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The way to Write a (Thesis / Dissertation) Proposal(3)


 e.  Don’t use words like ‘significant’, save this for the description of statistical methods.
 6.  Methods
 a.  What will be done, how, and why?  In particularly “why” (why this IV, why these levels, why this measure, …)
 b.  With respect to how and why, there is typically more than one way to do something, and you must explain (and sometimes justify) your choice. 
 c.  The methods should have clear connections to the hypotheses.
 d.  The Methods tends to be a difficult and sometimes complicated section.  In general, proceed from broad to specific, but also ensure that a context is provided before specific details are raised.  For example, don’t describe specific experimental treatments before you’ve even explained the overall approach and the different independent and dependent variables.
 e.  For widely-used and generally accepted approaches, just summarize with reference to the literature.  For other approaches, more explanation and
 justification needed.
 f.  Note that ‘repeated measures’ refers to a study design, while within- and between-subjects refers to specific independent measures (or treatments).  Nested andbetween-subjects factors are synonymous.
 g.  The reader should be able to understand what you’re talking about, given what was provided before (use of a colleague again helps here).
 h.  Subsections are often used such as: Overview; Participants; Procedures;Instrumentation; Experimental Design; Data Reduction; Analysis (stats)
 i.  The specific ordering of the sections in g., should achieve the goals of d. and f.
 j.  Somewhere (typically in Experimental Design), there should be an explicit statement of the independent and dependent variables (or factors, or measures)
 7.  Limitations, expected results, contribution, future work (don’t leave the reader to guess these) So how do I get there?  Unfortunately, this is as much an art as a science, but here are some things to consider:
 
 1.  Some General Tips:
 a.  Each paragraph proceeds from general to specific.
 b.  Some have suggested that reading the first sentence of every paragraph in the document should convey the essential meaning of the whole.
 c.  Vary the structure of your sentences and paragraphs.  
 d.  Use transitions between paragraphs (either the last sentence of the proceeding one or the first sentence of the subsequent one, should tie the two together).
 e.  Avoid one-sentence paragraphs (generally at least 3 sentences comprise a paragraph)
 f.  Consider optional presentation methods (always using good HF knowledge and practice).  Often the same thing can be conveyed by text, graphs, tables, diagrams,


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