Sunday, November 15, 2009

Elements of a good proposal

I recently heard someone describe the elements of good research proposal. It made such perfect sense that I couldn't believe I'd never heard it before. So, I'm sharing it here.

Proposal= background/context + research plan + effective communication

Without all three things, your proposal probably won't fare well.

The same person also outlined steps for developing a research plan.
  1. Start with a compelling question.
  2. Generate testable hypotheses.
  3. Define your data needs to test the hypotheses.
  4. Identify methods of collecting and analyzing those data.
Of course, it's not nearly as simple as that. In my limited experience, a lot of revisiting #1 and #2 happens when data will be too difficult to obtain. Back to the drawing board!

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