The Proposal is Harder Than the Paper

This summer I was supposed to write my Plan B (something that’s like a Thesis) – okay I’ll be honest, I was supposed to write it this past spring – but summer keeps running away from me. Between all the weddings (I’ve been to 3 so far and I still have one to be in), work, finding work, family and friends I just haven’t found the time to sit down and do all the prep that is necessary. Last week I started to read articles again and look at what I have for a proposal so far, it’s not much.

My main set back is the proposal itself has very set instructions about what I am supposed to cover.  I need an introduction in which I introduce the topic,  the theoretical basis, the methodology, and justify the research. That section is easy and pretty much complete. Then I need to do an organized and comprehensive review of prior research on the topic. I need to do more research on the topic and then do a mass amount of reading. My main problem (aside from lots of reading) is finding relevant articles about the topic. There are a lot of articles online and in pop-culture magazines and papers, but not many peer-reviewed articles. I also have to go back and re-read things I read back in the fall in order to talk about then knowledgeably (guess I should have taken notes the first time around). The third section is supposed to be an introduction of the theory as well as an explanation as to why they theory is appropriate for the research. I have a good start on this section, but it defiantly needs some work and possibly a little more research. My research question/thesis statement is pretty set,  but might need some tweaking once all my research is found. The methods section is relatively straight forward and explains the method and why it is incorporated for the research at hand. For the most part the section is complete, but probably deserves a second look. The timeline that takes about dates for the steps of the project needs editing again to line up with the semester better, but shouldn’t take too much to change. All in all I’m told that the proposal is going to be about 20 pages, which with all I have to include sounds about right.

The funny part  comes in when talking to my committee members, who told me that my Plan B doesn’t need to be as long as my independent study (which was 40 pages). So first I have to write the proposal (20 pages) in order to write a paper that will be 20-30 pages. The stupid proposal seems to require more research, thought, and time than the actual paper itself (I’m sure I’ll change my mind about which is harder once I actually start writing).

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