7 tips for preparing your master’s or doctoral project

The moment of elaboration of a master’s or doctoral project is extremely important, since in those sheets are the description of your object of study, the theoretical line that you will adopt, the justification of your choices and even some result that you hope to obtain. In short, your project is a guide, a kind of path with stones that you select.

In addition, postgraduate programs require the candidate to present the project at the time of application, so that its good preparation can count a lot for selection. This is not a rule, as many programs require a pre-project, which will be modified after the student enters and after the Scientific Methodology classes.

So, you need to know how the program you want to join works. In any case, the project is a guideline that must be well determined. To make this happen, the following tips can help you.

Preparing your Project

Preparing a master’s or doctoral project can be an intimidating and time-consuming task. Before you begin, it’s essential to make sure you’ve organized your resources and mapped out a plan of action. Taking the time to prepare properly can help ensure your project is as successful as possible.

To get started, it’s important to determine the scope of the project to set realistic goals for yourself. Take into account any milestones that need to be met, along with any possible obstacles you may face in completing the project. Also, consult with your supervisor throughout the process for guidance and feedback on what to include in the project.

The next step is to find materials that support your topic or research question – this could include books, articles, websites related to your field of study.

1- Consult the public notice to know the structure of the project

A master’s or doctoral project does not present major differences in structure, but each program may require a sequence or the insertion of items that vary, such as introduction, justification, general objectives, specific objectives, schedule, bibliography, among others.

Therefore, look for the program’s public notice to know exactly what structure and formatting your project must have.

2- Align your project with the program’s lines of research

Imagine you’ve come up with a genius research project. If you applied to a program that doesn’t cover your research proposal, all that genius won’t do anything to get you approved.

For this reason, once again, it is necessary to read the announcement to know the lines of research at the University, as each program has an identity.

3- Updated bibliography and critical reading

Every graduate project has one or more questions that will be answered by the dissertation or thesis. However, it is necessary to have a minimum reading of updated bibliography, which will be cited in your project.

More than citing, the project gains weight when the author dialogues with the bibliography in a critical way, even pointing out gaps in it.

4- Point out gaps in previous studies

There are, obviously, several aspects of a theme that have not yet been studied and that can therefore ensure the originality of a work. However, nobody is inventing the wheel and the same subject can be studied several times, but with different approaches.

To demonstrate research work and the relevance of the work you are proposing, dialogue with previous studies and point out gaps that such studies left, which need to be filled.

5- Cite current and relevant sources

Always seek dialogue with reliable, relevant and current bibliographic sources. After all, if there are articles from last year on the topic you want to research, it doesn’t seem very appropriate to work only with writings from the 70’s, for example.

Search in national and international scientific journals, which publish articles of great relevance and impact.

6- Be objective and specific

Every master’s thesis or doctoral thesis is a funnel. Imagine all that can be said about a subject. Imagine all the theoretical approaches that can be made on a topic. You will not say everything in your work, nor will you use all the theories developed so far.

Therefore, it is necessary to define well which aspect of a theme will be developed and which theoretical approach(s) will be considered.

A project requires objectivity and specification in its entirety, but especially in the elaboration of research questions. Your project has a theme and, within that theme, there are one or more questions that you propose to answer. To define this, your text should not flower or beat around the bush, but go straight to the point.

7- Be consistent

More than anything, a graduate project needs to be coherent. This means being suited to the program you want to enter, having a defined and adequate object of study and methodology, being specific and never forgetting to align the project with the research time, after all, the times when the master’s degree lasted years and the doctorate a lifetime.

Be consistent and good studies!