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    I must have missed some vital piece of information, because I cannot for the life of me understand why it is so difficult to apply for masters degrees in the humanities. There is such a vadt gulf in what you are expected to know between undergraduate and post-graduate. You are expected to present an original piece of research that challenges what is already known about the subject you are interested in. Nevermind that what is already known will have been researched already by experienced Doctorate and post-doc researchers. How do you even begin?
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    (Original post by Lachbot79)
    I must have missed some vital piece of information, because I cannot for the life of me understand why it is so difficult to apply for masters degrees in the humanities. There is such a vadt gulf in what you are expected to know between undergraduate and post-graduate. You are expected to present an original piece of research that challenges what is already known about the subject you are interested in. Nevermind that what is already known will have been researched already by experienced Doctorate and post-doc researchers. How do you even begin?
    A little confused. Is this for an application? Do you mean a research proposal?
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    (Original post by RV3112)
    A little confused. Is this for an application? Do you mean a research proposal?
    Yes I do. I realise this question is a bit mad, but I’m just overwhelmed as to how to go about it. I am hoping to research the reception of the Minoans on Archaic and Classical Athenian mythic narratives. I look at the current research and scholarly articles on the subject and I just feel puny. How do people do it.
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    (Original post by Lachbot79)
    Yes I do. I realise this question is a bit mad, but I’m just overwhelmed as to how to go about it. I am hoping to research the reception of the Minoans on Archaic and Classical Athenian mythic narratives. I look at the current research and scholarly articles on the subject and I just feel puny. How do people do it.
    Ah sorry, i understand now.

    Yeah, it's very daunting, i almost cracked up when i wrote my Ph.D. proposal. There are several options. I opted to do a taught masters first and it gave me more confidence. Is this an option? It may be a more suitable route if you can't identify specific research questions at this stage. Usually people apply for research masters when they have a specific idea they are passionate about researching.

    The positive side is that you have a topic. The "puny" feeling is normal. It's called "imposter syndrome". Most research postgraduates suffer from it at some stage. Usually the university website will detail a specific format to be used when submitting a proposal, e.g.
    1) Description of Research Project and Research Questions
    2) Methodology and Theoretical Framework
    3) Existing Literature and the proposed contribution to knowledge
    4) Research Plan

    If you didn't do an undergraduate dissertation, it looks pretty daunting. A good first step might be to identify potential supervisors. E-mail them and see if you can arrange a meeting. They can help you develop a proposal.
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    (Original post by RV3112)
    Ah sorry, i understand now.

    Yeah, it's very daunting, i almost cracked up when i wrote my Ph.D. proposal. There are several options. I opted to do a taught masters first and it gave me more confidence. Is this an option? It may be a more suitable route if you can't identify specific research questions at this stage. Usually people apply for research masters when they have a specific idea they are passionate about researching.

    The positive side is that you have a topic. The "puny" feeling is normal. It's called "imposter syndrome". Most research postgraduates suffer from it at some stage. Usually the university website will detail a specific format to be used when submitting a proposal, e.g.
    1) Description of Research Project and Research Questions
    2) Methodology and Theoretical Framework
    3) Existing Literature and the proposed contribution to knowledge
    4) Research Plan

    If you didn't do an undergraduate dissertation, it looks pretty daunting. A good first step might be to identify potential supervisors. E-mail them and see if you can arrange a meeting. They can help you develop a proposal.
    Thank you so much. Its really helpful to hear from someone with simar experience. At the moment I’m having to consider universities that can accomodate my need for distance learning courses due to my caring commitments, and between searching for an appropriate course and planning what I need to research I feel like i’ve blown a gasket.
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    (Original post by Lachbot79)
    Thank you so much. Its really helpful to hear from someone with simar experience. At the moment I’m having to consider universities that can accomodate my need for distance learning courses due to my caring commitments, and between searching for an appropriate course and planning what I need to research I feel like i’ve blown a gasket.
    Yes. It's a big commitment. I'm not familiar with your area of interest, but if you can't find any gaps in knowledge and everything seems to have been written on the topic, it might be just that the topic just isn't suitable for research.

    My research inspirations tended to come from areas that i had observed as lacking in research when studying taught modules. Therefore i already had a reasonable idea what literature already existed on the topic which helped me identify where the gaps lay.
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    My research proposal at PhD came from me thinking one bloke in one area was talking shite. Nobody is asking for earth-shattering revelations, so don't get bogged down in thinking that because it just becomes self-sabotage.
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    (Original post by gjd800)
    My research proposal at PhD came from me thinking one bloke in one area was talking shite. Nobody is asking for earth-shattering revelations, so don't get bogged down in thinking that because it just becomes self-sabotage.
    Good point. I think trying to learn new things and to eventually be in the position to be able to devote yourself to researching a particular area is the goal. Ultimately though the battle you wage against your own doubts and feelings of worth, and overcoming those, is where I’m at at the moment.
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    Postgraduate students could often tag on to their supervisors' research projects, so you can look at their current lists of research to find some inspiration. With just a year or two, you can see it as contributing to a small part of the big project.

    Universities are also less likely to expect master's students to hold on to their initial research proposals 100%, so you can most likely change it later.
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    (Original post by Lachbot79)
    Good point. I think trying to learn new things and to eventually be in the position to be able to devote yourself to researching a particular area is the goal. Ultimately though the battle you wage against your own doubts and feelings of worth, and overcoming those, is where I’m at at the moment.
    Familiar to us all - you just have to keep reminding yourself that you are doing something worthwhile and that you are not expected to reinvent the wheel (maybe later!). The doubt thing stays with you to a degree even once the bloody degrees are done, in my experience! :laugh:
 
 
 
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