Dissertation Proposal

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How to Write a Dissertation Proposal

Putting together a dissertation proposal can be sometimes overwhelming especially when it is your first time doing so.

All the same, it is up to you to look for the right materials and sources so that they can guide you when it comes to writing a dissertation proposal.

Get to know what a proposal is and how it looks like.

Also before starting, it is important to know how it should be presented.

It is also essential to know the ingredients of a proposal.

Understand the part and parcel of a proposal and things that you need to leave out when working on it.

It is also important that you consult your supervisor so that you can know what he is looking for when it comes to your dissertation proposal.

Many students struggle with writing a dissertation proposal and that is the reason we are here is to help you and guide you when it comes to this kind of writing.

As you continue reading this guide it will help you to understand what a dissertation proposal is, how it looks like, why it needs to be written, and the steps to follow when writing one.

Dissertation proposal definition

Before you understand what a dissertation proposal is, it is important to have the concept of a dissertation itself.

A dissertation is a long essay for academic purposes.

Dissertation writing focuses on a particular subject.

This means when writing a dissertation you have a specific topic that you are researching on.

When writing a dissertation, after you have a topic in mind it is important that you have a formulated research question.

The dissertation proposal comes into the picture when you formulate a research question.

A dissertation proposal should be able to sheath the research question in details on how you are going to analyze and conduct the research.

You should be able to include in your dissertation proposal the scrutiny you have done concerning your topic and the directions that you have been given by your supervisor.

It is also important that you include any kind of expected limitations in your research.

It is also important that you bring out your reasons for choosing the data samples that you have in your research.

It is also important that you include your ethical considerations.

It is important to note that many universities will require you to have a dissertation proposal before writing the dissertation itself.

There are just a few universities that may require you not to have a dissertation proposal.

When you work on your dissertation proposal it is important that you consider having a sit down with your supervisor so that you can discuss it.

Discussing with your supervisor is very important because they will be able to give you their views concerning the dissertation proposal and where you need to do correction.

From there you will be able to make changes from a point of knowledge.

These changes will also help you when it comes to conducting the research and writing the body of the dissertation.

Sections of a dissertation

  • Introduction
  • Main body
  • Mini Conclusion

When it comes to the main body you need to include the methodology, the aim and the objectives of the dissertation, literature reviews, limitations ethical considerations, and timeframe.

It is important to note that a dissertation proposal can change at any time in the process of writing a dissertation.

This is because in the process of doing your research we may find yourself changing your research question or rewriting it again.

It is important that you consider understanding the requirements of your school concerning writing a dissertation proposal whether you are an undergraduate or a postgraduate student.

Some of the requirements that you need to consider are the format of writing a dissertation, and also the word count.

This is because of different universities have different requirements concerning a dissertation proposal.

Importance of a proposal

Before starting a dissertation proposal it is important to ask yourself it’s important.

  • The reason why many universities will consider you writing a dissertation proposal is that it acts as a direction to your dissertation writing.
  • When you take your time to write a dissertation proposal and write it correctly it will make your work easy when it comes to writing your dissertation.

This is because a dissertation proposal is an essay plan to give you guidelines on how you will write the main body.

  • When it comes to the beginning of the dissertation you will find that you will have a good flow because you know what you are doing.

It is also important to note that a dissertation proposal is not a means to an end because it is subject to changes during the dissertation process.

The reason why your research questions my change is the lack of enough evidence concerning your argument.

When you find your topic has a large scope there may be a possibility of you changing the research question.

For these purposes, it is important to ensure that you meet with your supervisor on a regular basis based on your progress.

It is also important to understand and follow the regulations of the university concerning writing a dissertation proposal.

Ensure that you take your research seriously and also write down the sources that you come into contact with as you do the research.

When you write down as you come across the sources it will be easy for you to write your bibliography at the end of the work.

Steps to writing a proposal

Before writing a proposal there are various steps that you need to consider.

Read and select a topic

Reading various literatures concerning the subject area of your dissertation is very important because it will help you to get a topic to write on.

It may look simple to select a topic but it requires you to take your time and do thorough research and reading concerning your subject.

When you read you will be able to select a topic in the area you are working on.

It is important that you consider going through the lectures that you have had concerning the subject area and also considering the assignments that you have been doing for the same.

Look at the topics that you are interested in and consider the concepts that you can develop further.

If you cannot be able to find a topic through this method it is important that you consider doing general research concerning the subject area.

Look for content in the publications and other reading materials that you can work on to help you get direction on your dissertation process.

When you do this you will be able to get a bearing on a topic that you will work on.

As highlighted above ensuring that you have noted down all the publications and journals you have used is very important for the purposes of your bibliography.

This will make your writing easier because you do not have to go back searching for the sources you used so that you can work on your bibliography.

It is also important that you know the referencing system and style that your university uses for the purposes of the bibliography.

You will need to understand the referencing system concerning the book/journal ,title authors, editor’s, the chapter, title page, URL and the publisher.

Contact your department or your supervisor to know the kind of referencing that is required.

Ensure that the topic you pick will be interesting enough so that you can enjoy doing your research.

This is because a dissertation requires you to take your time in writing and therefore you need to ensure that the topic is as interesting as possible.

You do not want to have a situation where you get fed up in the middle of a dissertation because you do not have motivation.

Narrow your focus and choose existing literature

It is important to ensure you read widely concerning your subject area.

This way you will be able to get a definite research question.

Sometimes when you are looking for materials and sources for your subject area, your area of Interest could be having outdated information that is not applicable now.

It is important to know how to go about this and you could do more research concerning the same in recent researches.

It is important to know that the kind of materials that you use will also contribute to the marks that you get.

Get to know the date of publication of the sources you are using.

It is important to know whether the source is outdated or not.

It is important to know the changes that have happened in the research that you are considering that may affect your research.

It is also important to identify any errors that the author presented.

For example, when you identify methodological errors the results of the research may be insignificant.

It is also important to consider ethical issues that may arise in the studies so that they can be corrected on the same concerning the topic.

Consider whether the author that presented the results had any kind of biases.

It is also important that you consider the external factors that could affect the findings.

When you are able to identify this correctly you will be able to know what to include in your research and this will be able to earn you high marks.

After you do your research carefully and correctly it is time to put the pen in the paper.

Sometimes you may not be completely certain concerning your point.

You can consider getting the guidance of your supervisor who will be able to help you and guide you on the direction that you need to take.

At this point, you should be able to have clarity concerning your research and have in mind the kind of conclusion you will have.

Depending on your course you will are going to either use qualitative analysis or quantitative analysis.

When you are creating your dissertation proposal, it is important to ensure that the structure is well-planned.

Ensure that your dissertation proposal has an introduction body section which is the body and the conclusion.

Follow this guide to see how the dissertation proposal is written.

Introduction

The introduction part is where you get to do the introduction of the topic.

In the introduction part, it is important to highlight your thesis or hypothesis.

Show the importance of the research you’re doing in this part.

Body

The composition of the body includes

Methodology

The methodology part is all about introducing the methods that you’re going to use when it comes to the collection and processing of data.

Ensure that you have included how and what you are going to do.

In case you are using the quantitative analysis when it comes to the collection of data it may need you to use questionnaires, data sources, or a survey.

It is also important to ensure the clarity of your research.

When selecting the methods that you are going to use it is important that you consider those ones that are specific for your research area.

Aim and objectives

When doing your research one of the things that you are looking for is the gap in the previous researches.

When you identify the gap then you will be able to understand the issue that you want to explore.

It is also important to understand the kind of achievements you want by the end of your research.

On the aims and the objective part, this is where you are able to understand your questions and give answers to them.

It is also important to understand the kind of predictions that may exist.

Literature review

This is where you are able to read different materials with the same research that you are doing.

Do the listing of the sources that you have used to do your research and also highlight how they have helped you and guided you in doing your own research.

To show your prepared means concerning the writing of your proposal, it is important that you put your work besides other researches to show the contribution that you have added to the field.

When it comes to the literature review it is also important to identify any errors and mistakes that you have found in the work that is existing.

You will be able to know how to circumvent these mistakes when writing your own dissertation.

Ensure the sources that you indicate on your work are those that are adding value.

Limitations

One of the strengths of writing a dissertation is being able to recognize the limitations of your ability to explore your findings.

Examples of limitations include a word count.

Sometimes you may not be able to have the space to explain everything pertaining to your research.

When you are able to complete the limitations part, it shows your ability to understand your subject matter and familiarized yourself with the concepts relating to your topic.

Ethical considerations

It is important that you identify any ethical issues pertaining to your research.

Getting permission from your participants concerning exploring the ethical issues is very important.

When you have the permission of your participants then you can comfortably interview them or include them in your research.

Time frame

When writing a dissertation proposal there is a time limit on when you are supposed to deliver your work to your supervisor.

Delivery of the dissertation proposal may differ from supervisor to supervisor.

Some supervisors will want you to deliver the dissertation proposal after you have finished every chapter while others may want you to finish all the work and deliver it.

You will find that most of the supervisors will want the chapter by chapter method so that they can be able to correct the student as he continues working on the proposal.

Be careful about what you are writing and ensure that you are as realistic as possible.

Conclusion

In your dissertation proposal, a conclusion is a mini one.

The conclusion may not be necessary but putting it in your dissertation proposal can add value.

Do a conclusion of your research and the reason for choosing the topic you are working on.

Ethics

To avoid criticism of your dissertation it is also important to include ethics references.

Ensure from the planning part of your dissertation you have included the ethical considerations.

Ethics refers to the moral principles that can be found in researches.

When you do your research you will find that the studies that have a lot of criticisms are the ones that assumed the ethical considerations.

It is important to ensure you clearly highlight why you are doing the research.

When you have clarity concerning your research you will be able to do a further investigation on this research and highlight what you want to find out concerning the research.

When you have highlighted this you will be able to give a reason and the kind of contributions you will add to this field.

You need to explain your aim and also objectives concerning your research as a way to get rid of any kind of criticisms.

It is also important to make sure you ensure your research is based on integrity and value.

It is also important to ensure your participants are well informed

It is important to inform your participants of the reason why you are doing your research.

This way they will be able to understand the importance of their data to the contribution of your research.

It is also important to ensure they know what they will expect and any kind of risk that they may be involved in during the research.

This way they will decide whether to be part of the research or not.

You can consider using a consent form and a fact form for your participants.

Confidentiality

Ensure any information that you pick from your participants is confidential.

It is your job to ensure the participants are well taken care of in such a way no one can identify them.

You can consider using pseudonyms to write their feedback concerning your research.

Difference in postgraduate proposal writing

There is a difference between writing an undergraduate proposal and a postgraduate proposal.

When it comes to writing a postgraduate proposal the differences found are highlighted below.

The differences may not be a lot but it is important to ensure you know them.

You are expected to ensure you present a methodology section that is in-depth and ensure you are critical on your literature review.

It is important to ensure that your subject area is well highlighted in such a way it looks complete.

You are expected when writing a Ph.D. thesis proposal to show that you understand the existing literature and have the ability to extend it.

You are also expected to do an interpretation and criticize of the same.

When doing a Ph.D. thesis proposal you will take more time as compared to the undergraduate one.

When doing a Ph.D. research it is important to know that you are going to give your proposal to The Department directly.

  • This means you need to highlight clearly the reasons why you chose the university in question and not any other.
  • You also need to indicate whether the department has previously had the research on the same area you are working on.
  • It is also important to indicate whether there is a need for grants application concerning your research.
  • It is also important to describe your research techniques in the methodology section that you are planning to use.

Indicate whether they are new techniques or you’re using the already existing ones.

It is also important to understand the rules and compliance that is required from the department guidance on writing a proposal.

If you need help in dissertation proposal writing it is important that you consider us because we are able to understand your needs and meet them.

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