How to Write a Dissertation Proposal? A Beginner’s Guide

by Guest Author on May 17, 2017

in Articles, Guest Posts

The dissertation proposal is like a table of contents for your study and it should set a basis for your research. Obviously, you don’t need to map out each and everything at the beginning, as there may be few changes in your subject during research. However, a comprehensive proposal still shows you and your institution a clear-cut direction about what to expect in your thesis.

Producing a compelling dissertation proposal is, however, a challenging task. You’ll be required to think out of the box to grab your supervisor’s attention. In addition to that, you’ll be needed to select a subject that can contribute productively to your field of study.

Regardless of your particular area of study and the research methodology you prefer, all dissertation proposals should answer the following three queries:

1. What you intend to achieve?
2. Why do you wish to do it?
3. How will you do it?

Typical Mistakes in Dissertation Proposal Writing

  • Lacking to provide the suitable framework to formulate a thesis question
  • Lacking to specify the research limitations
  • Lacking to cite significant sources
  • Lacking to precisely depict the hypothetical and practical contributions by other investigators
  • Lacking to stay concentrated on the thesis statement
  • Failure to produce a consistent and credible argument for the presented research
  • Failure to give attention to major issues
  • Unsystematic writing

Essentials of a Winning Dissertation Proposal

You require a working title to concentrate on throughout your investigation. Try to come up with a title that instantly attracts your readers. You can finalize the wording later on but be sure the title you start with signifies something.

It is a synopsis of your research and comprises of around 300 words. This section should include the research question, the research hypothesis, the procedures and the principal findings. The depiction of the method may involve different instruments used in the research process including design and samples.

This section focuses on the thesis statement of your research. It should:

  • Summarize the issue – what is the basic problem?
  • Describe why you consider this is worth researching
  • Explain the basics qualities and objectives of your research
  • Mention what you expect to accomplish

Aims & Objectives
Concocting aims and objectives for your dissertation helps shape and design your research work after you’ve selected a subject.

Choose S.M.A.R.T Approach

  • Specific: Be accurate about what you’re planning to do
  • Measurable: Set measurable objectives so that you can easily recognize when you’ve attained your aims
  • Achievable: Don’t get over ambitious. Try to set short yet achievable objectives to see quick results
  • Realistic: Make sure to look at the available resources (time, finances, and skills) that may help you achieve your objectives
  • Time constrained: To avoid interruptions and setbacks, determine the exact period when each stage requires to get accomplished

Methodology for your Research Proposal
Consider the following points ahead of developing the methodology for your proposal.

  • Describe what procedures you plan to employ when investigating and formulating your report
  • Make use of a descriptive writing technique. It is crucial to describe which research methodologies you’ve used to gather your data
  • Do not incorporate your questionnaires or any other relevant materials in this section
  • Try to discuss things with your supervisor so as to get a better idea about the requirements

Literature Review

The literature review aka literature survey explains the existent and accepted theories in your field of study by providing a framework for your research. In this section, you can show how your research fills the voids in the existing research work done in the similar area.

It’s worth mentioning that not every research proposal includes a literature review and whether or not it should be included totally depends on the choices of your instructor or your institute.

Common Mistakes in Literature Survey Writing

  • Lacking arrangement and framework
  • Lacking consistency and unity
  • Being redundant and wordy
  • Improper citations
  • Failing to cope with current advancements
  • Failing to analytically check referenced papers
  • Citing unnecessary or frivolous references


Definitely, you don’t have any results in hand at this stage. However, it’s important that you at least get some idea about the type of data you’ll be gathering or the procedures you’ll be following to test your assumptions.


It is significant to persuade your reader of the possible influence of your presented research. You require conveying a feeling of excitement and assurance without overstating the merits of your dissertation proposal. For this reason, you’ll also require indicating the restraints and vulnerabilities of the proposed investigation.

A dissertation proposal is planned to prove others that you have a productive research project and that you possess the ability to complete it successfully.

What do you think of this post? Do you want to add something valuable to this list? Feel free to drop your feedback and queries in the comments section below.

Guest article written by: John Alex is a freelance writer, experienced blogger and a professional social media coach. Currently he’s working with which is an essay writing website that helps students.Furthermore John assists in businesses creation and control social media content planning.

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