Dissertation proposal writing is assigned to many students, but it depends on the university you study in. If you are not obliged to write a dissertation proposal, you can work on this task just to develop your personal writing abilities if you plan to become a researcher in the future. In addition, if you would like to create a favorable impression on your research supervisor, creating a proposal will definitely help you.
Before submitting a dissertation, students are usually involved in writing a dissertation proposal that is a part of dissertation writing procedure. The most important about this task is to strictly adhere to the professor’s format and hand in your piece of writing on time, without exceptions.
Definition of Dissertation Proposal
Probably you wonder what this piece of writing should include:
- Dissertation proposal should reveal the topic that you discuss in your dissertation.
- It should include the possible questions that will be further discussed.
- You should mention some brief details about the theoretical background.
- Proposal should state specific research methods that will be used to carry out research (refer both to empirical and non-empirical ones).
- It should introduce the possible outcomes.
If you have doubts and ask yourself “what is a dissertation proposal,” you must understand that this task required a great deal of your free time. Actually you will not have free time at all. The proposal can be compared with the outline of your future dissertation. Even if you were not asked to create a proposal, still consider it as a part of your requirement because your supervisor will see that you are indeed interested in getting favorable feedback from his/her side.
If you are not sure how to write a dissertation proposal, you should not hesitate to ask your supervisor some questions concerning the tone of writing and its style. Do not be too stubborn to accept ideas that do not appeal to you. Your supervisor is more knowledgeable than you and knows what is better for each student. You should show your willingness and flexibility to explore new horizons and utilize new research methods to attain the best outcomes.
Clarifying some writing moments with your supervisor is a must. If you are not sure about some parts of writing, feel free to arrange a meeting. In your proposal, you have to stick to all grammar rules. Even a couple of grammar mistakes can compromise the quality of writing. Pay attention to the fact that most of proposals are written in the future tense.
While writing a proposal, you should focus on the following parts:
- The title of dissertation: It should be brief but reflect the scope of work (the full topic).
- The objectives: You have to mention a couple of objectives. If your topic is too broad, please, narrow it down. In addition, some professors expect to see a “Rationale” part in this stage of writing.
- Literature review (background or context of writing): This section can be named differently, but the point is to present the major schools of thought that examined your topic.
- Details of your research: In this section, you should discuss how you handled research questions. It should clearly depict your area of research.
- Methodology: This section can be seen in any dissertation proposal format. The methods utilized in the research can be empirical (when you attend interviews, create questionnaires, etc.) and non-empirical (when you refer to the already published research ideas found in the printed sources and electronic ones). If you were asked to use some empirical data in the proposal, then your methodology section will be rather extensive. If not, it will be short.
- Expected outcomes: In your dissertation research proposal, you have to mention the outcomes that you expect to see after conducting the research. If you know for sure what the outcomes can be, you should not write in a manner “I guess…” Be specific.
Bibliography: Strictly follow the professor’s requirement about the number of references. In dissertation proposal writing, students are usually asked to resort to different types of sources (both printed and electronic ones).