Plus, it is not set in stone and will probably be subject to much change during the entire process. You might even find that your original research question changes - it may be that you decide that there is not enough evidence to support your original line of argument, or that your chosen topic is too broad and requires further refinement.
Students succeed with Oxbridge Essays Take a closer look at how our team help thousands of students every year get better grades with our dissertation writing service. Was there a topic that you were particularly interested in? Was there a concept that you thought could have been developed further? Or have you noticed a stark lack of scholarship in your research for an assignment, that suggests to you that further research into this particular subject area is needed?
Perhaps you are better able to select a more general area of interest, in which case you can start by looking at relevant journals and publications until you find a more explicit direction. Make sure that you make notes of all publications that you use in your research, as you will need to include these in your bibliography later on.
Depending upon the referencing system preferred by your university department, you will need the following information:.
It could be that you identify one particularly interesting study, but realise that its findings are outdated, or are not easily applicable to modern times. You may decide that you want to investigate whether the findings would be the same in more recent research.
The date of publication — is the source outdated? Has there been any significant development that would affect the field of research since the study was carried out?
Can you identify any methodological errors that would undermine the results that the authors presented? Are there any ethical concerns that you believe should be rectified in any future studies of the same topic?
Putting pen to paper: With the guidance of your supervisor, you will be able to alter the direction of your research as you go. Although by now, you should have a clear idea of the potential for your research, and what your conclusions might be. Depending upon whether your course is of a scientific or mathematical nature, meaning that you are likely to be dealing with experiments providing you with definitive results and quantitative analysis; or a more theoretical nature, meaning that your research will mainly be qualitative; your hypothesis will be proven or disproven throughout the course of your dissertation.
The first step in creating your dissertation proposal should be planning its structure. Like the dissertation itself, your proposal will require an introduction, a main section and a conclusion.
As a brief guide:. Methodology The methodology section is where you will outline the methods through which you will collect and process your data. You should include how and what you are going to do. If your research is quantitative in nature, this will probably include a reference to a questionnaire, survey, or data source, and you should make clear the scope of your research e.
You will also need to explain why you have selected the methods that you have — are they more specific to your research area? Aims and Objectives Here you will highlight the main issues that you are attempting to explore. What is it that you want to achieve? What are the main questions that you are looking to answer? What predictions can you make? Literature Review The literature review gives you the opportunity to make a really good argument for the importance of your research, and connect it to similar research, or present it as an extension to other existing studies.
You will need to list the most important sources that you have consulted thus far in your research, and how they helped you to guide your own research. If you can, placing your work alongside others to show how it further elaborates or contributes to the more general field will show that you have adequately prepared for your proposal.
There is potential to include any flaws that you may have identified within this existing work, and how you will avoid this in your own dissertation. Only include sources that you can show will add value to your work. Limitations Part of writing an effective and informative piece of research is recognising the limits that are imposed upon your ability to explore and present your findings. Some limitations may refer directly to the word count, explaining that there are further issues that you will not have a chance to or space to address.
Completing this section clearly shows that you have engaged with your subject matter and are familiar with the wider concepts relating to your topic. Ethical Considerations Are there any ethical concerns relating to your research? More information on ethics can be found in the following section below.
Timeframe Often, dissertation proposals will include an estimated timeframe for the delivery of work to their supervisor. This may be on a chapter-by-chapter basis, or you may begin with the actual research, so that you are able to perfect this part before moving on to writing about it.
Make sure that you are realistic, and allow some time for your initial research before jumping straight in to getting words on the page. After having identified the limitations of previous studies in this field, I have worked on producing a methodology that will avoid these same pitfalls, and predict that the research will portray a strong enough relationship between the two factors to encourage further scholarship.
Although this might sound complicated, once you begin to go over the basics, and continue to repeat the process for each of the studies you incorporate into your work, it will soon become second nature. When writing a PhD thesis proposal, however, you must remember that you are now expected to do more than simply regurgitate the theories and studies of others. You are now required to show that you are able to adequately extend the existing literature, rather than simply interpret and criticise it.
This may mean that you spend a lot longer searching for a topic, as you will want to identify a concept that still has room for exploration. There are several things that you will need to include that have not already been mentioned above, however: As a PhD research proposal is usually submitted directly to your department of choice, you should make clear your reasons for choosing that particular university over other competitors.
Does this department have a history of research in the specific area you are writing in? Is there a research grant you are hoping to apply for? Within your methodology section, it is important to include a description of the research techniques that you are planning to use.
They will be able to give you advice, help you refine any grey areas and suggest reading for research. You can break down each of these three areas further. In the introduction, your subheadings could include:. When you're planning your sections, include the full names of books and page numbers wherever you can to help you retrieve information quickly as you write your draft.
It is also useful to begin to compile you bibliography during the planning stage. Even the best laid plans go astray — so don't worry! As you read and research around your key areas, the structure and direction of your initial plan may shift. This is the beauty of having a plan. As a potential new focus arises, you can adjust your title, section headings and content notes to encompass your new ideas before your draft writing begins. A good plan means you will not lose focus on the end result.
Thanks to Goldsmiths University for supplying this content. Select your field of interest First things first: Choose an approach and a title What will your line of inquiry be? Make an outline plan The general essay structure is as follows: In the introduction, your subheadings could include: Start a list of sources When you're planning your sections, include the full names of books and page numbers wherever you can to help you retrieve information quickly as you write your draft.
Review and adjust your plan as you go Even the best laid plans go astray — so don't worry! How to write your dissertation.
Having to write a dissertation proposal depends upon the university or institution that you’re attending. Even if a dissertation proposal isn’t a requirement, however, it’s a very useful exercise (and is certainly going to impress your supervisor, especially if it’s not part of your assessment). How to Plan Your Dissertation.
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How to Plan a Dissertation Proposal. How you have to write a dissertation proposal depends on your college or university's requirements. While some colleges do not insist on a proposal, in many colleges proposals need to be submitted along with the final dissertation for assessment and grading. Help is here for writing your dissertation proposal. If done correctly, a dissertation proposal works in much the same way as an in-depth essay plan, providing you with guidance when beginning to actually write your dissertation.
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