7 Ph.D. Research Proposal Writing Tricks | Hacks For Success
So today we`re going to talk about seven top tips for Ph.D. research proposal writing.
This is follow-on from my last video from last week, so go check that out I’ll put the links around and now let`s talk about that it`s such an important thing so let`s get into it. I’ve learned about doing a Ph.D. getting good at doing a Ph.D. in academia tips tricks and mental health hacks to help you out.
Let`s look at this Ph.D. research proposal writing the first thing I want to talk about is the last thing that you should write and that isn`t the final page it`s the title now you see a title for a research proposal is very important. It has to be understandable you want to keep it to less than about 15 words closer to and fewer than 10, to be honest, would be awesome and the thing about the title is it`s meant to capture in a single sentence like CIPD level 3 assignment help what your proposal is about and that can be pretty challenging. So what I like to do is write it at the very end of any grant any application and if you`re doing a Ph.D. research proposal just write it at the end one thing I like to do is as I’m writing my research proposal sometimes you have those little like sparks. I guess uh inspiration or intelligence that pop out and so what I do is in a document or just on a piece of paper I write down the sentences or the words that I just connect with and so at the end of my grant or research proposal.
I’ve got a load of words that I can sort of jigsaw piece together to create a title now I’ve never created a title completely on my own so whenever I think, yeah this will be a good title I approach my supervisor I approach my colleagues and say what do you think about this look ultimately if you`re swapping out a word for another word it doesn`t matter that means you`re on the right track but what you want from them is the ability to understand what you`re doing and kind of why you`re doing it in the significance and that`s a pretty hard task for a single sentence so yeah write it last try out on a few people if they can roughly get what you`re doing from that you`re onto a winner.
Important Info Upfront
The second tip is to put all of the important information at the front of the sections now this is one thing I was terrible at doing now imagine this right you`re a Ph.D. examination board person and you need to read all of these different applications and you kind of get a little bit lost about who`s doing what you know you try your best. But you`re just a person as well and so what I like to do is put all of the important information in the first paragraph of every section that is the most important paragraph of every section and that`s because as they`re going through different.
Applications, it`s obvious what you`re doing right I had this issue where I would you know in I think in creative writing or scriptwriting. They call burying the lead where you put the important information right at the very back like you feel like for some reason you need to build up to this really important information. But that is not what you do with a grant application get it an upfront craft that the first paragraph to make sure that it answers the question it`s kind of like I guess an executive summary and then later on in the paragraph and the word limit you can include much more information but you know to keep these people the examination admin board people grant reviewers keep them interested by giving them all the information they need to tick a mental box in their mind to be like yes this person has answered the question and I understand it which is important.
Use Simple Language (Don’t Be Too Complicate)
The third little trick is don`t be too complicated, it`s challenging like online dissertation help in UK to not try to flex your academic or you know language muscles as you are writing it can be incredibly tempting to be like I need to include all of the biggest words that I know and it is important to include the field-specific language but I’d recommend that you don`t include any unnecessary sort of definitions or wordy kind of explanations because like I said you`ve got to get into the mind of your audience and in this case, the audience is a tired frustrated academic that just wants to understand what you`re doing.
So they can tick a box to let people know that you should or shouldn`t be accepted into this Ph.D. program and yeah that is so very important just keep it simple. One thing I like to do is one of the best tips I heard was use a dictation software so I use dragon quite a lot when I’m writing blog posts or doing stuff and emails like really like dictating what I’m saying so dragon as well as like just using Google. As well Google documents have a dictate thing and that works well because if the dictation software doesn`t know what you`re saying it`s probably a little bit too complicated now understand that there`ll be field-specific terminology that you have to use but I think that`s a nice way of trying to get to grips with what the average person would understand so there we dictate.
All about figures now a picture paints a thousand words and a figure probably sort of gives 10000 words I reckon so if you can show a figure and if you`re allowed to put figures in. If you can show a figure that`s clear that hasn`t got like weird extra information in it and one thing I’d like to do is reproduce people`s figures with permission if it`s being published but reproduce but also kind of make clear the bit of the figure that i want to demonstrate because a lot of times scientific figures have got lots of information in that don`t necessarily support what you want to say in your application and so I’ll reproduce it you know change the color of a line make it bold get rid of the other stuff have even been known to Photoshop out other parts of the graph to include because you know you need to make the figure obvious and even though a figure paints 10 thousand words you want to make sure that it`s the right ten thousand words because it could be a figure demonstrates a hundred thousand words but you only need ten thousand of the words you know what mean that`s going to get a bit messy in terms of the metaphor but yeah get rid of the bits of the figure if you`re reproducing it that you don`t need highlighter arrows like all of that stuff really helps and once again from the aspect of a reviewer looking at a grant application you want it to be obvious as soon as you look at that figure or that graph what it is you need to get from it the caption goes a little way to helping that as well but ultimately you need it to be super obvious so include figures because figures also do something very important they also give the brain a chance to relax away from the words now i don`t know how many uh words are in the average kind of grant application but for a research proposal let`s say it`s between about two thousand and four thousand words and if you`re reviewing say ten of them that`s a lot of words that`s like forty thousand words to get through so a figure gives the reviewer a break and so i like to space out my figures as I kind of can as just so that it`s like figure block of text figure block of text and yeah it really helps the reviewer get a nice feeling and that`s what really comes down to is giving them a nice feeling towards your research proposal or grant application.
It’s all about formatting is one of the most overlooked aspects of PhD research proposal writing and grant applications and I’ll tell you why it`s because we think as scientists that our words matter the most and so we cram them in we cram in loads of words we say like oh you know this is what we`re doing oh doesn`t it look meaty and when you look back at it you go hmm yeah like I’m super awesome and this is like this is some good work this has got loads of words in it but when you`re a reviewer looking at a big block of text is really intimidating right you look at you go oh Jesus Christ I’ve got to get through all of this but what you can do to help that is formatting and use everything so use bold italic underline and i don`t mean just like chuck it in randomly if you have an important point to make or you know this one sentence of assignment writing service just sort of like explains everything and just gives this sort of perfect little summary bold it use space use white space around important bits to make it stand out the human brain will always try to pick out patterns and when it`s just reading line after line after line then all of a sudden there`s a break and bold boom you`ve got the brain`s attention again right it`s always looking for different things it`s trying to make sense of the environment and so uh yeah formatting i tend to do formatting as i go but i check at the very end that i haven`t overdone it you can overdo it and it`ll look like sort of like a teenager or a you know a kid has written this research grant proposal but really it comes down to using formatting to highlight the most important parts and in combination with i think it was tip number two where you put all the information up the front it is super powerful to make your proposal sticky like stick in their mind because you`ve made the information obvious and you`ve put it up front that combination is an absolute winner.
Spell Check and Proofread
Spell check and proofread now you don`t need to give this Ph.D. examining panel any excuse to say no they have plenty of other options to say no but you don`t want lousy spelling and grammar to allow them to dismiss the seriousness of your application and so uh yeah just you use all of the normal-like spells check things like grammar use word but also it may be worth if English is a second language getting a reviewer or an editor to actually go through it and pay some money for travel center now there are plenty of awesome places you can do that look at up work look at fiver look at another kind of freelancing [Music] websites or apps where you can say hey I’ve got this amount of words and the reviewer and the editing should take about a week and it`s worth it like it`s worth the little amount of investment because you`ll be sure that the examiners or the Ph.D. admissions panel can`t just dismiss you because of silly spelling mistakes that we all make.
Ph.D. research proposal writing is all about timing now is the weird thing that I had to learn is everything takes twice as long as you think. So if you think it takes two weeks you`ve got to allow at least four weeks and that`s for a number of reasons firstly a job will fill the void that you give it so you know if you give it four weeks you`ll have that amount of time to relax you could probably finish it in two weeks but it`s probably not going to be your best work so give it double the amount of time and chip away at it every single day just a little bit at a time you know spread it out and another thing is that quite often if your research potential research supervisor wants to see the work they will just sit on it for ages academics and researchers and supervisors are incredibly busy people and they`d like to tell you that as well but they uh will sit on your proposal and without the right enough time it may just be incredibly rushed I’ve known people send it to their supervisors get it back the day before with loads of corrections and have to pull all-nighters and that sort of stuff so what i like to do is I trick them and i say hey this is my research proposal can you get it back to me and i say a week before the deadline is that it`s due and uh they go oh yeah so It means you get it back at
At least a week before and then you have a whole extra week to work on it`s a little bit tricky but you`ve got to know uh I guess how to work with these people and that`s one way I found that getting stuff back on time was achievable.
it was kind of like when I was younger I had friends that would turn up for pcmag like 20 minutes before would turn up 20 minutes late directly on time and so what we did one time as an experiment is we told all of my friends different times when you know when the meeting started or when our events started and boom they all arrived within about 15 minutes of each other which was fantastic you need to do the same thing with your Ph.D. supervisor if they want to see your research proposal is yeah just learn how they work and tell them little white lies if you need them to get stuff back on time so there we have it there are my seven top tips
For Ph.D. research proposal writing let me know in the comments what you would add to that
And good luck go and watch my other video which was the one before this all about research proposals all of the elements that you need to make it awesome.