Dissertation Proposal Outline

The time has come to get yourself together and start working on a dissertation proposal. The reason for why it’s so difficult to make yourself do it is that it always seems that you are not ready just yet. There must be something else you can find to inspire you. There has to be one more brilliant idea waiting for you. In reality, there isn’t. You are simply are afraid of the committee criticizing your topic but you shouldn’t be. Your proposal is just a plan for your future paper. It describes your intentions and generalizes the idea of your research. If there is some section you have to rewrite, you can easily do it in the future.
dissertation proposal
In terms of dissertation abstracts, there is nothing too complicated. You want to know what to write and how to organize the data in an effective way. Let’s look at some of the proposal’s sections you unquestionably need to include in it.

  1. Objective(s). The main rule here is to rely on no more than three objectives. Focus on the essential concepts and narrow your area if it turns out to be too broad. Don’t give up on this stage and find the necessary motivation. These steps may seem to be very hard to make.
  2. Background. You need to discuss the several ideas and theories relevant to your topic that describe the current situation. In other words, you need to rely on the discoveries of other scholars made in the past while searching the answers for your own questions. Reveal the things that those theories are missing. Those are for you to be filled in with the research data.
  3. Research. Give the specific information regarding the research you are to conduct and how it will help you answer your key questions. Don’t forget about the methodology of the research. List the strategies you are willing to take but don’t go into much of details.
  4. Probable results. Summarize the types of results you’re expecting to get. You can’t foresee them of course as there would be no point in writing a dissertation. Indicate the target audience you will be writing for. You have to keep the people you write for while you are writing.
  5. References. They may ask you to include a bibliography page as well. Find out about how many references you have to list in advance.

There is one effective way to writing a proposal. Every time you find something more exciting to do, stop yourself and think about the desired results. Imagine your happiness when you receive a long-awaited degree and a big smile on your face. This motivation is all you need to get back to work. Your friends and family can wait. Define the priorities and stick to the schedule.

Now you have an idea of what your proposal should look like. Let’s take a closer look at the dissertation chapters and what you need to write about in each of them. This is a generalized version, of course, you might need to make some adjustments.


  • give a background to your question
  • indicate the problem there is
  • underline the value of the research
  • add some of the plausible limitations

Literature Review

  • describe the analysis of choosing sources
  • give an overview of the research results
  • organize the information by a variable or theme

Methodology (choose what fits your topic)

  • what you need to find
  • who will the participants be
  • what instruments you’ll use
  • how to collect and analyze data


  • what you’ve managed to discover


  • summarize the results
  • suggestions for further research
Dissertation Proposal Outline