The quality of education has certainly improved significantly over the years. However, PhD programs remain to be some of the most challenging areas in academics. If you are willing to pursue a PhD on a subject of your interest, having the knowledge of the subject is not going to be enough. You need to convince the doctoral committee that your thesis is good enough. And that's where you need to submit a concept paper for your PhD thesis.
A concept paper is basically a proposal that a PhD candidate submits in the initial stage of his/her PhD program. This paper describes what the candidate wishes to study and research as a part of their doctorate. The concept paper is generally 2-3 pages long and covers the research problem, its context and the preferable methods of research. If you want to learn how to write a PhD concept paper, here's all you need to know:
Step-by-Step Process of Drafting a PhD Concept Paper
While drafting the PhD concept paper, you need to comply with the structure given below:
- Cover Page:
This part of the paper includes the title of the research paper, the name of the candidate, the area of specialization of the PhD program, months and date.
In this segment, you need to tell the readers about the area of your proposed interest and why you have chosen this area for your PhD thesis. Justify the importance of the research in not more than 3 paragraphs.
- Problem Statement:
Here, you need to briefly state the problem you will be investigating for the proposed study. You also need to present evidence of the magnitude of the problem by providing statistics where applicable. The problem can be theoretical or practical. Just make sure you have “convicted” the problem using no more than two paragraphs.
- Research questions, objectives and hypotheses:
Formulate the key questions that you intend to explore through your research. These questions need to align with the formulated objectives and hypotheses (if you have any). Make sure that these three elements are in harmony with each other. However, you should not formulate more than 6 research questions or objectives for the study.
You need to briefly discuss the available literature regarding the proposed area of study. Use primary sources like dissertations and journal sources within the area of research. In this section, you need to highlight how up to date you are with the research material, and how relevant you are with the current debates and developments in the chosen research field.
In this section, you need to give a short description of the methodology you intend to follow while conducting the proposed research. You need to explain your intended research orientation.
In this final segment of the concept paper, you need to list the references (works cited in the text). You can follow the citation style that is commonly used in your institution.
Hopefully, you have got an adequate amount of knowledge about the development of a PhD concept paper. However, if you find the process to be confusing, assignment experts assistance is just a few clicks away.
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