Writing a dissertation can be an intimidating task for some students. It can be the toughest, and the most significant step in a student’s life, mainly because it sums up their efforts in one single thesis. Other than the research and work required, a dissertation also requires excellent writing skills. A high academic grade is not possible without a high-quality dissertation work. A student’s reading, writing, and research skills are all tested during this task.
Dissertation writing is, no doubt, a considerably long task. For most students, it sums up their years of effort and study in one book. Since it is the most extended piece of writing that any student faces during his academic life, it can get a little pressurizing. The good news is, you can always divide your dissertation into several small steps. It not only makes it easier for you to handle and understand, but also the task less fussy and easier.
Dissertation proposal help is also available online, where you can take guidance to write and formulate a plan to make the task easy for you.
What is a Dissertation Proposal?
An academic paper that is written before you start working on your thesis/topic, to give your colleagues/professors an idea about your work, is a dissertation proposal. It is essentially the most critical part of thesis writing since it also gives you the direction and defines the scope of the work.
A dissertation proposal defines your caliber as a scholar. The committee/professors will draw the future of your academic work based on the credibility and worthwhileness of your proposal. It generally points towards the following demonstrations:
- It tells the committee that the proposal at hand is manageable and that you will do a good job working on it.
- It defines and limits the topic.
- You can define a hypothesis based on the proposal.
- It shows fundamental research skills that are important in giving direction to your work.
- It allows you to make a plan to test and apply the hypothesis.
- A dissertation proposal makes research easy, as it limits and points towards the direction of work required, and hence limits the study to work required.
- Finally, by defining your goals, showing your area of research, and setting some tools for research also shows your caliber as a scholar. It is a testament that you have come a long way in your academia and knows full well about your goals.
Questions that your proposal must answer:
- Why did you choose one particular problem?
- Why do you think it is a problem in the first place?
- Why do you think it is necessary to solve this problem?
- What are the possible solutions you have in mind?
- What are the areas you are going to explore to solve it?
- Where are you going to look to find the solutions?
- How do you intend to use the solutions for your problem?
Just like the introduction of a book, the introduction part of the thesis gives an understanding of the goals of the dissertation. It is the first chapter that you see after writing the table of contents. This chapter will be important because it will set the ground for the readers to evaluate your work. It essentially sets the stage for your research. It clears the focus, gives a purpose and direction to the dissertation.
Generally, an introduction has the following parts:
- Context and Topic: This part explains what the reader needs to know to understand the dissertation.
- Scope of the Work: It gives an understanding of the limitations in work, the areas that the dissertation covers, and also the ones that it does not.
- Relevance to the already existing work: This part is essential because it sets the benchmark for the new research, and shows how it is relevant as well as different from the already existing work on the similar topic.
- Objectives: What are the goals that this dissertation aims to achieve?
- Questions: This includes the questions that the new work will try to answer.
- Overview of the Structure: It generally explains and gives an outline of all the chapters included in a dissertation.
Starting Your Introduction:
Although the introduction is the first part of a dissertation proposal, however, you do not necessarily need to write it in the beginning. Mostly, when you are going through the research, there are specific topics that you feel the need to include, or even eliminate if they are not in the scope of the study. Sometimes it is the last part written along with the abstract.
Writing a rough draft is always a good idea. While writing a proposal, you can still use the rough draft as a template to follow to write your dissertation. Another method is to write it alongside the rest of the chapters. This way, you can not only mention and explain all sections in the introduction but also makes sure that you do not miss out on anything.
The structure of every dissertation proposal varies. It depends on a lot of factors, such as:
- Length of the dissertation
- Size of the paper
- Scope of the course to be covered
- Research and analysis details
- Any specific requirements
A good introduction also includes preliminary background, if any, to provide context to your research. It helps to clarify the purpose of the study and points out why new research is relevant. A literature review is sometimes included in this section as well, which helps to make the purpose of the study more clear.
The research focus is crucial as it distinguishes two things: it provides the rationale for your study, and it includes calculated information on the center of the research.
You also need to create specific research objectives, each of which must start with a keyword (examine, evaluate, explore, determine, etc.). Setting a simple and clear goal puts the whole dissertation in perspective; it becomes easy to understand as well as evaluate.
The conclusion is an integral part of a dissertation proposal introduction. Not only has it given you an understanding of what you need to do, but it also sets a parameter for your work. A conclusion is generally divided into three parts:
- Completion of research objectives
Most students find it enthralling and exciting when they start work on a dissertation proposal, but soon the enormity of the task might fade that enthusiasm. The best way to work through a dissertation proposal is to lay down all possibilities and form a template to follow. The research will stay focused, and it will also help in evaluating your work.