A dissertation proposal has the same purpose as a good essay plan: it serves to make the writing process of your future dissertation simpler. It’s important to make this document perfect as an important step before approving your dissertation. Read our dissertation proposal writing tutorial carefully to understand the whole process of creating this important document.
Writing a dissertation proposal
Before explaining how to write, we should answer the question – what is a dissertation proposal? It’s your plan about your future work. That’s why you have to spend enough time to make this plan perfect. The main aim of this work is to define what you are going to investigate in the dissertation and how you will do it. When you start to write a dissertation proposal, remember it should include such important parts like literature overview, problem statement, your research question, the methodology of the research, and sources used in your work. Remember that you will be able to start writing your dissertation only after approval of a dissertation proposal.
Dissertation proposal outline
Before starting writing the proposal, make an outline to identify your work problem, research question, literature, main sources and method of investigation you’re going to use.
Step 1. Reading literature.
You need to look for literature on subject you’re going to write, read as many as possible information and realize what has already been done in this field and what question still needs an investigation and answer.
Step 2. Define a problem and research question of your work.
Describe a problem and the main question of your studying. Here you may write some additional smaller questions that will also be presented in your future dissertation.
Step 3. Define the methods of research.
Put an explanation how you are going to answer the research question, mention methods you will use in research.
Step 4. List of your sources.
Plan where you will find all the needed sources to use for writing your dissertation.
Dissertation proposal structure: main points
Depending on your work subject, this document’s structure can be a little different, but the general example may be introduced according to next list:
- Introduction – here you have to present the topic to the readers, provide your thesis, and explain the importance of research on this subject; here you may write your work problem statement and main goals of your future investigation.
- Aims and objectives – introducing to the readers the main question of your dissertation and highlighting the ways you want to answer this question.
- Methodology – this section includes information about what methods you are going to use in your research; this part may vary depending of what kind of work you are writing: quantitative or qualitative dissertation proposal, or a mixed style. Here you should put your research questions and research design (quantitative,qualitative, or both). This section include data collection, analysis (survey, interview).
- Review of literature and sources – in this part you have to put the list of your sources that have helped you to do the research; the purpose of this part is to document your research existing. Here you have to include a review of the literature that is related to the studied issue. You may use some citations and quotations from your sources, though make sure not to use long citations or too many quotes in your work.
- Research constraints – this part shows why you focus your researches on the curtain section or part of the topic you are writing about.
Dissertation proposal format
According to the APA format, dissertation proposal should be written in the style that consists of four main sections:
Title page. The title of your work should be centered vertically and horizontally. You have to write the title of your work, your full name and institution.
Running head. It must be on each page of your work, place it in the upper right hand corner.
Abstract. This is a short part that consists of 150-250 words, and describes the main problem of your research.
Even if you have got a good understanding of how a successful proposal should be written, it could be useful to look at samples to be sure you are on the right way. Most examples you may find in Internet, are written using the same format, but you can also find differences.
Keep in your memory that only a good dissertation proposal will be approved for writing dissertation. This document shouldn’t look like an essay because here you don’t need to prove a thesis. Imagine that your future dissertation is a world, and your proposal should just be a map to this world without adding something else. In this document you don’t have to write a full dissertation, but you show how you are going to write it and what parts your future work will contain.
Help in writing
Needless to say that writing such a serious work as dissertation requires a lot of skills in different fields: great writing abilities, solid knowledge base in the topic you are investigating and a lot of patience. Besides, you have to organize your time well. Writing a good dissertation proposal is a first important step on writing your future work, so the whole work depends only on this beginning.
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