Dissertation Proposal Writing Tips

Before you write the dissertation, you will need to write the dissertation proposal and the purpose is to present your dissertation idea before the committee in your department so they can determine if your idea is unique and relevant. The most difficult part of the dissertation proposal is your choice of a topic and you should choose something you're passionate about, that will serve as a base for future scholarship as a researcher, and that has not been covered extensively by other scholars. Your overall concept and goals for the dissertation should also be understandable to the committee and you should practice with one of your professors or dissertation advisor.

Never Wait Until The Last Minute

This is a sign of a lack of time management and it will show in the proposal. As you soon as you enter the program you need to work on the dissertation proposal with your advisor so that she can find out if you are on the right track and so you can ask questions about the proposal. Gather your research materials you'll need to write the proposal and look through them as inspiration for deciding on a topic.

Read Sample Dissertation Proposals

Another idea is to read sample dissertations on university libraries' websites because they'll give you an idea of how you should write your dissertation proposal. Look specifically at proposals that are related to your field of study because this may give you ideas on what you can choose as a topic. You should still follow your university's guidelines when writing the dissertation proposal.

Literature Review is Important

When presenting your dissertation proposal you should discuss previous literature that has been published on your topic and how your dissertation will add a new angle to the research that exists. For example, if your topic deals with differences in how ethnic groups in America deal with menopause, you can talk about how you will use your dissertation to explore how those in the Jewish group handle menopause-related emotional issues.


Your dissertation proposal is the first step in telling others about what you have to offer as a scholar and you want the proposal to be the best reflection of you and your values. Before you present the dissertation proposal you should proofread it to avoid obvious mistakes and you want to be confident when presenting it.

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