Skip to main content


Showing posts from October 30, 2011

How To Write a (Thesis / Dissertation) Proposal

1. Know the area a. Read, read, read, … b. Average 10-15 papers per week c. Current Journals: at least read/scan abstracts d. Use reference management software! (e.g. ProCite and EndNote) e. Use search engines (MedLine, Ergo Abstracts, Psych Info, Compendex, ACM Digital Library, etc.) f. Go to the source literature (don’t expect textbooks and other secondary sources to be either accurate or complete) 2. Go outside your area a. Good source of new/different ideas b. Avoids embarrassing overlap (already done by others in another field) 3. Pay attention to methods, analyses, motivations, applications a. We did this because … b. This work can be applied to … 4. Tree-in; tree-out a. Look at paper citations, and who cited particular papers (ISI Citation Index) b. Note how others interpreted (or how cited) papers you’ve already read; they may have a different interpretation 5. Don’t get ‘paper-locked’ a. Easy to get overwhelmed and biased by what has already been done b. Once