Comprehensive Tips on How to Write a Dissertation Proposal

Writing a solid dissertation proposal for your research paper is much like a business proposal. You write up all the ideas you have for a business and provide compelling reasons why it should be invested in.

It is a task that requires your academic superior’s assessment, and it persuades them to key into your dissertation plans and ideas. It should be an idea they’re happy to say ‘yes’ to; hence, it requires persuasiveness and proper planning.

This article will provide you with some tips for writing a strong dissertation proposal from scratch.

What exactly is a research proposal?

The research proposal is primarily a written document that stipulates and presents what you intend to research in a clear and detailed format. It’s where you dump all your cool ideas for your paper topic in a logical, convincing write-up.

Convincing your professor or whoever’s accessing your proposal is key to writing your dissertation. They must agree with your ideas and see that it is articulated, unique and executable with your current skills and time constraints.

Before your dissertation proposal presentation, you must ensure that your written work satisfies these criteria. If it doesn’t, your research won’t be approved, no matter how great your idea is. Also, being unprepared to answer questions during your dissertation proposal defense can make your work futile. Knowing what a research proposal entails helps you avoid basic errors.

Writing a proposal for your dissertation

A dissertation proposal explains the research you want to conduct, detailing aspects like; what it’s about, why it’s important, and how you intend to conduct it. Usually, you need to write a proposal before you begin your thesis as a postgraduate or an undergraduate student.

To write a winning dissertation proposal, you need a dissertation proposal outline. A dissertation proposal should consist of:

  1. An introduction to your topic of discussion and its objectives
  2. A literature review of the knowledge researched that would be employed in the dissertation
  3. An outline of your intended methodology format
  4. A discussion of the effects of your research
  5. Then a bibliography of vital sources

Dissertation proposals are usually different in length and structure; hence, it is necessary to follow the guidelines given by your institution. You should also check with your supervisor when in doubt.

Tips on how to write a dissertation proposal

It is time to start writing up your dissertation proposal. The following tips will help you learn how to structure your work into an intuitive and convincing document with a clear narrative.

  • Understand your dissertation proposal and its purpose

Before writing your dissertation proposal, it would be best to understand exactly what it is and all that it entails. Unfortunately, most undergraduate or postgraduate students go into writing a dissertation proposal without necessarily understanding all its requirements.

Knowing its clear purpose gives you a mental outline of how to set up your dissertation proposal. And it also helps when answering questions during the dissertation proposal defense.

  • Craft an engaging, descriptive title

Your research proposal’s title should be your primary research question as clearly as possible. You can write it with a sub-heading that provides basic details on the specifics of the study.

A sample dissertation proposal title will look like this:

“Social Media and Global Anti-Corruption: a study of the ‘audience’s response’ to the battle against corruption.”

This title offers a simple idea of the research and paints a clear picture for a first-time reader. Therefore, always aim for a clear and concise title.

  • Write up a solid introduction chapter

This section requires you to expand on what you’ve written in the title by providing paragraphs that give more detail about your research topic. The aim here is to clarify what you will research and why is it worth researching?

  • Define the scope of your proposed research

It would help if you were clear about what you will cover and what you won’t cover in your research. It focuses on ring-fencing your research topic to showcase a laser-sharp focus.

  • Compile a preliminary literature review

A literature review demonstrates your study and what you’re familiar with in the research of your topic. You can use dissertation proposal examples to understand how to compile a preliminary review.

  • Carefully explain your proposed methodology

After explaining your topic and what it would consist of, you need to state your desired analysis method clearly. This is the practical description of your research process. Finally, be honest about the potential risks and difficulties surrounding the research and indicate your ideas on how to solve them.

  • Use a dissertation proposal writing service

If you still find it difficult following these tips on using this dissertation proposal outline, then your best bet is to use a proposal writing service. They can help you structure your proposal and guarantee your dissertation approval with clear instructions.


With these guidelines, you can better understand how to set up a winning research proposal. If your university doesn’t provide any template for your proposal, you might want to try our free research proposal template.

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