Writing a PhD dissertation proposal is the first step in your academic journey of becoming a PhD-educated professional. However, writing a doctorate proposal is also one of the most challenging parts of any PhD programme. This is because a poorly executed proposal can negate prior years of hard work. We have put together some handy tips that can guide you through the process of writing a PhD dissertation proposal.
1. The purpose of a proposal
The main aim of a PhD dissertation proposal is to make it easier for you to research, complete, and deliver your doctorate thesis. It is also an effective tool to demonstrate to your supervisor what PhD topic you are interested in and how you are planning to undertake your research. Think of your proposal as a road map that lays out an adaptable and testable model for your thesis.
2. Develop a catchy working title
The title of your proposal will directly communicate your PhD statement to the reader, and should reflect the research problem you are going to deal with, the context of your study, and its potential outcomes. At the same time, your PhD proposal title should immediately grab the reader’s attention and shape your study to fit.
3. Put your study in the context
Writing a PhD dissertation proposal is a chance to demonstrate the supervisor your understanding of a niche topic in your field of study and make a contribution to it. To achieve this goal, you should carefully evaluate existing research and enrich the broader understanding of your study. You should explicitly state the practicality of your empirical findings as it is one of the core criteria of a good doctorate thesis.
4. Research methods
You should also demonstrate that your proposed PhD thesis is feasible and you are competent enough to conduct the research. At this stage, you need to design a research methodology that will allow for achieving your objectives. Justify each methodological choice and show how it will add to the achievement of the main aim.
Unlike undergraduate or Masters’ dissertations, PhD theses usually make contributions to research and knowledge. Make sure your proposal tells the reader what will make your doctorate dissertation unique.
6. Provide a clear research plan
You should indicate how you are planning to undertake the study by providing measurable milestones and timelines. Remember that a PhD dissertation normally takes 3 to 5 years of study.
By following these tips, you can write a high-quality PhD dissertation proposal and ensure it clearly explains your research intentions. Remember that your PhD proposal is not a binding document, as the study you end up pursuing may be completely different from that in your current proposal. This is so because you may submit it multiple times before it gets an approval of the supervisor.
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