
In short, what actions are you going to takein order to answer the question? When will you know
whether thehypothesis has been proven wrong, or has survived enough tests to beconsidered, for
now, valid? Those tests and the way you are supposed tohandle them to give rigor to your
research is what is understood undermethods. Methods divide in qualitative (interviews,
questionnaires) andquantitative (statistics, stuff that deals intensively with numbers).For some
projects qualitative methods are more appropriate, for somequantitative, while for most a mixture
of the two is adequate. Youshould pick your methods and justify your choice. Research
methodology,however, is too a complicated thing to be explained here. And this iswhy it’s so
tough: not much attention is given to teaching it inEastern Europe. Try, before writing your RP,
to read a bit more aboutmethodology – on the Internet you will find for sure some articles -and
decide which methods suit your project best. Don’t forget: readingtheoretical pieces of your work
and providing a critical analysis ofthose is also a kind of research. It’s fine to provide a rough
scheduleof your research; some grant programs will also require a detailedbudget, even though
for scholarships this is unlikely.
Conclusions: After working your way through the difficultmethodological part, you only have to
write your conclusions. Shortlyrecap why your hypothesis is new, why it advances knowledge,
why is itworth researching and how, from a practical point of view, are yougoing to do that.
Overall, the capacity of your project to answer theresearch question should come out crystal clear
from the body of thepaper, and especially from the conclusions. If this happens, it meansyou have
a well-written RP, and you have just increased you chances forhaving a successful application.
One last word: how big should your RP be? In most cases, this isspecified in the application
form. If it is not, we suggest that youkeep it at about 1500 words (that’s 3 pages, single-spaced,
with 12size Times New Roman). In fewer words it can be really tough to write agood RP. With
more you might bore your readers. Which we hope will nothappen.
Good luck!
Source: http://www.eastchance.com/howto/res_prop.asp

  1. Desember 27, 2012 pukul 5:25 am

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