Am I just nervous?
August 29, 2006 8:57 AM Subscribe
GradSchoolAnxietyFilter: I have no research experience. How do I describe my research plan?
posted by anonymous to Education (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Please describe in detail the research plan you wish to pursue at Institution including the theme, approach and methods, etc. which you intend to use.
That's just one of the various questions on the application. Problem is, I've never really done any graduate level research, and though I have a few different ideas for a "research plan" rolling around in my brain, I'm not feeling very confident about committing to one in my application, considering I am unfamiliar with the faculty (and have no geographic access to them). I really don't know what they are looking for here, or if whatever research plan I come up with would jive with their experience. I just don't know how to approach this. Writing a statement of purpose doesn't scare me at all, writing this does.
The program is for an MA in international relations at a school that is incredibly attractive to me, but I'm nervous. I have a general feeling of anxiety due mainly to two things: my lack of undergraduate research experience and the fact that an MA in IR will be a somewhat significant departure from my undergraduate studies (I have a BJ in news-editorial and a BA in international studies). My undergraduate education has left me feeling unprepared for grad school, particularly with questions like these on the app. I feel like my lack of independent research experience is going to really hurt me--all I've ever really written has been in the form of term papers.
It feels like they are expecting me to know a lot more than I already do.
So, the question(s)... basically two part:
How should I approach this essay question and what kind of things will the university be looking for here? I'm particularly concerned about the "approach" and "methods" they ask me to describe.
Is my anxiety about school normal, or was my undergraduate education truly bankrupt?
Any general grad school applications advice is also welcome.