A dissertation proposal is the first step in writing your final dissertation project. Think of a dissertation proposal as a research strategy pitch to the faculty committee/academics. The proposal aims to convince the faculty that your study is feasible, interesting, and worth pursuing. It describes the what, how, why, where, and when of your research project. It explains your study’s focus, the method you will choose to study the chosen topic, the reason you are studying the topic, where your study will take place, and finally, the period of your study. One of the most common questions students ask is, “How long should a dissertation proposal be?” Practically, a dissertation proposal should be between 20 and 50 pages. However, it is always wise to check your faculty’s handbook for precise details.
Dissertation proposal structure
Most proposals follow a general structure that we will highlight for you below. In some fields, universities, or colleges, these sections may be combined. Consult with your professor about your proposal’s specific requirements. The sections are:
- Title – At this stage, only a working title is required. As you continue with the dissertation writing process, you will refine your title. Your title should be as concise as possible to avoid confusion. Also, make sure that your title is informative.
- Introduction/Background – Provide readers with some background of your study and a brief description of what your study is about.
- Problem Statement – Also known as the statement of the problem, it focuses on the knowledge gap that your study focuses on.
- Purpose/Aims/Rationale/Research Questions – These are your study’s objectives, and they include the hypothesis that your study promotes. This section can also have a list of questions that your research will answer.
- Review of Literature – This part contains the relevant studies that have previously been conducted and are pertinent to your work. You are not expected to have read everything when you are writing your proposal, but this does not mean that your literature review should be shallow.
- Methodology – This section explores the overall means of how your study’s goals will be achieved.
- Plan of Work – Also referred to as a timeline, it includes the specific dates for completing particular dissertation sections. It helps you manage your time through the dissertation process and allows the faculty/committee to decide if your project is realistic.
- Bibliography – This section includes sources that have informed your literature review, methodology, and the overall dissertation proposal.
Step by step guide to writing a good dissertation proposal
Dissertation proposal writing is a daunting task that causes anxiety and stress to many students. Our step-by-step guide will give you the insight to write a remarkable proposal that will astound your committee.
- Choose a topic
This is the first step. As easy as it sounds, it is one of the hardest parts. So, where do you get a dissertation topic? You have various options such as brainstorming, consulting your dissertation advisor, borrowing from your interests, attending talks and seminars, reading magazines and newspapers, consulting the school librarian, and browsing through past dissertations. It is advisable to have more than one idea since some may be unfeasible.
- Narrow down
With a few topics in mind, it is now time to focus your attention from general to specifics. By looking at your topic’s existing literature, you are bound to find something that can be researched further, and therein lies your title, problem statement, literature review, and research questions.
- Choose the methodology
When choosing a research methodology, consider your dissertation’s validity and reliability. You should consider the following: whether you are using deductive or inductive reasoning; Quantitative, qualitative, or both; Primary or secondary sources of data.
- Check feasibility
It is crucial that you consider your dissertation’s practicability before going to the next step. For feasibility purposes, there are three things to consider:
- Completion within the stipulated time frame.
- Approval by the university’s ethics board.
- The willingness of a professor to supervise your project.
The last process is getting down to business and writing your proposal. Please take into consideration the proposal structure above when writing it. When writing, use the future tense because the primary research will take place in the future. Also, use a passive voice to maintain coherence in all your sentences. Where practical use visual aids such as graphs, charts, and diagrams. Remember to keep the appropriate length.
After writing your proposal, you must take your time to proofread it. Check and correct any grammatical, spelling, or structural mistakes. It would create a wrong impression if the faculty/committee read your proposal and found it ridden with errors. A helpful method is reading your proposal out loud. You can also give it to your classmates or friends for proofreading. Our dissertation writing service offers not only proofreading services but also dissertation proposal writing help to all students. Is your proposal due in two days and you are stuck? Do not panic. We will write it for you and deliver it within your deadline without compromising quality.
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