How to Write a Dissertation Proposal?

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How to Write a Dissertation Proposal?

Before you start working on a dissertation, you need to write a decent dissertation proposal. Writing dissertation proposal in a way that is unique and different from others is essential. It lays down the path for your research that should help you devise a rigid plan for your final assignment: that is dissertation. Dissertation proposals are mainly the table of contents for your research. It will help you analyze what you want to do and how will you approach it or go through it. It is the first initial step of planning that you do for a long assignment. Usually dissertations are about 15 20 pages, more, depending upon your institution. It is also important to know that the initial plan you jotted down can change, depending upon the results of your data. Data has the capability to change the pre-conceived opinions of someone. For example, you have decided upon a topic and you know which angle to tackle it from, but the data is showing a different angle, completely eradicating the previously formed conceptions. So, it is important to know that it is only natural that such a thing happens, that is what dissertation is all about: arriving to new information based on irrefutable evidence.

The question now is, how to write dissertation proposal? What goes into writing a decent dissertation proposal? Following are the approaches you will need to opt to write a perfect dissertation proposal.


First, the most basic thing to do is to pick a topic. But sometimes picking a topic is not as easy as it looks. The good way to tackle this is to devise a list of topics you are passionate about. You need to find subjects and topics on which you will have your full attention. Picking a passionate topic isn’t only good for your dissertation but it is also help you to motivate it to write it fully, without getting bored.

The second step is to narrow it down. Pick the topic you think will excite you the most from your list. Doing that will give you a topic with a clear understanding and you will be able to propose that topic eloquently. Your proposal will give an outline of the topic, it should contain questions you are hoping to answer with your research, what kind of data you aim to include and what kind of analysis you will be making.

Depending on your course, there will be different specific guidelines to follow. Make sure you know about those before starting a dissertation proposal.

Contents of dissertation proposal:

Typically a dissertation proposal contains a number of characteristics you need to look for. They are mainly the introduction, the methodology, the aims and objectives of your dissertation, and finally the literary review. By planning a good structured proposal, your chances with your supervisor increases. To explain further follow the steps devised below,


The introduction is the base of your dissertation proposal. The introduction is the first thing you need to put your mind at and write it thoughtfully. It will also be the first thing your supervisor will read when you give your dissertation proposal to him/her. Your introduction should outline everything, the topic you are working on to the angle you are taking. It should tell a story of what you are going to do with your dissertation. It should contain a broad contextual background, giving your supervisor with a clear vision of what you are about to do and hope to achieve. So, writing a precise introduction can push start a solid dissertation proposal.

Dissertation Method:

The next important thing to plan out is the dissertation methodology. The dissertation methodology will provide you with means of conducting your dissertation research. It will break down what sources you will use for your research and what type of data you will collect and how. Whether you need a qualitative method for your dissertation or whether you require a qualitative approach. Depending on your topic, you may also want to explain the approach you are opting for conducting your dissertation is more appropriate than the approaches of others in their dissertation.

Your aims and Objectives:

Another important area you will need to work on to make headway with your supervisor is your aims and objectives. In your dissertation proposal, the role of aims and objectives is as important as the two above. It lays down what you are going to do with your research. What you are hoping to achieve. How you are going to achieve it. What type of results are you expecting to brew out of your dissertation research. You need to clearly jot down precise objectives of your dissertation assignment, specifically how you plan to achieve those results you are hoping to achieve.

Literary Review:

For any dissertation assignment. You need to conduct heavy research. Doing heavy research will provide you with immense knowledge on your topic. It will provide you with scholarly works on your topic that will provide you with a different angle. A good dissertation contains works of scholars and intellectuals, and citing them appropriately is also what you need to think about. The literature review is going to reference all the works, books and quotation you put in your dissertation writing. In this literature review section you can list all the materials that provide a more dense background of your topic. Citing scholarly works will also provide a resemblance to previous works of the same subject. You need to provide adequate amount of references and materials in your dissertation proposal so that your supervisor know that you are well read on the topic and is eligible to write a dissertation on it.


A good researcher will know that there are limits to what he can write about, or how much he can cover on the subject he/she chooses. Maybe the topic you have chosen is so vast that the limited word count is in the way of exploring the topic in its true sense. Putting down the limitations in your dissertation proposal will show your supervisor that you are engaged with your topic and know the limitations as to what you can cover.

Time frame:

Another thing you need to look for is providing a time frame in your dissertation proposal. Many dissertation proposals contain the time frame in which students are supposed to submit their dissertation assignment. Be realistic as possible, set a time frame in which you are sure you can deliver. Your supervisor will know that you are committed in your work and that you have thought this through.


You might end you dissertation proposal with a conclusion. Although it is not necessary to add a conclusion at the end of your proposal but it will help further in defining why have chosen to work on a specific topic or what are you hoping to achieve from it. It can be summary to all of your main points that you put in your dissertation proposal. It will help your supervisor to get that last explanation on the aims and objectives of your assignment, and hopefully it will turn out to be an appropriate Dissertation Proposal.

By | 2019-11-11T06:50:35+00:00 November 11th, 2019|Dissertation Proposal|0 Comments

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