The halfway point!
Writing a research report is not easy. Writing a research proposal about your own study is easier in some ways and harder in others.
Having not written one in a long time, I’ve forgotten how to write one. In terms of structure, language, which information goes in which section, how to talk about studies in the Introduction…It seems like it should be second nature by now being in my third year of studying psychology. But I feel like my writing can be quite sloppy, and it is nowhere near as concise as published research articles. Hopefully practice will make perfect!
What’s been easy?
· Because it was my own study I knew the method pretty well.
· The articles my supervisors gave me for the background literature were really helpful to kickstart and form the backbone of my Introduction. They helped me to understand the rationale for my study even before any writing.
· My lab meeting presentation helped get my ideas together.
What’s been hard?
· There has never been an assignment where I have never not gone over the word limit. But this time, there is no word limit — just a page limit. Which is more confusing in some ways because how many words is 8 pages? (Double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font…?) The draft proposal I submitted was 9 pages for the writing part in total, and I know I’ll have to cut it down but I wanted to leave that for after receiving peer and supervisor feedback.
· I find that the hardest part is combining all the different studies into one coherent story in the Introduction. Linking them, including only relevant details and being concise is not easy. I can only help that it flows well enough, and I’ll hopefully be able to make it better after I get feedback.
· Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of so many references and which piece of info came from where.
What helps me?
· Knocking out the Participants part first — the simplest because it’s only 1 or 2 sentences!
· Then filling out the rest of the Methods, and THEN moving on to the dreaded Introduction.
· Doing word dumps of basic ideas of what I want to say (like Jenny recommended from her Writing tips book) and then worrying about making it sound nice
· Colour-coding sentences with the references they came from if I don’t want to go in and in-text cite every time I write a new sentence/paragraph (which can ruin my flow)
· Looking at it the next day puts a fresh perspective which helps me to edit