Writing a Good Dissertation Proposal

How to Write Dissertation Proposals with the Right Format

One of the many challenging tasks of the dissertation process is writing the dissertation proposal. It is not just something that you write and attempt to sell but it has to be something that you WILL be able to sell and get approval for. It is this one steps of the process that answers the make or break question. Being a crucial part of your education and attempt to get a degree, you would want to always make sure you make it when you submit your proposal. Here, we give you the basic structure of a proposal.

Pitching dissertation proposals is an even more daunting task for an aspiring graduate. It is therefore imperative that you make your outline clear, encompassing and presentable.


With the title itself, this part of the paper presents the whole research work. It gives a background of what the research is all about, giving readers an idea of what is being discussed. It is therefore important to make this part interesting and attention-grabbing.

Problem Statement and Purpose of the Study

Here is where you concisely state and describe the issue, its importance and purpose. A simple yet useful guide would be to plot the 5 W’s and 1 H: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How, and try to answer them so you keep your focus on the problem you raised. Before concluding, try to restate your concern to avoid cluttering the readers’ minds with vague ideas of what the whole dissertation proposal is about or where you are leading them.

Review of the Literature

This, in itself, is extensive research. A good way to start this process would be determine the kind of reading material you should be looking for. Then, read a lot. This is where you gather much information and review them. Take note of the big word: ‘review’. You do not rewrite or copy and paste. The whole idea is to look for helpful material related to your work, and citing important information while still giving credit to the authors of the paper you referred to.


The Methodology explains how the research was directed. To give readers a clearer picture of the whole study, this part could reiterate the type of research conducted: whether is it qualitative or quantitative. Give an insight on the type of data you collected, explain how the data were gathered, what materials were used, how were these interpreted, what statistical method was applied.


You would want to prove that your research is feasible and that there will be achievable and significant results. To support this, briefly discussing its contributions to the society and the impact your results may have on other researches or other fields of study could help. Rephrase the implication of the whole research and include suggestions or recommendations for further investigation and possible dissertation proposals for other students.


This should provide a citation or a list of materials you referred to to complete the research. Before getting started with this, think of the format you would want to make use of to reference all the materials cited in the study.