How to Write Dissertation Proposal
A dissertation proposal outlines the research you intend to undertake, detailing its significance, how you plan to go about it, and its potential value. As an undergraduate or postgraduate student, you’ll likely need to draft a proposal before embarking on your dissertation journey. Every student has to learn how to write dissertation proposal. Dissertation proposal writing is an initial step towards writing a dissertation. So, this initial step should be taken wisely to get the proposal approved and embark upon the task of independent research work which will not only earn you the final degree but will also be helpful in the practical filed.
What should you know about a Dissertation Proposal? i.e. What is it?
To understand this, we should first clarify what a dissertation entails. A dissertation, akin to an essay, is an extended piece of scholarly writing. The distinction lies in the fact that for a dissertation, you typically select the topic or central theme yourself.
The initial step is selecting your topic, often referred to as the dissertation title. Subsequently, you’ll have to craft a research question, which is the essence of the dissertation proposal.
A dissertation proposal delves deep into the research question you aim to address and outlines how you intend to carry out both primary and secondary investigations. It should encapsulate the readings you’ve undertaken so far and any insights from discussions with your advisor. To shield yourself from potential critiques during evaluation, the proposal should also highlight anticipated constraints in your study, ethical considerations, and the rationale behind your data sample selection.
A Dissertation Proposal usually has the following parts i.e. it includes:
- An overview or introduction of your chosen subject and objectives.
- A review of existing literature on the topic.
- A sketch of methodology you intend to use.
- A conversation about potential outcomes of study.
- A list of pertinent references.
Dissertation proposals can differ significantly in format and length, so it’s essential to adhere to the guidelines provided by your academic institution. Always seek guidance from your advisor if you have any doubts.
What is a Proposal Important for your Dissertation?
In essence, a dissertation proposal acts as a roadmap for the journey of dissertation writing. When crafted meticulously, it functions similarly to a detailed essay outline, offering invaluable guidance as you delve into the core of the project. Moreover, a well-prepared proposal can significantly demystify the daunting task of starting your dissertation.
It’s crucial to recognize that your dissertation proposal isn’t immutable. Throughout the dissertation journey, it’s expected to undergo numerous revisions. Your initial research question might evolve or even transform entirely. You might realize that the evidence for your initial argument is scanty, or perhaps your selected topic is overly expansive and needs narrowing down. You should also know how to write PhD Dissertation.
Regardless of the direction your research takes, it’s imperative to
- schedule consistent consultations with your advisor,
- strictly follow your institution’s guidelines, and
- diligently document the references you encounter during your research, ensuring they’re primed for inclusion in your final bibliography.
First Step: Read and Come up with your research topic
As highlighted at the beginning of this piece, the initial step in your dissertation journey is to immerse yourself in your field of study and pinpoint a topic. While this seems straightforward, selecting a research focus can be a daunting endeavor for many.
A practical approach to narrow down a potential topic is to revisit all lecture materials, notes, and assignments you’ve tackled thus far. Was there a subject that piqued your curiosity? Did you encounter a concept that felt underexplored? Or did you discern a noticeable gap in the literature during your assignment research, indicating a need for deeper investigation in that area?
If these questions don’t resonate, consider gravitating towards a broader area that personally intrigues you. In such instances, perusing relevant academic journals and publications can guide you towards a more defined focus.
Regardless of your topic selection method, it’s imperative to document all sources you consult during your research. These will be integral to your bibliography later, so cataloging them now is a time-saver. Depending on your university’s preferred citation style, you’ll typically require the following details:
- Book/Journal title
- Editor(s) (for edited volumes)
- Chapter Title
- Page range
- URL (for digital sources)
If you’re uncertain about the specifics of referencing, refer to your department’s guidelines or seek guidance from your supervisor.
Second Step: Narrow your selected topic and present it in the introduction
Tips When you Want to Write Dissertation Proposal
The right kind of dissertation topic should make your dissertation more easy and fun to complete the research work. As it is obvious, research work has been conducted since ages and almost every field has been explored pretty well, so finding a novel and unexplored topic is not so easy. Perhaps when you begin your quest for finding a dissertation topic you will notice that almost every topic that comes to your mind is already researched well and there is nothing left for you to start your research work. In this case, the better suggestion is to choose a bunch of already done dissertation topics and then rephrase or rewrite new ones to bring something new into the existing research work.
Once the dissertation topic is selected and approved, the next step is to Write Dissertation Proposal. Dissertation proposal writing should be given top priority as a good dissertation proposal will make your final dissertation writing process more easy. This blog is focused on writing a good dissertation proposal so you may get it approved by your supervisor.
Statement of the problem
The most important thing in a proposal is your ability to convince your readership or the supervisor that the area you have selected for research needs further investigation as there is significant gaps and inconsistency in the findings of previous studies. So, you begin your dissertation proposal by describing the statement of the problem in which you highlight any gap or the inconsistency of the previous studies. For example, if you are exploring the impact of rewards on the performance of employees, you may describe that the there is a significant gap in the previous studies regarding the impact of reward system on the performance of employees and that no previous study has explored if reward system really improves and enhances the employees performance. But be mindful that this problem of the statement should really be true and if your supervisor finds sufficient previous studies already done on the same topic or area then he/she will instantly reject it.
Aims and Objectives of the dissertation proposal
When you begin to write dissertation proposal, you need to clearly define and explain your aims and objectives of the study so your supervisor knows exactly what you are going to explore and research. Explicit aims and objectives are very important to get your dissertation proposal approved. The following example should help you write your aims and objectives depending on your own dissertation topic.
Aims and Objectives of the Research
This study intends to explore the impact of reward system on the performance of employees in the retail company of the UK. For this purpose, the specific objectives of the study will be:
1. To investigate the impact of reward system on the performance of employees;
2. To Examine how employees are motivated if they are given further rewards and bonuses;
3. To explore What kind of incentives work better for motivating and improving the performance of employees.
Research Methodology of the Dissertation
Choosing the right method of research work is very important as this will make your research work easy or worst. There are two broad types of research methods: qualitative and quantitative. It depends on your own topic which kind of research method suits you the most. However, generally you should use quantitative method if you have a large group of people (the participants) and there is a large number of quantitative data to be analyzed. For example,for finding out the impact of reward system on the performance of employees, you may conduct a questionnaire based survey in which you collect the quantitative data and then analyze it through SPSS or any other similar software. On the other hand, if you just want to collect views and experiences of your participants about the research matter, you may conduct a qualitative semi-structured interviews with around 5-15 participants (normally the managers and the executives of the company).
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