For prospective doctors of philosophy, writing a dissertation proposal is the first step on the way to their desired degree. If you are working on obtaining an advanced degree in order to further your business aims, you’ll need to understand this basic point.
The proposal for your dissertation is a plan for your further study. Therefore, it should convince professors that your topic is worth researching. Having a good proposal is half the battle. It is the thread that you will follow throughout the process of writing your dissertation.
Let’s take a closer look at this type of scholarly writing. It has its own features and peculiarities. Firstly, a dissertation proposal is not an essay or a mini-dissertation. It is an in-depth essay plan. It will provide you with guidance while you’re writing your dissertation. Therefore, you have to know how to differentiate between your dissertation and the proposal for it. This what we are going to explore in this article.
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Your Dissertation Creates a World
If a dissertation is a small world that you will bring into being, a proposal is a map of that space within the larger universe. The emphasis here is on the idea of mapping rather than creating. Before you can become a god and invent your own world, you have to become a cartographer. This means that the goal of your proposal is not to create your world, but rather to suggest what it will look like when you do create it.
What Does a Dissertation Proposal Do?
To begin with, let us look at the things dissertation proposal actually does for the future dissertation itself:
- It puts forth your argument: Your proposal points toward how you will prove your argument. It should therefore give well chosen examples. However, you’ll omit any detailed explanation of these examples. The main idea is to present your general ideas and briefly describe the arguments without actually proving anything.
- Your proposal describes how your argument fits together: What examples will you use, in what order, and why? How is the argument sequenced and subordinated? You will probably need to provide a chapter outline. However, you should offer a clear and extended overview of your argument long before you include that.
- It outlines the research methodology: How will you state your argument? What theoretical, historical, contextual, and interpretative tools will you use? Will you employ any particular approach?
- Your proposal fits your dissertation topic: You have to compose the proposal in accordance with the type of the dissertation you will write later.
Follow Experts’ Basic Writing Tips for Your Dissertation Proposal
The whole academic system being built on the principle of the writing researches and papers, several experts continually suggest ways to be efficient in writing. For dissertation proposals it is worth remembering that this is not a traditional essay, however. It may look a lot like an essay. But its purpose differs crucially. Your proposal has to advance the topic while not explaining it or dwelling on it in detail.
Therefore, your dissertation proposal should include the following parts:
- The literature
- Your problem statement
- The research question
- Your methods of investigation
- The main data sources
- All references.
To begin writing a proposal, you should look for literature on topics that you find interesting and motivating with an eye for further examination. As you further explore these topics, you are likely to come upon some problem which has not yet been solved by other scholars.
Clearly Formulate the Problem You’re Studying
Upon finding the possible problem to study, you must next clearly formulate it into a problem statement and the subsequent research questions. Identify the core problem and main research question you will explore in your dissertation. Additionally, include some sub-questions that you can use to tackle the main question step by step. This will outline the entire body of your dissertation. Thus, it will become a convincing argument in favor of its approval.
The next step to do is to create a methodology for your research. This requires explaining how you will answer your research questions, including the methods and materials you will use. Apart from the methodology, sources of information are also of special importance. Outline where you will find the data you need, including how you will search the relevant literature. List the main journals that you will consult in the course of your writing.
The last tip is to always be confident in what you do and what you are trying to achieve. Remember that your dissertation can make a huge difference in this world. If your research focuses on something you really believe in, then go for it!
Don’t hesitate to rewrite your proposal several times to make it convincing and strong. Trust us. There is no way your proposal will fail to get an approval then.