Skip Nav

How to write a dissertation proposal

Want to Know about Dissertation Proposal?

❶This will surely be an important element of your dissertation proposal. Why is it important to address?

Begin writing a dissertation proposal

What should I include in a dissertation proposal?
Narrow the topic down
Dissertation proposal preparation

Methodology The methodology section is where you will outline the methods through which you will collect and process your data. You should include how and what you are going to do. If your research is quantitative in nature, this will probably include a reference to a questionnaire, survey, or data source, and you should make clear the scope of your research e. You will also need to explain why you have selected the methods that you have — are they more specific to your research area?

Aims and Objectives Here you will highlight the main issues that you are attempting to explore. What is it that you want to achieve? What are the main questions that you are looking to answer? What predictions can you make? Literature Review The literature review gives you the opportunity to make a really good argument for the importance of your research, and connect it to similar research, or present it as an extension to other existing studies.

You will need to list the most important sources that you have consulted thus far in your research, and how they helped you to guide your own research. If you can, placing your work alongside others to show how it further elaborates or contributes to the more general field will show that you have adequately prepared for your proposal.

There is potential to include any flaws that you may have identified within this existing work, and how you will avoid this in your own dissertation. Only include sources that you can show will add value to your work. Limitations Part of writing an effective and informative piece of research is recognising the limits that are imposed upon your ability to explore and present your findings.

Some limitations may refer directly to the word count, explaining that there are further issues that you will not have a chance to or space to address. Completing this section clearly shows that you have engaged with your subject matter and are familiar with the wider concepts relating to your topic.

Ethical Considerations Are there any ethical concerns relating to your research? More information on ethics can be found in the following section below. Timeframe Often, dissertation proposals will include an estimated timeframe for the delivery of work to their supervisor. This may be on a chapter-by-chapter basis, or you may begin with the actual research, so that you are able to perfect this part before moving on to writing about it.

Make sure that you are realistic, and allow some time for your initial research before jumping straight in to getting words on the page. After having identified the limitations of previous studies in this field, I have worked on producing a methodology that will avoid these same pitfalls, and predict that the research will portray a strong enough relationship between the two factors to encourage further scholarship. Although this might sound complicated, once you begin to go over the basics, and continue to repeat the process for each of the studies you incorporate into your work, it will soon become second nature.

When writing a PhD thesis proposal, however, you must remember that you are now expected to do more than simply regurgitate the theories and studies of others. You are now required to show that you are able to adequately extend the existing literature, rather than simply interpret and criticise it. This may mean that you spend a lot longer searching for a topic, as you will want to identify a concept that still has room for exploration.

There are several things that you will need to include that have not already been mentioned above, however: As a PhD research proposal is usually submitted directly to your department of choice, you should make clear your reasons for choosing that particular university over other competitors.

Does this department have a history of research in the specific area you are writing in? Is there a research grant you are hoping to apply for?

Within your methodology section, it is important to include a description of the research techniques that you are planning to use. Or have they been used effectively in similar studies previously? Again, be sure to follow any departmental guidance in terms of word count, and if you are applying for a research grant be sure to relate everything back to the aims and objectives outlined within the accompanying details. In summary Concentrate on what your research will achieve, why it is important, and what it will add to your field of study.

Be sure to include a bibliography detailing any sources you have used or literature you have referred to in writing your dissertation proposal. 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. Some courses may specify that the aims and objectives of your research be a separate section in your proposal, or that you do not need to include a methodology or literature review section.

Once you know what sections you need or do not need to include, then it may help focus your writing to break the proposal up into the separate headings, and tackle each piece individually.

Once you have written your literature review, it clearly visible that you know your area of interest. Now, you need to focus on the next major section of your dissertation proposal. Here, you have to write down the methods for collecting the research data and the answers to how did you actually analyse the data must be included in this chapter of your dissertation Proposal.

You have to explain the methodology about what sort of data you will collect and how will u gather it. Another significant chapter of your dissertation proposal is findings section. This section outlines what you have planned to achieve through your broad research.

This section cannot be long as you are unable to mention much information here before finalising your dissertation. How you are to perform an analysis of your research findings must be cited in this chapter of your proposal. This is the final section of your dissertation proposal. It is important to mention the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your research topic. Make your professor aware of the issues and concerns you could face while conducting a comprehensive research.

It can also include the summary of findings.

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

By Carrie Winstanley. Having to write a dissertation proposal depends upon the university or institution that you’re attending. Even if a dissertation proposal isn’t a requirement, however, it’s a very useful exercise (and is certainly going to impress your supervisor, especially if it’s not part of your assessment).

Privacy FAQs

Before writing a dissertation, students are required to write a “Dissertation Proposal”. It is indeed an essential & initial step towards writing your dissertation to get a master’s degree. The purpose of writing a dissertation proposal is to provide an outline to the research topic, literature review, research methodologies and findings /5().

About Our Ads

"A dissertation proposal is essential in preparing you for the writing process and will actually serve to make beginning your dissertation decidedly less frightening." Beginning to plan a dissertation is an undoubtedly daunting task. The dissertation proposal is an important first step towards writing your final dissertation on a taught or research masters course, or a PhD level course. Your proposal needs to be unique and it sets the stage for your research and should help you make a clear plan for your final project.

Cookie Info

Discuss few alternatives of the dissertation title with your mentor before you start writing the proposal. Structure of the dissertation proposal If you want to make the proposal convincing, its format has to be clean and easy to follow. Sep 12,  · Before you can write a dissertation, you must write a dissertation proposal. How to do that is worth a closer look. In my July 24 column, "It's a Dissertation, Not a Book," I Author: Leonard Cassuto.