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– Briefly discuss your topic area, why does this issue exist and what is its significance?

Literature Review

– Briefly discuss state of art: briefly identify the main paradigms (schools of thought and main authors) and indicate the points of dispute.
– Briefly talk about how your thesis will fill any gaps, clarify or build on what is already in the literature
– State clearly your research topic
– State clearly your research problem
– Set out your research questions/hypothesis and explain how they relate to the literature
– Keep it short


– Identify primary dependent (outcome) variable/s and independent (explanatory) variables.
– Scope conditions – identify the universe of cases to which your theory applies and what under what conditions you theory is applicable
– Indicate the research design
– Identify units of analysis (are your empirical observations individuals, organizations, countries, events…)
– Identify the cases you will analyze
– Extensively talk about the research methods (which particular method will you use – e.g. in-depth interviews, case study, comparative case study, process tracing, QCA, text analysis, large N statistical analysis, etc.; and why did you choose the method)
– Indicate how will you measure dependent and independent variables?
– Indicate how will you collect/obtain data? Will you use primary or secondary data?
– Identify the sources of data.

Expected Results
– What results do you expect to get out of this research?
– If the results are different than you expected, what conclusions might you draw?

Structure of thesis

– Briefly indicate the structure of your thesis; list the chapters and indicate their contents


– Anything you write that is not common knowledge should be cited, and these citations should be followed by a bibliography in Harvard style (Information about the Harvard style can be found in the Thesis Handbook)

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