A dissertation proposal is a document which describes what you intend to write about in your dissertation. It will include your topic, your initial research, your scope, aims, objectives, limitations, methodology and so on. You would have already heard about the infamous dissertation – that huge piece of work and research which is soon to take over your life – but many people don’t realise how important the dissertation proposal is. It acts as an investment in your future work, and time spent on it now will help you in the future.
So, it’s important that you give it the time it deserves. Here’s a few more reasons why you shouldn’t skimp on your proposal:
It helps you put into context your topic
A shorter version of your literature review will be included in your dissertation proposal and it puts everything into context. According to Oxbridge Essays, an online essay writing service, whether you are writing a regular dissertation, or a masters dissertation proposal example, it is important to really read up on your topic and find out how well placed your investigation is. Have a lot of researchers already written about this? Is it an overcrowded area? Are there a lot of criticism or conflicting views about the nature of your topic? If so, you may want to consider another topic, or you could use this as an advantage to add to the growing field of research and attempt to clarify some existing areas of debate. Whatever you intend to write about, looking into your field of research is vital for securing your topic and writing the best quality of work possible.
It gives you a working title
Things get easier once you have found a working title. You may tweak the title slightly when it comes to writing your actual dissertation, but getting a title down on paper gives your work focus. Read more about how to get a good title for your dissertation here.
It lets you consider your methodology
Depending on the topic of your work and your degree or master’s degree, your work may be empirical (where you may collect some data) or non-empirical (where all your research comes from existing research). If your dissertation will be the latter, this section is likely to be short. If not, this section gives you an idea into what you’ll have to do to collect data, e.g. conducting interviews, distributing questionnaires.
You’ll be able to foresee how long it will take you
Part of your dissertation proposal will focus on your timeline, including, for example, a GANTT chart. You’ll list when you expect to do certain things, and it is important to be realistic about this. When you have your timeline on paper, you’ll be able to put everything into perspective. You won’t want to get to the point where you’re rushing your dissertation right at the end. A long sighted, little-and-often approach is best. The timeline gives you some motivation to do this.