PhD Proposal Writing | Adding to knowledge

To define a genuine contribution to knowledge in the framework of PhD studies is complicated. In a single sense, it could be seen as something someone else hasn't done before and requires a big amount of invention and determination from the researcher. Gall et al. (1996:47) noted that "the imagination and insight that goes into defining the study problem usually establishes the ultimate value of a research review more than other factor". This classification however may be construed as too broad and can be complimented by the reasoning distributed by Grix (2001) who says a 'substantial contribution to knowledge' means "you must have produced original research on a given topic and inserted it solidly in the 'received wisdom' of a particular field"

To pin point a definition for a genuine contribution to knowledge is difficult. However, Madsen (1983:25) supplies the following as a possible start

""Original" means "the to do at least one of the following: find out new facts or principles, suggest relationships that were previously unrecognized, task existing truths or assumptions, manage new insights into little-understood phenomena, or suggest new interpretations of known facts that can transform man's belief of the world around him. "

It is broadly agreed within academics fields a contribution to knowledge may be achieved through a number of ways. Frances (1976) pinpoints eight ways in which originality may be accomplished. However, Estelle and Derek (2010) only concur with six of these points which can be the following

Setting down a major little bit of new information on paper for the very first time;

Continuing a recently original piece of work;

Carrying out original work created by the supervisor;

Providing a single original approach, observation, or lead to an otherwise unoriginal but proficient little bit of research;

Having many original ideas, methods, and interpretations all performed by others under the route of the postgraduate;

Showing originality in tests an individual else's ideas.

Fundamentally, a genuine contribution to knowledge can be seen as an ambiguous affirmation or process as it can be interpreted by differing people in a variety of ways. Dunleavy (2003) expresses concerns regarding overstating the originality of the research and emphasises the necessity to balance development against the topic context. He goes on to suggest that the ultimate way to proceed in research is to think of the contribution as 'value-added'. He clarifies this by declaring, "Focusing on your own 'value added' means keeping a crucial eyes on the extent to which you have transformed or enhanced or differentiated the starting materials of your analysis. " He also continues on to state that, "It also means retaining strong relational habits of argument in which you appropriately recognize the scope to which you draw on the prevailing literature. "

The need for reading literature in the chosen region of research cannot be over emphasised. Without this fundamental grounding of knowledge, a significant student cannot commence to propose an original contribution to knowledge. With no a working understanding of the books in their field, it is made more difficult for students to refine a researchable subject and then consequently contribute original knowledge. Knowledge of the field is critical and includes knowing what has already been done, what the existing hot topics are and projected issues and fads. Ultimately, experts need to understand what was already accomplished before trying to add their own contribution to the field.

Consideration must be given to any personal relevancy the suggested topic supports for the student and what portion of their review would represent the largest contributions of these work. When exploring the literature, it is important to keep in mind such questions as: Is there any controversy or inconsistencies in the study or data? Will a deficiency come in the books on a specific subject matter? From a historical point of view, how has the field attained its present level of understanding the sensation that is being pursued?

"Broader topics are probably more helpful because the broader the topic is, the greater numerous will be the kinds of research questions that may be asked" (Crowl, 1996:20).

During the functions of PhD studies and writings, students can only make preliminary proposals as to what they perceive as original efforts. However, as time progresses and more literature is explored, these primary proposals changes if it is discovered that there's already been some research of a similar nature, and therefore if the original proposals do not modify, new ones are creased in their place.

Put succinctly, this means not simply passively following author's teach of thought but moreover, it means anticipating where in fact the author's line of debate leads, considering alternate extensions and making your own platform that covers these possibilities. . . . Some of the best ideas are born this way. (Krathwohl, 1994:29)

Relating this contextually, my PhD research is in the area of Dyslexia in the public and private areas and its influence on insurance policy making and implementation. This issue chosen continues to be broad in terms of the region I may check out. However the focus of my research is narrowing as more books is read and assessed. After discussions with my Supervisor who is a specialist in Variety and Equalities, my research will also attempt to grasp the actual perceptions are of dyslexia in the general public and private areas and will observe how these mind packages influence the decisions of varied departments and romantic relationships within the business enterprise and public industries. An area I am also willing to investigate is the education of personnel and everyone through schooling and consciousness programmes and other multimedia.

From the literature that I've reviewed at this point, I understand that there has been little research performed in relation to dyslexia plans in the educational sector. What has been investigated quite extensively is the educational insurance policies which relate primarily to main and extra education. There's been little discussion associated with dyslexia during university and university participation. Therefore, I know that any ideas I have adjoining higher education and any research I wish to initiate will most likely result in an original contribution to knowledge.

There has been next to no academics authoring dyslexia insurance policies in the private sector which gives me, as a researcher, a good opportunity to offer some original contribution to knowledge to this field. What has been written in this field concentrates primarily on what's required to comply with national legislation and European legislations. Drake (1999) summarises guidelines and laws by just proclaiming, " prevailing norms and ideals reflect the hobbies of the majority and could subordinate those of the minority. " I agree with this statement but wish to determine just how much this holds true in the framework of general population and private sectors.

What has generally been written about dyslexia in the general public and private sector areas has been more from a interpersonal sciences view stemming from meanings of dyslexia as opposed to stemming from the greater business minded and practical view which focuses more on someone's capability to do careers and the impact this has on company and or educational guidelines. Therefore, within an area which has been under explored and scrutinised, the research I propose to carry out will be original as it will produce new theories as to the reasons dyslexia is barely acknowledge in these areas, along with new insights into how the current policy systems are produced and run and perhaps where new systems and legislation would be beneficial.

There will be an clear flourish of new ideas and quarrels which go with any original contribution, as well as an opportunity to apply any existing ideas generally books to the new region of study. This is important in my own field, as dyslexia in itself, as a form of impairment can be controversial and any new ideas and hypothesis made will be cause for argument and allow past conversations to be revisited. That is also important in the development of original contributions as this allows any theories intended to adapt and expand.

Apart from my very own books search, by speaking with other academics in my own specific field, I could access a whole new level of expertise and academics knowledge. This will give me the possibility to test their knowledge of my chosen region of diversity and tap into their resources. Also, they'll also be able to aide in determining if my chosen subject matter has been previously mentioned in any literature they have read. Academics will not be the only tool I am able to tap throughout my investigations, as I will also have access to a great many other resources such as peers, advisors, supervisors, university staff and federal government office buildings. Other resources will follow as my research produces.

Despite the apparent views of original efforts to knowledge, other questions still stay. One example of this is when a student proceeds a recently original piece of work, could it be truly original? The answer would be in the affirmative in the next conditions; for example, if the direct result were to create new theoretical interpretation with an already given status; to extend, define, elaborate existing work; or even create a fresh research design and/or methodology for research. The second option example would obviously impact on any work which i was to create. This form of original contribution to knowledge is popular when covering an already highly researched area. This allows the researcher to explore areas that have already been explored but have the options to be interpreted in various ways. Also, when a theoretical model is brought from one self-discipline and put on another self-control, it can create many interesting results.

In the context of my research, there's been one author who have searched generally on plans bordering disabilities, all be it more considerably from a politics (authorities) point of view. However he will not go into detail on dyslexia specifically as this isn't the concentration of his research when coming up with the general link to companies. What he has passingly handled on regarding dyslexia would be something I'd like to research further in my research. The specific case is the reactions of the professionals in companies towards disabled employees. In my own research however, I'd more specifically want to check out dyslexics.

Another market in my own chosen theme has been that indirectly included in wildlife experts. There have been many links made about the relationship that prevails between mankind and family pets, and I believe there are still many more links to be made. For instance, if one pet is recognized to be different, then it is excluded from the group or pack. This website link can be made with people. When someone is regarded as different, they can frequently be persecuted directly or indirectly. This might involve a decreasing of self worthy of or esteem and business lead to social exclusion. There may be many assumptions as to why this is, and there already are existing theories in relation to animal behaviour. Therefore I would like to work with these theories in an alternative field/context which again substantiates a genuine contribution to knowledge.

Other areas of originality can be outlined with fresh data which may lead straight into critical appraisal of earlier work. Care must be taken not to re-create prior works, or have something is too strongly associated with a past research specimen. A complete new stance needs to be taken. Whenever a learner, using fresh data, undertakes further research of a topic previously covered a decade earlier, there's a strong chance that the results now would fluctuate. This may tentatively lead to a fresh theory being uncovered regarding the cause of the change and would thus be looked at as another original contribution to knowledge.

If during my research I find that an area I would like to explore has already been covered, yet I find myself disagreeing with the outcomes from the findings I've made, I would collect more data, if time permitted, which allows me to critically appraise that good article with new studies. For instance, if twenty years ago research formulated a theory covering manager's reactions to disabled people in the banking industry, I would haven't any hesitation in contemplating further research in this field considering the major change in laws, disability regulations and banking tactics above the intervening years.

However, if all the task presented is relatively recent, yet I find myself disagreeing with the research, my original contribution could be a new analysis and new end result from the prevailing data. This in turn could lead onto a brand new theoretical interpretation and even fast a new examination and new results derived from the old data.

No matter what sort of research college student deduces whether they have made a genuine contribution to knowledge, what counts is that there is a support framework in location to help and guide them. Mauch and Birch (1989) made some questions to steer researchers when striving to determine the relative durability of research issues, which in my own opinion goes together with original knowledge contribution. Some of the questions highlighted by Mauch and Birch are the following

1. Is there current involvement in this subject matter in your field?

2. Will there be a difference in knowledge that focus on this topic could complete?

3. Is it possible to focus on a little enough segment of the particular issue to make it workable?

4. Can you envision ways to study the topic that will allow conclusions to be drawn with substantial objectivity?

5. May be the data collection (i. e. , test, questionnaire, interviews, etc. ) satisfactory to your

advisor and in your section?

6. Is there a body of literature relevant to the topic?

7. Is actually a search of the topic manageable?

8. Are there large problems to be surmounted in employed in this topic? Is it possible to handle them? Do you want to deal with them?

9. Will be the needed data easily accessible? Do you want to have control of the data?

Placing the aforementioned in context, I can determine whether or not my very own research ticks the boxes of the checklist and for that reason can ascertain, in another way, whether or not my own work can be considered a genuine contribution to knowledge.

In the case of the first question, this is irrelevant to an original contribution. However, it does help make the process of PhD writing easier if there is interest and it is therefore a good starting point for a composition. The answer is yes. Curiosity about disabilities, although diminishing into the background of general population awareness over recent years, remains in the academics world.

The second question is vital to original contributions to knowledge as previously reviewed. Again, the answer is yes. The region of research I have chosen has been under researched and is also therefore a treasure trove ready to be explored further.

Questions 3 to 5 5 along with 7 and 9 are more focused around managing the genuine research and data collection. However is not immediately linked to the original contribution to knowledge, they actually play one factor in deciding if an area should be further looked into.

Question 6 focuses on literature which we've established as being paramount to ascertaining an original contribution to knowledge. In my context, there is literature bordering dyslexia but more from a sociological point of view. So far in my own literature investigations I've not uncovered anything alluding to the subject area I would like to investigate.

The last relevant question, number 8 8, can challenge a researcher when confronted with a genuine contribution to knowledge in a controversial area. Could it be something a first time researcher wants to investigate or could it be best remaining until another opportunity comes up in the future? Not merely is this an issue, this question also increases further questions about other issues. For instance, moral issues. When considering a genuine contribution to knowledge, a researcher must take other factors into consideration.

Ultimately, the matters surrounding "What is a genuine contribution to knowledge" remain quite broad and everything encompassing, but with direction from supervisors and the many books available, research workers, including myself, shouldn't have any serious difficulty finding an original contribution to knowledge.

A succinct conclusion for the process of considering a genuine contribution to knowledge is very well explained by Rojewski in Farmer, E. I. , & Rojewski, J. W. (2001), "It has been almost fourteen days now. You spend what seems like, every waking second great deal of thought. And yet, still nothing. In the cruel twist of destiny, it seems that the additional time you spend great deal of thought the greater elusive the response becomes. Why can't someone just give it for you already and you'll be able to be done with it!"

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