Writing a good dissertation proposal

Different courses may have different requirements for things like length and the specific information to include, as well as what structure is preferred, so be sure to check what special requirements your course may have. Your dissertation proposal should have several key aspects, regardless of the structure. The introduction, the methodology , aims and objectives, the literature review, and the constraints of your research all need to included to ensure that your provide your supervisor with a comprehensive proposal. But what are they?

Here's a checklist to get you started.

Dissertation Proposal Outline

The introduction will state your central research question and give background on the subject, as well as relating it contextually to any broader issues surrounding it. Read more about picking a topic for your dissertation. You may also want to include how you will analyse the data you gather and what if any bias there may be in your chosen methods.


  • best custom writing website;
  • In this tutorial, we will help you conquer the following points:.
  • How to Write a Research Proposal | Guide and Template.
  • how long does it take to write a phd dissertation.
  • nuclear family advantages essay.
  • Begin writing a dissertation proposal.
  • Dissertation Proposal | Advice | chingsweepkeepol.cf;

Depending on the level of detail that your specific course requires, you may also want to explain why your chosen approaches to gathering data are more appropriate to your research than others. Your dissertation proposal should also include the aims and objectives of your research. Be sure to state what your research hopes to achieve, and what outcomes you predict. You may also need to clearly state what your main research objectives are, in other words, how you plan to obtain those achievements and outcomes.

The literature review will list the books and materials that you used to do your research. This is where you can list materials that give you more background on your topic, or contain research carried out previously that you refer to in your own studies. Lastly, you will also need to include the constraints of your research. Many topics will have broad links to numerous larger and more complex issues, so by clearly stating the constraints of your research, you are displaying your understanding and acknowledgment of these larger issues, and the role they play by focusing your research on just one section or part of the subject.

The structure of your dissertation proposal will depend on your specific course requirements. Your committee members will review your proposal and work with you during the research and writing process. Most departments have requirements about who is eligible to serve on a dissertation committee. For example, your committee members may need to be selected from faculty who teach graduate level classes.

If there are 2 faculty members who you think would be good fits, you may even consider asking them to be co-advisors. Completing your proposal and getting it approved will probably involve dealing with some red tape. For example, you may need to: Get a form signed by your committee chair or academic advisor approving your selected topic. Have your finished proposal approved and signed by each member of your committee.

Make a list of topics that interest you. If you are starting an advanced graduate program, you probably already have a sense of what interests you in your field. Think about unanswered questions that came up in past reading or coursework that piqued your curiosity, and write down a few ideas.

For example, say you are studying animal behavior with a focus on mollusks. Perhaps you have noticed that there is not a lot of published information about the reproductive habits of the lesser Fauxlandian howling snail. This could be a good starting point for your research.

How to Write a Dissertation Proposal

Do some preliminary research on your topic s. This will not only help familiarize you with each potential topic, but it will also give you a better idea of whether there is really a need for more research on that topic. Consider whether these sources are up-to-date, thorough, and methodologically sound. Use databases like ProQuest to find out if any other graduate students have recently done dissertations or theses on your potential topic s.

Talk to your advisor or committee chair about potential topics. Your academic advisor can help you decide whether your potential topic is feasible and appropriate or not. Set up an appointment to chat with them about topics you are interested in, but make sure to have a list of topic ideas ready before the meeting.

Be prepared to discuss more than 1 possible topic with your advisor. Narrow your focus once you have a general topic. Do some more in-depth reading and look at the aspects of your topic that merit a closer examination. This can help you narrow your topic from a general examination of howling snail reproductive habits to a study of mate selection based on shell color.

Recommended pages

Select a working title. The title of your dissertation should provide a brief and clear snapshot of the nature of your research. Developing a good working title early on can help orient and focus both you and your readers. However, keep in mind that you can continue to adjust your title as you continue to research and write.

Write an abstract if your program requires it. An abstract is a brief summary of your proposal, usually words long.

How To Write a Dissertation Proposal

The main problem s or question s that you plan to address in your research. Start with a general introduction to your topic. Your introduction should: [11] Summarize the general context and scope of your topic. Briefly refer to previous literature on the topic and address the types of evidence available. Summarize, very briefly, the specific questions and issues you will address in your proposal. State the major problem your dissertation will address. Explain your major research aims and objectives. This section of your proposal should discuss, in greater detail, which aspects of the problem you plan to explore.

In a few short paragraphs, discuss: [13] The major goals of your research.

HOW TO WRITE A DISSERTATION PROPOSAL: USEFUL TIPS

Do you have any particular expectations about what you will find? How you believe your research will fill a gap or provide an original contribution to your field. The specific focus of your study, including which areas you are choosing NOT to address and why. Summarize previous literature on your topic. The literature review is an opportunity to demonstrate your familiarity with previous research on the subject and to show that your dissertation will be a unique contribution. The major established theories, hypotheses, and research trends related to your topic.

Any problems you have identified with previous works on the subject e. The main gaps in current or previous research, and which research needs still remain to be filled. Describe your methodology. The methodology section is a vital part of any dissertation proposal. This is where you will describe the nuts and bolts of how you plan to carry out your research and address the major problems and questions of your dissertation. The types of methodology you use will depend on your specific project and your field. Discuss any problems and limitations you anticipate. For example, you might point out that you expect to have trouble finding large sample sizes, which could make your results less statistically significant or harder to replicate than they would be if you had a bigger sample size.

Demonstrate the significance of your research.

{{ data.message }}

Summarize the impact your research will have on your field, and how your contribution differs from previous work on the topic. In clear and straightforward terms, describe how you think your research will be useful or beneficial, both within and outside your field of study. Outline your plan of action if your program requires it.

Some programs may require you to include a timeline for completing the different phases of your dissertation. This may be particularly important for dissertations that involve designing and conducting experiments or carrying out field research. Be aware that your timeline may change as your work evolves and progresses—this is not meant to be a hard-and-fast schedule for completing your work.