The Exact Process to Formulate a Strong Ph.D. Concept Paper

A concept paper or note is a prerequisite of a Ph.D. program. A student writes this paper during their application process and when they have been admitted into the program. This paper does not go beyond 2500 words and communicates your key research points. However, despite being concise, you need to make it comprehensive so as to convince your department about your capability to complete the Ph.D. program. You can get valuable assignment help and assistance from experts in creating a concept paper if you find the process of making it a bit overwhelming. In this article, you’ll find the precise format of a concept paper, which will help you develop a good one for yourself.


Essential Elements of a Ph.D. Concept Paper

The format of the concept paper differs from university to university. So, it’s important for a Ph.D. student to read their university guidelines before composing this paper carefully. Given below are some common elements of a Ph.D. paper.


  1. Title 

The title explains what the proposed study is about. It emphasizes the variables of the study and the relationship between them, if applicable. It’s best to keep the title specific and short, not more than 15 words. You can make your title more specific by adding a subtitle. But ensure to separate them by a full colon.


  1. Background 

The background to your proposed study should contain the following:

  • The history of your subject.

  • What conclusions have been drawn by other researchers who studied this topic?

  • The gaps in the present literature, and what has been left unaddressed by other researchers?

  • What your proposed study will be contributing towards bridging the existing gaps. 


  1. Problem statement

It’s a precise description of the problem that your research will address. The problem statement also describes the relevance of the problem, the significance of analyzing it, and the approaches you will use to do so.


  1. Goals and objectives of the research 

The goals entail a statement about what you hope to achieve when the study ends. It’s wise to have only a single goal. However, it can have numerous elements in it.


The objectives, in contrast, are specific statements about the ways you will go about fulfilling your intended goal. The objectives should adhere to a stepwise order so that you can frame the activities in a well-defined manner. You should also state the objectives through action words like ‘to measure’, ‘to create’, and the like. It’s best to limit the objectives to a maximum of four. Otherwise, it will only make the dissertation writing more complex.


  1. Research questions

Research questions allow the writer to remain focused on their research. The research goal is to offer answers or solutions to the research questions. These answers form the thesis statement. A characteristic of good research questions is that they can be explored in-depth and also defended through evidence. It’s best to avoid using questions with a yes or no kind of response. 


  1. Review of preliminary literature 

This review shows the following:

  • Whether the student has a good knowledge of the present state of debate about their topic. 

  • Whether the student is acquainted with the experts in their topic domain.

  • Identification of the research gaps. 


  1. Design, techniques, and procedures of the proposed research

In this part, you describe your research methodology in brief. Some vital issues you can consider during this part are as follows:

  • Will you be using a qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods approach?

  • Will you utilize primary or secondary data?

  • What are the sources of your data, and are they readily accessible?

  • How will you be collecting data? Will you collect it by yourself, or will it require external assistance?

  • How will you be analyzing your data?


Today, you have a variety of tools at your disposal for conducting your research. They include:

  • Interviews

  • Questionnaires

  • Surveys

  • Theoretical analysis

  • Lab experiments

  • Archival research


  1. Chapter layout or structure

The concept proposal should have an outline of the proposed chapters and your significant research points. Some things to consider while doing so are as follows.

  • Do not delve into details, as you only need to provide an idea about your proposed study.

  • Keep the chapter summaries brief.

  • Every chapter summary must have its unique research question. If you find it difficult to structure the chapters, you can reach out for professional coursework help. The expert academic writers will support you to create a thoughtful concept paper.


  1. Bibliography and references

You don’t need your concept paper to have a comprehensive list of sources. But it’s important to append a small bibliography. Adhere to the standard referencing style, like the Harvard, Chicago, and the MLA style. Never forget to append primary reference text. Do not mention those sources that you haven’t consulted.


Final Words

A good concept paper will help you proceed smoothly to the next phase of your Ph.D. program, i.e., creating the proposal. Keep the paper short and precise so that your Ph.D. committee can quickly determine that you can handle the entire research process. It’s also a wise idea to get the help of experts in this process. Professional assignment help online services will guide you throughout this process, from formulating the research to editing the paper. Thus you can be assured of submitting a top-quality concept paper.

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