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What is the animating intellectual problem or paradox?

The outline should describe your proposed MA dissertation, briefly assess the relevant academic literature (and show your research project’s intended contributions to it), present a convincing rationale and set of objectives for the proposed research, and outline a preliminary chapter structure. * 2,500 words maximum, excluding bibliography.You may find the categories below to be useful in constructing your dissertation outline, but these are intended only as a guide. Dissertation structure1. Title of the Project* Provide a working title – this may change further down the line. The title of your project might be different from your central research question.2. Aims and Scope* What is your central research question? What is the animating intellectual problem or paradox?* What are the sub-questions that you need to ask to get at this central question?* Why is your topic interesting and important?* Demonstrate the dissertation’s originality, but take care to avoid the trap of over-claiming your original contribution.3. The Literature Review* Locate your question within the field.* What are the debates with which you are engaging? What is the relevance of your research to these debates?* Avoid over-derivative writing, over-referenced work, or exhaustive literary trawl.* Organise the literature review around its relevance to your research question.* Avoid ‘clever’ critique which raises unrealistic expectation of your own contribution.4. Theoretical Framework (could be integrated into the lit. review or separate if appropriate) Identify a framework for your research, by:* Specifying and critically evaluating core concepts or categories helping to analyse the primary research data (e.g. ethnographic material, interview data) and/or secondary sources.* Engaging with recent theoretical approaches and contributions to the field in question.5. Methodology * What research methods are you choosing?* Why are these most appropriate to your research?* How will you conduct your research (e.g. participant-observation, interviews, archival research, library research, a mixture of the above)?* What are your main sources of data/material?* Are there any ethical issues surrounding access to this material (issues of language, confidentiality, etc) 6. Structure of Dissertation* A strong dissertation outline should include a proposed chapter structure (please see ‘Assessment Criteria for Dissertation Outlines’)* The proposed chapter structure is like a table of contents but may also include a brief description of the chapters Note: Every dissertation should contain ‘orientating devices’ (Dunleavy, P. Authoring a PhD, Palgrave, 2003, p.14). Chapters, and sections within chapters, function as these ‘orientating devices’. Your dissertation structure may look something like this. It is also helpful to provide a percentage to indicate the relative length of each section:* Introductory chapter (your expanded research outline will serve as the basis for this; it sets out what you will do and how you will do it)* Theoretical Chapter/Literature Review* Methodological Chapter (only for those conducting primary research)* Substantive Chapters (3-4)* Conclusion7. Timetable of Work* Indicate a realistic timetable for completing the various elements of the research and drafting of the thesis8. BibliographyThe bibliography is not included in the limit of 2,500 words.”

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