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Proposal Writing. GradWRITE! Initiative Writing Support Centre Student Development Services. Outline. Proposals in General Format Content Language Grant/Scholarship Proposals Thesis/Dissertation Proposals. Proposals in General.

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proposal writing
Proposal Writing
  • GradWRITE! Initiative
  • Writing Support Centre
  • Student Development Services
outline
Outline
  • Proposals in General
    • Format
    • Content
    • Language
  • Grant/Scholarship Proposals
  • Thesis/Dissertation Proposals
proposals in general
Proposals in General
  • Thesis/Dissertation and Grant/Scholarship proposal formats, lengths and content may be different, but the general purpose remains the same
  • Some disciplines use standard Grant proposal formats for Thesis/Dissertation proposals
formatting
Formatting
  • Shapes the content and delivery of your proposal
  • Different for every agency / council / department
  • Follow the guidelines
content
Content
  • Research Plan
  • Biographical Sketch
  • Reference Letters
  • Budget
research plan
Research Plan
  • Abstracts
  • Purpose, Rationale, Specific Questions
  • Background
  • Procedures and Methods
  • Time Frame
abstracts
Abstracts
  • Aside from title, read by the most people
  • Summary of your application
  • Include all aspects of your application
  • Use plain language
purpose and rationale
Purpose and Rationale
  • Need a clear idea
  • Purpose:
    • General statement introducing topic
    • Understanding or improving something
  • Rationale:
    • So what?
questions and hypotheses
Questions and Hypotheses
  • Specific questions to be answered, hypotheses to be tested, objectives to be met
background
Background
  • What is known about the subject?
  • What lines of thought led to your study?
  • Keep it brief
procedures and methods
Procedures and Methods
  • How are you going to answer your questions?
  • Be as detailed as space allows
  • Start with a general description then give details
include in methods
Include in Methods
  • Overall research design (e.g. controlled study, observation, library research etc.)
  • Tests, Measurements, and Procedures
  • Types of data and analysis
  • How will results be reported
time frame
Time Frame
  • When and where will you accomplish these goals?
  • May use charts and tables
the language of proposals
The Language of Proposals
  • Know your audience
  • Conciseness is extra important
  • Forceful, authoritative
  • Signpost Language
  • Tense is important
authoritative language
Authoritative Language
  • Weak:
    • It is hoped that this research may be used to help ...
  • Strong:
    • This research will ...
signpost language
Signpost Language
  • Examples:
    • The objectives of this research are to...
    • This project has three phases. (1) We will...
    • First,.... Second,.... Last,....
  • Helps with clarity
  • Bullets and numbering are helpful and important
the tenses of proposals
The Tenses of Proposals
  • Literature Review:
    • Present
      • For example, direct observation of foraging behaviour can be difficult and may yield biased data (Kelly 2000).
    • Past (when integrating specific studies)
      • DeNiro and Epstein (1981) showed that animal tissues are consistently enriched in 15N by 3 to 5 permille relative to diet.
the tenses of proposals18
The Tenses of Proposals
  • Statement of Purpose:
    • Mix of Present and Future
      • If lactation has an additive effect on δ15N values, then dependent offspring will have higher δ15N values than neonates.
      • Present when describing phenomena
      • Past when describing predictions or future results
the tenses of proposals19
The Tenses of Proposals
  • Methods:
    • Future
      • Ten lactating females will be live trapped, and milk, blood and hair samples will be collected.
grant scholarship proposals
Grant/Scholarship Proposals
  • Two Purposes:
    • Sell Your Project
    • Sell Yourself
the written proposal
The Written Proposal
  • Good writing ≠ Guaranteed Grant
  • Bad writing = No Grant
thesis dissertation proposals
Thesis/Dissertation Proposals
  • Communication
  • Plan
  • Contract
communication
Communication
  • Informs your supervisor, committee, department, funding agencies etc. about your proposed research
slide24
Plan
  • A roadmap for you to follow throughout your degree
contract
Contract
  • Communicating your plan makes a contract stating that fulfilling your proposal will result in a degree
format
Format
  • There is no generally accepted format for proposals
  • Advice from supervisors, committees and departments ranges from a few suggestions to rigid guidelines
  • In some ways, it defines the format of your thesis/dissertation
content27
Content
  • Similar content to grant proposals
  • Generally, longer and more detailed than grant proposals
  • Still, clear and concise sections are essential