Back to Basics! Follow these 5 Forgotten Rules to a Perfect Research Synopsis

A Synopsis lets you convey the research ideas, assumptions, future recommendations and contributions to the pool of knowledge. It is a gateway to planning your research, defined by the research goals and methods stated therein.     

Research writing isn't easy; you must abide by certain guidelines, layouts, chapterisation rules, in addition to the rules of writing. In the case of writing a synopsis, the difficulties multiply. Introduce your research in a clear manner, present arguments, statistics, and assumptions/limitations, and conclude it with breakthrough results and recommendations. To add the cherry on the cake, write flawlessly and in accordance with the academic expectations.

We have got a list of 5 rules to abide by for writing down a flawless academic research synopsis. Common, but often ignored, these rules can save you from rework and rejection:           

1. Minimize: Be brief, accurate and to the point. Too much information is not recommended; it, in fact, makes the crucial part of it go hiding under layers of redundancy. Follow a structure or layout from the beginning and be precise as to what you aim to include under each chapter, section or even paragraph. Tip: Less is more!

2. Maximize: Each line stated in your synopsis must be clear, transparent and unambiguous. It must do justice to what its intended meaning is. It is often recommended that you must present a problem or issue from multiple lenses; rather than adopting a  narrow approach. However, highlight the unique approach that you propagate the most.

3. Easy-to-read: Avoid long and complex data tables. These not only confuse the readers, but it also sways away from the attention required on content towards graphics. Use of confused words, superfluous information, illogical transitions across paragraphs or sections, must be avoided to increase the readability.  

4. Back it up!: Include raw data and statistical computations wherever necessary. Statistics is an indispensable part of research and it must be given due importance in the synopsis. It lends your research the much-needed reliability and validity factor.

5. Highlight: Design suitable headings and subheadings and write them in ‘bold’. This makes it easier to navigate through the synopsis. Use the automated insertions of headings, subheadings, table of contents, list of tables/figures/illustrations, for online submissions. In addition,  the headings must be clear, concise and indicative of what lies below.

So before you submit your synopsis to the committee, re-check your document for these commonly ignored rules which can help you refine your writing.

Category : PhD Research
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