How to Write Dissertation Prospectuses
Much like the abstract and the executive summary of a dissertation, the dissertation prospectus also addresses the write-up in a concise manner. However, unlike the latter two, the dissertation prospectus gives you a sneak peak at what your dissertation will be like, by focusing on the three basic elements of a dissertation: resources of information, the research question or the problem statement itself and the layout/format of your dissertation.
Don’t just list your sources while writing a dissertation prospectus but define them in relation to your research. Write how these chosen sources will assist you with your dissertation research. It is advisable to use current research material and sources published within the previous five years.
The second part a dissertation prospectus is based on is the problem statement itself. Address all key issue regarding the research questions. Try not to write excessively about the issue itself but focus more on the outcome of your research regarding the issue.
After discussing the sources and the research questions, focus on how your research and the acquired results will be presented. Discuss the division of chapters and the flow of information through these chapters. Be clear about the format and highlight the advantages of using such a dissertation layout. Divide the dissertation prospectus into coherent chapters such as:
- the research problem
- literature review
- research plan
It is vital that dissertation prospectuses present the research problem in a manner which sheds light on its importance. Write this part skillful so as to compel the reader into accepting the importance of your research. This can only be done if the field of research and the chosen dissertation topic are of interest to the student. The literature review is to depict your knowledge of the field and analysis of the sources. Here you are expected to show complete confidence in your research by listing a few major contributions your work will make.
The methodology chapter of your dissertation prospectus will explain how you plan to carry out your research and what methods you would be using for this purpose. Discuss how you acquired relevant data and the methods used by you to analyze it.
Discuss your plan of research next. Here you should explain how you will conduct the required research. Focus more on scheduling rather than on the methods of research, since this has already been discussed in the methodology chapter. Explain in detail the format of your paper and how you will structure it.
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