Saturday, January 16, 2021

Executive Education

5 Tips for Writing an Excellent research proposal for your doctoral application

The decision to pursue doctoral education is not an easy one. The standards of research and expectations reach a whole new level for doctoral candidates. You are treated as a researcher whose responsibility is to offer a quality contribution to the field of study. It is you who have undertaken to contribute to the existing literature and help in the progress of the community at large. But, before anything else, you will have to prove that you have a vision, plan, and the ability to undertake a task as rigorous as a Ph.D.

The first thing you will be asked to furnish shall be a research proposal. Whichever institution you apply to for the doctoral program, its application requirements would most likely expect candidates to submit a research proposal. Usually, a standard research proposal is expected though the institution may cut down the requirements. Irrespective, you must draft a genuine, sensible, and well-research proposal to impress—and I have 5 tips that can help.

  1. Shortlist your areas of interest
    Before you get down to researching, it is preferable to shortlist the areas of interest. Whichever major you belong to, you must have a fair idea of what interests or might interest you. Even if you are not too passionate about a particular area but show a reasonable degree of inclination towards the same, then you might want to shortlist it. The utility of this exercise is simple: it allows you to narrow down your focus to a select few areas where you can invest in a literature review. Also, you need not have a specific topic in mind; just a broad idea of what can suit your interest is a good enough start.
  2. The Viability of the Research
    A very commonly found tendency of students is to pick up a topic that has a lot of literature available. This tendency reflects the lack of seriousness towards research work. If you are serious about doing doctoral research, then you must choose a topic that is original and can add to the existing literature. Picking up what already exists and reiterating the same will have zero impact on the quality of research. In fact, you might end up facing originality issues that can result in huge losses to your academic career. Hence, a due note of the topic and its viability must be taken.
  3. Literature Review is the soul of Research proposal
    Literature Review in a research proposal is essentially a preliminary analysis of the available literature on the concerned topic. It entails selecting, reading, and analyzing the scholarship which has already dealt with the subject-matter at hand. The base of your research proposal lies in how well you conduct your literature review, as the outcome of the same will help you in the formulation of hypothesis and research questions. Take your time before forming an opinion about the concerned topic and conduct review of quality literature.
  4. The Tone of the Proposal
    Register this in your mind that doctoral studies require a good degree of formalism from your part. It is expected from researchers to adopt a formal tone in their research work, and this includes the research proposal. Aside from writing in proper language, it is also required that you write in a formal tone that is sophisticated and academic. Therefore, you must take into account how you write the proposal. Avoid using jargon, slangs, and hybrid words and phrases in your proposal. Try writing in an active voice.
  5. Get feedback from academicians
    It is great that you are certain of the quality of the proposal you have drafted but you can never be too sure. One way you can be doubly sure of the same is by receiving feedback from those in academics. You should consider contacting your professors from alma maters and asking them to review your proposal. They will be able to offer their insights into the viability of the topic, the literature review conducted, and the drafting of the proposal. Whether or not you accept their reviews, it is advised that you give weight to their years of expertise.

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Ayushi Kushwaha
Ayushi Kushwaha, Staff Writer for the CEOWORLD magazine. She’s spent more than a decade working for various magazines, newspapers, and digital publications and is now a Staff Writer at The CEOWORLD magazine. She writes news stories and executive profiles for the magazine’s print and online editions. Obsessed with unlocking high-impact choices to accelerate meaningful progress, she helps individuals and organizations stand out and get noticed. She can be reached on email