Dissertation Research Proposal and Writing Guidelines

So now you are ready to actually write your dissertation proposal. Here are some handy tips that you should follow in order to see if you have fully prepared for this moment:

What you need to do is answer the questions below and ask yourself which of these statements describes you:

• Are you totally familiar with other research relevant to your chosen dissertation research area? (___Yes) (___No)

• Do you have a clear understanding of all the steps you will need to follow in order to write your dissertation? (___Yes) (___No)

• Do you have the necessary abilities to go through each one of these steps to complete your dissertation? (___Yes) (___No)

• Are you motivated enough to get through all of these dissertation writing steps? (___Yes) (___No)

• Do you feel confident that you will meet the deadline for writing up this dissertation? (___Yes) (___No)

If you mainly answered ‘yes’ to the questions then you are ready for this stage, if you mainly answered ‘no’ to the questions that you should refer back to the Thinking About Your Dissertation section.

Below Are Some Guidelines That You Should Follow In Order To Complete Your Dissertation Proposal:

1. Look at other research proposals carefully at the library or online. These sample research proposals will show you the following::

• what a finished dissertation proposal looks like

• what headings you should use for the proposal

• how a proposal should be structured
• is the sample proposal clear enough to you, could you make it better?

• does the author know the subject area sufficiently enough?

• can you model your proposal on one of the proposals that you have seen?

If you are unable to find a relevant dissertation proposal easily, you can always ask your lecturer or dissertation supervisor to see if he/she is willing to show you one.

2. You must make sure that your proposal includes an extensive review of the literature. The literature review rationale will usually consist of an argument with at least two analysis lines:

• you need this research
• and ask yourself this question, is the research methodology that I have selected the most appropriate for the question that is being asked in this study?

3. Any decent research proposal should consist of the first 3 dissertation chapters and should include the following:

• The Problem and Background information – Chapter no. 1
• The Literature Review – Chapter no. 2
• The Conclusion with the defining Research Methodology – Chapter no. 3

The dissertation proposal should always be written in a future tense, since it is only a proposal at this stage. When turning the proposal into the first three dissertation chapters you need to change the tense from future to past tense.

4. Focus specifically on your dissertation research whilst writing your proposal.

The dissertation will be much easier for you to complete, if your project is specific and narrow in its definition. Try and refrain from solving all the problems that occur in the research in this one dissertation.

5. Organise the proposal around a set of questions, and this will help guide you through your dissertation research.

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