How to Write a Dissertation Proposal


Drafting a dissertation proposal is an essential step before writing a thesis. It sets the stage to explain what you intend to examine and how you will go about collecting and analyzing the data. It doesn’t require everything to be planned to a T, as your topic or approach may change slightly during the course. Nevertheless, the proposal will enable the reader to identify the direction of your thesis.


Key points to consider while drafting the dissertation proposal

  • Choose a topic that interests you and is appropriate to your field of study
  • Describe the fundamental idea of the thesis
  • Talk about the possible issues to be analyzed
  • Provide references to support the content
  • Mention the methods and techniques to be used
  • Briefly explain the potential outcomes


Outline of a dissertation proposal

There are certain aspects a plan must have, regardless of the format. Here’s a structure that can guide you to write a comprehensive proposal.

  • Title
  • Introduction
  • Aims and Objectives
  • Methodology
  • Literature Review
  • Research Constraints


Keep the topic narrow enough so that you can complete the thesis in time. The title should be concise and support the main idea of your work.


It defines the subject of the study and the purpose of the paper. It also informs the reader whether the thesis will contain any new findings, or if it will be a review and analysis of existing literature. You can mention those researchers who have already worked in the same domain.


It describes the procedures for collecting data, and the techniques required to analyze it. It is essential to explain why the chosen methods are appropriate for the research. If you are going to collect data (empirical study), it is vital to mention what kind it is – Qualitative or Quantitative. If the research is based on existing projects and papers, then it will be non-empirical.

Aims & Objectives

In this space, you state what you hope to achieve and the possible outcomes of the research. Ensure to highlight what the main objectives of the thesis are. You can interpret the critical tasks and explain how you plan to attain those goals.

Literature Review

Here you list books and other literary publications used for your research. It is an excellent space to highlight previous investigations on the topic and also to showcase your awareness of it. You can also briefly demonstrate how your proposed thesis connects to or differs from previous academic studies.

Research Constraints

Research topics can have links to more extensive and complex issues. By stating the constraints, you acknowledge and display your understanding of these issues. It also shows where your research stands in the scientific hierarchy.


A dissertation proposal sets the route that you will follow through the process of writing a thesis. Your mentor/ guide can help you put your ideas into a strategic plan. It is essential to check for additional requirements depending on the specifications of the paper. Remember, it doesn’t need to be perfect, as you may incorporate changes along the way.

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