Guidelines for the Preparation of a Proposal for an MA Thesis/Research Paper in Anthropology

These guidelines present the suggested format for preparing a thesis or major research paper proposal for the MA program. The proposal should usually be 15-20 pages double-spaced.

  1. Theme, Problem, Question(s) and Objectives: State the subject/object to be studied in the research (context, actors, practices). Specify the research question(s), its social and cultural importance, the stakes involved, and how it is currently understood in the literature. Give concrete form to the question(s) through the questions and objectives that you try to solve in your study. State a research hypothesis, if needed.
  2. Theoretical Approach: Define your place among the existing literature on the subject. Articulate the theoretical approach, the streams of thought, debates, theoretical propositions, and key concepts from previous studies that permit you to answer your question(s) and objective(s).
  3. Methodology: Describe the methodological strategies (approaches, methods, techniques, means) that you expect to use to answer your question(s) and objective(s) (interviews, ethnographic forms, digital, textual, ethnographic and documentary sources). Discuss the methodological concerns, both in general and relevant to the particular project, that you anticipate (e.g. access problems and availability of data, ethical questions, power relations, the spatial and temporal dimensions of your study, etc.).
  4. Deadlines: The calendar should include all of the necessary steps of your research process (from ethical certification until the completion of the thesis, including field research and writing up of chapters, and the expected date for submitting the final report to the Research Ethics Board and for submitting the thesis/research paper).
  5. Bibliography: Include bibliographic references for all of the sources cited in the proposal. Use a consistent format for all of the references.
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