Contacting potential supervisors for PhD and whether I need a detailed proposal

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Lele-2018
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Hi all! I am applying to an English PhD (specifically in children's literature), and am now in a dilemma about sending emails to my potential supervisor. I am considering working with my former supervisor, whom I worked with for half a year while I was doing my masters. When I completed the masters program my supervisor encouraged me to apply to study with him for the PhD, but he also mentioned that my chances of getting in depend on whether my proposed topic aligns with his interests. I am thinking of sending him an email outlining my proposed project and I am quite sure he will reply to me within 48 hours (as he always does), but the problem is I only have a 450-word proposal abstract at the moment and my proposal isn't fully written. I am a bit worried because if he replies and asks for a full proposal draft I would not be able to send it to him soon, so this is why I am hesitating whether I should send him the first contact email. Perhaps I should contact him when I have developed my proposal in more detail?
I am often a bit unsure about whether we need a detailed, written proposal at hand when we are in the earliest stages of contacting supervisors. I have heard people say that a detailed research proposal is quite necessary at the early stages of the application (in case the potential supervisors ask for it, providing that they are interested in the topic), while some say that it may be better to contact the supervisors first to see if they are interested, then develop the proposal into more detail while discussing our ideas with them. I suspect that different supervisors and different departments work differently, but I would really love to hear how every approach their supervisors. Could anyone share me with your experiences or opinions--many thanks!!
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Lele-2018)
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I've never heard of anyone wanting a reserch proposal of more than 1,000 words tops. They get masses of these emails, and like a formal application (which has an 800 word limit usually iirc) you can tell the quality of thinking/research and the credibility of the application in that span. if it's your masters Supervisor, he can fill in all the blanks anyway.
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Lele-2018
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
I've never heard of anyone wanting a reserch proposal of more than 1,000 words tops. They get masses of these emails, and like a formal application (which has an 800 word limit usually iirc) you can tell the quality of thinking/research and the credibility of the application in that span. if it's your masters Supervisor, he can fill in all the blanks anyway.
Thanks a lot!! I agree with you and I think I will try contacting my supervisor today and ask for his help
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