"Assignment Master's Research Proposal (45%) Due dates First draft"
Assignment: Master’s Research Proposal (45%) Due dates: First draft June 1 (20%) Final version June 29 (25%) Purpose of the research proposal: • to inform people (e.g. your committee, granting agencies, scholarship committees) what your research is about and why it is worth doing; • to develop, and demonstrate that you have, the knowledge needed to create/evaluate the visualization; • to provide a detailed map for yourself as you embark on the project; • to develop and articulate the theoretical framework behind the design decisions you will make. (As designer Matt Cooke writes, “the truth is that, however informally, the majority of us follow a methodology when designing” (2006: 131).1 Elements of the research proposal: Title Abstract Introduction Literature review Methods (Anticipated results) Discussion: Signiﬁcance of the project Reference list We will discuss these elements in more detail, and look at examples, in the coming weeks. The ﬁnal proposal should be 8-12 pages long (2,000-3,000 words), at least four pages of which are devoted to the literature review. Given the nature of our discipline, it is entirely appropriate to include images in your proposal (not included in page count). Evaluation The ﬁrst draft will be evaluated as a working document rather than a ﬁnished product. It does not need to be complete or stylistically polished, but should reﬂect in-depth research into the relevant ﬁelds of study and a serious attempt at a meaningful synthesis of that research. The ﬁnal copy of your research proposal will be evaluated on these criteria: • clear focus • logical organization • completeness • valid research design/methods/theoretical framework • contribution to the literature • concise, readable writing style • mechanical accuracy (for example, proper documentation style) • assimilation of constructive feedback 1Cooke, Matt. 2006. Design methodologies: Toward a systematic approach to design. In Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design, ed. Audrey Bennet. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. 1 MSC2004H – Research Methods, Biomedical Communications, 2009 Handing in the proposal: Please submit a print and a digital copy of both draft and ﬁnal versions. • Print copy: Double-space it and submit it at the beginning of class on the due-date. • Digital copy: Submit it in Pages or MS Word; include your name in the ﬁlename (e.g. Wall_Proposal_1.doc); and put it in my dropbox on the server before 5 pm on the due-date. Late submissions: In accordance with IMS guidelines, a late penalty of 10% per day will apply to all assignments received after the due date. Further notes: Make sure that all parts of the proposal ﬁt together; they should all ﬂow out of the literature review and be relevant to answering the research question. Introduction • focus on the visualization problem that your project will attempt to solve • present biomedical/scientiﬁc content in the context of that visualization problem Literature review: • synthesize your reading of the key authoritative literature in all domains relevant to your project • do not simply list and describe your resources, but organize them in a meaningful way • you may break up your review with appropriate subheadings • end your literature review with a clear statement of your research question and research objectives. These should follow logically from your description of your general research problem and review of the literature. • the literature review should build an argument for the need for your visual project, but by talking about the work others have already done, not about the work you propose to do. The ﬁrst mention of your own project should come at the end of the literature review, in your statement of objectives. Methods: • start with a brief description of what the ﬁnal project will look like • discuss, in chronological order, every step you will take to solve your visual problem, answer your research question, and fulﬁll your objectives • describe what you will do at each step and then explain the rationale for your choices, citing the relevant literature. • this is the place to describe your evaluation methodology, if you are evaluating. Results: • If you are conducting an evaluation, describe the ﬁndings you expect to obtain. Discussion: • State the expected answer to your research question and the signiﬁcance of your project. • State the expected value of your project to other medical illustrators. Keep this section brief (1 or 2 paragraphs). Works cited or consulted (Reference list): • List all the literature cited in the proposal in alphabetical order, as well as sources you consulted for background or peripheral information. Use The Chicago Manual of Style documentation style. 2 MSC2004H – Research Methods, Biomedical Communications, 2009