Composing a Successful Dissertation Proposal Easily


Faced with the challenging task of composing a dissertation, you are now at the starting point, ready to write your proposal. Despite its short length, it is vital to the success of your upcoming dissertation because it lays the groundwork and sets the tone for your future work. Here are a few tips to help you craft an effective proposal.

  • Keep it Short
  • Generally, proposals have a 500-1000-word limit. This means that you need to avoid verbosity and simply cut to the chase.

  • Write it in the Future Tense
  • A proposal is an outline of what you intend to discuss in your future paper. Therefore, it should be written solely in the future tense, for example, “I will be examining the outcome of several studies…”

  • Break it into Chunks
  • Typically, proposals are divided into seven parts: Title, Overall Aims/Objectives, Literature Review, Methodology, Potential Outcome, Timeline, and Bibliography/Resources. Tackle each of them one at a time to ensure your work is complete.

  • Invent a Title
  • Though you may edit the title of your work later, it’s important to establish one from the beginning. It is possible that future employers could inquire about the name of your dissertation. Keep that in mind as you brainstorm for a good title and make it professional and impressive.

  • Write Your Objectives
  • What outcome do you wish to achieve and what steps will you take towards its completion? Be explicit about what you plan to do and make sure your goals can be measured.

  • Create a Literature Review Section
  • Here, you need to outline the established theories and demonstrate how you are filling in a gap in the current knowledge base. List the sources you mentioned and cite them accurately in the bibliography later.

  • Make a Methodology Section
  • If you are doing original research (i.e. conducting surveys, collecting data), you will need to give a more detailed report about the methods you intend to use. However, if you are using existing research, this section can be shorter.

  • Propose a Potential Outcome
  • In this section, you need to summarize the kinds of results you hope to generate and propose a target audience.

  • Form a Timeline
  • You’ll need to design a schedule based on your school’s academic calendar and deadlines imposed by your department. Note clearly in list or chart form when each step of your work should be finished.

  • Build a Bibliography
  • Acknowledge your information sources and cite what you have referred to in your literature review.

Creating a dissertation proposal is no easy task but keep these guidelines in mind and you’ll be well on your way to success.

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