Perhaps you are better able to select a more general area of interest, in which case you can start by looking at relevant journals and publications until you find a more explicit direction.
Make sure that you make notes of all publications that you use in your research, as you will need to include these in your bibliography later on. Depending upon the referencing system preferred by your university department, you will need the following information:.
It could be that you identify one particularly interesting study, but realise that its findings are outdated, or are not easily applicable to modern times. You may decide that you want to investigate whether the findings would be the same in more recent research. The date of publication — is the source outdated?
Has there been any significant development that would affect the field of research since the study was carried out?
Can you identify any methodological errors that would undermine the results that the authors presented? Are there any ethical concerns that you believe should be rectified in any future studies of the same topic? Putting pen to paper: With the guidance of your supervisor, you will be able to alter the direction of your research as you go. Although by now, you should have a clear idea of the potential for your research, and what your conclusions might be. Depending upon whether your course is of a scientific or mathematical nature, meaning that you are likely to be dealing with experiments providing you with definitive results and quantitative analysis; or a more theoretical nature, meaning that your research will mainly be qualitative; your hypothesis will be proven or disproven throughout the course of your dissertation.
The first step in creating your dissertation proposal should be planning its structure. Like the dissertation itself, your proposal will require an introduction, a main section and a conclusion. As a brief guide:. Methodology The methodology section is where you will outline the methods through which you will collect and process your data. You should include how and what you are going to do.
If your research is quantitative in nature, this will probably include a reference to a questionnaire, survey, or data source, and you should make clear the scope of your research e. You will also need to explain why you have selected the methods that you have — are they more specific to your research area? Aims and Objectives Here you will highlight the main issues that you are attempting to explore. What is it that you want to achieve? What are the main questions that you are looking to answer?
What predictions can you make? Literature Review The literature review gives you the opportunity to make a really good argument for the importance of your research, and connect it to similar research, or present it as an extension to other existing studies. You will need to list the most important sources that you have consulted thus far in your research, and how they helped you to guide your own research.
If you can, placing your work alongside others to show how it further elaborates or contributes to the more general field will show that you have adequately prepared for your proposal. There is potential to include any flaws that you may have identified within this existing work, and how you will avoid this in your own dissertation.
Only include sources that you can show will add value to your work. Limitations Part of writing an effective and informative piece of research is recognising the limits that are imposed upon your ability to explore and present your findings. Some limitations may refer directly to the word count, explaining that there are further issues that you will not have a chance to or space to address. Completing this section clearly shows that you have engaged with your subject matter and are familiar with the wider concepts relating to your topic.
Ethical Considerations Are there any ethical concerns relating to your research? More information on ethics can be found in the following section below.
Timeframe Often, dissertation proposals will include an estimated timeframe for the delivery of work to their supervisor. This may be on a chapter-by-chapter basis, or you may begin with the actual research, so that you are able to perfect this part before moving on to writing about it. Make sure that you are realistic, and allow some time for your initial research before jumping straight in to getting words on the page. After having identified the limitations of previous studies in this field, I have worked on producing a methodology that will avoid these same pitfalls, and predict that the research will portray a strong enough relationship between the two factors to encourage further scholarship.
Although this might sound complicated, once you begin to go over the basics, and continue to repeat the process for each of the studies you incorporate into your work, it will soon become second nature. When writing a PhD thesis proposal, however, you must remember that you are now expected to do more than simply regurgitate the theories and studies of others. You are now required to show that you are able to adequately extend the existing literature, rather than simply interpret and criticise it.
This may mean that you spend a lot longer searching for a topic, as you will want to identify a concept that still has room for exploration. There are several things that you will need to include that have not already been mentioned above, however: As a PhD research proposal is usually submitted directly to your department of choice, you should make clear your reasons for choosing that particular university over other competitors.
Does this department have a history of research in the specific area you are writing in? Is there a research grant you are hoping to apply for? Within your methodology section, it is important to include a description of the research techniques that you are planning to use.
Or have they been used effectively in similar studies previously? Again, be sure to follow any departmental guidance in terms of word count, and if you are applying for a research grant be sure to relate everything back to the aims and objectives outlined within the accompanying details. In summary Concentrate on what your research will achieve, why it is important, and what it will add to your field of study.
Be sure to include a bibliography detailing any sources you have used or literature you have referred to in writing your dissertation proposal. Recent Posts How often should you reference? Aiming for 1, words or more, your proposal will give an outline of the topic of your dissertation, some of the questions you hope to answer with your research, what sort of studies and type of data you aim to employ in your research, the sort of analysis you will carry out.
Different courses may have different requirements for things like length and the specific information to include, as well as what structure is preferred, so be sure to check what special requirements your course may have. Your dissertation proposal should have several key aspects, regardless of the structure: The introduction will state your central research question and give background on the subject, as well as relating it contextually to any broader issues surrounding it.
Read more about picking a topic for your dissertation. You may also want to include how you will analyse the data you gather and what if any bias there may be in your chosen methods.
Depending on the level of detail that your specific course requires, you may also want to explain why your chosen approaches to gathering data are more appropriate to your research than others. Your dissertation proposal should also include the aims and objectives of your research. Be sure to state what your research hopes to achieve, and what outcomes you predict. You may also need to clearly state what your main research objectives are, in other words, how you plan to obtain those achievements and outcomes.
The literature review will list the books and materials that you used to do your research. This is where you can list materials that give you more background on your topic, or contain research carried out previously that you refer to in your own studies.
Lastly, you will also need to include the constraints of your research.
Having to write a dissertation proposal depends upon the university or institution that you’re attending. Even if a dissertation proposal isn’t a requirement, however, it’s a very useful exercise (and is certainly going to impress your supervisor, especially if it’s not part of your assessment). On some courses the research proposal is assessed and forms .
Writing an effective dissertation proposal. is a necessary first step in deciding upon a subject area, focusing in on a research question, and identifying the methods that you will use in collecting and presenting your data. Whether you're writing an undergraduate or postgraduate proposal, it's vital you check your course and institution.
The dissertation proposal is an important first step towards writing your final dissertation on a taught or research master's course, or a PhD level course. Your proposal needs to be unique and it sets the stage for your research and should help you make a clear plan for your final project. Guidelines to Writing Dissertation Proposals and How to Outline Them. One of the most difficult tasks involved in dissertation writing is the formulation of dissertation proposals which involves creating something out of nothing at all. The whole point of a dissertation is to create and bring about something new, new ideas or new theories, .
How to Write Your Best Dissertation: Step-by-Step Guide. Step 1: Write a winning dissertation proposal. We already explained what a dissertation paper is, but what is a dissertation proposal? As the term itself suggests, this is a proposal for the final dissertation project, which should persuade the committee members that you're going . A dissertation proposal is a statement of intent about your future research project. It is used by potential supervisors and university admissions teams to gauge the feasibility of your research, and test your overall readiness to begin postgraduate study.