When it comes to writing your dissertation proposal, it is important that you think carefully about what you are going to focus on. The proposal is the first part of the dissertation process, not just a few general notes or ideas. It needs to show your thinking clearly and include details on what you are researching, and why and how you are going to research it. So here are a some tips to help you with the process.
1. Think about what you are interested in.
Remember that your dissertation is going to be the largest and longest piece of academic writing you have done so far so you need to be able to maintain your interest levels. But remember not to become too ’emotionally attached’ to your work!
2. Think carefully about your aims and objectives– what is your dissertation trying to find out?
Remember that you need to have very clear aims and objectives, which you can find answers to through your research.
3. Develop a title where you can describe, explain and ANALYSE.
A dissertation is not a description or a history of research; it is an analytical piece of work which investigates a specific question in relation to previous research and reaches a conclusion. It aims to add to the current research not to tell a story.
4. Think about your research methods
Are you going to do qualitative or quantitative research? Why? How will you collect your data, what analysis methods will you use? How do you know these methods will be effective for your data? All these questions need to be answered and explained in the dissertation proposal.
5. Write the proposal form clearly and with sufficient detail.
Your lecturers/ tutors need to get a good understanding of your dissertation from the proposal so make sure you write it well.
Remember that putting some thinking time into developing your proposal will make writing the dissertation a lot less stressful.