A thesis proposal is essential before coming up with a research dissertation. Hence, how do you tackle it? You identify a problem and then propose possible solutions to your questions. This is the outline of the things you intend to do in your actual research or dissertation. You state the problem that you will research, as well as the materials you will use to conduct this research. You also include the significance of your research and its impact on the public. Your audience usually composes of your academic supervisor and committee.
There is no doubt that a good thesis proposal is a way to the best results of your academic life. You get to prove that your research is important and relevant to the field you are studying. A thesis proposal shows that you are confident, have the right tools, and have the right approach to tackle the problem you propose.
Aims of a Thesis Proposal
What do you want to achieve at the end of the research? It's what paves the way for the actual thesis. You show what your project contributes to the existing research. It justifies your research problem. Also, it indicates that you have a clear grasp of the subject. Lastly, it proves you can research within a stipulated time frame.
Steps of Coming with a Thesis Proposal
The following are steps to follow when coming up with a thesis proposal:
Selecting Your Topic
When writing your thesis proposal, you will have good and bad days. You don't want to choose a topic that you lack interest in. The reason is, they will turn your bad days into worse. You will have a hard time navigating it. Choosing a fascinating topic would make the process enjoyable.
Outlining the Materials You've Gathered
This is important as you can track everything during the writing process. You follow the outline when conducting your research. You can present the outline to your supervisor for approval. Let them check if you're on the right track. Your supervisor looks for evidence that you understand what you are doping in the process of research; this includes everything and anything you will use in your writing.
Structuring Your Thesis Proposal
You need to follow the correct structure. A proper structure is what makes up the thesis proposal. Usually, a thesis proposal is approximately eight pages. You don't want to follow the formation of an essay or report. Knowing how to structure not only ease your work but also ensures that you include all the relevant information. Developing the correct structures is relevant in your writing. Knowing where to place your introduction, an abstract, methodology is essential. Your supervisor will see you understand what you are doing. If you don't know what to do, you can always review with your supervisor to ensure that you are on the same page. Other factors like length and your spacing matter a lot too.
The Actual Writing
You should write a thesis proposal in a formal style, although you can use an informal form but keep it as simple as possible. Your paper needs to maintain academic objectivity, leverage readability, and achieve clarity.
This section includes the proposed title of your thesis problems. You should ensure that you provide a working title which is relatively short. The title should be able to familiarize your readers with the subject you will research. Additionally, it includes information such as your name, institution, department, your research mentor, and also the date of delivery.
Table of Content
Table of content is what a reader should expect to indulge in when going over your work. You list all the headings, and the sub-topics you are going to cover. Indent your subheadings for clarity.
The abstract contains a summary of your thesis material. What you've incorporated, the results you got, the methods you used, and the aim of your research. Usually, it's a short piece and shouldn't exceed 250 words. You should craft your abstract last after completing the thesis proposal. You incorporate the history, key statement of the paper, how you will love to address the research issue, implication of your work, and if you completed the research successfully. You can opt for an informative abstract or a descriptive abstract.
Here you introduce the reader to the general area you want to cover and narrow down to your specific topic. You state the significance of the subject and its contribution at large. You provide the scope of what you are going to cover. It needs to be captivating to attract your audience at large. When one reads your introduction, they should know what to expect through your writing. More so, they should thirst for more of your content. Lastly, it needs to be engaging.
You need to include a thesis statement in your writing. Usually, it appears in the introduction section. This is what will guide you through the writing process. You can place it in the beginning or the middle, or at the end of your introduction. State it in a couple of lines. Usually, it takes forms of hypotheses, research questions, goal statements, or project problems. Ensure that your thesis is arguable or debatable.
These are the questions that you are trying to answer in your thesis proposal. They provide the focus and direction of the proposed study. You shouldn't leave unanswered questions in your paper. You should purpose to find solutions to the specific problems. You will notice that you will encounter lots of issues that require answers. Try answering questions you think your reader might have. If you discover there are more questions to be asked, you can draw them in your conclusion. You can include this part in the introduction or decide to place it in a separate section. You should spend a lot of time brainstorming before or during drafting this section.
Review of the Literature
An analysis of the literature lays the basis for your research on materials that existed before. Literature can be published or unpublished. These are sources you intend to use for your research. The reviews may be theoretical, analytical, experimental, or philosophical. Literature reviews enable you to identify the gaps which exist in your research area, errors, significant lines of criticism, and the emphasis you need to put into your thesis. It also indicates the current knowledge base.
When you review the literature, you should be able to place your topic in the relevant research context. You need to update your literature when progressing with your research or locate new publications. You can ask yourself what kinds of literature were the most successful. A literature review enables you to understand what other researchers had written about the topic. Additionally, you learn about the best methodologies you can use to conduct your research. You are to get to understand the areas or theories other researchers used to primary analyze data or any other materials.
State the basic ideas of your topic in this section. Then proceed to state the various theoretical approaches which you intend to use in your research. Also, add why you think they are most important or suitable at that moment. State your position. If there are various theories in the field you are covering, you can state which approaches you intend to use. Which terms interests you most, and you intend to follow up? State if you have any new suggestions. You can state your main insights, hunches, or hopes about your topic. This will depend on the emerging and past issues and what you intend to include in your findings.
The methodology section describes the methods you intend to use for your research. You need to explain or state how you will theoretically approach them. You can include theoretical approaches, analytical frameworks, interview process, subjects, design, apparatus, scholarly research experiments, calculations, procedure equipment, and equations. State if your study is qualitative or quantitative. Depending on the discipline you are studying, include where you will obtain the information and the resources that you need.
This section needs to be detailed. State the sources using which information will be obtained. You should also include relevant details, limitations, and assumptions. Limit your citation in this section and focus on more practical work and the experiments. The methodology section may also require you to use a literature review. Deciding on the methodology to choose can be a robust process. Hence, it's great if you can break down the methods in easy and simple subsections.
Here, you get to discuss the results of your findings. You carefully analyze and talk about the outcome, the impact it has, and if the study qualifies for future research. You can add justifications and also state the limitations of your study. Don’t forget to indicate the importance of the research and whom it will benefit in the long run.
The timeline includes the date you begin your thesis proposal, and the day you intend to complete and submit your paper. You can decide to include the dates carefully in a timetable. You can discuss any particular changes that you might love to overcome. Also include the time that you intend to complete your research in each stage of the proposal and areas you've completed.
Figures and Tables
Figures and tables are an important part of your thesis proposal. They not only make your work colorful but also ease how one understands your message. Hence, when you incorporate any figure, ensure that you label it correctly. Ensure that these figures are easily understandable. The best part is figures can shorten your thesis proposal while enhancing its clarity.
The conclusion marks the end of your paper. In this section, you need to summaries the information you've included in your thesis proposal. Try making it as clear as possible. You can also include answers to the questions you think you left out. Don’t introduce a new concept in the conclusion as you can confuse your reader.
Proofread Your Thesis Proposal.
Proofreading is a vital part to be done before submitting your paper. This is a crucial and proves to perfect your writing. You don't want to submit a document full of errors; you will lose a lot of marks. Get rid of any mistakes; be it grammatical or lexical. Before proofreading your thesis proposal, ensure that you rest first. You need to have a clear mind before engaging in correcting your paper. Read your piece out loud. You can easily notice if a sentence sounds awkward or has a spelling error if you do this. You can use a spelling checker if you need to achieve perfection without stress.
Alternatively, you can give you a colleague or your friend to proofread it. As much as they might lack knowledge in that subject, they will notice if a part seems off. Your reader may be distracted by the mistakes, grammar, and spelling errors and miss the message you intend to pass out. Remember, your academic future depends on how perfect your paper is. You don't want to mess this up.
Check Your Work Constantly
Remember, this is a long piece of work. It entails a lot of editing. The more you work and proceed further into your writing, the more difficult it becomes to review it. Hence, to avoid this stress, it's better to complete a part and review it. You will correct any areas that might require corrections. Remember, rewriting takes a lot of time, hence better to do this in bits.
Keep Your Reference from the Start
You should reference all the sources you cite. If you make a statement, its better you back up with evidence. Before submitting the assignment, you should check if you've referenced all your sources well. Its better you start creating your reference section as you continue writing your piece to ensure you include all the relevant information.
A thesis proposal is challenging to write. But, knowing how to structure and write it makes the process interesting and achievable.