Getting a Handle on Crafting a Dissertation Proposal

Many students who are asked to do a dissertation have to first put together a dissertation proposal first in order to determine whether or not they will have enough information and resources to complete a dissertation. When trying to write your dissertation proposal, you will need to have the majority of your research completed.

Crafting your dissertation proposal can be done effectively whether you are asked for an informal dissertation or a formal dissertation. Let’s look at the differences between the two options and what should be included in each. Think of a dissertation proposal as an extended outline.

Informal Proposal

An informal proposal will include a few different features than a formal proposal. The proposal should be formatted into these sections:

  • Topic description
  • Background information
  • Thesis
  • Synopsis of literature
  • Proposed avenues

A breakdown of each section will help to explain exactly what should be included. The first part of the dissertation proposal will include a brief description of your topic. This should be followed by some background information. In the dissertation proposal, hit on key topics of background information instead of details. The next section will include your thesis which is what your paper will be proving. This can be written as a list of the different reasons behind your belief about the topic. The synopsis of the literature should include what information you have found to support your beliefs. This will also need to include the reasons behind why you chose the different sources you found during your rudimentary search. Short paragraphs should be included after the main literature to tell what is contained in the source that pertains to your thesis. The last step will be to describe briefly what direction you are planning to pursue.

Formal Dissertation Proposal

Some dissertation proposals will need to be formal. In this case, you would need to format your proposal a little differently. A formal dissertation proposal should include:

  • Cover sheet
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Direction and thesis

The literature section of a formal proposal is a lot more important in a formal proposal than it is in an informal proposal. It will show the board the information that you have already collected that relates to your thesis.

If you include these aspects in your dissertation proposal, you are destined to have a successful proposal that you can easily build on to create your dissertation.

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