Writing a synopsis for research project
Research writing: an introduction
Research writing is an integral part of every academic discipline today. The governments of both developed and developing countries invest a considerable sum for the research purpose by offering scholarships to those pursuing PhDs. In many renowned universities worldwide, the research is compulsory not just for postgraduate students but also the undergraduate ones. Hence, it becomes crucial for a student pursuing research to possess in-depth knowledge about writing synopsis as it is the first step towards the end goal.
Synopsis: a framework for a research project
A synopsis for research project is a framework for the entire research project, written in 3000 or 4000 words. The students are usually required to submit this to their research guides much before submitting the final research paper. It gives an overview to the professor about the research project. Thus, it should be concise and brief, but at the same time, the students should incorporate all the essential information in it. It usually has the following sub-parts unless specified otherwise by the professor such as:
The title of a research paper should be catchy. However, it should be informative as well. The student should understand that research is more concerned with academic language and less with creative writing. Hence, the focus should be on thinking of a title that reflects your research topic rather than just employing literary devices to make it sound fancy.
The introduction discusses the research question or problem in detail. This section is most important as it mentions the topic the research paper will revolve around. The student should also justify the research question and problem they have chosen by writing about its relevance with respect to the particular area they are working in. Furthermore, one should also specify how their research differs from the earlier researchers’ works in the same area.
This section is devoted to the examination of the literature available in the field the student is researching. In other words, it consists of the summaries of the research papers already written by the other researchers on the topic one chose.
A hypothesis is an answer or solution to the research question or the problem you are focusing on. However, it is worth noting that these answers or results are not the actual findings but the assumed ones. Thus, this hypothesis might be proved true or false after the research, depending on the research findings. If this happens, it doesn’t mean that now you have to redo everything again. Instead, you have to specify that the hypothesis turned out to be false in your research paper.
The objectives should clearly state how your research will contribute to the specific field you have chosen to work in. You can also talk about how your research paper is trying to fill the literature gap in that area.
- Methods and Methodologies
Every academic discipline has a set of methods and methodologies employed by the students pursuing research in those specific areas. The students should carefully choose methods and methodologies as they should be ideal for the research question or problem one is focusing on.
References always begin from a new page. They inform the readers about the sources you have referred to while writing the synopsis. There are different formats like American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), etc., to write them. The professors always inform the style they want the students to follow. In case they don’t specify anything, it’s your responsibility to ask them. One must note that it is imperative to include references; otherwise, you will be committing plagiarism. In almost all the acclaimed universities, plagiarism is considered a legal offense and can lead to serious consequences. Hence, references are extremely significant.
- Proofreading of the Synopsis
Proofreading consists of reading the synopsis after its completion, the detection and the correction of errors. Students often avoid the proofreading of their paper because they assume that they must have written everything correctly in the first attempt only. However, the student should understand that it’s almost impossible not to commit even a single mistake in the first draft. Hence, proofreading is crucial to writing a synopsis. Thus, one must not avoid it at any cost.
Professors usually make peer-reviewing compulsory. However, even if it is not mandatory in your case, ask your friends to check your synopsis and give reviews. In return, you should do the same with their work. It will serve you two benefits. First of all, it will help you get insights about your synopsis from a second person. The peer might notice the mistakes which you overlooked. Furthermore, by reading and reviewing your friend’s work, you will know if you have missed something. Also, you will become aware of the multiple ways to attempt the same section.
Indeed, Research writing is intimidating. However, writing a synopsis helps the researchers to a great extent. Hence, the student must dedicate a considerable amount of time to write it according to the guidelines.