Guidelines for the preparation of the PhD thesis proposal


Guidelines for the preparation of the Women’s Studies thesis proposal

The following is the format for students and supervisors in their preparation of the thesis proposal for the Doctoral Program in Women’s Studies. The length of the proposal is 25 to 30 typed pages (bibliography not included). Presentation: double-spaced, title page, pages numbered, Font 12, one inch margins. Please refer to the APA or MLA manuals of style for the presentation of references and general rules regarding the presentation of manuscripts.

I. The topic/the problem: Present the topic of your proposed research. Describe the current state of the literature on the topic and the main points, issues or debates it raises. Specify the research problem that your research wants to address (gap in our knowledge, weaknesses in current understanding(s) of the topic, etc.). This section should convincingly present the nature of the topic and the reasons why it was chosen.

II. Objective(s), Question(s), Thesis/Argument, and Relevance: State the main or general objective(s) of your research and formulate the more specific research question(s) your research attempts to answer. Identify your thesis/working argument. Establish the scope and relevance of your proposed research. Answer how your thesis will produce original knowledge and how it will contribute to the advancement of knowledge in Women’s Studies from a theoretical and/or empirical point of view.

III. Theoretical framework: Articulate the theoretical framework that is relevant to your proposed research by highlighting various theoretical traditions, approaches, debates, propositions and concepts from feminist scholarship as well as from other bodies of scholarship where appropriate). The point here is not only to present your theoretical framework in a detailed manner, but also to establish where and how you locate your work in relation to the bodies of scholarship upon which you intend to draw.

IV. Methodological framework:  Present the methodological strategy (approach, method(s), type(s) and sources of information sought, spatial and temporal scope of your research) you plan to use to answer your research question(s) and meet your research objectives). Clearly show how this methodological strategy will enable you to assemble and analyze the information needed for supporting your thesis/ argument and to answer your research question(s). Where appropriate, address feminist methodological concerns relevant to your study (ethics, power relations, othering, etc.)

V. Provisional outline of the organization of the thesis: Proposed title of thesis, chapter titles and a brief overview of the proposed contents for each chapter.

VI. Research timetable of the thesis: It should include all the necessary steps of your research process (from ethics approval to data collection to chapter writing and completing the thesis).

VII. Bibliography: Include a bibliography of all the sources cited in the proposal.

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