Thesis proposals a declaration of honest intentions michael j prince hsd graduate work conference
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Thesis Proposals: A Declaration of Honest Intentions Michael J. Prince HSD Graduate Work Conference. Introduction. The purpose of this session is to explore with you the art and craft of developing a graduate thesis proposal at UVic Based on my experience in HSD since 1987. Topics.

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Thesis Proposals: A Declaration of Honest Intentions Michael J. Prince HSD Graduate Work Conference

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Thesis proposals a declaration of honest intentions michael j prince hsd graduate work conference

Thesis Proposals: A Declaration of Honest IntentionsMichael J. PrinceHSD Graduate Work Conference

Prince: Thesis Proposals


Introduction

Introduction

  • The purpose of this session is to explore with you the art and craft of developing a graduate thesis proposal at UVic

  • Based on my experience in HSD since 1987

Prince: Thesis Proposals


Topics

Topics

  • What is a Thesis Proposal?

  • The Functions of a Proposal

  • Pre-Proposal Steps

  • Ingredients of Proposals

  • Three Types of Proposals

  • Proposal Meetings with your Committee

  • Questions & Discussion

Prince: Thesis Proposals


What is a proposal

What is a Proposal?

  • “ An action plan that justifies and describes the proposed study.”

  • “An effort by all concerned to provide an initial ‘road-map’ for the program of research.”

  • “A serious statement of intent to look into a question or phenomenon and a plan about how to conduct the search.”

Prince: Thesis Proposals


Functions and uses of a proposal

Functions and Uses of a Proposal

  • To demonstrate your ability in this undertaking, including familiarity of the knowledge in the field.

  • To convince readers that the research is worth doing (valuable) and is do-able (feasible).

  • To enable the Committee to offer advice.

  • To serve as an agreement or contract between you and your Committee on the direction and design.

  • To act as a guide for you while doing the research and writing.

Prince: Thesis Proposals


Pre proposal steps

Pre-Proposal Steps

  • Developing/exploring your interests

  • Familiarize yourself with other proposals

  • Locate faculty who have similar interests and discuss your ideas

  • Choosing a Thesis Supervisor

  • Forming a Supervisory Committee

  • Work on your proposal in consultation with Supervisor and perhaps other Committee members

Prince: Thesis Proposals


Proposal ingredients

Proposal Ingredients

  • Title

  • Introduction – topic/problem statement, and rationale or significance

  • Key research questions/goals/purposes

  • Literature review

  • Theory/conceptual framework

  • Data collection and data analysis methods

  • Schedule for doing the work

  • Working Bibliography

  • Appendices

Prince: Thesis Proposals


Types of proposals

Types of Proposals

  • The Sketch: up to 10 pages. Focus on the topic, goals and questions, and research design.

  • The Blueprint: often 25 – 35 pages. Some literature review, fuller discussion of theory and methods, ethical considerations, personal stance, schedule, and bibliography.

  • The Foundations: Can be two or three chapters of thesis (75 -100 pages). The Introduction, Methodology, and Literature Review chapters.

Prince: Thesis Proposals


Whatever the type a good proposal should

Whatever the type, a good proposal should:

  • Address in a clear, feasible and persuasive way the questions of what?, why?, how?, and when?

Prince: Thesis Proposals


Proposal meetings with your committee

Proposal Meetings with your Committee

  • Circulate written proposal in advance of meeting with adequate time.

  • Consult Supervisor on crafting an agenda for the meeting and decide who will take notes of key points from the discussion (you or Supervisor).

  • Briefly present proposal. Invite comments from Committee members.

  • Decision can be to approve as is; approved with some minor changes; deferred until some major additional work is done.

Prince: Thesis Proposals


Proposal meetings

Proposal Meetings

  • A second (and maybe third) meeting may or may not be needed to finalize approval of proposal.

  • Sound out Committee members on their preferences of how often to be consulted, on what (sections, chapters, entire drafts), in what format (hard copy, electronic) and where

  • Once approved, Committees realize aspects of the proposal may shift as research proceeds. Major changes ought to be approved by the Committee.

Prince: Thesis Proposals


Discussion

Discussion

  • General questions?

  • Points of clarification or elaboration?

  • Experiences you wish to share.

  • Other points of discussion.

Prince: Thesis Proposals


Like a victorian marriage

Like a Victorian Marriage…

  • “Scholarship, like a Victorian marriage, requires an early declaration of intentions.”

  • “Further elaboration, like an extended courtship, can better reveal these honest intentions.” M. Sproule-Jones, 1993.

Prince: Thesis Proposals


A proposal has a past and a future

A Proposal has a Past and a Future

“Before, a joy propos’d;

behind, a dream.

All this the world well knows, yet

none knows well….”

W. Shakespeare, Sonnet 129.

Prince: Thesis Proposals


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