Guide for writing a dissertation proposal
There is a specific format for writing a dissertation proposal. But first:
- Think precise (clarity of thought)
- Think specific (stay focussed, don’t get sidetracked).
- Think realistic (what is achievable and how much time have you got in which to do it, and how are you going to measure it?)
- Talk over your proposal on a regular basis with your tutor.
Check with you tutor and facility all of the information that is needed on this page.
The title that you use for the proposal and during the research may change. It is very usual that as the research progresses, the title needs to become more precise and exact. It does not mean the project has changed or any of the methodology, just that the title gains more clarity and reflects the true depth of your work.
- Outlines the reasons for the study and how it relates to academic context.
- Sometimes, it is possible to merge the literature review into this section.
- Highlight the key issue.
- How is achievement of this project measured?
Aims and objectives
- What is the focus of the project?
- What are the aims?
- What are the objectives?
- What research methods will be used? Any questionnaires will go in the appendices.
- If this is an original piece of work then more detail needs to be provided and more links to the literature search than if the research is replicated piece of work.
Qualitative data collection and sampling.
- Identify the tests you will be using to analyse your data collection.
- Not always in a dissertation proposal as it may be marked separately.
- Contains key terms and located sources.
- Can be embedded on the Introduction.
Scope and constraints
- Limit the amount of material that you need to complete the project. Stay focussed and don’t deviate.
- Time may also be an issue, acknowledge that in this section.
- Materials and resources that you need may not immediately available, acknowledge that here.
- What facilities do you need to complete the project?
- Do you need the provision of any specialist software?
This should have enough details to convince your tutor that you have thought in realistic terms just how much work and effort will go into this project. It will also help you an dyour tutor identify any weaknesses in your plan.
Outline of sections/chapters
- Give an outline of the main body of your dissertation and overall structure.
- Outline the headings and proposed content.
- Outline of all of your reading