Disertation Proposal


A dissertation proposal describes the research you wish to do: what it’s about, how you’ll conduct it, and why it’s worthwhile. you'll probably write a proposal before starting your dissertation as an undergraduate or postgraduate student.


A dissertation proposal should generally include:


An introduction to your topic and aims

A literature review of this state of information

An outline of your proposed methodology

A discussion of the possible implications of the research

A bibliography of relevant sources

Dissertation proposals vary plenty in terms of length and structure, so confirm to follow any guidelines given to you by your institution, and seek advice from your supervisor when you’re unsure.


Table of contents


Step 1: bobbing up with an inspiration

Before writing your proposal, it’s important to come back up with a robust idea for your dissertation.


Find a part of your field that interests you and do some preliminary reading in this area. What are the key concerns of other researchers? What do they suggest as areas for further research, and what strikes you personally as a noteworthy gap within the field?


Once you have got a plan, consider the {way to|a way to} narrow it down and therefore the best way to frame it. Don’t be too ambitious or too vague – a dissertation topic must be specific enough to be feasible. Move from a broad field of interest to a particular niche.

Step 2: Presenting your idea within the introduction

Like most academic texts, a dissertation proposal begins with an introduction. this can be where you introduce the subject of your research, provide some background, and most significantly, present your aim, objectives, and research question(s).



Try to dive straight into your chosen topic: What’s at stake in your research? Why is it interesting? Don’t spend too long on generalisations or grand statements:



Once your area of research is evident, you'll present more background and context. What does the reader have to know to know your proposed questions? What’s the present state of research on this subject, and what is going to your dissertation contribute to the field?


If you’re including a literature review, you don’t have to get in an excessive amount of detail at now, but give the reader a general sense of the debates that you’re intervening in.



This leads you into the foremost important part of the introduction: your aim, objectives, and research question(s). These should be identifiable and stand out from the text – for instance, you'll present them using bullet points or bold font.


Make sure that your research questions are specific and workable – something you'll reasonably answer within the scope of your dissertation. Avoid being too broad or having too many alternative questions. Remember that your goal in a very dissertation proposal is to convince the reader that your research is efficacious and feasible:


Step 3: Exploring related research within the literature review

Now that your topic is obvious, it’s time to explore existing research covering similar ideas. this is often important because it shows you what's missing from other research within the field and ensures that you’re not asking an issue somebody else has already answered.


You’ve probably already done some preliminary reading, but now that your topic is more clearly defined, you would like to thoroughly analyse and evaluate the foremost relevant sources in your literature review.


Here you must summarise the findings of other researchers and investigate gaps and problems in their studies. There could also be plenty of research to hide, so make effective use of paraphrasing to jot down concisely.


The point is to spot findings and theories which will influence your own research, but also to spotlight gaps and limitations in previous research which your dissertation can address:


Step 4: Describing your methodology

Next, you’ll describe your proposed methodology: the particular belongings you hope to try to to, the structure of your research and therefore the methods that you simply will use to collect and analyse data.


You should get quite specific during this section – you wish to convince your supervisor that you’ve thought through your approach to the research and may realistically carry it out. This section will look quite different, and vary long, reckoning on your field of study.


You may be engaged in additional research, specializing in data collection and discovering new information, or more theoretical research, attempting to develop a replacement conceptual model or add nuance to an existing one.


Dissertation research often involves both, but the content of your methodology section will vary per how important each approach is to your dissertation.


Empirical research

Empirical research involves collecting new data and analysing it so as to answer your research questions. It will be quantitative (focused on numbers), qualitative (focused on words and meanings), or a mixture of both.


With inquiry, it’s important to explain well how you intend to gather your data:


Will you employ surveys? A lab experiment? Interviews?

What variables will you measure?

How will you choose a representative sample?

If people will participate in your research, what measures will you're taking to make sure they're treated ethically?

What tools (conceptual and physical) will you employ, and why?

It’s appropriate to cite other research here. once you must justify your choice of a specific research method or tool, as an example, you'll cite a text describing the benefits and appropriate usage of that method.


Don’t overdo this, though; you don’t just reiterate the full theoretical literature, just what’s relevant to the alternatives you have got made.


Moreover, your research will necessarily involve analysing the information after you have collected it. Though you don’t know yet what the info will seem like, it’s important to grasp what you’re searching for and indicate what methods (e.g. statistical tests, thematic analysis) you'll use.


Theoretical research

You can also do theoretical research that doesn’t involve original data collection. during this case, your methodology section will focus more on the speculation you propose to figure with in your dissertation: relevant conceptual models and therefore the approach you propose to require.


For example, a literary analysis dissertation rarely involves collecting new data, but it’s still necessary to clarify the theoretical approach that may be taken to the text(s) under discussion, in addition as which parts of the text(s) you'll focus on:

Here, you will talk to the identical theorists you have got already discussed within the literature review. during this case, the stress is placed on how you propose to use their contributions in your own research.


Step 5: Outlining the potential implications of your research

You’ll usually conclude your dissertation proposal with a piece discussing what you expect your research to attain.


You obviously can’t be too sure: you don’t know yet what your results and conclusions are going to be. Instead, you ought to describe the projected implications and contribution to knowledge of your dissertation.


First, consider the potential implications of your research. Will you:


Develop or test a theory?

Provide new information to governments or businesses?

Challenge a commonly held belief?

Suggest an improvement to a selected process?

Describe the intended results of your research and therefore the theoretical or practical impact it'll have:


It is hoped that this research will contribute to the growing body of data concerning the link between general folie and social media usage. Its conclusions will need to potential to tell not only future research but also clinical practice and outreach.

Finally, it’s sensible to conclude by briefly restating the contribution to knowledge you hope to make: the particular question(s) you hope to answer and also the gap the answer(s) will fill in existing knowledge:


The purpose of this dissertation is to reliably quantify the impact of daily social media use on the mental wellbeing of young adults with general mental disorder. the consequences of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are measured separately, something which has not been accomplished within the existing research. this may facilitate a more precise understanding of social media’s relationship with anxiety.

Step 6: Creating a reference list or bibliography

Like any academic text, it’s important that your dissertation proposal effectively references all the sources you've got used. you wish to incorporate a properly formatted reference list or bibliography at the top of your proposal.


Different institutions recommend different forms of referencing – commonly used styles include Harvard, Vancouver, APA, or MHRA. If your department doesn't have specific requirements, choose a mode and apply it consistently.


A reference list includes only the sources that you just cited in your proposal. A bibliography is slightly different: it can include every source you consulted in preparing the proposal, whether or not you didn’t mention it within the text. within the case of a dissertation proposal, a bibliography can also list relevant sources that you just haven’t yet read, but that you just shall use during the research itself.


Check with your supervisor what form of bibliography or reference list you must include.



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