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Developing a Thesis Proposal (and getting it approved!) PowerPoint Presentation
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Developing a Thesis Proposal (and getting it approved!)

Developing a Thesis Proposal (and getting it approved!)

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Developing a Thesis Proposal (and getting it approved!)

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  1. Developing a Thesis Proposal(and getting it approved!) Tom Sork Department of Educational Studies University of British Columbia January 25, 2010

  2. A Few Caveats • Expectations vary • By discipline/program • By supervisor/committee • Differences between “empirical” and “theoretical/conceptual” research • Most advice favors “conventional” rather than “cutting edge” research

  3. Content of the Proposal • Background/context to “situate” the study • Clear and concise purpose/problem statement and research questions • Convincing argument that study is worthwhile—the “so what?” question. • Your “location” in relation to the research (with relevant personal history)

  4. Content of the Proposal (cont.) • Critical analysis of relevant research/ theory/concepts; definition of key terms • Research procedures, their justification and limitations; ethical considerations • Proposed structure of the thesis—a draft table of contents • Realistic timeline

  5. Length & format of proposals • No clear expectations about length, but most are 20-50 double-spaced pages • Always attach a cover page with the title, your name and current date • Always number the pages consecutively • Follow FoGS formatting requirements—they override some style manual rules.

  6. Getting it Approved • Selling your idea to a supervisor • Recruiting committee members • Clarifying expectations • Negotiating meaning/understanding • Hearing and responding to feedback

  7. Getting it Approved (cont.) • Defending your work without being defensive • Clarifying roles and responsibilities • Attending to details • “Managing” your committee

  8. A few tips… Start with a 1-2 page “idea paper” Get feedback from several people Incorporate the best ideas Know why you are rejecting advice Prepare each draft like it is a “final” Decide on a style manual, learn it and use it!

  9. A few tips (cont.) A proposal/thesis/dissertation is an extended argument. Your argument should be: carefully organized coherent convincing

  10. A few tips (cont.) It’s good to be: unconventional cutting edge creative provocative