Proposals That Work
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Proposals That Work

A Guide for Planning Dissertations and Grant Proposals

Sixth Edition



© 2013 | 408 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Previous editions of this book have helped well over 100,000 students and professionals write effective proposals for dissertations and grants. Covering all aspects of the proposal process, from the most basic questions about form and style to the task of seeking funding, Proposals That Work offers clear advice backed up with excellent examples. Ináthe fifth edition, the authors haveáincluded a discussion of the effects of new technologies and the Internet on the proposal process, with URLs listed where appropriate. In addition, there are new sections covering alternative forms of proposals and dissertations and the role of academic rigor in research. As always, the authors have included a number of specimen proposals, two that are completely new to this edition, to help shed light on the important issues surrounding the writing of proposals. Clear, straightforward, and reader friendly, Proposals That Work is a must own for anyone considering writing a proposal for a thesis, a dissertation, or a grant.
Part I. Writing the Proposal
Chapter 1. The Function of the Proposal
Chapter 2. Doing the Right Thing: "The Habit of Truth"
Chapter 3. Developing the Thesis or Dissertation Proposal: Some Common Problems
Chapter 4. Content of the Proposal: Important Considerations
Chapter 5. Preparation of Proposals for Qualitative Research: Different Assumptions
Chapter 6. Proposals for Mixed Methods Research
Chapter 7. Style and Form in Writing the Proposal
Chapter 8. The Oral Presentation
Part II. Money for Research
Chapter 9. Money for Research: How to Ask for Help
Chapter 10. Preparation of the Grant Proposal
Part III. Specimen Proposals
Proposal 1. Experimental Study
Proposal 2. Qualitative Study
Proposal 3. Online Electronic Survey Study
Proposal 4. Funded Grant

A valuable guide for practitioners and students in the fields of research and funding applications. Easily accessible format provides insightful advice and guidelines for students and practitioners new to funding and research application practices.

Dr Samantha Leonard
Department of Development Studies, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
June 8, 2015

This text serves as an important resources for doctoral students involved in research on international development.

Dr Emmanuel Jean Francois
Education Studies Dept, Ohio University
December 26, 2014

this is a useful guide to help students to think through the complexities of project planning

Dr Ellen Kitson-reynolds
Faculty of health sciences, Southampton University
November 7, 2014

Excellent resource for dissertations. The authors provide a down-to-earth approach to all phases of the dissertation, from reviewing research to publishing results. They also provide practical and realistic descriptions of political and interpersonal issues with chairs and committees, which surprised the students. I recommend it particularly for students in EdD programs who have limited experience with academic settings.

Dr Nancy Sanders
Education, Cal State Polytech-Pomona
September 15, 2014

This is a very useful book for students needing to think about bid writing. In a challenging employment market within the community and youth work field i will now be recommending this book to students on my course.

Ms Danielle White
Education , University of Manchester
May 14, 2014
Key features

New to this Edition

  • Includes a discussion of the effects of new technologies on the proposal process.  URLs are inserted where appropriate.
  • Chapters 9 and Chapter 10 now pay much closer attention to the preparation of grant proposals.
  • In turn, that material is supported in Part III by the inclusion of a specimen proposal authored by a graduate student seeking internal funding for a dissertation.
  • A new section devoted to alternative dissertation formats that serve to more closely link the proposal with the subsequent dissertation and, in turn, with the production and publication of research reports.
  • Greater coverage of focus group research.
  • New coverage of mixed methods designs.
  • Two new sample proposals.

A wide variety of considerations are involved in the decision to produce a new edition for an established textbook such as Proposals That Work (PTW), and our sixth effort is no exception. We did the following:

  • Updated everything
  • Continued the focus on funding for student research and enhanced and extended the information on locating grants
  • Provided contemporary insights into the grant review process
  • Added a chapter on mixed methods research that provides expanded resources and advice for undertaking a M-M study
  • Updated and expanded sections on the use of technology in finding and reading research, for presenting research, and for finding grant information
  • Added examples from additional academic fields
  • Extensively updated the references
  • Updated and expanded the resources to obtain additional information
  • Included two new specimen proposals. One deals with a multi-experiment study and provides totally new information on how to craft a proposal for these types of study. The second is a qualitative proposal where we concentrated on everything but the literature review (that has two other examples) and will extend and provide a model for those doing qualitative research. Both of these are totally new and (I think) provide excellent advice--in addition to the two others that also do that.
  • Updated and expanded (slightly) the annotated bibliography

Following the major revisions of the Part II on grants for research in the fifth edition we have further focused the two chapters on the information graduate students need to pursue funding. The sections on how and where to find grants have been expanded and all the technological advances that have taken place since the last edition have been integrated into this guide. These chapters provide a thorough introduction to the preparation of grant proposals for students seeking financial support for theses and dissertations.

To respond to the need for more graduate student guidance on preparing proposals for mixed methods research this volume includes a chapter on the topic. As a part of the chapter we provide a group of resources for learning more and then provide advice for the student preparing a mixed methods proposal. The chapter builds on what precedes it and those considering mixed methods dissertations will want to read this chapter early to get a perspective of the task.

As we have done over the last few editions of PTW, we have included two new specimen proposals in the sixth edition. Proposal 1 is a multipart experimental study. In many academic areas in the social and behavioral sciences a series of studies now is the standard for dissertation research. This proposal and our comments show the particular demands of a multipart study and how the tasks of proposing a dissertation can be tailored to more complex research. Proposal 2 is a qualitative study where the student is engaged in field research. We have edited this proposal to focus on making a case for the study and detailing the methods. The special nature of qualitative research is reflected throughout this proposal—as are all the generic tasks that are required. When combined with proposals 3 and 4 readers will have good sense of various ways to craft a proposal that wins committee approval or funding.

Finally, throughout the book we have paid special attention to expanding examples and suggesting resources to many academic areas. The success of PTW and its utility across university campuses requires this, but we have worked to make certain the examples do not require a technical background in any one discipline.


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ISBN: 9781452216850
£44.99
69.00 INR
$69.00