Guide to Dissertation Proposal Writing for a Strong Research

Guide to Dissertation Proposal Writing for a Strong Research

As a postgraduate or undergraduate student, it is more likely than not that you will write a dissertation proposal before starting your dissertation. This is usually an overwhelming experience for many students because of the dissertation’s workload.

Even before you get help with dissertation proposals, you must first understand what this form of writing is about. This piece explains dissertation proposals and provides a step-by-step guide on writing a dissertation proposal.

What is a dissertation proposal?

The dissertation proposal is a formal document that communicates in a concise format what you intend to research. It’s where you put everything going through your head down on paper logically and convincingly.

Dissertation proposals vary in length and structure. Therefore, ensure that you adhere to any guidelines provided by your institution and consult your supervisor if you are unsure.

In general, a dissertation proposal structure should include:

  • An introduction to your topic and objective
  • A literature review
  • An overview of your methodology
  • An analysis of the research’s potential implications
  • A bibliography of relevant citations

How to write a dissertation proposal

Here are some structure guides to keep in mind when writing a research proposal:

  1. Title page

Your provisional title should not exceed ten words and concisely indicate your study area and proposed approach. It should be intriguing and informative.

Personal information such as your name, nationality, contact information, and date of birth should also be included on the title page.

  1. Objectives and aims

This is a concise summary of your project. Your objectives should consist of two or three broad propositions that highlight what you ultimately desire to achieve. It should be supplemented by several focused, feasible, and measurable objectives.

  1. Methodology

You are expected to describe how you will answer the research questions in this section. A solid, well-written methodology is essential, especially if your study involves extensive analysis and data collection.

It is also important to note that methodologies differ based on disciplines, so only explore the methodology format that applies to your discipline.

  1. Timetable

Following your methodology, your timetable should specify how long each process will take. Examples are weekly or monthly time slots. This allows the reader to assess the feasibility of your project. It also demonstrates that you’ve thought about how you’ll put the Ph.D. proposal into action.

  1. Bibliography

Finally, you’ll provide a list of the most important citations and any attachments like your academic CV. Show off your critical thinking abilities by selecting only the most relevant resources.

  1. Revising and proofreading

Before presenting this document with your Ph.D. application, make sure you’ve followed the research proposal format. This means that:

  • Every page is numbered,
  • Your dissertation is professional, interesting, and informative,
  • The dissertation proposal has been proofread to confirm that it conforms to academic standards and to correct any grammatical or spelling errors,
  • You’ve used a straightforward structure with appropriate headings.

Where to find research proposal examples

Review your school’s template for dissertation proposals to get a better idea of how your Ph.D. proposal may look.

Some universities provide sample dissertation proposals for students to choose from. Feel free to request this from your supervisor if your school provides this privilege.


A winning dissertation research proposal does not have a definite standard or secret formula. This is because each academic institution has guidelines and protocols that each candidate must follow.

Notwithstanding, incorporating your institution’s guidelines and specifications along with the guidelines in this article when writing a dissertation proposal will guarantee any proposal to be approved.

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