Guidelines for creating a dissertation proposal

Your dissertation is one of the biggest assignments you’ll ever have to do. The proposal will be your first step in your dissertation writing process, and it needs to be the best you can make it. This proposal will allow you to start working on the actual dissertation once your idea has been approved. Make sure you know the guidelines for writing the proposal, because each school has different requirements they want to see. Keep reading for tips on writing your proposal, while remembering to ignore anything that doesn’t apply to your specific school and dissertation.

Writing a Great Dissertation Proposal

theses writingStart by writing out notes and ideas for your dissertation. Since this proposal is meant to ‘sell’ your idea to the board that will be judging your proposal, you need to know exactly what you want to talk about in your actual dissertation.
Start doing some preliminary research, so that you have a good general knowledge on the topic. You probably won’t be approved if you can’t show that you already know what you’re talking about. Make sure you don’t go to overboard on research at this stage, though, because you haven’t even started the dissertation yet. There’s a small chance that your idea won’t be approved and you’ll have wasted that time researching a dissertation you won’t be writing.

Proposal Writing Guidelines

Here are some steps you can use as a guideline in writing your proposal:

  1. Write an outline with a brief summary of what you want to include in the proposal
  2. Put a few facts from your research into it in appropriate places
  3. Start writing to fill in the spaces between summary and quotes
  4. Let your passion for this topic show through; being excited about something is contagious and the board needs to see how much you want to do this dissertation
  5. Make sure to include everything required of you in the instructions for this proposal because they’ll be looking to make sure you can follow instructions and pay attention the details and the small things

You’re almost done! After those steps, your rough draft should be taking shape. All that’s left is editing and finalizing your proposal to make it the best it can be. It’s always a good idea to let a friend read your draft and get their opinion. They can spot mistakes more easily than you, and can help with making it better and more engaging.