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How to write a Dissertation Proposal

Dissertation proposal, like any other proposal, proposes the idea of your dissertation or research. To create a comprehensive road map for your final dissertation, it is essential to learn to write a good dissertation proposal. The dissertation proposal is usually aimed to explain the research methodology, investigation and the summary of your work collectively. To know how to write a dissertation proposal correctly, the accurate use of language as well as sound literature go hand in hand. A good dissertation mainly comprises of a problem or research statement, a literature review and the research methodology along with references of sources.

How to start writing a dissertation proposal?

Dissertation writing usually starts when students are at least halfway through their research. When measurable results are obtained, proposal writing becomes practical and straightforward. This helps students to gain a clear insight into their achievements, and hence it becomes easier for them to justify their anticipation. Otherwise, a student can always start the writing process earlier and continue to include information until finalization.

Kick-start your research

To research efficiently, you need to be focused and vigilant. When your research topic is new or confusing, ask your teacher to provide you with further details to obtain a clear direction. With little understanding of anything, even the research becomes difficult. Spend proper time in identifying what should be included in the dissertation and take notes. By clearing the road map that you plan to follow, as you advance in your dissertation writing process, you can produce a better dissertation proposal.

Outline your proposal

Outlining refers to summarizing your whole dissertation in your proposal. Whereas the dissertation includes complete information and details, a proposal includes focal points and arguments. The best way to draft a good dissertation proposal is to take the gist of each chapter and include it in your proposal. To get further assistance, you can always refer to different proposal samples, available on the internet, to get a good understanding of how to outline a good proposal.

What does a dissertation proposal include?

Let’s have a look at the main constituents of a good dissertation proposal.


In the introduction, you will shed light upon the central idea and main research question. This includes giving a little background about the subject of research while contextually linking it to other areas of the research.

Literature Review

The literature review comprises of the list of material that you referred to during your research phase. All the content obtained from books, internet, journals or magazines is listed in this section. A literature review section demonstrates the connection of your research to the academic studies along with the area of differences.

Objectives to Achieve

Next is the objective of your research. This section includes; what you aspire to achieve by carrying out this research and what benefit will it provide to the academic as well as professional industry. Here you predict the outcomes positively and by stating your approach distinctly.

Method and Procedure

Here a student is required to present detailed information regarding their methodology which they have opted to carry out the particular project. You may explain why the adopted approach is justified and appropriate, along with your viewpoint, while making everything precise and easier to understand.

Constraints and Future Goals

Students opt for many types of researches on an academic level which may be a small-scale version of the bigger industrial project. This creates a barrier for them, as they don’t possess the same expertise, knowledge, resources or even infrastructure. Thus, you should mention in your proposal your limitations and obstacles which you will have to face. Explain how are you planning the future implications and what is your strategy for taking this research ahead.

 How to end your proposal?

Once you are done writing the content and covering all the major areas, you will have to refine the proposal by looking for any missing information or errors. This is then further followed by referencing and citations in the end.

 Refine your Draft

Refining is important to gauge the final appearance or impression of anything. Most students usually draft a proposal roughly or still required to structure it as a whole before the refinement stage. The approach is considered fine unless you didn’t leave out any information. Your proposal can still be open to changes. You can always keep improving it until the completion of your dissertation itself. Every good proposal undergoes some revisions and amendments before finalization. So make the most of this practice and refine your dissertation as much as possible.

 Referencing and Reviewing

Keep your editing and proofreading intact.  The references of your sources that you have collected should be properly formatted before you start writing the actual dissertation.

For this, you can take pieces of advice from your mentors or get your proposal proofread from someone who holds a good command on the subject.

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