Writing a dissertation proposal

A proposal describes what you want to do in your research. Scholars write their proposal before starting their research as a postgraduate or undergraduate student. A research dissertation proposal consists of the following: introduction to topic and aims, literature review, methodology, and reference.

Conceiving the idea

One should come up with a strong dissertation concept. Get an area in your field that generates interest and inspires you, then conducts the preliminary study. From the initial reading, try to figure out the major concerns of fellow scholars, look at suggested areas for further study, and go for what motivates you individually as the gap from the field. Once you settle on the idea, frame it well and narrow it down. Do not be vague or over-ambitious, since dissertations ought to be specific and feasible.


A proposal starts with an introduction. The introduction introduces your research topic, offers background to the study, then concludes with the aim, objective, and research questions. Explain to your audience why your topic is exciting and the knowledge you intend to bring to your study area. Once your audience has understood your area of study, provide them with more context and background to your study. Bring your audience with the present state of research on your topic and contributions your study will bring to the knowledge body.

Literature review

The purpose of the literature review is to discover existing research findings on the selected topic. The literature review shows a gap from what other scholars have studied so far and prevented you from researching what other scholars have researched. The literature review is the section where you need to evaluate and analyze the relevant sources from your literature. From your evaluation and analysis, summarise the research findings from other scholars and highlight the problems and gaps in those studies.


After the literature review, the next is a methodology where you describe specific things you intend to do, your study's organization, and the research techniques you intend to use in gathering and analyzing your data. Research methodology ought to be specific so that you can convince your audience that your approach to research is realistic and will yield expected results. Based on your area of study, research methodology will vary in length and different. For example, you may focus on collecting data and exploring new information or engaging in theoretical research focusing on developing a theoretical model or criticizing models.

Outline possible implications of your study 

At the tail end of your dissertation proposal, espouse what your study will achieve. Since you are not sure of your data analysis outcome, then project contributions and implications of expected findings to the body of knowledge. Consider the probable implication of your study, such as suggesting an improvement to a process, challenging a common belief, offering new information to business or government, and testing or developing a theory. Explain your expected findings and either the practical or the theoretical influence it will have.

Create a list of reference sources used 

Similar to other scholarly endeavors, remember to provide a reference to all sources that your dissertation proposal relied on. Provide a well-formatted list of your references at the end of the proposal. There are different referencing styles, such as APA, MHRA, Vancouver, and Harvard.

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