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What is a dissertation proposal example?

Being a student can mean new experiences both exhilarating and frightful. It all depends upon you, how you organise, handle and view your dissertation. A great way to start is by reading a dissertation proposal example written by someone else. This will help you to see what an overview of a dissertation looks like and also help to clarify what a dissertation consists of. At this point, if you are new to dissertations and yours is causing you sleeplessness, it could be because you have listened to other people’s ill-informed thoughts on dissertations and you are letting your imagination run wild. You don’t need to feel like that. Read this article and learn:

If you read a dissertation proposal example written by someone else, whatever, you do, don’t just read one. Read as many as possible that refer to your particular subject. When you have read through about five, see if you can distinguish between the better ones and the not so good ones. It’s no use guessing, you need to be able to analyse why they are well written or not. If you cannot tell, don’t worry. Learning about what a dissertation proposal is will help to inform you.

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  • It should state clearly and concisely what your dissertation is about. For instance, “The connection between lack of nutrition and exam results in families suffering from poverty.”
  • Your proposal would clarify your main research question and also the sub questions that you were proposing to research.
  • Your proposal would need to describe the methods of research that you would be using. Would it be empirical or non-empirical?
  • Title. The title at this stage will be a work in progress title. This means that you should be fluid with it right up until the time that you have written your dissertation up. At that point, your final title will be brief and to the point but be clear and precise.
  • Objectives. If we stay with the aforementioned nutrition and education example, you would be looking at ideas that would prove or disprove your main research question. For instance, “Do teenagers on the Softgate council estate get lower GSCE results because of their diets than teenagers that live in the affluent area of Green Pastures?” Your sub questions could consist of “What are the typical GSCE results in the two areas?” “What is the average amount spent on groceries in the two areas?” “What is a typical diet eaten by the two groups of teenagers?” In other words, if your research question is your overall goal then finding the answers to those three questions will help you to achieve your objectives of: comparing the two sets of GSCE results between an affluent area and an area that suffers from low finances. Understanding how much money is actually spent on food out of the overall budget. Deciphering whether that food is nutritional or not.
  • Context, literature or background. Your title for this section will depend upon the type of dissertation that you are researching and writing but it will be one of the three mentioned here in bold. The main idea in this part of your proposal is to mention the main schools of thought or theorists and the connection that they have with your own research.
  • Methodologies. For instance, if you stayed with the aforementioned model concerning exam results and nutrition, you would conduct empirical research because you would be collecting your own original data. Moreover, you would need to briefly outline whether you would be using qualitative data or quantitative data or using the mixed methods approach. Quantitative data would be used if you wanted to use statistics to compare the two samples that you would be researching. For instance, you might compare how many A-C grades were achieved overall by the teenagers living on the Softgate council estate over the last five years to how many were achieved by the teenagers living in the affluent Good Pastures area. Qualitative research is data that is collected that records feeling, beliefs, attitudes and opinions. For instance, you might conduct interviews that focussed on beliefs about the value of nutrition and how much money was spent on quality food. Essentially, you would be trying to discover whether finances dictated diet or attitudes to nutrition did. In your proposal you would briefly outline what methods of research you would use to make these discoveries, how you would conduct them and why you were using them.
  • Potential outcomes. Whatever you do, don’t at this stage suggest that you know the outcome. This would make your research questionable. What you need to do is suggest what it might be and also who might find your research useful.
  • Time management. Some universities ask for detailed time management within your proposal. This can be tricky and it can be tempting to be unrealistic with it in an attempt to make yourself look good. Avoid that temptation and be realistic about it.
  • Bibliography. Find out if you are required to attach a bibliography for your proposal and also how big it needs to be. Even if you don’t need to attribute one, it is always worthwhile doing one so that you have constant references to what you have read. Searching for a reference later on when you are doing your actual dissertation can be stressful, especially if the dreaded deadline is looming.

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