Writing a great dissertation proposal is almost as important as writing the paper itself. It can be key to getting the research advisor you want, to getting funding, and to set yourself up for success for the rest of your project. So you want to make sure to give it the time and effort it requires.
Your program may provide specific requirements for your proposal, which you’ll want to pay careful attention to. In general through, a proposal should include several key components: your research question or hypothesis, a background section, your proposed methodology, and references. The research question or hypothesis and methodology are probably the hardest part of the proposal to write, because they require you to predict how you will conduct your research and handle data and gathered information, before you actually have it. They will be carefully scrutinized by your advisor, because they are the underpinning of your paper.
So, to put together a great dissertation proposal, it can be very helpful to have a sample to work off of. Start your search for a sample with these sources:
If everyone in your program is expected to submit a proposal, your program should have plenty on hand that can serve as a guide. Many programs put them up on the program website. If yours doesn’t, don’t be afraid to ask your advisor or even the program director for one.
Many students overlook the amazing resource that their librarian can be for them. In addition to helping with research, they can also be very helpful in finding sample papers.
Your own university may or may not have a writing center, regardless of whether they do, you can find great information from the online writing center websites of other universities. A simple internet search will uncover many of these resources. It can be helpful to search for both thesis proposals and dissertation proposals because they are very similar.
Another source of academic resources that is often overlooked is online forums. These can vary greatly with your academic subject or area of expertise. But most topic areas have some kind of professional organization associated with them that hosts and online forum or listserv. These can be a great place to reach out to other academics in your field and ask for samples of proposal, as well as input for during your research.
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