How to write a dissertation proposal? What is research proposal?

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A proposal for a dissertation is the first step towards preparing your dissertation while obtaining a Master’s or Ph.D. degree. So what is a dissertation proposal? What topics can be taken and how to structure it? In our article, we will answer all these and some other questions.

What is a research proposal?

A research proposal is like a “business card” for your dissertation, as it is written to persuade the committee that the question is valuable to the field and is worth studying. A research proposal should include all the main elements involved in the research and contain enough information for the readers to appraise the proposed study. Besides, it should show that you:

  1. know and can explain the importance of the question;
  2. have found an interesting research question that can benefit the field of study;
  3. know your hypothesis;
  4. can structure and formulate a strategy for the dissertation.

How to write a dissertation proposal?

No one will expect you to read all the articles and research papers related to the topic that has ever been published. However, you should be able to locate the literature that applies to the dissertation problem. Many students ask themselves about how to write a dissertation proposal that is why we prepared a list of the tips that can be very useful.

  1. First proposal then research! Don’t attempt to do full, in-depth research before you submit your proposal, as the main purpose is to describe and explain what you plan to do in your dissertation, and the ways you suggest can be used.
  2. Choose the dissertation proposal topicthat is interesting and can benefit the field of study, for example:
  • Arts: The differences in portraying women in Italian Renaissance and Northern Renaissance paintings.
  • Law: Case studies that represent a review of criminal negligence related to man trafficking.
  • Social studies: How does social media influence lives and thinking of teenagers?
  • Computer science: Analyze the influence of e-publishing on libraries.
  • Psychology: Analysis of the contribution of rational thinking and impulse to decision-making.
  • Nursing: Postnatal depression: reasons and ways of prevention.
  • History: Gender perception in the Middle East in the 20th and 21st centuries.
  1. When the topic is chosen, decide on the title. Before you decide on the dissertation research proposal title, it is important to understand:
  • what topic is the most appealing and interesting for you? For example, if you study Russian Literature, you might be fascinated by a particular author and his writing style; or it can be the time when some works where written, like “Russian writers during the World War II”; it can also be a comparison of two or three authors portraying the same event, etc.
  • If there is enough information about your topic? Sometimes, it might happen that you chose the topic, but there are not enough materials to gather information or literature is in another language, so in this way, you have either to find the way to outsource enough information or choose another topic
  1. Now it’s time to write your proposal. Remember that every dissertation proposal should answer such questions as:
  • What is the main problem that you will work on?
  • Why did you choose it?
  • Why do you think it is a problem?
  • Why is it important to investigate it?
  • What are the sources you are going to use?
  • Why did you choose these particular sources?
  1. Be cautious about the length! It can’t be too long or too short, as the average length is between 15 to 20 pages. To avoid double work on expanding the proposal or, on the contrary, shorten it, make sure you know all the requirements from your mentor beforehand.

Methodology for dissertation proposal

So now, when you understand how to write your dissertation proposal, it’s time to discuss methodology for the dissertation proposal as well as a dissertation proposal outline.

  • Title which is indicating your proposed key question;
  • Background and introduction where you describe the importance of the research as well as give the background information about the subject.
  • Problem statement with Research question where you form the main question that will be explored during the process.
  • Research Objectives in the part where you provide the list of goals, set the boundaries for the research and direct the writing process.
  • Literature review for dissertation proposalis one of the most important parts as it provides the information on the previous related research; shows their strong and weak sides and justifies your research.
  • Methodology for dissertation proposalis a part where you describe the research methods and the steps needed to solve the problem and achieve the dissertation objectives.
  • And how to conclude a dissertation proposal? Of course with References or Bibliography that is needed for listing all the materials used in the paper.

Examples of research proposal titles

As we mentioned above there are 2 main factors that will influence your choice of the title: 1. is the topic interesting for you and the amount of the literature that can be found on the topic. Of course, depending on your area, the suggestions from your mentor and personal taste, you are free to create any title, and we prepared just some examples that are significant nowadays.

  • Linguistics: Linguistic and Stylistic problems in the Translation of the Torah.
  • International relations: Russia and Ukraine political situation after 2014.
  • Media: How much does television influences people’s perception of themselves?
  • Education: Should homeschooling be a legitimate alternative to schools?
  • Marketing: Marketing tools and strategies that are used to persuade people to overspend.

If you need any further dissertation proposal help, we are always ready to assist you.

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