How to write a dissertation proposal - what needs to be included


As any student who is about to write a dissertation will know, the preparation beforehand is not just important it's essential. This is why writing a dissertation proposal requires a 100% effort in order to set up the prospect of writing the actual dissertation. You may well believe you have the topic, the determination and the writing and research expertise to create a brilliant dissertation. You are not the person who will decide whether or not this goes ahead. That decision rests with the academic part of your educational institution and its member or members need to be convinced of the validity of your topic and the talent you possess. This is where the proposal counts for everything.

You must have the following items in your proposal.


  • - The title page.
  • - The abstract
  • - The introduction.
  • - The thesis statement.
  • - The background to your proposal.

The title page of your proposal is pretty much the same as the title page of the actual dissertation with the exception of course that it must be labelled as a proposal. Often computer software will only recognize the first five words of the title so you are advised to make those first five words as a relevant and as descriptive as possible.

The abstract is a summary of what will appear in the dissertation should it go ahead. Do not exceed 350 words and include all of the things listed elsewhere in this article. That includes your thesis statement, questions and methodology, research material and your introduction.

Speaking of which your proposal’s introduction will give an overall view of the topic to be written about. It is similar to the introduction you will write in the actual dissertation.

The thesis statement is the crux of your proposal. The supervisor will study your thesis statement in detail and more than likely ask any number of relevant questions. All the more reason why you must spend a great deal of time in creating the perfect thesis statement. It needs to propose a question or state a point of view which you intend to prove in your dissertation. It needs to be self-explanatory and concise yet contain enough detail to satisfy the reader’s curiosity.

Finally there is background information contained in your proposal which will inform the person deciding whether or not the dissertation will go ahead as to where this dissertation might sit in the academic world. Will this proposed dissertation add something new to the body of knowledge on this topic, will the approach or methodology adopted in this proposed dissertation be unique? In this background aspect of your proposal you need to clearly show how your study at the educational institution is directly linked to and will benefit by the writing of the dissertation.

Organize your thoughts

By keeping your mind intact you make yourself more resistant to stress, and writing an academic paper is surely a lot of stress. You may feel better if you organize your working space, too. Make sure you have everything you need on the table, and that it’s comfortable to sit and write for a couple of hours. Create the working space that will make you want to be there for longer and work harder.

Plan Your Project

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