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gphillips
02-23-2010, 09:46 AM
Hi there, I have only just joined the wonderful guild that is, but was wondering if anyone had any opinions on my dissertation proposal?

http://www.mediafire.com/?m1edzhhzxor

The part in red has been added to satisfy my tutor.

Any feedback would be greatly recieved as I am just teetering on the edge of writing it - as well as any links to any sites that may be helpful. I will post up some more of my work later this week.

Thank you in advance

Gavin

NeonKnight
02-23-2010, 01:10 PM
Perhaps a little info before people go 'blindly' downloading documents off the web would be appreciated. I may read it, then again I may not, but what I CAN tell you is I will not download something without fully knowing what I am downloading.

I hope you understand.

Rythal
02-23-2010, 05:30 PM
A few things of note from a high school student:

a)I was taught that first person was not to be used in formal writing

b) some really big words in there, though I suppose that that isn't exactly a problem.

c) the last sentence, "It is this that I want to explore." sounds more like an opening than a conclusion. Mind you, I have no clue what a dissertation is, so for all I know that may be appropriate.

the-golem
02-23-2010, 07:41 PM
Rythal has a point. Sorta.

It's a proposal, and the readers know this. So, you don't need to state or declare THAT you want to explore, just WHAT you want to explore. IMHO, you can simply delete that sentance, and your proposal would be just fine without it.

Rythal, btw, if this were the dissertation itself, you'd probably be right. However, this is a proposal, and is more along the lines of telling your instructor what topic you want to cover in your essay. As such, I think using "I" is perfectly legitimate.

Rythal
02-23-2010, 09:39 PM
ok, thanks for clearing that up :)

VincentAlliath
02-23-2010, 09:49 PM
Rythal has a point. Sorta.

It's a proposal, and the readers know this. So, you don't need to state or declare THAT you want to explore, just WHAT you want to explore. IMHO, you can simply delete that sentance, and your proposal would be just fine without it.

Rythal, btw, if this were the dissertation itself, you'd probably be right. However, this is a proposal, and is more along the lines of telling your instructor what topic you want to cover in your essay. As such, I think using "I" is perfectly legitimate.

Agreed. First person is completely fine in this.

I also understand that you likely have a word minimum for this, but as it stands, this is an unremarkable document. It doesn't speak to me the way a proposal should. William Strunk's mantra, "Make every word tell", should be kept in mind in all forms of writing, but for a proposal of this kind, the only thing you should be doing is telling. There is no need to prepare yourself in writing to tell. Just tell.

A lot of your writing is a little too flashy for a proposal, also. Examples include, but are not limited to:


... but that without the proper research and development that I will flounder.
This part made little enough sense on its own without having the first part of the sentence added. There are too many words here. I'd suggest cutting out the words that I've bolded, because regardless of grammatical correctness in whatever form of English, it makes the sentence awkward and unwieldy. A comma after "development" would not go astray, and finding a simpler word than flounder is recommended. Although it is used in context, it is too dissimilar to the simple form of the rest of the clause.


I currently see my practice as a slowly developing mechanism with several cogs that could probably use a good oiling ...
Is this absolutely necessary? The sentence starts off so well, and then it just morphs into a useless metaphor that lacks confidence. There is no strength in adverbs, and there is no strength in a word like "probably", let alone your descent into colloquial-esque language with "use a good oiling". By all means, talk about a machine that has several cogs, but find another way to get your point across that shows confidence in your writing.


It is this that I want to explore.
As others have said before, it sounds more like an opening. That's not all, though. It lacks the resound of a conclusion, because you're telling us something that is far too obvious to be said. The point of the proposal is to tell us what you want to explore. If you feel you still need to tell us, at the end, that what you've just said is what you want to explore, then you have not told us enough in the body of the piece.


I apologise if I've been harsh, but the English language is my practice, and if my Australian education had given me the chance to write a dissertation on it, I would have. I suggest you make your confidence in your dissertation sure before you step blind into writing it. Adverbs need to be dropped, and your need for flashy writing (which seems to be prevalent in every academic; a trait that I always found disgusting in my peers) also needs to go. Simple is safe, and make every word tell.

On a final note, it does seem to be a fine idea. Remember that the writing strengthens it as much as your thought, however, and no amount of thought will make up for a badly written piece.

waldronate
02-23-2010, 10:16 PM
I'm not sure I understand your premise. Mathematically, it is not possible for a projection from a spheroid to a plane to preserve both angles (conformance) and areas (equivalence) at all points. For practical purposes and over relatively small areas, it is possible to reduce the errors to the point where the error due to map projection is much smaller than the pixels on a point-sampled device. In my opinion, the big shift in modern mapping is the huge masses of accurate and relevant data available for presentation to the typical user on inexpensive devices. The fact that map projections are irrelevant to the typical user doesn't mean that the underlying mathematical laws about them will change in any way. Or did I misunderstand the premise of your proposal?

gphillips
02-24-2010, 11:27 AM
Hi everyone, thank you for the feedback!

I am going to apologise in advance for not using the quote system in the proper manner, I am using an advanced reply and it seems to have removed the selection tool, so I will do it sequentially:

@NeonKnight: I understand completely, but now that you have seen other guild members download the file (15k word doc) and verify that it will not eat your HDD perhaps you could now read and comment? If still not, that is no problem.

@Rhythal, the-golem and VincentAlliath (partially): I attend a very creative, formerly groundbreaking institution - Dartington College of Arts - and as part of the writing degree you are encouraged to write within different deictic modes to challenge traditional notions of writing. This is a proposal that since posting here my tutor has confirmed as satisfactory 'if not a little rambly towards the end.' Whilst the university takes a relaxed attitude towards its lectures and other events there is predominantly a high standard of work handed in on deadline day.

Saying this, having re-read my proposal I do agree that the 'It is this I want to explore' phrase to end the document is incorrect and have thus removed it. VincentAlliath, I am assuming you have been educated in classical language terms, whereas I am am a mere pauper(!) struggling through my degree. I have a fair knowledge of language but my time here at Dartington has shown me that it is not everything when it comes to writing, that title goes to context which I am afraid I cannot offer you (but I am having a friend send me some old work on his computer which would explain further where this dissertation has come from, if anyone wanted to read) but only hope that you continue to read my updated work when I post.

@waldronate: you are spot on my friend, you have not misinterpreted at all. I realise that I am writing a dissertation that will inevitably lead me to prove myself wrong, something that I am aware of and have communicated this to my tutor (who I am still awaiting reply) but the crux of this piece lies in the relationship between cartography and writing. Mathematically, conformance and equivalence are mutually exclusive, but the level of distortion achieve by variants of map projection (mercator, gnomonic etc) is questionable especially when considering the rate that handheld devices are becoming available. I must confess I do not fully understand the mathematical relativity needed to question area and angles, but do understand the implications of this for a writer using any given map to reference their work. The boundaries expressed in common projection maps trail over into referencing when considering contextualised geographic locations.

I hope that this response has cleared up some issues, but realise that there is a lot of work to be done. I will be posting updated work for my dissertation throughout its progression.

Gavin

NeonKnight
02-24-2010, 11:38 AM
Hi, I gave it a read, and while I will be honest, in the concise form it is currently in is a little lacking in my understanding (my fault not yours), I would be interested in seeing where such a work might go. I take it this is for a MASTERS or DOCTORATE?

And thanx for understanding my reluctance to view. My area of education lies in Networking, Internet Security and the like.

gphillips
03-18-2010, 09:20 AM
Hello all,

Just thought I'd post up the first 5000 words of my dissertation if anyone so wanted to read it.

http://www.mediafire.com/?z11u2y1uknm

As before, any comments welcome and thank you in advance!

Gavin