A Comprehensive Guide To Dissertation Proposal Writing

A dissertation proposal sets the stage for research on the topic or area you wish to study. It also provides a clear view of the paper or issues you wish to tackle in your project. Being the foundation of your academic paper, it must be crafted in the approved manner. Any mistake at this initial stage heralds confusion or errors during actual drafting. This translates into wasted resources and time. You will not meet your targeted completion deadline. This affects your career progression goals.

Show Intent

The proposal acts as a table of content for your project. It gives the reader, committee and supervisor an idea of what you intend to examine, how you intend to do it and the general direction of your academic endeavor. While all details are not required instantly, there is need to give an indication of direction and understanding of the intensity of what you are about to engage in.

Choose a Specific Topic

A research area could be wide at the idea phase. However, when it is time to write your dissertation proposal, identify a single idea that you will pursue. This topic forms part of the 1000 words and must be accompanied by how you intend to handle the topic. Identify the type of data you intend to use and how it will be gathered. The specifications may vary from one course to the other. However, the proposal must pick from the many possible ideas, one that will inform your paper.

Include All Sections

There are several sections that appear in all proposals regardless of the discipline or length. These sections are the introduction, methodology, aims and objectives, literature review and limitations of your research.

  • Introduction- it captures your central research question. It also gives a background of the issue and a context for your work. It relates the real world with the aims and objectives of your study.
  • Methodology- the section highlights credible sources from where you will get your data, whether it will be qualitative or quantitative, how it will be analyzed as well as presented. Depending on your supervisor and the requirements of your department, a justification for the methodology may be demanded.
  • Aims and objectives- this is a simple and clear statement of what you aim to achieve with the dissertation. It shows the value of engaging in research.
  • Literature review- this is a list of materials and books that you intend to use. The list is never exhaustive since you will encounter others in the course of research. However, there is a quality and currency threshold that you must meet.
  • Limitations- no research is exhaustive. As such, make a provision for your short comings. They should be reasonable.