The research synopsis is the plan for your research project. It provides the rationale for the research, the research objectives, the proposed methods for data collection and recording formats and/or questionnaires and interview guides. The synopsis is based on the information provided by the supervisor(s) and by secondary sources of information. In the final report you will present the results of your data collection and elaboration, with the discussion and the conclusion. The full synopsis should be maximum 3-4,000 words, excluding appendices.
Following is the chapterization for the project proposal/synopsis:
- Topic HeadlineThis should be brief and self-explanatory. It should relate directly to the main objective of the proposed research. A more specific and descriptive sub-title can be added if necessary, for example to indicate the main methodology that will be applied. The title of the final report can be different from the working title of the synopsis.
- IntroductionHere you should introduce the main problem, set it into context and introduce the particular
niche within the main subject area that you will work with. For example, the main subject
area could be deforestation and the Introduction would then briefly argue why it is relevant
to be concerned with deforestation – to whom it is a problem and why. The niche could be
the role of small-scale farmers in deforestation processes in mountain areas. Justification
for the niche should also be included in the Introduction.
‘Justifying’ a research problem means providing information documenting that both the
main problem and the specific niche are of relevance to others than yourself, such as the
scientific community and stakeholders. A research problem can be, for example, a gap of
knowledge, an unexplained observation, something not yet analysed (using this
systematic, with this level of detail, from this particular angle), or something that does not
fit traditional beliefs (Rienecker and Jørgensen, 2006). The information you provide as
documentation for the existence and relevance of the problem should primarily be
scientific peer reviewed literature. Newspaper articles, blogs and a lot of material from the
internet are not subject to quality control and are therefore considered less trustworthy.
- Review of the LiteratureReview of literature is a collective body of works done by earlier researchers and published in the form of books, journals, articles. It helps in generating ideas and developing significant questions for the research work.
- Significance of the study/Motivation to undertake a topicThe rationale for carrying out the particular project is explained here.
- Objectives of the studyThese should be identified on the basis of the problem analysis. That means, after reading the problem analysis it should be immediately clear that the choice of objectives is relevant and justified. The objectives should focus on concepts and problems mentioned in the problem analysis Each research proposal should contain one overall objective describing the general contribution that the research project makes to the subject area as well as one or more specific objectives focusing on discrete tasks that will be achieved during the research. The overall objective may be something that the study will contribute towards but not solve/finish; the overall objective should not be a compilation of the specific objectives.
- Hypothesis of the study (If any)These are predictions of the outcomes from the study. It is useful at the outset to specify the hypotheses in terms of the assumed relations between variables so as to clarify the position and pre-understanding of the researcher. If statistical tests are to be conducted formulation of hypotheses is a crucial element of the research design. Hypotheses can be derived from theory, experience or knowledge concerning contextual factors. In purely quantitative, deductive research hypotheses are tested statistically, whereas in qualitative, inductive research hypotheses are not formulated.
- Research Methodology/Includes data collection process & statistical processMethodology includes Sample, Tests/Tools, Statistical Analysis. The size and nature of the sample will depend on the topic selected. Tests/ tools are to be selected based on the objectives of the research. The data collected with the help of the tests/ tools is then analyzed by using appropriate statistical techniques.
- LimitationsAlthough the specific or immediate objectives may be quite narrow, they could probably imply much more data collection and analysis than possible for a thesis. To demonstrate a good overview of the general subject area it should be specified what aspects will not be addressed and how this will limit conclusions. It is important to not (only) mention that due to time constraints a limited number of observations/measurements/interviews will be conducted.
- ReferencesReferences have to be written in APA format.These should be alphabetically listed.
While the above format is normally followed, it is not necessary that the same chapter scheme is used for all topics. Synopsis writing is undertaken after the topics choice is completed.
We accept feedback on the synopsis based on the same received from the university. An in depth discussion takes place between the student and our expert before we undertake to revise the document. Inputs from the students are a must to be able to tackle the feedback.
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