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Writing a dissertation is a challenge for every person who is planning on earning a PhD or MBA. This step is significant as it has to define the main objective of the research. It is not as easy as it one may think. Every university or institution has its own comprehensive guideline on how to write a dissertation proposal. It usually differs depending on the program and specific details are often decided by the dissertation committee. Still there are some universal rules on writing proposals for all PhD and MBA students. Templates are becoming widely used as well. Is it a bureaucracy or important part of thesis writing? How much time should one spend writing a dissertation proposal?
Basic principles for writing a decent thesis proposal
Let’s check and analyze basic principles for writing dissertation proposal. Every good work starts with good management. It is crucial to calculate how much time one needs to come up with a good proposal, and it should not be treated as an additional part of the research itself. Thesis proposal is a reflection of a future work. Every MBA or PhD student should understand the importance of writing dissertation proposal and dedicate as much time as it needs. Discussing deadlines with professor may be helpful in this case.
What is the purpose of the dissertation proposal?
Proposal is a detailed outline of dissertation. It should answer five questions: what is studied; how will the topic be researched; why should it be examined; where this study will take place, and when it will be finished. Theses proposals are aimed to plan a research project, showcase the contributions, and achievements made by previous contenders, and offer a time management approach to writing the entire thesis within a chosen time frame. The audience that you need to impress, and convince with your dissertation proposal is a dissertation committee, and your academic advisor, but none of them will see your drafts (except the latter under particular circumstances). It is important to start writing even if the work itself is not perfect. Very often students are stuck at the very beginning of writing. Writer’s block is not news to anyone. That’s why dissertation proposal templates come in hand. You can also choose, and allow yourself to become a free writer for a while and realize that no one but you will see the first drafts. No one but the performer knows the research better. A notepad for rapid ideas and theses is helpful. When drafts are completed and none of the main ideas are omitted, it is high time to reorganize and polish the proposal.
What does a proposal consist of?
Every proposal has several parts. It ought to explain what the dissertation is about by highlighting a few main questions. It should contain references to the literature used. The description of the main idea follows next. This part contains details and area of the research. Methodologies part must contain empirical or non-empirical methods that are used in the research. The final part must include potential outcomes of the research. Besides this, it should include timeline and bibliography.
Before starting to write proposal a student should define its title. Reasonable title has be research oriented and include the type of study. The best way to manage good title is to consult academic advisor and look through the previous successful researches. Abstract follows the title and contain 300-word description of the outline to give the reader general topic overview. It needs to summarize introduction of the problem, methods and background of the study. The abstract can be brief and contain at least 50 words. It depends on the topic of research. Introduction part shows, and convinces the reader in the importance of the work. Introduction provides background of study and indicates plan of the project. The main purpose of the introduction is to engage the reader. Students cannot forget to consult academic advisor on any questions and compare the work with previously performed.
Next section is devoted to the stamen of the problem. It has to show the audience the problem that should be resolved. At this stage it is important to convince audience that the problem is worth attention and needs to be examined. The problem statement must be clear and contain one paragraph. The following step is writing research questions. In this section the writer must explain his goals. It should explain what the contender is hoping to find. This section must show the contribution to existing research as well. It must explain why the writer picked this topic. Besides main purpose of this section, it should state the questions and define important terms and definitions.
The following section of the dissertation paper must contain literature review. It must reflect previous researches of the problem. The section can contain explanations of the topic by other scholars. Here it is reasonable to mention the depth of the previous research. Writer must also define methods that was previously used to research the problem. The list of literature should also be mentioned in this section. Methodology, the next step, must contain and explain methods of research. Besides listing them the author must convince the audience that chosen methodology is reasonable and result oriented. Writer must not forget to mention ways of data collection in this section. Some dissertation outlines include chapter overview. The MBA or PhD student must consul academic advisor. The final parts are timeline which explains in what time frames the research may be completed and bibliography that includes all references that will be cited in the dissertation.
These rules and regulations are general for every dissertation proposal. It must not be forgotten that every approach to completing a good thesis is unique, which explains why every proposal has its own appeal, and angle. The proposal reflects the research and its importance. It is giving the overview of the previous studies and convinces audience that problems highlighted should be resolved. It must give the strong feeling of dissertation importance and approve writer’s qualification. Still most important issues on writing a dissertation outline should be discussed with academic advisor.