Dr. Perry Alexander

The University of Kansas

Perry Alexander


Proposal Writing Notes

Following are some thoughts on what should go into a PhD research proposal in the outline I would expect one to follow. Before you go further, you should have a mental picture of what you’re building. First, you should have seen an instance of the thing you propose to construct:

The latter can be a bit tricky as proposal defenses have traditionally been closed exams. More recently they have been made open, but if you can’t attend one then don’t worry too much about it. Second, you should understand the process and outcomes of a dissertation:

The roles of student and advisor are very much the roles of apprentice and master from the days of learning a craft or trade. You will learn to do research by working with your advisor. Your dissertation is an apprentice piece. In the same way that an apprentice piece is a demonstration and not necessarily a practical artifact, your dissertation is a demonstration that you know how to do and present research. The practical artifacts are those papers and research proposals that result.


Writing Advice

Writing Advice


Writing Advice

Research Plan:

Writing Advice

Conclusions and Future Work:

My Questions:

I can almost assure you that I will ask these questions. You might as well answer (or avoid) them before I do: