How to Write a Good Dissertation Proposal?

Dissertation Proposal Writing


What is a dissertation?

A dissertation is a piece of research, which is directed towards a research topic wherein the student tries to employ the best research practice, in order to ensure that the aims and objectives are well attained. In order to conduct research and compile a dissertation one of the basic requirements is that of a research proposal.


And What is a Dissertation Proposal?

A proposal means proposing an idea or an action, and in this case, refers to the document which can justify the research to be conducted. Once a student selects a topic for the research, it is important to justify the need for the research topic which has been selected. So while a research proposal is expected to speak on behalf of the student, it is also self-explanatory as far as the justification of the research is concerned.


Generalising the research proposals show that there are some core elements which are schematically combined to create a strong proposal which can impress the mentors and the audience. In this case, introducing the topic of the research and presenting the background of the research helps the reader in understanding the mindset and stance which has been adopted for selecting the topic of the research.


For example, if a student wishes to research business management, then the proposal specifically explains which element is being researched and why it is important to be researched in the first place.

A proposal is also important when it comes to explaining the aim and objectives of the research. For example, a student researching employee motivation may research on different domains such as factors of motivation, elements of motivation, the impact of motivation and so on. The proposal in this case becomes the introduction to the subject of the research.


Again, another very important element of the research proposal is the methods that are described in this document. Each research can be conducted in different ways and the research proposal lists the methods that are assumed to be most suitable for the research to be conducted. It helps in understanding which methods can be best applied and which methods are not expected to be suitable for the research being proposed.


Lastly, a research proposal is also expected to have a chart in terms of timelines that are to be followed. Out of experience, it has been observed that while this proposal Gantt Chart is expected to show the mentor the activities to be undertaken, it also makes sure that the researcher follows these timelines and completes research on time.


Now, here an important question can be raised. While we talk about good dissertation proposals, it is important to know the importance of writing a good dissertation proposal. In short, we need to ask, Why should I write a good dissertation proposal? How is this expected to help me out? Does it increase my grades? Or does it increase my expertise? Read on to answer these questions.


Importance of Writing Good Dissertation Proposal


A good dissertation proposal is a major question. Before understanding why a good dissertation proposal is to be made, let’s take a look at what a good dissertation proposal is.


A good dissertation proposal does not have one meaning that can be applied. Do for a business, a research proposal may be good when it shows the feasibility of the topic. For a post-graduate programme, the research proposal is good when it explicitly explains how and why of the research proposed. In graduate degree courses, the dissertation proposal is majorly about explaining the intent of the research being proposed.


Be it a graduate degree, Higher education or a real-time business problem, a good dissertation proposal is important.


Narrow it down!

This is important because it directs the reader to the exact point of research which is to be conducted. So, once a topic is finalised and you have decided to conduct research, a good proposal would be able to show exactly the research aim. It excludes broad generalisations, assumptions and common statements and focusses on exactly showing what the research will find.


Hold the ethics!

A proposal exactly determines the level of participation, the extent to external participation, methods of data collection and methods of analysis that would be used. In this place, if you have a good dissertation proposal then it will show the reader, how ethically aligned the research is expected to be. For example, if you propose that an interview is to be conducted, then it means that the ethical norms associated with conducting an interview would be a part of the research process. Again, think about using secondary data only! Most of us tend to assume that the ethical concerns with secondary data are very limited. But a good dissertation proposal is bound to prove you wrong.


It’s all about the structure!


Keep it short!
Keep it crisp!
Keep it to the point!


Remember that this is a proposal and not the actual research being conducted. So it needs to have subheadings, and headings to exactly show what is being pointed out. Ideally, each university has its own format or even a template when the proposal is to be submitted. But many times, a creative hand can also be used. For instance, it is important to have a section on the introduction where the research proposal introduces the theme of the research through a background. But at the same time, it also needs to specify the exact aim and exact objectives being proposed. Again, presenting a short review of literature is also important. Methods that are to be applied should also form a new section in this paper. That is when the exact points to be made can be created!


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