Thesis proposal writing workshop series

Eligibility: SSEDSW DSW and PhD students at the beginning of their research degree
Day: Thursdays, March - June (check below for exact dates)
Time: 4–6pm
Venue: tbc upon registration
To register, email: Research Student Liaison Officer, Sydney School of Education and Social Work

Note: some students are required to enrol in this workshop series as a condition of candidacy (for example, students undertaking the EdD); for others, formal enrolment is optional. The Unit of Study code for formally enrolled students is EDPZ5003.

Whether enrolled formally or not, students who register are required to attend the full series rather than choose specific workshops. This allows for a sustained collaborative culture to be built over the course of the semester.

Workshop synopsis


The objective of the series is to support Research Higher Degree students as they prepare their formal thesis proposals for presentation and approval, through a program of workshops organised around issues in thinking, reading and writing about research design and practice. The aims of the workshops are to:

  • support students to develop their own research proposals by giving them an environment in which they discuss and 'defend' their proposed approaches, and receive feedback on their proposals-in-development.
  • develop their understanding of ways of writing about social science research methods, to enable them to be critical consumers of research carried out using approaches they may not personally use, but will encounter in the process of writing their thesis proposal and in the research process more generally.

What happens in workshops?

The workshops explore a range of approaches to writing about research practice and emphasise the common logic of the research process, and the importance of rigorous and systematic approaches to writing about design and analysis in all research traditions. Opportunities to write and receive feedback on research writing are integrated into workshop pedagogy.


What will I get out of coming to workshops?

As a result of conscientiously participating in this series of workshops and careful and wide reading, students should be able to write a coherent, rigorous research proposal to support the conduct of their Higher Degree Research. Students will also gain opportunities to work closely with colleagues in the development of their research proposals.


Workshop timetable 2017

4-6pm Topic
16 March Introduction to research reading, writing and design
23 March The thesis proposal
30 March Writing a literature review for a thesis proposal: purposes, processes, pitfalls
6 April Writing research questions
13 April Optimising your use of online library resources
27 April Theory, coherence and rigour in research design
4 May Writing workshop: the background to your study
18 May Writing workship: the social/educational and research significance of your study
25 May Writing workshop: the literature review
1 June Writing workshop: refining your research questions
8 June The research design for your study
15 June Ethical considerations

In semester 2, students will work on a weekly basis with study group members, and the whole group will meet together 3 to 4 times, at a time and with a focus to be negotiated with the group at the conclusion of semester 1.

To register: email the Research Student Liaison Officer, Sydney School of Education and Social Work.



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