How to Write A Ph.D. Concept Paper Assignment: Ultimate Guide
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Are you stuck with your Ph.D. concept paper? Do you need assistance in writing your Ph.D. Concept paper? Here is how to compose a top-quality Ph.D. Concept Paper.
What is a Ph.D. concept paper?
It is a paper written by a Ph.D. aspirant summarizing the research project for the benefit of the dissertation committee which examines the validity of the project across at least four dimensions.
- Does the candidate present his objectives and research aims clearly?
- Did the candidate show his or her proficiency in understanding the theoretical aspect of the research area?
- Has the candidate shown a clear understanding of the research methodology which is selected to answer the research questions formulated in the concept paper?
- Is the contribution original and make a relevant contribution to the larger field of research?
Ultimate Guide for Writing A Ph.D. Concept Paper
What is the essential component of a Ph.D.?
A Ph.D. is competent substantial research in a discipline that will make a contribution to theory by: –
-Developing a new theory or a new content area
– Debunk an existing theory and/ or demonstrates fundamental shortcomings in that theory – Extend on existing theory by merging two conceptually similar theories or by showing how two (or more) theories might be combined
Therefore, the basic proposition we look for is a contribution to theory (filling the knowledge gap i.e. attaining originality), not how big the sample size is, or how complicated the study design is.
Coming up with an area of interest/ a topic
You can come up with an area of interest or a topic from:
- A problem that has interested you for a long time
- The area in your Master’s study
- Your supervisor or from a research project team
Essentially, you need to make sure that the area of interest has some theoretical base to it (this is where you make the contribution, not in solving some practical problem). Thus, not all data, no matter how big the data set, can be turned into a Ph.D. Not all Ph.D. data has to be big.
Preparing a concept paper
Your concept paper will be judged by the following criteria:
- Does it present a set of overarching aims, objectives, and research questions that focus and guide the study?
- Does it show evidence of an understanding of the theory in the area in which you wish to conduct your study?
- Does it demonstrate a clear understanding of the methods (including data sources, research instruments, and methods of analysis) selected to respond to the aims, objectives, and key research questions outlined in the study?
- Is the study original and substantive enough for consideration at the Ph.D. level of study?
Content of a concept paper
- Introduction/ Background/ Problem statement
- Aims and objectives
- Proposed source of data
- Method of data collection/ Instruments
- Method of analysis
- Contribution to knowledge/ originality
- Maximum 2500 words (about 8 pages) including references
Work with your potential initial advisor
To prepare a potential concept paper you are required to contact one of the faculty’s instructors with knowledge associated in your area of interest to work with. Your concept paper is more likely to be accepted by the committees if you consult with the instructor and bounce your ideas off him.
- Feedback may involve inviting you to revise the concept paper.
- Feedback may also involve providing you with summarized reports from the reviewers.
- If the Ph.D. Committee accepts, we may call you for an interview
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