How A Student Can Use a Dissertation Proposal

A dissertation proposal is very important in students’ academic life. Therefore, the instructor first needs to submit it. You can start on your dissertation after the successful approval of your proposal. Therefore, it is the first step towards your dissertation success. A dissertation is one of the important parts of a student’s academic life. Therefore, students should score good grades in their dissertation proposal. A student can use a dissertation proposal in the final dissertation write up. The best proposal can give you good grades. It can leave an effective impression on your readers.

What is the dissertation proposal?

It is an academic document that students submit before they start working on their final dissertation. It contains all the ideas and plans for the final dissertation. Therefore, the students should submit the final document to their teachers for approval. After submitting a dissertation proposal, the supervisor has access to the ideas and plans of the students. Hence, the supervisor approves the proposal if the idea looks useful. It is similar to the table of content of your final dissertation. It helps you roughly identify the topic you intend to examine. Also, it should include every detail of your final dissertation plans. Many researchers use it to guide their final dissertation write up. Due to this,  it is the most important part of your dissertation, which helps you in determining the direction of the dissertation,

Importance of Dissertation Proposal

The dissertation proposal has its importance, as we have seen earlier.

  • It helps to communicate your dissertation idea to your supervisor.
  • It shows your capability to your supervisor.
  • Further, it helps carry out a research study that is knowledgeable, comprehensive, and effective.
  • It prepares you for your original dissertation write up.

What does a Dissertation Proposal Contain?

Whenever you work on your dissertation proposal, you need to ensure the following things:

  1. Why would one like the research?
  2. What does one understand in it already?
  3. What is the main matter you wish to focus on in your study?
  4. Where can you conduct your research?
  5. When can you conduct your research?
  6. Whom can you study?
  7. Who can study the dissertation?

The structure of a dissertation proposal

When you submit your proposal to your supervisor should have a good structure. You will get approval for it only with a properly structured proposal. Its elements play a vital role in the structure of a dissertation proposal. Some elements are methods, literature review, expected outcomes, timelines, objectives and bibliography.

Proposal structure

Below is a description of some of the essential elements of a dissertation proposal.


First, you need to introduce the research problem in your proposal. Then, make sure that it does not exceed two to three paragraphs. Further, in the introduction section, you must talk about;

  • Research aims and objectives
  • Research questions
  • Rationale of the study
  • Significance of the study

Literature review

The literature review is the backbone of any study. It is the study of papers published by past researchers. It tells the researchers about research gaps and current knowledge. Further, by doing a literature review, you will get to know about;

  • Theoretical/Conceptual framework
  • Literature gap


It is the third most important section of a PhD thesis. You can follow different models to structure this section. Also, these different models are Saunder’s research onion and Honeycomb model of methodology.

Ethical Considerations

Ethical considerations are an important part of a PhD thesis. It includes not plagiarising the content of others without properly referencing it. Also, it would be best to mention the limitations of your study in the proposal.


A dissertation proposal is an important document in the academic life of a student. Writing a perfect proposal means you are going in the right direction. You should follow the guidelines of your supervisor while writing a proposal. The tips mentioned above can also help you greatly in you follow them.

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