After finishing all necessary course work and passing the general examination the student needs to prepare a dissertation proposal with 50-70 pages. This proposal consists of a
- Question or problems solely related to the topic of dissertation.
- Extensive literature review on the chosen topic and on all areas where the student’s research will be focused.
- An in-depth discussion on the proposed research methodologies to be undertaken by the student.
In the dissertation proposal the student is normally expected to prepare explicitly how the evaluation of major issues in the popular scholarly literature leads to and provides a sufficient reason to formulate or create dissertation research plan.
A dissertation proposal is ideally divided into three sections –
- Project management and formulating research questions.
- Available literature review on the proposed research questions.
- Deciding on the research methodology.
As a whole, a dissertation proposal will discuss the following matters –
- The basic research question that the student wants to examine.
- The actual situation or condition right now on which the student has decided to undertake dissertation research.
- Research work done by the scholars on this area.
- The opinions given by the scholars on the dissertation questions.
- The difference that the student will make after the completion of the dissertation.
- Data or information needed to complete the dissertation.
- The process that will be adopted by the student to gather data.
- Tools, skill, permissions, etc. the student needs to gather these data.
The essential elements of a well-planned and neatly written dissertation proposal are as follows –
- Title – It creates the first impression on the examiners and professors who are going to read the dissertation in future. Hence, the title should be precise but explanatory. The title should say everything about the dissertation paper.
- Introduction – The introduction narrates the reason behind taking a particular topic for research. It should outline the problem, why the student thinks it is an important topic, and what does he want to achieve at the end?
- Aims and objectives – The aim of the dissertation proposal should explain precisely what does the student expecting at the end. On the other hand, objective explains how the aim or goal will be achieved?
- Methodology – The dissertation work the student is pursuing may be empirical or non-empirical in nature. If the methodology is non-empirical, this section is likely to be short; whereas this section will be pretty longer if the student needs to gather or look at the empirical data.
- Literature review – In this section the student needs to interpret already existing theoretical reviews and practical information those the scholars have already mentioned regarding the subject matter. The student should also explain where these scholarly literatures are lacking and how he is going to mitigate the gap.
- Resources – the student needs to list up all the resources he will need to complete his or her research work within due deadline.
- Outline of sections – In this part a student needs to outline all the sections or chapters that are going to be written by him while completing the dissertation. The outline will help the reader to make an overall idea about the dissertation paper.
- Timeline – Student should outline his or her plan regarding the times he or she needs to complete different parts of the dissertation. It is not possible to create a precise timeline for the paper, but the probable time management should be realistic one.
- References – The list of references at the end of the dissertation is a proof of hard work and depth of the research work of the student. It also acknowledges the sources of information.
Writing all these above mentioned points in proper order and with right information make an effective and perfect dissertation proposal.