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Wondering How to Start Writing a Dissertation Proposal? Keep Reading!

Research, dissertation, post-doctorates, teaching, and so on continues the journey of that student who uptakes the doctoral course for research. How often have you felt tired of sitting and going through hundreds of pages of a journal? Research is a very noble profession of course, but mostly it comes with a difficult price of abandoning your social life! Are you stressed about how to start writing a dissertation proposal? Well, I have got your back, my friend!

The primary step for preparing your thesis is to write a good dissertation proposal. Having a good proposal means half your battle is already won. The main purpose of a dissertation proposal is to describe what you will investigate in your topic and how will you do so. It is the initial version of a thesis prospectus. It not only has a specific and unique context but is a special genre in its own right as well. Here I will provide you a step by step guide about how to start writing a dissertation proposal!

Your framework is of utmost importance

  • Always follow a hierarchical order to present your points of research
  • You must focus on the opening paragraph; ensure that it must engage the readers.
  • Try to make the readers understand about your topic in the first paragraph itself.
  • Present all the major points of your proposal in a nut-shell so that the readers take interest in your proposal.
  • Remember to communicate your intentions upfront.
  • You must put your topic before the background or else it won’t be of much interest to the audience.

The appearance of your research proposal

Stop worrying about how to start writing a dissertation proposal rather you must start planning. The dissertation proposal should identify the literature, research question, methodology, main data resources, and references that are to be used in the dissertation.

  1. Scan through literature: read through the various journals and research papers online. Try to understand the work that has already been done and decide what you want to do to research for your dissertation.
  2. Formulate your research question and problem statement so that you can jot down the points that you will have to look for your dissertation during your research.
  3. Outline your research methodology: You must understand that how will you carry out your investigation. The main focus area of a research is to discover something new that will be helpful for mankind. So, your methodology of investigation is of utmost importance for writing your dissertation proposal. Once you follow the research method as you have planned then you don’t have to worry about how to start writing a dissertation proposal.
  4. Identify your data resources: Make a list of the resources and websites that you will use for studying the literature or planning your proposal. These sources are going to help you through the journey of your research.

Think critically

Before writing your research proposal you have to focus on some important points about the sources from where you are taking help to write your proposal.

  • Make sure the resources are reliable.
  • Do not re-write or re-do already written research content. Some resources provide misleading information, so you must beware.
  • Is the date of the publication source out dated?
  • Are there any ethical concerns that you should take care of? Rectify those concerns for a critical appraisal of your research proposal.

A glance at the literature review for the proposal

The literature review is very important for you to focus on because it gives you the chance to express your opinions. It helps you to make a really meaningful argument so that you don’t have to think much about how to start writing a dissertation proposal. That way you can connect it to similar research, or even present it as an extended report to your thesis. Here you will have to provide a list of the most important resources that you have consulted so far in your research work. That’ll help your audience to connect to your proposal.

Moving on to the ethical considerations

Before moving forward you must ensure that there are no ethical issues in your research. Thoroughly analyse your research methodology and stick by the guidelines. Are there any ethical concerns related to your research? Make sure to get permission from the subject or participant that you will include in your research.

What do you understand by ethics? Do you actually know the whole meaning of it? It is academically referred to the principles or concerns related to your research. An ethical issue is an open invitation for criticism. So, a research proposal must be full-proof!

Keep these steps in mind, and then you won’t have to be tensed about how to start writing a dissertation proposal!

“You must remember that integrity and value should be upheld throughout in your proposal which includes planning, research and writing phases.“

Summary is important

You should focus on the length of your dissertation proposal because that is very important as compared to the other points. It may vary depending on your institution’s or journal’s rules or the nature of your thesis. The length of your proposal and the quality of your work both are equally important for your thesis proposal. Now, given that you have to maintain a specific time frame within which you have to deliver your work you might not always end up delivering the best research proposals unless you have some guidance. It is a reason why students often feel a lot of pressure! You might be thinking how to start writing a dissertation proposal, right? Do not worry friends; this post will help you with all that you need to know about a thesis proposal.

Most dissertation proposals are about 10-15 pages long, however.

  1. Some proposals may be 20 or more pages in length. Ask your advisor or check your departmental guidelines to find out what is appropriate for your proposal.
  2. Your program may present length guidelines in terms of word count instead of page length.
  3. If there is no clear length requirement, talk with your advisor to find out what they recommend.

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