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How Should a Proposal for the Dissertation Look Like?


A proposal for a dissertation is sometimes called a Statement of Intent. This proposal is very important because it indicts what the dissertation topic will be. A committee or advisor could deny the topic proposal if it is not well researched, correctly formatted, and well written.

The paper is around 25-4o pages long and it allows the approval group to see what direction you plan on taking with your topic. It is a summary that should be carefully written. There are several components to the piece.

  • The Abstract
  • In simple and clear words, state your topic. Make sure you include why this topic is important and how it is relevant to your field. The maximum Abstract length should be 225 words. You do not want to ramble and repeat, but succinctly state your proposed topic and the concerns that surround it.

  • The Idea or Concept
  • In this section of he proposal, you will discuss all of the parts and factors of the dissertation. This defines and lays out the parameters you will use for proving your dissertation. This part should be shorter than the Abstract at about 150-200 words.

  • Methods to be Used
  • The committee wants to know how you will go about your research, what tools you will use, and why you will use these methods. The dissertation topic can be great, but possibly not approved if the methodology seems weak or disorganized to the committee.

  • Bibliography
  • Simply stated, a bibliography is very single source you looked at, read, talked to, or watched in an effort to prove your dissertation. You absolutely must give credit where credit is due. If you fail to leave off even one source, you have committed plagiarism. A dissertation that is deemed plagiarized by the committee will not be approved and this could have long-lasting negative consequences for your academic and future business career.

  • Appendices
  • The appendices will be composed of all the materials you plan to use, such as graphs, timelines, pie charts, census studies, interviews, case studies, and such, during the writing of your dissertation. The committee wants to note in your proposal the tools that you will be using. Make sure you included all the tools, so that the committee can recognize your intended efforts.

Make sure to include all of these items in your dissertation proposal, so that your topic is approved.

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