Advisor: Your Advisor Name
Department of Civil Engineering
Lyles College of Engineering
California State University – Fresno
AbstractThe abstract should show a reasonably informed reader why a particular topic is important to address and how you will do it. To that end, you need to specify the question that your research will answer, establish why it is a significant question, show how you are going to answer the question, and indicate what you expect we will learn.
Table of Contents TOC o “1-3” h z u Abstract PAGEREF _Toc520978949 h iTable of Contents PAGEREF _Toc520978950 h iiTable of Tables PAGEREF _Toc520978951 h iiiTable of Figures PAGEREF _Toc520978952 h iv1.Introduction PAGEREF _Toc520978953 h 12.Literature Review PAGEREF _Toc520978954 h 13.Summary PAGEREF _Toc520978959 h 34.References PAGEREF _Toc520978960 h 3
Table of Tables TOC h z c “Table” Table 1. Margin Settings PAGEREF _Toc520979000 h 2
Table of Figures TOC h z c “Figure” Figure 1: Sample line art illustration PAGEREF _Toc520978686 h 2
IntroductionThe introduction provides a brief overview that tells a fairly well informed (but perhaps non specialist) reader what the proposal is about. It might be as short as a single page, but it should be very clearly written. This section should answer the following questions:
What is your proposal about?
What specific issue or question will your work address?
How you will approach the work? (very briefly)
What will we learn from your work?
Why is this work important?
Literature ReviewYour LR should be 4 to 5 pages. The purpose of the literature review is to situate your research in the context of what is already known about a topic. It need not be exhaustive, it needs to show how your work will benefit the whole. It should provide the theoretical basis for your work, show what has been done in the area by others, and set the stage for your work.
In a literature review you should give the reader enough ties to the literature that they feel confident that you have found, read, and assimilated the literature in the field. It might do well to include a paragraph that summarizes each article’s contribution, and a bit of ‘mortar’ to hold the edifice together, perhaps these come from your notes while reading the material. The flow should probably move from the more general to the more focused studies, or perhaps use historical progression to develop the story. It need not be exhaustive? relevance is ‘key’.
This is also where you present the holes in the knowledge that need to be plugged, and by doing so, situate your work. It is the place where you establish that your work will fit in and be significant to the discipline.
MethodologyYour Methodology section should be 3 to 4 pages. This section includes the overview of approach, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation of data. The overview of approach should make clear to the reader the way that you intend to approach the research question and the techniques and logic that you will use to address it. The data collection section might include the field site description, a description of the instruments you will use, and particularly the data that you anticipate collecting. You may need to comment on site and resource accessibility in the time frame and budget that you have available, to demonstrate feasibility, but the emphasis in this section should be to fully describe specifically what data you will be using in your study. Part of the purpose of doing this is to detect flaws in the plan before they become problems in the research. The data analysis part should explain in some detail how you will manipulate the data that you assembled to get at the information that you will use to answer your question. It will include the statistical or other techniques and the tools that you will use in processing the data. It probably should also include an indication of the range of outcomes that you could reasonably expect from your observations. In the interpretation section, you should indicate how the anticipated outcomes will be interpreted to answer the research question. It is extremely beneficial to anticipate the range of outcomes from your analysis, and for each know what it will mean in terms of the answer to your question.
Expected ResultsThis section should give a good indication of what you expect to get out of the research and how you are going to interpret the results. It should join the data analysis and possible outcomes to the theory and questions that you have raised. If you have already been working on this project and you have some results, you may include them as “Preliminary Results”. Your expected results section should be 2 to 3 pages.
Time TableThis section shows how long this project will take. You should list the stages/tasks of the research project in timeline spreadsheet or tabular format.
CostThis sections shows how much this project will cost. You should tabulate the itemized budget.
SummaryYou should summarize the goal of this proposal in this section. The length of this section should be at least half a page.
ReferencesYou should list all the resources cited in your research proposal. Use ASCE format. You may use EndNote software to manage your references. Make sure your references are peer reviewed articles. You should have at least 10 references.