Recent Updates Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Dr S Loretti 4:09 am on April 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    What you should not do to your dissertation prospectus 

    The sooner you meet the eligibility criteria and win the candidacy examination for the doctoral degree, the more important it becomes to prepare a well-defined dissertation prospectus for getting started. Dissertation prospectus is the defined outline of your proposed research and dissertation. It would consist all the relevant details regarding the innovative research you would like to conduct during your PhD. Because your doctoral chair permits you to proceed with the PhD research by examining the prospectus, it becomes a must to write it in a descriptive yet precise manner.

    A deficient prospectus that lacks the conscision and necessary details of your research gets easily rejected by the chair. The rejection at very first step may demotivate you to work further with the research. As per the recent studies, it has been found that the number of candidates who complete their doctoral degree is very less in comparison to the number of people enrolling for it. The drop in the number is majorly because of the rejection of the prospectus and lack of motivation to rectify and submit it again.

    As a rookie, you must have read multiple articles if discussed with your seniors, friends, and colleagues on how to develop your prospectus and what to include in which section of it. But have you got a clear picture of what is required and what is not in your PhD dissertation prospectus? If not, then here’s what you should not do to your dissertation prospectus for gaining instant approval :

    • The first page of your document which your supervisor or the committee sees, covers the title of your research. The title should not be fancy. You are not doing a school project that your title should be tricky for your teacher, rather it should be as clear and concise as it could be. The title has to be to give a clear idea of the prospectus to the committee to look further into the document whereas a complex title would drop the supervisor’s interest in your formal document.
    • Next comes the central question of your research paper. The central question should not exceed more than a paragraph. The paragraph should succinctly address the central question on which your research will be based on. Your prospectus has to end within a maximum number of 10 pages and so the introduction, should not be of more than a page or two. A lengthy central question can not hold the grip of the reader’s interest. It should not lead or dictate the complications of the research or divert it from the topic.
    • The literature review of your prospectus should not be irrelevant and contain unnecessary criticism or pointless new ideas of the previously researched papers. It should highlight the relationship between your proposed research and the literature you reviewed indicating a relation between the history and recent issue. You may also cite examples from the current situation, building the interest of your reader. Irrelevant history of the research will not define your reason to work on this topic and unnecessary criticism will not be considered healthy for your prospectus to be approved.
    • While writing the methodology, you should be clear with the research method (qualitative or quantitative) you are going to use to carry the research forward. You should not be suspicious with the way you are going to collect the data. The methodology should define the study you are going to make progress with. You should be apparent with the plan you have in your mind with the required tools and feasibility to research. Not mentioning the tools, fees, and timeline to complete the research shows that the candidate is less studied for the chosen topic.
    • Your prospectus should never miss the bibliography. A bibliography is a list of references used to collect the material written in the document. The list of references is as important as the title of the prospectus. Your bibliography cites the primary and secondary sources you used to develop the prospectus. You may also include additional readings with it mentioning the papers, articles, or journals you read for the study of the research.
    • Your prospectus should be appealing as well as simple for the committee to read the whole and approve. It should not be messy and complex as it would confuse the reader and your supervisor could reject it as he reviews your academic document.

    Your dissertation prospectus is the final binding for the committee to approve and your chance to prove that this research will bring growth in your academic field. you should finish the process of editing and proofreading before submitting it to your committee.


  • joseph664 7:38 am on March 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Problems with topic formulation! Help Needed 

    Hi! I am doing my PhD in Marketing. My university has briefed us about all the particulars to be included in a research proposal but I am not able to come up with a good topic to research upon. Even if I come up with one, I am not able to understand what could be the possible problem statement I can research upon. I am somewhat interested in market segmentation, and targeting for new brands, but I am unable to formulate the problem or a specific topic. And only after making a topic can I go for the proposal work. So please help me in finding ways to connect the dots. Any suggestions are welcomed.

    • jamie16917 12:53 pm on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I would like to offer you some advice that I received from a senior doctoral student when I had just started with my PhD, which has stood me in good stead over the last 3 years of my PhD. She told me to pick a topic that I felt passionate and cared deeply about. According to her picking up a topic that seems merely interesting to you is not a good idea because it is very easy to get disinterested in something that you have been studying for the time span of years. You should also consider working on something that you have already worked on during your Master’s or have some previous research experience working on. Don’t just blindly decide to research in an area that you haven’t explored beforehand or have some idea about.

  • kelly451 5:35 am on January 31, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    How do I re-formulate my research questions and restructure my thesis? 

    My thesis has become a nightmare that I am living, I cannot even concentrate on anything this thesis sucks all the time of my life. I just want to get done with it my guide keeps rejecting my thesis and I have become fed up with this whole process itself. I cannot understand what should I do to get my thesis approved? Since it is becoming humiliating to have to work on the same thing for so many years now. I am PhD student of Macro Economics, my research topic is smart services/ E-services provided by the government in Dubai. I need help in re-formulating my research questions and restructuring my thesis, these are the two issues that my guide keeps on emphasizing on time and again. It would be a great if any suggestion or proposition can be given that would actually help me come out of this jeopardy.

  • kumarivarsha802 10:50 am on January 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    I’m in my first year of PhD. My research is regarding culturing of Leishmania donovani parasites and testing the efficacy of plant extract for its anti leishmanial activities. I am facing a lot of problems in culturing the parasite. As I am the only research scholar under my guide, I am really frustrated as I have to manage everything. From ordering new chemicals to maintenance of the lab, propagation of cells and now the parasites. Apart from this, I have to take out time for study as well as study for my research. My guide also asks me to help him with presentations regarding the classes he needs to take. Amidst so much workload and stress, it is my practical work that is suffering. I am unable to devote sufficient time to my wet lab practices. I am finding it extremely difficult to maintain the cell lines and parasite cultures. My passages are not successful. Either there is some fungal infection or the cells die (due to some reason that I am unable to fathom). This is further irritating my guide, as he is losing faith in me. I am unable to manage the cell lines and it also a huge financial burden. (the cells are costly to procure. Further the instruments and equipments required for handling them are costly and need to be discarded after a single use. So my resources are getting wasted too). Kindly help me with some advice on successful culturing cell lines and parasites as would be help me a lot.

  • joseph664 4:11 am on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    How to make an Annotated Bibliography? 

    I need assistance in formulating an annotated bibliography for my research thesis on innovative practices introduced by e-commerce websites in the last decade. My supervisor has asked me to send one in and I’ve never made one, so I’m clueless how to go about it. Has anyone made an annotated bibliography for a management related dissertation or thesis? Could you tell me how to go about selecting the headings for the various columns of the annotated bibliography? And how do I decide how many references to include in the table?

  • jamie16917 9:57 am on December 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    How to sift through the online available sources? 

    I am a PHd student in the field of comparative literature. My Thesis includes a comparative study of the personal diaries of a prominent Urdu Historian and poet Altaf Hussain Hali with the two collection (divan) of his poems, in order to reconstruct the political and literary debate of the time, which seems shed light on an alternative perception of reality that was being perceived and experienced. I am not fluent in the language in which Hali wrote, therefore most of my reading has been in translation, there seems to be a number of translations available of the same. These many translations have put me in a dilemma because each of it tends to posit a slightly different or altogether different stance. What could be the best way to select or reject the translated texts, particularly when they deal with history?

    • Alisa Craig 10:28 am on December 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Name:Alisa Craig Email:
      Hi, your research sounds very interesting, and this a common problem that any scholar dealing with a translated texts has to face. I suggest you could focus on the translation intent of every translator which would give you a fair understanding of the stance and intention of the translator thereby explaining the omission or additions you must have encountered, and you could also chronologically align the publishing dates that would also allow you to come to an understanding of the changes that have occurred over time. This way you could make an informed decision.

    • Aaron Wilson 10:30 am on December 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Name:Aaron Wilson Email:

      Hello, This is a valid anxiety, since translation is a nuanced phenomenon it tends to differ from the other translations sometimes. I suggest you could consider a number of them even if they differ from each other, and then you can elaborately refute or laud these translations and try to build a discourse out of it, that will allow you a better scope of comparison and analysis. Then you could try and work your way out of this confusion.

  • Anil. S 9:14 am on December 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    How to formulate a research topic out of a broad research interest? 

    Hi mates
    I am in the course of pursuing my Masters degree in Anthropology, and now in the second year I am required to submit a proposal, even though my university has briefed us about the particulars regarding the proposal, but I have not been able to chisel out my research topic, my research interest lies in exploring the Gond shrines of Maharashtra located in three different locations (in Maharashtra), the increasing mobilization of Gondi tribe around these areas. Since there are different motives that inform the establishment and reification of these three shrines, it has left me confused as to which strand of it should I go ahead to pursue. I welcome any sort of suggestions.

    • Ella Davies 9:31 am on December 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Name:Ella Davies Email:

      Hi buddy!! for a proposal, you are required to narrow down your research interest to a concise as well as a precise topic. You would be required to formulate a topic that would answer three questions of ‘Why’, ‘What’, and ‘How’. Following is a helpful resource to help you decide on a research topic: After you think you have reached that stage then you can go ahead to read around and about the topic or in other words review literature of that topic. This would further provide solidity to your research topic. Attaching here a link to a page that elaborates on literature review formulation:

    • Rupert Wilson 9:33 am on December 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Name: Rupert Wilson Email:

      Hey!! Your research interest seems to be a very promising one, I happen to belong to the same area i.e. Maharashtra. If the different locations of the shrine are the main concern then you could look at the very idea of the shrine within the belief system of the Gondi tribe, aligning it with the recent mobilization of the people of the Gondi tribe and what are the underlining motives that inform the establishment of such new shrines.

  • wilson349 9:23 am on December 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    How to select secondary resources to include in Literature Review? 

    Hi All!
    I’m currently pursuing a research project on Diet and Nutrition, particularly on how different food types increase or decrease the likelihood of heart disease. The purpose of the study is to further existing research in the field and eventually help nutritionists in designing diet charts for patients of heart disease. I have begun writing a literature review for my proposal but can’t seem to narrow down the secondary resources I should include in the review, the large number of resources available on the internet is confusing me. I have gone through a lot of journals on the subject but am having a tough time selecting research articles. How does one figure out which resources are reliable and will go well with my topic? Can anyone provide some tips to help me with the selection process?

    • joseph664 6:48 am on December 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Wilson349!
      I went through a similar crises while writing the literature review for my research proposal, the process can seem overwhelming at times. I suggest that you narrow down your search for resources to only credible ones i.e. that which are available in peer-reviewed online journals. Do not include papers from websites of unaccredited journals, there are a large number of such papers available online, avoiding them will help you limit the number of websites you need to look at.

    • Laura Betcher 2:50 pm on December 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Even though I do not share your academic background a general suggestion to go about the selection process would be to pick articles from databases centered to your subject and not from miscellaneous all-subject databases. You should also make your literature review as comprehensive as possible, search for relevant research works on government/private health websites and in existing dissertations written by scholars in your field. Only when you have exhausted all possible research sources from your field can you write a thorough literature review. It is very important that the selected articles should be from recent studies in the field, not from older researches. And apart from writing about existing research developments in the field, a literature Review should present a critical understanding about present research, including a research gap which your research seeks to fulfill.

    • jamie16917 9:00 pm on December 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve completed my PhD in the field of nutrition, my research work was based on recommendations to limit the amount of vitamin dosages in food supplements.According to me,you should only access resources from highly ranked and reputed journals such as the Annual Review of nutrition, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, International Journal of Obesity and others. And if you know of renowned researchers or scientists working in your area of interest, search for papers published by them.

  • wilson349 3:45 am on October 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Sources for doctoral funding in UK 

    Hi. Can you please refer me a few organizations in UK from where i can seek funding for my PhD? I belong to Dubai and recently moved here in London for pursuing PhD in English literature. So, please share the links or any other resource through I can visit organizations to obtain PhD funding. Thank you so much.

  • Laura Betcher 7:00 am on October 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    What to do when my research findings do not match up with the literature review? 

    My thesis is due next month, and I have been stuck here with my thesis! The findings of my research are totally different what I expected them to be. My literature review and the objectives of the study were aimed to study something else, but now I realize that it wasn’t what I expected. My research has gone awry! If I promised to study ABC, my data analysis gave me the answer xyz of another question which I didn’t even think about. How can it be completely opposite! I guess the questionnaire is to be blamed for this for I didn’t check its reliability before-hand. What shall I do now? If I change the objectives and literature review of my thesis, won’t my proposal would be questioned which submitted to the committee? I have no idea what to do. In such a short time, I could not re-analyze my data!! No idea guys, please advise!

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc