Rabu, 20 Mei 2009

How To Write a (Thesis / Dissertation) Proposal October 24, 2002 M. Nussbaum

How To Write a (Thesis / Dissertation) Proposal
October 24, 2002
M. Nussbaum
1. Know the area
a. Read, read, read, …
b. Average 10-15 papers per week
c. Current Journals: at least read/scan abstracts
d. Use reference management software! (e.g. ProCite and EndNote)
e. Use search engines (MedLine, Ergo Abstracts, Psych Info, Compendex, ACM
Digital Library, etc.)
f. Go to the source literature (don’t expect textbooks and other secondary sources to
be either accurate or complete)
2. Go outside your area
a. Good source of new/different ideas
b. Avoids embarrassing overlap (already done by others in another field)
3. Pay attention to methods, analyses, motivations, applications
a. We did this because …
b. This work can be applied to …
4. Tree-in; tree-out
a. Look at paper citations, and who cited particular papers (ISI Citation Index)
b. Note how others interpreted (or how cited) papers you’ve already read; they may
have a different interpretation
5. Don’t get ‘paper-locked’
a. Easy to get overwhelmed and biased by what has already been done
b. Once familiar with an area, what has and hasn’t been done, start working on what
you could do
6. Look at proposals and documents generated by your predecessors
At this point, generate some initial ideas. Be creative, flexible, novel. Good idea to test them, if
Jumping ahead, what does a faculty member look for in a proposal?