PhD Writing Tips - How To Structure A Dissertation Proposal


Anyone who is considering writing a PhD will need to create a dissertation proposal. Certainly the actual PhD is a much larger document and will take far longer to create than the actual proposal. But the proposal carries considerable weight.

First of all unless you write a successful dissertation proposal you will not be allowed to even start your PhD. Secondly if you do create a winning dissertation proposal you can use it as the basis for your actual thesis. By spending considerable time creating your dissertation proposal you get to sort out in your own mind a number of things you want to tackle in your actual PhD. That's where the structure of your proposal is so important.

What does the dissertation proposal contain?

  • Obviously your thesis statement has as much information as possible about it.
  • The benefits readers of your PhD thesis will gain.
  • The problems you will need to overcome to successfully complete your PhD thesis.
  • The time it will take to complete the task.

Remember too that your dissertation proposal although in writing, will quite probably see you being examined in a face-to-face situation. So not only will you have to explain all the various points listed above in writing, you will need to have a firm grasp and understanding of what you hope to do when you meet a panel to discuss your proposal.

Lock away your thesis statement. Make sure that you understand the thrust of the statement and can wax lyrical about it simply because you know the subject inside out. As in all forms of selling, the benefits to the consumer are always given a high priority. Likewise when it comes to your dissertation proposal, be clear and confident in listing the benefits which will accrue to anyone reading your PhD thesis. It has much to offer.

But along the way in researching and writing your dissertation you will encounter problems. List these potential problems and the ways and means you would use to overcome them. And finally you need to have a deadline. You need to convince the people who are to give you the go-ahead for your PhD thesis that you have a timetable and that you are capable of sticking to it.

Remember the purpose of your proposal. Never lose sight of its reason for being. It is your ticket to future academic success.

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