You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to know that the first thing that anyone trying to go through your dissertation will see is your abstract and introduction. However, this doesn’t imply that you have to write your introduction first. It is advisable to write your introduction and abstract after finishing all other aspects of your dissertation. This is because of 3 major reasons.
Firstly, the content of the introduction and abstract will be accurate. Secondly, it will save you a lot of time that you would have spent trying to edit it anytime your ideas change. Thirdly, it would match the conclusion of your dissertation. The content of your dissertation introduction depends on various factors like the rules of your university, academic subject, and the topic you are carrying out.
What Is a Dissertation Proposal?
A dissertation proposal describes everything your research is all about. From the process with which you are researching to the reason for carrying out the research. A good dissertation proposal example should include the introduction, literature review, methodology, research findings, and conclusion. Various structures can be used for a dissertation proposal.
The way to pick a structure for your dissertation proposal is to look for the one that works best for it and not the first one that shows up when you search the internet for a dissertation proposal. The structure used is the qualitative dissertation proposal outline. If you are researching a particular aspect of education, you can check the internet for a sample dissertation proposal in education and use the outline that favors your proposal.
Guide on Writing a Dissertation Proposal
To write a dissertation proposal, there are some guidelines that you need to follow and they include:
You need to already have an idea of what you want to write about. It should be something that interests you, and other researchers have suggested that further research is needed in the said area. Try to make your topic as direct and definite as possible, talking about the specific niche you are researching.
As stated earlier, your introduction does not necessarily have to be written first. However, it is where you talk about the context or reason for the research, the aim and objectives, and the research questions.
You need to talk about research related to yours and how it affected the decisions you made while carrying out your research. After doing this, you would proceed to describe the methodology of the research. You have to be as thorough as possible in this area to convince your supervisor that you understand what you are doing. Your research can either be empirical or theoretical.
The next thing is to talk about the implications of your research. Here you can propose a theory or contribute as regards the area you’re researching on.
References and Bibliography
You will need to draft your bibliography or reference list. You can always check the internet if you are looking for sample dissertation proposals and choose a dissertation proposal sample that soothes your project.
How Long Should a Dissertation Proposal Be?
There is no particular length of a dissertation proposal. However, it can range from about 10 to 15 pages. While a short dissertation proposal can indicate a lack of seriousness on the part of the researcher, a long dissertation proposal can become boring and make anyone going through it less interested than they should be. The objectives can be on the first page while the next three pages examine the research’s importance.
A literature review takes about six to ten pages. In contrast, the methodology can take up to six pages. As stated earlier, the rules of your university, academic subject, and the topic you are writing on determine the length of the dissertation proposal. Outside of this, the length of any dissertation proposal depends on research findings and how explanatory the information is.
How to Defend Dissertation Proposals
When preparing for your dissertation proposal defense presentation, there are a few things you need to consider.
- Follow the dissertation proposal format stated earlier for your dissertation research proposal. These proposals are not evaluated by written exams but orally.
- A defense committee usually conducts dissertation proposal presentations. To be eligible to defend your dissertation proposal, it goes without saying that you must have completed a minimum of 48 credits in courses that are related to the field in which the research carried out is.
- Anyone can attend the dissertation proposal defense, but only the people on the defense committee can make decisions on the candidate. When writing a thesis proposal as a postgraduate student, it is advisable to make sure you understand everything in the thesis proposal outline before the day of your defense. The defense committee is usually more lenient with undergraduates than they are when it is a defense of a master thesis proposal.
Dissertation Proposal Defense Tips
When preparing for your dissertation proposal defense, there are a few tips that you can use to ace the defense.
- Be Prepared: Be ready for whatever question that you might be asked. You can also try to answer whatever question you think the people on the committee might have regarding the topic.
- Remove Weaknesses: Look for loopholes or faults in your proposal and try to remove them before D-day.
- Be Calm: Try as much as possible to be relaxed, as some people might grade your composure. Breathe!
- Communication: Try as much as possible to have a dialogue with the committee. They want you to pass, and commenting on their contribution during the defense can go a long way.
- Manage Time: This is arguably the most important point. Don’t waste time on irrelevant issues and go straight to the point. Work with your time, and do it well.
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