Most American universities ask that a pre-master’s research project address a theme, a problem, a general objective and different specific objectives, a justification, a methodology, some expected results, a bibliographic review (or theoretical reference) and a schedule . This is the basic structure of how to do a pre master project.
These points, however, may vary according to the type of masters and area of activity of the researcher. Therefore, it is essential to read the edict and follow all instructions contained therein.
To help you do your pre-masters research project, we have prepared 9 tips. Check out!
- How to do a pre master project? Define a specific theme and a problematization
The subject of your pre-master’s project needs to be very specific. Therefore, care must be taken not to confuse it with the title and the problem.
Each of these topics brings something of your work. The title must be a synthesis of the whole project, while the theme presents the context in which its proposal is situated. Already the problem is what leads you to propose this research.
To define the theme of your pre-master’s project, it is important to consider which works are developed by the teachers who are part of the master’s program to which you intend to apply. Therefore, be well acquainted with the history of these teachers.
- Write all the steps requested in the edict
Write everything down! Separate a notebook to write down everything you need to solve before submitting your project, including information on how to do it. Some edicts bring instructions to write it and tell you what items are required in the text. In addition, edicts also cite the formatting that your project should have.
Check dates, important information and necessary documentation for registration – and also for test days, as some programs apply knowledge tests in the area. Always be aware of the phases of the chosen program and the dates of each one of them.
- Align the research project with the chosen master program
When it comes to thinking about the project, it is common to want to do what we were already researching during graduation – in a scientific initiation, for example – but does this subject fit into the masters program that you intend to compete for? If you ask this question it is essential that your research does not go unnoticed by the evaluators.
Analyze well the work already developed by the teachers of the program and fit your project in their area of action. One tip is to take individual courses before you even apply, so that you are better acquainted with faculty and ongoing research at the educational institution.
- Search for trusted references
Some master’s programs indicate texts for reading, especially when they have, in one of their phases, the written test. It is interesting that your project cites these references, since they are in the edict by indication of teachers who, possibly, will guide you after its approval.
With the internet and the number of journals available, a necessary care is the search for reliable references. Prefer more current and well-known articles by Capes.
Periodicals may vary in concept. Therefore, for a masters project, look for those who are between A1 and B1. Also, avoid vague references or that are not published in reviewed journals.
- Elaborate questions about the problem raised
By identifying the problem, that is, the questions that make your research necessary and valid, you also come closer to raising your goals. This is because, generally, the objectives are the answers to the identified problem.
Even after you have the problem worked out, you need to question it. Talk to people in your area, see what they think about your propositions, and then check if it is not something that is very common in published research.
- Make a workable schedule
Masters programs require you to schedule your activities. In this section, you’ll put the steps in your search. Include readings, recordings, field surveys, laboratory tests, dissertation writing, and all necessary phases, according to your area of interest.
These activities should be developed within two years of the course. But do not forget that during this time, you will also have classes to attend and congresses to attend. So do not overdo it and be realistic when it comes to creating your timeline.
- Lift Hypotheses and Identify Gaps
In a pre-master’s project, you will have to identify gaps in other research that address the same theme or follow the same theme line. For your research to catch the attention of your potential mentor, show that there are still points to be investigated and questioned.
You need to raise hypotheses, that is, identify a problem and mention some possible solutions. Keep in mind that these solutions do not need to be proven, and during the search you can find others that are more consistent with your work.
- Write clearly and be original.
Once you organize your ideas, you have to put everything on paper. But what we think of is not always built cohesively when we move to writing.
Therefore, consider your reader and write clearly, without leaving vague or unfeeling ideas throughout the text. The master’s research project is a more evolved step than completion of course work (TCC) or scientific initiation projects undertaken during graduation.
The subject needs to be something deeper and more original. It is not necessary that it be a great discovery, but something that complements what has already been researched.
- Prepare the necessary documentation for the application
Each edict will ask for a list of different documentation, but in most cases we find the lattes curriculum request updated and proof of proficiency in a certain foreign language.