Before you can write your dissertation, you need to get it approved. In order to do this, you must write a Dissertation Proposal. However, many are unsure how exactly to go about writing the proposal. Here are a few key tips to keep your proposal a proposal and a dissertation in itself.
A proposal doesn’t try to answer an argument. It simply has to mention that you have an argument. You don’t need to convince your adviser that you are right,, save that for the actually dissertation, just let him/her know that you do in fact have a reason for the dissertation and point out what you think you might be trying to prove.
A big part of your proposal is to convince someone to take you on and help you on the way. Your proposal will outline all the things you want to prove, all the things you want to discuss, all the things you have in your head that you want to put on paper. The proposal doesn’t have to put them all down, it just has to mention they exist, and hopefully it’ll hit home with someone who will take you on.
Your proposal should describe your methodologies as much as anything else. You need to show not only that you have good ideas but how you’re going to get those ideas onto paper. IF you’re going to be interviewing people, conducting experiments, or even finding sources, you need to show that you know the how as much as the why.
Your proposal is like the inkling of a good idea. You’ll end up writing a better plan, and your dissertation will be different from all of this in the end, but that’s to be expected. A lot of your initial thoughts will be discarded, some will be proven wrong, some will be too hard to prove right, some will be lost as a tangent, some won’t be good enough, but none of that mater in the proposal stage. Treat is as a brainstorming session where everything you think is a good idea. Throw it down on paper, and later on after you get approved, then go about pruning.
Don’t try to create a mini-dissertation. Your proposal is a jumble of ideas and so long as you lay it out clearly it’s ok for it to be a little batty. You’re not trying to convince your adviser you’re right, you just want them to think you have potential. So keep it clean, neat and concise. Don’t get carried away with yourself, don’t create a behemoth of a document, just lay out your ideas and let the proposal do the hard work.
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