Panel Proposal Writing – Logic, Coherence, and Appropriate Genre

Writing a panel proposal was quite an adventure to me 😀 starting from finding and understanding the topic, formulating reasonable RQ (s)  and so on.

As my topic was quite new to me (especially about educational policy and language policy aspects) I had to start by building up my understanding about the elements of my topic. Fortunately, I had quite ample of time to do so. My supervisors suggestions really helped me, especially the one Richard suggested i.e. that I seek the elements of my topics and start to read and write a summary about those. There were seven elements attached to my topic i.e. Educational Policy change and reversal, Language Policy and the change and reversal, English-medium Instruction (EMI) and Bilingual Education Schemes, Englishisation vs. Internationalisation, Politics of language policy, narrative research,  and EMI in Indonesian context (luckily I had undertaken a conceptual review about Bilingual Education for my CRW assignment and have read some about Narrative for my Qualitative DA assignment before starting all the process, and I have been interested in Narrative since my MA actually).

I started my process by reading and writing my summary about all the literature that I read. This process really helps me to open the door and start trotting into my research world and to build a sense of ownership of my research. Then, early in September, I started to write my proposal. My first mistake was that I was trying to involve things that I have learnt from my reading, as much as possible, that made my first draft really bulky and was more like a big literature review (16 pages or so 😀 ). At that time, I did not know about the guidelines to write the proposal and just wrote a proposal based on what I assumed was expected. Apparently, my proposal was too big and way too messy 😀 so..

LESSON NO 1: Always find the guidelines before starting to write your proposal (how many pages, what aspects to include, etc) and try to find proposal samples (though, as my supervisor always says, we have to keep in mind that those are samples and not a model we have to follow). It’s a good practice I think to learn from the successful proposals  so that we have an idea of how to organise our flow of ideas in an appropriate genre of a research proposal.

The next thing that I learnt was that (LESSON NO. 2.) We have to be very careful in keeping the logic and coherence of our proposal, because that is the most important elements of our research plan. The background has to lead to our aim and RQ (s) formulation, the design have to help address the RQ (s), the data generation and analysis method must conform the big design and must address the RQ (s). Also the contribution should be coherent to the RQ (s), etc.From the process I learn that the key character in our proposal is our RQ (s). This/ these is/are the heart that pull all other parts on our proposal, including the literature review etc.

The next LESSON that I learn (no. 3) is that being ethical is not just about ticking boxes in the regulation sheet, but more about our awareness to be ethical in all respects of our research and to keep us- the researcher, participants, the school (if it involves one (s) ), our university, and all others involved, away from harms. Therefore, we have to carefully consider this aspect of our research.

Those are what I learn from my proposal writing process. Now I am on the process of preparing my presentation for the big day, which is another challenging process and needs another careful thinking. I do hope I will be able to translate into action Richard’s suggestions about how to make an interesting and NOT a ‘lullaby’ panel presentation 🙂

I do hope that my colleagues and I will be able to do our presentation and answer all the panel questions well, and we can have our big smile as walking away from the panel room. Fingers crossed.

Please wish us luck for our big day next week 🙂



  • Magda Rostron

    Well done, Fitri. Your post reminded me of my struggle to come up with a strong and coherent proposal. Presenting it was a challenge, too. I was offered very useful and constructive criticisms, but it took me a while to take them on board.

    Well done and good luck with your research! 🙂


  • Susan Dawson

    So, you did it! Brilliant.

  • Thank you very much Richard..
    Thank you very much indeed for your support, suggestions, and for organising the mock panel with a real review panel feel which really prepared us to face our big day today…and for spending much of your time esp. during the Christmas holiday for checking our proposal drafts and giving us really really useful and insightful suggestions 🙂

  • Richard Fay


  • My pleasure Susan, Volha, and Duygu..and thank you very much 🙂

  • You are welcome Richard 🙂
    Thank you..Yes, it is really motivating, esp. for me to write more (academic work) and to learn to write more academically, and this process has helped me understand my research better.

  • Thank you very much, Fitri. I will take these points into consideration while writing my panel proposal. Good luck in the panel review! 🙂

  • Volha Arkhipenka

    Thank you, Fitri! These are good lessons to learn.

  • Susan Dawson

    Thank you so much for sharing this Fitri. It’s really helpful for those of us who are about to embark on this proposal writing adventure so please keep writing your thoughts here. I hope it goes really well next week. It will be great to hear about your experiences.

  • Richard Fay

    Thanks Fitri.

    Very interesting.

    Has the experience so far been motivating?