Tips for writing a dissertation proposal
A dissertation is a long piece of academic writing. It is different from an essay as you are responsible for choosing the topic yourself.
A dissertation proposal aims at covering in detail the research question and the planning of conducting the research. It includes all the readings done and any prior discussions with your tutor. It should also shed light on the limitations that get expected in your study, the ethical considerations, and also why you have chosen the data type you got.
The following sections appear in a dissertation proposal:
- Main body;
- Literature review
- Ethical considerations
Importance of a proposal
It is essential in the due process of writing your dissertation. It will guide you through the process and make the introduction of your principal work less vague.
Make sure you book regular meetings with your tutor, follow the regulations laid out by your university, and list all the available sources in your research.
Steps before the proposal
- Reading and selecting the topic
Deciding what to research on can be a daunting task for most students. The easiest way to combat this is to look through the notes and assignments that you have completed. Find a topic you had an interest in or a concept that you thought you could develop. If this doesn’t work for you, try and root your interest from journals to publications until you get the best topic.
- Focusing and choosing literature to include
The more you read, the easier it will be for you to refine your research questions. Remember to think critically about your sources since this is critical to getting better marks.
Consider the following:
- The publication date - is it up to date or outdated?
- Any significant development that would interfere with the field of research
- The errors of the methodology that would bring down the presentation of the author
- Any ethical concerns
- Any bias
- External factors that one way or the other affect the findings of the author
The first step in writing down your dissertation proposal is to plan the structure. It will require an introduction, body, and conclusion.
You introduce your topic in this area. It provides an overview of your research through the exploration of the background. The principal thesis should be laid here and also the explanation of why the study is critical.
It comprises of the following sections
You will outline the methods to use in data collection. Include how and what you get set to do. You will also need to have an explanation of the choice of methods.
Pinpoint on the main aspects you want to explore, the things you want to achieve, and the main questions that you are seeking to answer.
- Literature review
This part gives you the platform to make an argument on why your research is critical. You will have to make a list of the sources in your research and how they were important to you.
Here you recognize your limits that come with the ability of exploration in presenting your findings. It shows that you have engaged with your subject matter
- Ethical consideration
Are there concerns about ethics that combat your research? Do you have permission from your participants?
It is not necessary, but it is a good idea to remind the reader of your reasons for the choice of the topic.