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PhD proposal watch

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    How long should it be? How should I structure it?
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    About 4-5 pages but can also be slightly longer.
    It really depends on the uni and you should check with them!

    - Short Title

    1) Statement of Purpose (brief statement of what you want to do, why and what the relevance is)
    2) Literature Review
    - Where your study fits in that literature/ why its original/particuarly relevant
    3) Methodology/Models/etc...
    4) Preliminary questions/Areas you would like to research within that topic
    5) Key skills you have that help (languages...)
    6) Bibliography
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    (Original post by Howard)
    How long should it be? How should I structure it?
    *gestures* about this long.
    Most universities will specify on the application form how long they want it to be, mine was around a page and a half and 1000 words long and runs as follows:
    Background
    Problem/Issue
    Way of Solving
    Methods
    Conclusion

    (I was limited to two pages)

    I think most places want them under 3 pages or 1500 words but I could be totally wrong, I only know for my subject area and unis I applied to.
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    On length: from experience, phone or e-mail the secretaries of your prospective departments and do not take anything on the general school prospectuses for granted if there is no specific department-specific page number listed. At this stage the departments have their own personal rules for page length.

    Expect most to be 1,500 words. There has been some instances of 10 pages max. excl. bibliography, e-mail to be sure.

    Sections I've had:
    A)Title
    B) Abstract (200 words, optional but helpful)
    C) Main Question or Topic researching
    D) Aims and Objectives of research: What proofs or evidence you're looking for
    E) Literature Review
    F) Methodology: argumentative structure, pros and cons and reasons why this technique was chosen
    G) Methods: What you are able to do, What you need to learn to complete the project, funds you'd need, year by year time frame
    H) Justification of Case Studies (if relevant)
    I) Bibliography
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    (Original post by crackingod)
    About 4-5 pages but can also be slightly longer.
    It really depends on the uni and you should check with them!

    - Short Title

    1) Statement of Purpose (brief statement of what you want to do, why and what the relevance is)
    2) Literature Review
    - Where your study fits in that literature/ why its original/particuarly relevant
    3) Methodology/Models/etc...
    4) Preliminary questions/Areas you would like to research within that topic
    5) Key skills you have that help (languages...)
    6) Bibliography
    The outline proposed aboved would certainly help you produce a good research proposal but not necessarily secure a successful application, primarily because, as mentioned by crackingod and arkbar, it depends on the university -- and even on the department -- as well as on the subject: arts/humanities proposal are typically more detailed and significantly longer than others for instance.

    My research proposal was 1600 words long (2 pages and a half) although Oxford asked for 2 pages and I hope it will not hinder my application. I shortened it to 1100 words for UCL.

    Structure:
    - existing literature about my topic
    - why this makes my topic crucial
    - presentation of my material and how I want to approach my topic conceptually
    - my outline and why I chose it
    - how long it will take me to complete my project
    - why the department offers exactly what I am seeking in doctoral studies

    I hope that helps, and I would be curious what other PhD applicants think about my RP
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    (Original post by Sooz2471)
    The outline proposed aboved would certainly help you produce a good research proposal but not necessarily secure a successful application, primarily because, as mentioned by crackingod and arkbar, it depends on the university -- and even on the department -- as well as on the subject: arts/humanities proposal are typically more detailed and significantly longer than others for instance.

    My research proposal was 1600 words long (2 pages and a half) although Oxford asked for 2 pages and I hope it will not hinder my application. I shortened it to 1100 words for UCL.

    Structure:
    - existing literature about my topic
    - why this makes my topic crucial
    - presentation of my material and how I want to approach my topic conceptually
    - my outline and why I chose it
    - how long it will take me to complete my project
    - why the department offers exactly what I am seeking in doctoral studies

    I hope that helps, and I would be curious what other PhD applicants think about my RP
    looks good! I wouldn't worry about that extra half page. I've weaseled my way past a word limit on a PS before and a Head of Dep't has told me no one's actually counting pages.

    Just my luck I get stuck with the 7-10 pg monstrosities . Try slamming one of those down to 3 pgs for another app....torture!
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    Thanks everybody. That's some very useful advise.
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    Would anybody here be interested in reading my proposal? I've just finished it (it's not long - only about 1250 words) and I would really appreciate input from anybody who has done one themselves. Constructive criticism is a healthy thing!

    If anybody would'nt mind spending 10 minutes giving it a sanity check I'd be grateful. Drop me your email address via PM and I'll send it to you. Thanks
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    (Original post by Howard)
    Would anybody here be interested in reading my proposal? I've just finished it (it's not long - only about 1250 words) and I would really appreciate input from anybody who has done one themselves. Constructive criticism is a healthy thing!

    If anybody would'nt mind spending 10 minutes giving it a sanity check I'd be grateful. Drop me your email address via PM and I'll send it to you. Thanks
    What's it about in terms of general topic area?
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    (Original post by arkbar)
    What's it about in terms of general topic area?
    Church Architecture
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    For my law one there was no word count limit and it was 4,412 words long including abstract and bibliography and included an overview of the law in the area, gaps which I intend to investigate/address, relevant literature and how it will help me address these gaps, and the goal of my whole project.
 
 
 
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