Dissertation Guidelines: Proposal Writing Checklist

What To Include Into A Proposal For A Dissertation

What is a proposal for a dissertation?

The purpose of the dissertation proposal is to convince the dissertation committee that the topic one chose to write about is worth it.  The dissertation proposal does the following for the student:

  • That the topic selected for the dissertation is worth writing about.
  • That the topic in question is tractable and should be pursued.
  • That the writer of the dissertation has the skills and tools needed to do the research and discuss the topic in the dissertation.

What should the dissertation proposal demonstrate to the committee?

The proposal for the dissertation lets the committee know what the student is capable of achieving as a writer and researcher.  The proposal of the dissertation gives the targeted audience a glimpse of the topic and how it will addressed in the dissertation.  The dissertation proposal determines whether or not the student will be able to complete their dissertation on the selected topic.

Here are a few things that the dissertation proposal should reveal:

  • The proposal should show a research question that is interesting, well defined, and delimited.
  • The thesis question in the proposal should be written in a manner that anyone can understand.
  • The proposal should have the thesis question formatted into a hypothesis that can be easily tested.
  • The proposal should lay out the guidelines and give a plan that is detailed in discussing how the hypothesis will be tested.

What questions should the dissertation proposal address?

  • The issue or problem that will be discussed in the dissertation.
  • The issue or problem should be clearly described.
  • Should discuss why the issue or problem needs to be resolved.
  • Where the student plans to get the sources needed to discuss the issue or problem?
  • What resources and sources will be used by the student to discuss the issue or problem?
  • Why the student will use these resources and sources for the dissertation?

What to include in the proposal for the dissertation?

  • The proposal should include the title of the dissertation that is short and simple.
  • The proposal should include the topic, thesis question, and objective of approaching the topic.
  • The proposal should give the hypothesis and information on how the student will conduct research on the hypothesis.
  • The proposal should include definitions of terminology that the average reader may not understand.
  • The proposal should give details on possible outcomes for the research and experiments.
  • The proposal should include the bibliography of sources and resources.
  • The proposal should include a timeline for when each part of the dissertation shall be completed.