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How to Write a Master's Thesis Proposal

How to Write a Master's Thesis Proposal

How to write a master’s thesis proposal is one of the most-asked questions by graduate students. A master's thesis proposal involves a copious amount of data collection, particular presentation ethics, and most importantly, it will become the roadmap to your full thesis. Remember, you must convince your committee that your idea is strong and unique, and that you have done enough legwork to begin with the first few drafts of your final thesis. Your proposal should serve as a foundational blueprint on which you will later build your entire project. To have the perfect thesis proposal, you need to have original ideas, solid information, and proper presentation. While it is a good idea to take assistance from thesis writing services , you still need to personally understand the elements that contribute to a master’s thesis proposal worthy of approval. In this blog, we will discuss the process of writing your master’s thesis proposal and give you tips for making your proposal strong. Stay tuned!

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Article Contents 8 min read

How to decide the goals for your master's thesis.

If you are pursuing a master’s or a PhD , you will be undertaking a major research paper or a thesis. Thus, writing a thesis proposal becomes inevitable. Your major objective for pursuing a master’s degree is to improve your knowledge in your field of study. When you start your degree, you delve deeper into different concepts in your discipline and try to search for answers to all kinds of questions. If you come across a question that no one can answer, you can select that question as your research thesis topic.

A master's thesis proposal will have multiple sections depending on your decided layout. These sections will continuously support your argument and try to convince the reader of your core argument. The structure will also help you arrange the various parts of the paper to have a greater impact on the readers. A paper should always begin with you giving a brief summary of the topic and how you have come across it. The introduction is particularly important because it will give the readers a brief idea about the topic of discussion and win their interest in the matter.

After the summary has been given, slowly you need to progress into the body of the thesis proposal which would explain your argument, research methodology, literary texts that have a relation to the topic, and the conclusion of your study. It would be similar to an essay or a literary review consisting of 3 or 4 parts. The bibliography will be placed at the end of the paper so that people can cross-check your sources.

Let's take a look at the sections most master's thesis proposals should cover. Please note that each university has its own guidelines for how to structure and what to include in a master’s thesis proposal. The outline we provide below is general, so please make sure to follow the exact guidelines provided by your school:

Restate your primary argument and give us a glimpse of what you will include in the main master\u2019s thesis. Leave the reader wanting more. Your research proposal should talk about what research chapters you are trying to undertake in your final thesis. You can also mention the proposed time in which you will complete these chapters.  ","label":"Conclusion and proposed chapters","title":"Conclusion and proposed chapters"}]" code="tab1" template="BlogArticle">

A thesis proposal needs to be convincing enough to get approval. If the information is not enough to satisfy the evaluation committee, it would require revision. Hence, you need to select and follow the right methodology to make your argument convincing. When a research proposal is presented, the reader will determine the validity of your argument by judging the strength of your evidence and conclusions. Therefore, even writige:ng a proposal will require extensive research on your part. You should start writing your thesis proposal by working through the following steps.

Interested in a summary of the points covered below? Check out this infographic:

Exploring your topic in detail

You need to delve deeper into your chosen topic to see if your idea is original. In the process of this exploration, you will find tons of materials that will be supportive of your argument. When choosing your research topic and the problem you want to explore, you should always consider your primary research interest (yes, the one which you had mentioned in your research interest statement during grad school applications) for a better master’s thesis. You have a high probability of performing better in an area that you have always liked as compared to any other research area or topic.

Reviewing the literature

You have to include all the sources from where you have formed your argument and mention them in the thesis proposal. If you neglect to mention important source texts, the reader may consider it to be plagiarism. Furthermore, you want to keep track of all your research because it will be easier to provide references if you know the exact source of each piece of information.

Finding opposing arguments for your study

You should also mention any texts that would counter your argument and try to disprove their claims in the thesis. Make sure to use evidence if you try to disprove the counterarguments you face.

Emphasizing the importance of your research

At the end of the thesis proposal, you need to convince the reader why your proposal is important to your chosen field of study, which would ultimately help you in getting your topic approved. Thus, it is essential to outline the importance of your research thoroughly.

Drafting your proposal

After doing proper research, you should go ahead and draft your proposal. Remember you will not get it right in just one draft, it will take at least 50 attempts to come up with a satisfactory proposal. You should proofread your draft several times and even have a fellow student review it for you before sending it further to your research supervisor.

Getting your proposal evaluated by your supervisor

After you have written sufficient drafts, you need to get your proposal evaluated by your research supervisor. This is necessary to meet the graduate research requirements. It will ensure the clarity and correctness of your proposal. For your supervisor to evaluate your proposal, you should complete the research methodology part along with sufficient proposed work.

Since your supervisor will play a crucial role in your master's research thesis, you must choose a supervisor who can be your ultimate guide in writing your master's thesis. They will be your partner and support system during your study and will help you in eliminating obstacles to achieving your goal.

Choosing the ideal supervisor is a pretty daunting task. Here’s how you can go about the process:

You should approach your professor with an open mind and discuss the potential goals of your research. You should hear what they think and then if you both mutually agree, you can choose them as your supervisor for your master\u2019s thesis. "}]">

Length of a Master’s Thesis Proposal

The length of a master’s thesis proposal differs from university to university and depends on the discipline of research as well. Usually, you have to include all the above-mentioned sections, and the length is around 8 pages and can go up to 12-15 pages for subjects such as the liberal arts. Universities might also define the number of words in the guidelines for your master’s thesis proposal and you have to adhere to that word limit.

Are you debating between pursuing a Masters or a PhD? This video has details that can help you decide which is best for you:

How to Format a Research Thesis Proposal Correctly?

Now that you know how to write a thesis proposal, you must make it presentable. Although your school might give your specific instructions, you can keep in mind some of the general advice:

  • You can use some basic font like Times New Roman and keep the font size to 10 or 12 points.
  • The left margin should be 1.5 inches and all other margins should be 1 inch each.
  • You should follow double-spacing for your content.
  • The first line of paragraphs should be indented 0.5 inches and the paragraphs should be left or center aligned.

Tips to Write a Strong Master's Thesis Proposal

When you are writing your master’s thesis proposal, you should keep these tips in mind to write an excellent master’s thesis proposal with all the correct elements to get approval from the evaluating committee:

Select your research objectives wisely

You should be clear on what you wish to learn from your research. Your learning objectives should stem from your research interests. If you are unsure, refer to your grad school career goals statement to review what you wanted out of grad school in the first place. Then, choose your objectives around it.

Write a clear title

The title of your research proposal should be concise and written in a language that can be understood easily by others. The title should be able to give the reader an idea of your intended research and should be interesting.

Jot down your thoughts, arguments, and evidence

You should always start with a rough outline of your arguments because you will not miss any point in this way. Brainstorm what you want to include in the proposal and then expand those points to complete your proposal. You can decide the major headings with the help of the guidelines provided to you.

Focus on the feasibility and importance

You should consider whether your research is feasible with the available resources. Additionally, your proposal should clearly convey the significance of your research in your field.

Use simple language

Since the evaluation committee can have researchers from different subject areas, it is best to write your proposal in a simple language that is understandable by all.

Stick to the guidelines

Your university will be providing the guidelines for writing your research proposal. You should adhere to those guidelines strictly since your proposal will be primarily evaluated on the basis of those.

Have an impactful opening section

It is a no-brainer that the opening statement of your proposal should be powerful enough to grasp the attention of the readers and get them interested in your research topic. You should be able to convey your interest and enthusiasm in the introductory section.

Peer review prior to submission

Apart from working with your research supervisor, it is essential that you ask some classmates and friends to review your proposal. The comments and suggestions that they give will be valuable in helping you to make the language of your proposal clearer.

You have worked hard to get into grad school and even harder on searching your research topic. Thus, you must be careful while building your thesis proposal so that you have maximum chances of acceptance.

If you're curious how your graduate school education will differ from your undergraduate education, take a look at this video so you know what to expect:

Writing the perfect research proposal might be challenging, but keeping to the basics might make your task easier. In a nutshell, you need to be thorough in your study question. You should conduct sufficient research to gather all relevant materials required to support your argument. After collecting all data, make sure to present it systematically to give a clearer understanding and convince the evaluators to approve your proposal. Lastly, remember to submit your proposal well within the deadline set by your university. Your performance at grad school is essential, especially if you need a graduate degree to gain admission to med school and your thesis contributes to that performance. Thus, start with a suitable research problem, draft a strong proposal, and then begin with your thesis after your proposal is approved.

In your master’s thesis proposal, you should include your research topic and the problem statement being addressed in your research, along with a proposed solution. The proposal should explain the importance and limitations of your research.

The length of a master’s thesis proposal is outlined by the university in the instructions for preparing your master’s thesis proposal.

The time taken to write a master’s thesis proposal depends upon the study which you are undertaking and your discipline of research. It will take a minimum time of three months. The ideal time can be around six months. 

You should begin your master’s thesis proposal by writing an introduction to your research topic. You should state your topic clearly and provide some background. Keep notes and rough drafts of your proposal so you can always refer to them when you write the first real draft.

The basic sections that your master’s thesis proposal should cover are the problem statement, research methodology, proposed activities, importance, and the limitations of your research.

A master’s thesis proposal which clearly defines the problem in a straightforward and explains the research methodology in simple words is considered a good thesis proposal.

You can use any classic font for your master’s thesis proposal such as Times New Roman. If you are recommended a specific font in the proposal guidelines by your institution, it would be advisable to stick to that.

The ideal font size for your master’s thesis proposal will be 10 or 12 points.

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parts of a master's thesis proposal

parts of a master's thesis proposal

How to Write a Proposal: For a Master’s Thesis or Dissertation

How to Write a Proposal: For a Master’s Thesis or Dissertation

Note: Many thanks to fellow PhDStudent blogger Ryan Krone for his contributions and insight to this post.

Your thesis/dissertation proposal provides an overview to your committee of your plan of research; including the general scope of your project, research questions, methodology, and significance of your study. Most universities offer guidelines for their dissertation and theses requirements with information about how to set up and organize the document. Most dissertations are organized into four or five chapters. The proposal generally consists of the first three chapters because it is designed to justify and plan the project as well as explain how it contributes to existing research.

Understand and accept that the proposal will be a scrutinized document that will most likely be redrafted and resubmitted before approval. Think of the proposal as an introduction to your thesis, bridging the gap between existing work and your research. Remember that the proposal is not binding or meant to limit your ideas- you will likely modify and refine your scope, argument, and methods throughout the submission process.

Parts of a Proposal

Theses and dissertation proposals across different programs generally include some form of these sections:

At this stage in your proposal, you need only provide a working title. Don’t worry if you compose a lengthy title, the aim of a title is to convey the idea of your investigation. A good title should:

·          Familiarize the audience to the topic.

·          Indicate the type of study to be conducted.

If required (since some fields and universities do not require abstracts), the abstract should provide a brief (350 words for Dissertation, 200 words for Thesis) overview of the proposal that gives the reader a basic understanding of your proposal. The abstract should summarize your introduction, statement of the problem, background of the study, research questions or hypotheses, as well as methods and procedures.

Introduction

Your introduction should put your project in conversation with other similar projects and provide necessary background information that establishes the purpose of your study. A good introduction establishes the general territory in which the research is placed and includes some references to existing literature (which will then be looked at in a later section called the Literature Review).

Statement of the Problem

This section may be incorporated into your introduction or stand independently (ask your advisor for the most appropriate format). Regardless of placement, you need to clearly identify the problem or knowledge gap that your project is responding to. To do so, be sure to limit the variables you address while stating the problem.

Purpose/Research Questions

Like the “Statement of the Problem,” this section can be included as part of the introduction or it can be separate. The statement of purpose/research objectives involves a description of the question(s) the research seeks to answer or the hypotheses the research seeks to advance. Once you begin your research, you may find that your questions or hypotheses may change- so don’t stress. What is important for you at this point is to specify your study’s focus and concisely explain the goals and research objectives. When doing this, however, remember to show how your approach will be different from the previous research and add to the field of knowledge.

Review of Literature

The literature review is a critical look at the existing research that identifies potential gaps in knowledge and is significant to the research you are proposing to carry out. Here, you need to be able to identify the key texts which contribute to your thesis or dissertation. Literature reviews often include both the theoretical and empirical approaches in order to effectively demonstrate your familiarity with the topic and the appropriate approaches to studying it.

Tips on drafting your Literature Review:

·          Categorize the literature into trends/themes and begin each with an appropriate subheading, then synthesize related information. Remember to:

o    stake out the various positions that are relevant to your project

o    build on conclusions

o    point out the places where the literature is lacking or flawed

·          Avoid defenses, praise, and blame. Your task is to justify your project given the existing knowledge.

Methodology

How you study a problem is often as important as the results you collect. The methodology section includes a description of the general means through which the goals of the study will be achieved: methods, materials, procedures, tasks, et cetera. Such methods of data collection often described in these sections are surveys, interviews, questionnaires, observation, and archival or traditional library research. After means of collection are discussed, be sure to explain how you intend to analyze and interpret your results as well as address potential limitations to your study.

Tips on drafting your methodology section:

·          Remember that your methods section may also require supporting literature cited from the literature review.

·          Anticipate the audience’s methodological concerns about the study and its limitations such as a problem with a facet of the methodology, admit this difficulty and justify your approach.

Significance/Implications

Some proposals require a section stating the significance of the study that is separate from the introduction or statement of problem sections (be sure to check with your advisor about the requirements for this as well). A clear statement of significance discusses the methodological, substantive, and/or theoretical contribution and benefits you anticipate making to existing knowledge.

Timeline/Plan of Work

Many students also consult their advisors about creating and including in proposals a schedule of anticipated completion dates for parts of their thesis or dissertation. This timeline helps you and your committee determine if your project is realistic given available methods and institutional requirements (such as deadlines for submission) and demonstrates your awareness of the various elements of the study.

Bibliographic References and Appendices

Your proposal should include a working bibliography of sources you used for your study and methodology. You will want to include all sources cited in your proposal and references that will be cited in the dissertation itself. Some great online resources to consider to help you organize your references section are RefWorks , BibTex , and EndNote .

Your appendices include any other document pertinent to your study; for example, survey questions, IRB approval forms, or experimental diagrams. Keep in mind that bibliographies and appendices tend to be discipline specific, so make sure to consult your advisor on what the requirements are for end matter in your field of study.*

****it is important to remember here to check with your institution on the style requirements for citing sources (e.g., MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.).****

More Proposal “Nuts and Bolts”

Theses and dissertation proposal lengths vary considerably depending on school and program expectations, however most are between 30 – 75 pages; and in some fields the proposal is usually the first three chapters of a dissertation (introduction, methodology, review of literature).

Style Considerations:

Tense refers to the form of a verb to show the time of an action. There are three main tenses:

·          Present tense : used for actions in a time which is happening now. This form is not commonly used when writing a thesis or dissertation.

·          Past tense : used for actions in a time which has already happened. This form is commonly used when writing a thesis or dissertation . After the proposal is accepted and you have collected data or conducted analysis to write chapter 4 (results) and chapter 5 (conclusion).  You will have to go back to chapters 1-3 and change the tense to past tense as well.

·          Future tense : used for actions in a time which has not yet happened. This form is commonly used when writing thesis and dissertation proposals . The proposal or thesis will typically be written in the future tense when writing chapters 1–3 because much of the study’s objectives haven’t been implemented yet, but will be implemented once the proposal is accepted by your committee.

Tone refers to the writer’s attitude toward his or her writing, usually expressed most clearly in vocabulary while trying to strike a consistently confident tone, while avoiding being apologetic or arrogant.

Coherence reflects the extent to which sentences and paragraphs flow together, allowing readers to follow your writing. Writers best achieve coherence by:

·          moving from “old” information to “new”

·          putting the most important information at the end of the sentence

·          keeping the subject and verb together

·          using transitional phrases (“however” or “therefore”) when shifting topics

·          using pronouns to refer back to previously introduced information or the repetition of key words or phrases

Voice refers to your own presence as a grammatical subject in your sentences. Be mindful of the difference between active and passive voice- and remember that a common practice in dissertations and theses is to use active voice, so remove passive voice wherever possible.

Active : I will look at all WVS surveys conducted between the years of 1990 and 2015.

Passive : The WVS surveys conducted between the years of 1990 and 2015 will be looked at.

Incorporate visual aids such as charts, graphs, diagrams, or illustrations wherever possible or practical.

For more tips on how to write a successful dissertation or thesis proposal for your graduate program visit the Dissertation & Thesis Survival section of the PhDStudent website or this handy Penn State PDF. You can also download our PhDStudent-How-to-Write-a-Proposal-Outline-Downloadable  here.

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How to Write a Dissertation Proposal | A Step-by-Step Guide

Published on 14 February 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on 11 November 2022.

A dissertation proposal describes the research you want to do: what it’s about, how you’ll conduct it, and why it’s worthwhile. You will probably have to write a proposal before starting your dissertation as an undergraduate or postgraduate student.

A dissertation proposal should generally include:

  • An introduction to your topic and aims
  • A literature review  of the current state of knowledge
  • An outline of your proposed methodology
  • A discussion of the possible implications of the research
  • A bibliography  of relevant sources

Dissertation proposals vary a lot in terms of length and structure, so make sure to follow any guidelines given to you by your institution, and check with your supervisor when you’re unsure.

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Table of contents

Step 1: coming up with an idea, step 2: presenting your idea in the introduction, step 3: exploring related research in the literature review, step 4: describing your methodology, step 5: outlining the potential implications of your research, step 6: creating a reference list or bibliography.

Before writing your proposal, it’s important to come up with a strong idea for your dissertation.

Find an area of your field that interests you and do some preliminary reading in that area. What are the key concerns of other researchers? What do they suggest as areas for further research, and what strikes you personally as an interesting gap in the field?

Once you have an idea, consider how to narrow it down and the best way to frame it. Don’t be too ambitious or too vague – a dissertation topic needs to be specific enough to be feasible. Move from a broad field of interest to a specific niche:

  • Russian literature 19th century Russian literature The novels of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky
  • Social media Mental health effects of social media Influence of social media on young adults suffering from anxiety

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Like most academic texts, a dissertation proposal begins with an introduction . This is where you introduce the topic of your research, provide some background, and most importantly, present your aim , objectives and research question(s) .

Try to dive straight into your chosen topic: What’s at stake in your research? Why is it interesting? Don’t spend too long on generalisations or grand statements:

  • Social media is the most important technological trend of the 21st century. It has changed the world and influences our lives every day.
  • Psychologists generally agree that the ubiquity of social media in the lives of young adults today has a profound impact on their mental health. However, the exact nature of this impact needs further investigation.

Once your area of research is clear, you can present more background and context. What does the reader need to know to understand your proposed questions? What’s the current state of research on this topic, and what will your dissertation contribute to the field?

If you’re including a literature review, you don’t need to go into too much detail at this point, but give the reader a general sense of the debates that you’re intervening in.

This leads you into the most important part of the introduction: your aim, objectives and research question(s) . These should be clearly identifiable and stand out from the text – for example, you could present them using bullet points or bold font.

Make sure that your research questions are specific and workable – something you can reasonably answer within the scope of your dissertation. Avoid being too broad or having too many different questions. Remember that your goal in a dissertation proposal is to convince the reader that your research is valuable and feasible:

  • Does social media harm mental health?
  • What is the impact of daily social media use on 18– to 25–year–olds suffering from general anxiety disorder?

Now that your topic is clear, it’s time to explore existing research covering similar ideas. This is important because it shows you what is missing from other research in the field and ensures that you’re not asking a question someone else has already answered.

You’ve probably already done some preliminary reading, but now that your topic is more clearly defined, you need to thoroughly analyse and evaluate the most relevant sources in your literature review .

Here you should summarise the findings of other researchers and comment on gaps and problems in their studies. There may be a lot of research to cover, so make effective use of paraphrasing to write concisely:

  • Smith and Prakash state that ‘our results indicate a 25% decrease in the incidence of mechanical failure after the new formula was applied’.
  • Smith and Prakash’s formula reduced mechanical failures by 25%.

The point is to identify findings and theories that will influence your own research, but also to highlight gaps and limitations in previous research which your dissertation can address:

  • Subsequent research has failed to replicate this result, however, suggesting a flaw in Smith and Prakash’s methods. It is likely that the failure resulted from…

Next, you’ll describe your proposed methodology : the specific things you hope to do, the structure of your research and the methods that you will use to gather and analyse data.

You should get quite specific in this section – you need to convince your supervisor that you’ve thought through your approach to the research and can realistically carry it out. This section will look quite different, and vary in length, depending on your field of study.

You may be engaged in more empirical research, focusing on data collection and discovering new information, or more theoretical research, attempting to develop a new conceptual model or add nuance to an existing one.

Dissertation research often involves both, but the content of your methodology section will vary according to how important each approach is to your dissertation.

Empirical research

Empirical research involves collecting new data and analysing it in order to answer your research questions. It can be quantitative (focused on numbers), qualitative (focused on words and meanings), or a combination of both.

With empirical research, it’s important to describe in detail how you plan to collect your data:

  • Will you use surveys ? A lab experiment ? Interviews?
  • What variables will you measure?
  • How will you select a representative sample ?
  • If other people will participate in your research, what measures will you take to ensure they are treated ethically?
  • What tools (conceptual and physical) will you use, and why?

It’s appropriate to cite other research here. When you need to justify your choice of a particular research method or tool, for example, you can cite a text describing the advantages and appropriate usage of that method.

Don’t overdo this, though; you don’t need to reiterate the whole theoretical literature, just what’s relevant to the choices you have made.

Moreover, your research will necessarily involve analysing the data after you have collected it. Though you don’t know yet what the data will look like, it’s important to know what you’re looking for and indicate what methods (e.g. statistical tests , thematic analysis ) you will use.

Theoretical research

You can also do theoretical research that doesn’t involve original data collection. In this case, your methodology section will focus more on the theory you plan to work with in your dissertation: relevant conceptual models and the approach you intend to take.

For example, a literary analysis dissertation rarely involves collecting new data, but it’s still necessary to explain the theoretical approach that will be taken to the text(s) under discussion, as well as which parts of the text(s) you will focus on:

  • This dissertation will utilise Foucault’s theory of panopticism to explore the theme of surveillance in Orwell’s 1984 and Kafka’s The Trial…

Here, you may refer to the same theorists you have already discussed in the literature review. In this case, the emphasis is placed on how you plan to use their contributions in your own research.

You’ll usually conclude your dissertation proposal with a section discussing what you expect your research to achieve.

You obviously can’t be too sure: you don’t know yet what your results and conclusions will be. Instead, you should describe the projected implications and contribution to knowledge of your dissertation.

First, consider the potential implications of your research. Will you:

  • Develop or test a theory?
  • Provide new information to governments or businesses?
  • Challenge a commonly held belief?
  • Suggest an improvement to a specific process?

Describe the intended result of your research and the theoretical or practical impact it will have:

Finally, it’s sensible to conclude by briefly restating the contribution to knowledge you hope to make: the specific question(s) you hope to answer and the gap the answer(s) will fill in existing knowledge:

Like any academic text, it’s important that your dissertation proposal effectively references all the sources you have used. You need to include a properly formatted reference list or bibliography at the end of your proposal.

Different institutions recommend different styles of referencing – commonly used styles include Harvard , Vancouver , APA , or MHRA . If your department does not have specific requirements, choose a style and apply it consistently.

A reference list includes only the sources that you cited in your proposal. A bibliography is slightly different: it can include every source you consulted in preparing the proposal, even if you didn’t mention it in the text. In the case of a dissertation proposal, a bibliography may also list relevant sources that you haven’t yet read, but that you intend to use during the research itself.

Check with your supervisor what type of bibliography or reference list you should include.

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Caulfield, J. (2022, November 11). How to Write a Dissertation Proposal | A Step-by-Step Guide. Scribbr. Retrieved 18 March 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/thesis-dissertation/proposal/

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Master's Thesis Proposal Tips

By Jodie Nicotra, Department of English and Amy Ross, U of I Writing Center

Writing an overview of your project is designed not only to formally announce your intentions as far as your Master’s thesis goes, but also to help you become more fluent in and informed about the topic for your project. 7-8 double-spaced pages should probably be enough.

Broken into fully developed sections, each with a heading, this overview should include: 

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How to write a research proposal for a Master's dissertation

Unsure how to start your research proposal as part of your dissertation read below our top tips from banking and finance student, nelly, on how to structure your proposal and make sure it's a strong, formative foundation to build your dissertation..

It's understandable if the proposal part of your dissertation feels like a waste of time. Why not just get started on the dissertation itself? Isn't 'proposal' a just fancy word for a plan?

It's important to see your Master's research proposal not only as a requirement but as a way of formalising your ideas and mapping out the direction and purpose of your dissertation. A strong, carefully prepared proposal is instrumental in writing a good dissertation.

How to structure a research proposal for a Master's dissertation

First things first: what do you need to include in a research proposal? The recommended structure of your proposal is:

  • Motivation: introduce your research question and give an overview of the topic, explain the importance of your research
  • Theory:  draw on existing pieces of research that are relevant to your topic of choice, leading up to your question and identifying how your dissertation will explore new territory
  • Data and methodology: how do you plan to answer the research question? Explain your data sources and methodology
  • Expected results: finally, what will the outcome be? What do you think your data and methodology will find?

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Top Tips for Writing a Dissertation Research Proposal

Choose a dissertation topic well in advance of starting to write it

Allow existing research to guide you

Make your research questions as specific as possible

When you choose a topic, it will naturally be very broad and general. For example, Market Efficiency . Under this umbrella term, there are so many questions you could explore and challenge. But, it's so important that you hone in on one very specific question, such as ' How do presidential elections affect market efficiency?'  When it comes to your Master's, the more specific and clear-cut the better.

Collate your bibliography as you go

Everyone knows it's best practice to update your bibliography as you go, but that doesn't just apply to the main bibliography document you submit with your dissertation. Get in the habit of writing down the title, author and date of the relevant article next to every note you make - you'll be grateful you did it later down the line!

Colour code your notes based on which part of the proposal they apply to

Use highlighters and sticky notes to keep track of why you thought a certain research piece was useful, and what you intended to use it for. For example, if you've underlined lots of sections of a research article when it comes to pulling your research proposal together it will take you longer to remember what piece of research applies to where.

Instead, you may want to highlight anything that could inform your methodology in blue, any quotations that will form your theory in yellow etc. This will save you time and stress later down the line.

Write your Motivation after your Theory

Your Motivation section will be that much more coherent and specific if you write it after you've done all your research. All the reading you have done for your Theory will better cement the importance of your research, as well as provide plenty of context for you to write in detail your motivation. Think about the difference between ' I'm doing this because I'm interested in it ' vs. ' I'm doing this because I'm passionate, and I've noticed a clear gap in this area of study which is detailed below in example A, B and C .'

Make sure your Data and Methodology section is to the point and succinct

Link your Expectations to existing research

Your expectations should be based on research and data, not conjecture and assumptions. It doesn't matter if the end results match up to what you expected, as long as both of these sections are informed by research and data. 

Discover Postgraduate Study at Newcastle

Published By Nelly on 01/09/2020 | Last Updated 23/01/2024

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How to Write a Master's Thesis: A Guide to Planning Your Thesis, Pursuing It, and Avoiding Pitfalls

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Part 1: Initial Considerations

Who needs to write a master’s thesis.

Thesis writing is one of the more daunting challenges of higher education. That being said, not all master's students have to write a thesis. For example, fields that place a stronger emphasis on applied knowledge, such as nursing, business, and education, tend to have projects and exams to test students on the skills and abilities associated with those fields. Conversely, in disciplines that require in-depth research or highly polished creative abilities, students are usually expected to prove their understanding and independence with a thesis.

What's Your Goal?

Do you want to write a thesis? The process is a long one, often spanning years. It's best to know exactly what you want before you begin. Many people are motivated by career goals. For example, hiring managers may see a master's degree as proof that the candidate is an expert within their field and can lead, motivate, and demonstrate initiative for themselves and others. Others dream of earning their doctorate, and they see a master's degree as a stepping stone toward their Ph.D .

parts of a master's thesis proposal

No matter what your desired goal is, you should have one before you start your thesis. With your goal in mind, your work will have a purpose, which will allow you to measure your progress more easily.

Major Types of Theses

Once you've carefully researched or even enrolled in a master's program—a feat that involves its own planning and resources —you should know if you are expected to produce a quantitative (which occurs in many math and science programs), qualitative (which occurs in many humanities programs), or creative (which occurs in many creative writing, music, or fine arts programs) thesis.

Time and Energy Considerations

Advanced degrees are notoriously time and energy consuming. If you have a job, thesis writing will become your second job. If you have a family, they will need to know that your thesis will take a great deal of your attention, energy, and focus.

parts of a master's thesis proposal

Your studies should not consume you, but they also should not take a back seat to everything else. You will be expected to attend classes, conduct research, source relevant literature, and schedule meetings with various people as you pursue your master's, so it's important to let those you care about know what's going on.

As a general note, most master's programs expect students to finish within a two-year period but are willing to grant extra time if requested, especially if that time is needed to deal with unexpected life events (more on those later).

Part 2: Form an Initial Thesis Question, and Find a Supervisor

When to begin forming your initial thesis question.

Some fields, such as history, may require you to have already formed your thesis question and to have used it to create a statement of intent (outlining the nature of your research) prior to applying to a master’s program. Others may require this information only after you've been accepted. Most of the time, you will be expected to come up with your topic yourself. However, in some disciplines, your supervisor may assign a general research topic to you.

Overall, requirements vary immensely from program to program, so it's best to confirm the exact requirements of your specific program.

What to Say to Your Supervisor

You will have a supervisor during your master's studies. Have you identified who that person will be? If yes, have you introduced yourself via email or phone and obtained information on the processes and procedures that are in place for your master's program? Once you've established contact, request an in-person meeting with him or her, and take a page of questions along with you. Your questions might include:

  • Is there a research subject you can recommend in my field?
  • I would like to pursue [target research subject] for my thesis. Can you help me narrow my focus?
  • Can you give me an example of a properly formatted thesis proposal for my program?

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help (to a Degree)

Procedures and expectations vary from program to program, and your supervisor is there to help remove doubt and provide encouragement so you can follow the right path when you embark on writing your thesis. Since your supervisor has almost certainly worked with other graduate students (and was one at some point), take advantage of their experience, and ask questions to put your mind at ease about how to write a master’s thesis.

That being said, do not rely too heavily on your supervisor. As a graduate student, you are also expected to be able to work independently. Proving your independent initiative and capacity is part of what will earn you your master's degree.

Part 3: Revise Your Thesis

Read everything you can get your hands on.

Whether you have a question or need to create one, your next step is simple and applies to all kinds of theses: read.

parts of a master's thesis proposal

Seek Out Knowledge or Research Gaps

Read everything you can that relates to the question or the field you are studying. The only way you will be able to determine where you can go is to see where everyone else has been. After you have read some published material, you will start to spot gaps in current research or notice things that could be developed further with an alternative approach. Things that are known but not understood or understood but not explained clearly or consistently are great potential thesis subjects. Addressing something already known from a new perspective or with a different style could also be a potentially valuable project. Whichever way you choose to do it, keep in mind that your project should make a valuable contribution to your field.

parts of a master's thesis proposal

Talk with Experts in Your Field (and Don't Be Afraid to Revise Your Thesis)

To help narrow down your thesis topic, talk to your supervisor. Your supervisor will have an idea of what is current in your field and what can be left alone because others are already working on it. Additionally, the school you are attending will have programs and faculty with particular areas of interest within your chosen field.

On a similar note, don't be surprised if your thesis question changes as you study. Other students and researchers are out there, and as they publish, what you are working on can change. You might also discover that your question is too vague, not substantial enough, or even no longer relevant. Do not lose heart! Take what you know and adjust the question to address these concerns as they arise. The freedom to adapt is part of the power you hold as a graduate student.

Part 4: Select a Proposal Committee

What proposal committees are and why they're useful.

When you have a solid question or set of questions, draft a proposal.

parts of a master's thesis proposal

You'll need an original stance and a clear justification for asking, and answering, your thesis question. To ensure this, a committee will review your thesis proposal. Thankfully, that committee will consist of people assigned by your supervisor or department head or handpicked by you. These people will be experts who understand your field of study and will do everything in their power to ensure that you are pursuing something worthwhile. And yes, it is okay to put your supervisor on your committee. Some programs even require that your supervisor be on your committee.

Just remember that the committee will expect you to schedule meetings with them, present your proposal, respond to any questions they might have for you, and ultimately present your findings and thesis when all the work is done. Choose those who are willing to support you, give constructive feedback, and help address issues with your proposal. And don't forget to give your proposal a good, thorough edit and proofread before you present it.

How to Prepare for Committee Meetings

Be ready for committee meetings with synopses of your material for committee members, answers for expected questions, and a calm attitude. To prepare for those meetings, sit in on proposal and thesis defenses so you can watch how other graduate students handle them and see what your committee might ask of you. You can even hold rehearsals with friends and fellow students acting as your committee to help you build confidence for your presentation.

parts of a master's thesis proposal

Part 5: Write Your Thesis

What to do once your proposal is approved.

After you have written your thesis proposal and received feedback from your committee, the fun part starts: doing the work. This is where you will take your proposal and carry it out. If you drafted a qualitative or quantitative proposal, your experimentation or will begin here. If you wrote a creative proposal, you will now start working on your material. Your proposal should be strong enough to give you direction when you perform your experiments, conduct interviews, or craft your work. Take note that you will have to check in with your supervisor from time to time to give progress updates.

parts of a master's thesis proposal

Thesis Writing: It's Important to Pace Yourself and Take Breaks

Do not expect the work to go quickly. You will need to pace yourself and make sure you record your progress meticulously. You can always discard information you don't need, but you cannot go back and grab a crucial fact that you can't quite remember. When in doubt, write it down. When drawing from a source, always create a citation for the information to save your future self time and stress. In the same sense, you may also find journaling to be a helpful process.

Additionally, take breaks and allow yourself to step away from your thesis, even if you're having fun (and especially if you're not). Ideally, your proposal should have milestones in it— points where you can stop and assess what you've already completed and what's left to do. When you reach a milestone, celebrate. Take a day off and relax. Better yet, give yourself a week's vacation! The rest will help you regain your focus and ensure that you function at your best.

How to Become More Comfortable with Presenting Your Work

Once you start reaching your milestones, you should be able to start sharing what you have. Just about everyone in a graduate program has experience giving a presentation at the front of the class, attending a seminar, or watching an interview. If you haven't (or even if you have), look for conferences and clubs that will give you the opportunity to learn about presenting your work and become comfortable with the idea of public speaking. The more you practice talking about what you are studying, the more comfortable you'll be with the information, which will make your committee defenses and other official meetings easier.

Published authors can be called upon to present at conferences, and if your thesis is strong, you may receive an email or a phone call asking if you would share your findings onstage.

Presenting at conferences is also a great way to boost your CV and network within your field. Make presenting part of your education, and it will become something you look forward to instead of fear.

What to Do If Your Relationship with Your Supervisor Sours

A small aside: If it isn't already obvious, you will be communicating extensively with others as you pursue your thesis. That also means that others will need to communicate with you, and if you've been noticing things getting quiet, you will need to be the one to speak up. Your supervisor should speak to you at least once a term and preferably once a week in the more active parts of your research and writing. If you give written work to your supervisor, you should have feedback within three weeks.

If your supervisor does not provide feedback, frequently misses appointments, or is consistently discouraging of your work, contact your graduate program advisor and ask for a new supervisor. The relationship with your supervisor is crucial to your success, especially if she or he is on your committee, and while your supervisor does not have to be friendly, there should at least be professional respect between you.

What to Do If a Crisis Strikes

If something happens in your life that disrupts everything (e.g., emotional strain, the birth of a child, or the death of a family member), ask for help. You are a human being, and personal lives can and do change without warning. Do not wait until you are falling apart before asking for help, either. Learn what resources exist for crises before you have one, so you can head off trauma before it hits. That being said, if you get blindsided, don't refuse help. Seek it out, and take the time you need to recover. Your degree is supposed to help you become a stronger and smarter person, not break you.

Part 6: Polish and Defend Your Master's Thesis

How to write a master’s thesis: the final stages.

After your work is done and everything is written down, you will have to give your thesis a good, thorough polishing. This is where you will have to organize the information, draft it into a paper format with an abstract, and abbreviate things to help meet your word-count limit. This is also where your final editing and proofreading passes will occur, after which you will face your final hurdle: presenting your thesis defense to your committee. If they approve your thesis, then congratulations! You are now a master of your chosen field.

Conclusion and Parting Thoughts

Remember that you do not (and should not) have to learn how to write a master’s thesis on your own. Thesis writing is collaborative, as is practically any kind of research.

parts of a master's thesis proposal

While you will be expected to develop your thesis using your own initiative, pursue it with your own ambition, and complete it with your own abilities, you will also be expected to use all available resources to do so. The purpose of a master's thesis is to help you develop your own independent abilities, ensuring that you can drive your own career forward without constantly looking to others to provide direction. Leaders get master's degrees. That's why many business professionals in leadership roles have graduate degree initials after their last names. If you already have the skills necessary to motivate yourself, lead others, and drive change, you may only need your master's as an acknowledgement of your abilities. If you do not, but you apply yourself carefully and thoroughly to the pursuit of your thesis, you should come away from your studies with those skills in place.

A final thought regarding collaboration: all theses have a section for acknowledgements. Be sure to say thank you to those who helped you become a master. One day, someone might be doing the same for you.

Image source: Falkenpost/Pixabay.com 

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parts of a master's thesis proposal

Naval Postgraduate School

Graduate Writing Center

Thesis proposals: common elements - graduate writing center.

  • Thesis Writing Overview
  • Advisors and Advising

Thesis Proposals: Common Elements

  • Executive Summaries and Abstracts
  • Thesis Processing Office
  • iThenticate FAQ
  • NPS Thesis Abstracts
  • NPS Outstanding Theses & Dissertations

Departmental requirements for thesis proposals can be quite different, so pay careful attention to your department's and advisor's guidance when writing your proposal. Many departments provide a template for the thesis proposal, which will specify which elements you must include and how your proposal should be formatted. That said, most NPS thesis proposals require you to include the following elements, each of which answers key questions about your research:

What problem are you responding to? What is your research question ?

Your research responds to real-world problems or to existing scholarship that has revealed unanswered questions. Perhaps recent historical events have led to new threats, challenges, or needs. Perhaps old technology or approaches have become obsolete, failing to meet the demands of current applications.

The research question frames the object of your research in the form of a question, complete with a question mark. Identify your research question clearly and directly. You may have more than one research question, depending upon your department.

Why is the research you propose worth pursuing? What makes it significant ?

In explaining how the research you're proposing is significant, you are essentially responding to: "So what?" Be clear about how answering your research question will help in dealing with the real world or scholarly problem you've identified.

For example, the significance of your research might be to enhance our understanding of a major historical event, allowing us to make better decisions in the future; or your research might improve the efficiency of technical systems, saving money and keeping up with developing challenges.

What has been written about the topic and the problem in other scholarly literature?

As you plan your thesis research, you will review a great deal of literature in order to understand what scholars who study your topic know, what these scholars agree and disagree about, and how they go about seeking answers.

If your thesis proposal requires a literature review, use it to identify the important themes in what you have read, particularly those that have shaped the question you are asking and your approach to it.

What possible answers to your research question will your research assess?

Often your research question could result in multiple answers. In identifying one or more hypotheses, you narrow the scope of your research, specifying potential answers you will explore or test. Your research is then designed to find out if one or more of your hypotheses are true.

In other cases, the research question and hypothesis are more closely bound to each other. In these cases, your research question essentially states your hypothesis in the form of a question.

How will you design your research? What methodology will you apply?

Discuss how your research is structured and how you will go about it.

Identify the choices you have made in designing your research. For example, in the social sciences, be clear about what time periods or case studies you have selected. In a more technical field, you might explain your choice to use a certain lab material or software.

Explain why you have made these choices and what the implications are, including how the choices may limit your findings. Showing that you have considered possible limitations reflects well on your credibility as a researcher.

Finally, be clear about the stages or steps involved in conducting your research. What do you need to do first? What will your final step be?

How will your thesis be outlined, chapter by chapter?

Most thesis proposals require you to consider how many chapters you will write and what each chapter will contribute to the document. Often, this structure can be modified if needed during the writing of the thesis itself.

Thesis Proposal Links

  • Handout: " What's a Thesis Proposal? " Gary Langford, NPS Systems Engineering department
  • Website: NPS Thesis Processing Office

Thesis Proposal

Thesis proposals.

Graduate students begin the thesis process by writing a thesis proposal that describes the central elements of the thesis work.  Those elements vary depending on the type of thesis (research, artistic, or project) that the student plans to write. Students begin drafting the thesis proposal in the course Thesis Proposal Seminar . 

Below, please find detailed information about the following:

  • research thesis proposal
  • artistic thesis proposal
  • project thesis proposal
  • formatting your proposal  
  • getting your proposal approved  
  • submit your proposal  

Research Thesis Proposal

The proposal for a research thesis consists of five sections:

  • Thesis Statement Following an optional introduction, the basic function of this section is to articulate a phenomenon that the student proposes to investigate (whether a social event, process, a literary work, an intellectual idea or something else), and the question(s), issue(s) or problem(s) related to that phenomenon that the student plans to address in the thesis. The core of the statement may take the form of a hypothesis that the student will test, of a proposition or argument that the student intends to support, or of a general problem or question the student  will explore. The section puts that basic problem statement in a larger context by explaining its historical origins (where did it come from?) and its intellectual, social, and/or artistic context (what conversation, debate, or line of inquiry does it participate in?). It also describes the sub-questions or themes that constitute the general problem. Students will cite appropriate scholarly, professional and other sources for the ideas, questions and background information contained in the section.
  • Research Methods In this section, the student will identify (a) the kinds of information that needed to answer the question(s) raised in the Thesis Statement, (b) the methods the student will use to gather that information, and (c) the strategies by which the student will organize and analyze the information in such a way as to reach and support a conclusion, to construct a sound argument. If the central problem has several facets, the student may need an array of different methods for collecting and analyzing information. Students should be as precise as possible in each stage of the methods statement: Is information needed about the stylistic techniques in a novel, about changes in the poverty rates in Kenya since independence, about the ways children think about nature? Will the student pull out the metaphors in a text, find government reports on household income, interview kids about their experiences in the woods? Will the student deploy statistical forms of content analysis, correlate poverty rates with political changes, interpret themes in children’s stories? Students should reflect on the broad methodological approaches that they propose to use, and cite sources from which they derive their methods and tools. A student's central goal is to demonstrate that they know how to go about answering the question(s) that have been raised. Please note that if students intend to conduct research on living people, they will need to get the approval of the University Committee on Activities Involving Human Subjects (UCAIHS). Before they apply for that approval, students will need to take a tutorial and pass a test on the various regulations. Refer to the  UCAIHS website  for more information.
  • Justification and Limitations This section of the proposal should explain the rationale for the thesis and the importance of the topic. Indicate the reasons why this study is important to conduct and whom it will benefit. Identify the limits beyond which the inquiry will not go. For instance, if a student is writing about a historical subject, the student must explain the relevance of the time period selected. Finally, describe the contribution the work will make to the field.
  • Conclusion This section should summarize the nature and intention of the student's work. Conclude the discussion and mention any pertinent information which may not have been included above.
  • Annotated Bibliography This section consists of a list of books and articles and artworks with accompanying annotations that explain why these readings and other sources are likely to be crucial as the work advances.

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Artistic Thesis Proposal

The artistic thesis consists of an artistic work and supporting essays, and it is important to conceive of each element as contributing to a coherent whole.  The proposal itself consists of five sections:

  • Concept Statement This section includes a brief introduction that forms the framework for the entire thesis and articulates the questions around which the creative project and supporting essays revolve.
  • Description of the Artistic Work and Artistic Aims This section describes the major artistic work that will comprise the submitted artistic thesis.  Students may want to refer to particular artistic influences or genres that will inform the work, or describe the aesthetic from which the creative work derives. In this section, students should also: refer to some of the artistic reasons that led to their decision to embark on this particular project; discuss the goals that will guide the development of the work; and provide concrete details about the final form and media of the work  (will it be, for example, a collection of short stories, a novel; an evening of dance an exhibition of paintings, a film, or what?).  If the artwork involves live performance, this section should state whether it will be a public or private event, where the event will be held, and any other details relevant to bringing the project to completion.

This section should provide the reader with relevant historical or critical information to place the central research question in context, and this section should also discuss the key theories, methods, and sources to be used within the research essay.  It should demonstrate that the student knows how to begin answering the question(s) they are posing.  What sorts of things will the student need to find out? What research methods will be used?  What kinds of sources will be reviewed, and how will information from them be used? Who, if anyone, will be interviewed, and what kinds of questions will the subjects be asked?  Students should also reflect, in this section, on the broad analytical approach that will structure their research and identify the school(s) of thought that will inform their investigations. 

  • Justification and Limitations This section should explain the importance of the student's work in the context of their particular artistic discipline and discuss how all components of the thesis project taken together as a single project will contribute to the scholarly and artistic fields with which it engages. This section should also discuss limitations, personal and practical, relating to the project and the student’s readiness.  If the project is a film, for example, how much direct experience has the student already had in that field, and how will the student allocate the time to finish the project by the desired defense date? How much is the project likely to cost, and how does the student expect to obtain funding?  What kind of spaces will be needed for rehearsal as well as presentation of the work? 

Project Thesis Proposal

The project thesis includes two major components: (a) an activity (program, intervention, campaign, etc.) designed to address (solve, remediate, improve) a problem, issue or opportunity in the student's domain as a professional or activist; and (b) a written document that describes, rationalizes, analyzes, and assesses the activity. It is not strictly a research study, but rather an exercise in reflective practice. Therefore, the proposal takes a form different from that of the research or artistic thesis proposal. Please note, as well, that a project thesis  must  be not only designed but implemented and evaluated.

  • Problem Statement This section of the proposal identifies, describes, and analyzes the problem (issue, need, opportunity) that the student will address in the project. Clearly articulate the nature of the problem: its historical, social and professional context; its dimensions and extent; its impact, and perhaps some previous efforts to address it. Present information that explains the student's understanding of the origins or causes of the problem, to set up the rationale for the choice of a strategy to solve it. At each stage, refer to appropriate scholarly and professional literatures.
  • Project Plan Students should spell out their plans for addressing the problem. Students should describe the institutional setting within which the project will take place, as well as the individuals, groups, or organizations with whom they will work. What will the student (and, perhaps, others) do? What resources and strategies will be used? If the student need funds, how will they be raised and disbursed? What schedule will be followed? Be efficient, but concrete and clear in specifying the activities that will make up the project. Identify the professional and theoretical sources of the strategies for the project: What precedents and ideas are the student drawing on? Also, the student should discuss the means by which they will record and report the project activities for the members of the thesis committee. Will the student write a journal, shoot videos, keep material artifacts and documents? Students must be clear about how they intend to document the project. They may also elect to invite the members of their committee to witness the project first-hand.
  • Assessment The proposal speaks to three aspects of the assessment process. In all three, students should be concrete and refer to appropriate literatures as sources of their plans. Criteria : First, students should describe and justify the criteria by which they will determine whether the project has succeeded. What are the goals and objectives? What changes does the student want to see in the participants, the organization, the larger world? Methods:  What information will be needed to determine whether the goals and objectives have been met? How will that information be collected and organized? Analysis : How will that information be utilized to describe the project’s success or failure? What sorts of lessons does the student hope to draw from the assessment?
  • Justification and Limitations This section of the proposal should explain the rationale for the thesis and the importance of the topic. Indicate the reasons why this study is important to conduct and whom it will benefit. Identify the limits beyond which the inquiry will not go. Finally, describe the contribution the work will make to the field.
  • Conclusion This section should summarize the nature and intention of the work. Conclude the discussion and mention any pertinent information which may not have been included above.

Format of the Proposal

All thesis proposals should conform to the following specifications:

  • Title Page The title should be reasonably succinct, but descriptive enough to convey the nature of the thesis; the title page should include your full name, the date of submission, and your adviser’s name.
  • Length The thesis proposal should be approximately 8 pages, excluding the annotated bibliography. Remember that this is a proposal, not the thesis itself; tell us what you propose to do and how, don’t do it.
  • Annotated Bibliography This bibliography should contain brief commentaries on no fewer than 10–15 relevant source works.

The Approval Process for the Thesis Proposal

The Thesis Proposal Seminar (TPS) Students write their thesis proposals while enrolled in the Thesis Proposal Seminar (CORE-GG 2401, a 2-credit core requirement offered every spring). Throughout that semester, students work closely with their Adviser and Instructor to draft an acceptable proposal. When the proposal has received approval from both the Thesis Proposal Seminar instructor (Gallatin reviewer) and the adviser, the student is allowed to move on to their thesis research. The three steps of the approval process are outlined below.

  • TPS Instructor/Reviewer Approval The Thesis Proposal Seminar instructor serves as the Gallatin reviewer of the thesis proposal. A student must receive a grade of ‘Pass’ in the Thesis Proposal Seminar for the proposal to be considered ‘reviewer approved.’ If the student’s proposal is not finished at the end of the semester, the student will receive a grade of 'Incomplete' in the course and will have until June 15th to submit the proposal before moving on to thesis research.
  • Adviser Approval Students work closely with their advisers over the course of the semester to produce a proposal that the adviser can approve. Once the adviser agrees that the proposal is ready, students submit their final proposal via the online Thesis Proposal submission form . The Thesis Proposal submission form allows students to provide Gallatin with additional information about the courses, internships, independent studies, jobs, and other experiences that have prepared the student for their thesis work.
  • MA Program Approval Once the M.A. Program verifies adviser approval of the proposal and the student has passed the TPS, the MA Program updates the student record to show that the Thesis Proposal requirement has been satisfied.

The deadline for submitting an adviser approved thesis proposal online is June 15.

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Elements of a Thesis Proposal

Due december 5th.

MA students are required to write a thesis topic proposal in consultation with their thesis committee. The final proposal should be 3-5 pages in length and should include a preliminary bibliography. The proposal should clearly state your topic, delineate your research question(s), discuss the motivations behind your topic, and describe your material and the methodology that you will be relying on in your thesis. See below for further guidance. Once your thesis proposal has been approved by both of your thesis committee members, you will need to submit a copy of your proposal as well as a signed copy of the Masters Thesis Approval Form to the Director of Graduate Studies (Jared McCormick) by Dec 5th.

Background:

  • What do we need to know to understand your aim or question? What is the specific situation, artifact, or problem you intend to study?
  • What are the larger implications of that situation, artifact, or problem?
  • What is the current conversation in the field?
  • Motivation or “stakes”: Value of research to the field
  • What will we learn from your research that we don’t already know?
  • What is the gap in the current research or conversation that your aim or question or new perspective fills?
  • Why is it important for us (not you) to know the answer?
  • What is your aim or purpose? Have you stated it directly and specifically?
  • What approach or method will you use to answer you aim or purpose? What set of questions might you use as guidelines? What theories (if appropriate) will you use?
  • What is your proposed thesis, if you have done sufficient research to propose one? In a proposal, you may not have-but of course we hope you have!

Overall Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Will this work fit into an article-length paper? (35-50 pages, double–spaced)
  • If not, what specific questions or aspect can I focus on that would fit? Instead of a large range of artifacts, subjects, or primary sources, can I choose one area, category, or one major source? Can I choose one representative sample or example and study it, then its larger implications? Note: If you’ve outlined a large project consider choosing one aspect, then saving the rest for a future book or PhD dissertation. You might consider this thesis to be like one chapter of a book).
  • Is enough information—artifacts, primary sources, and so one—available to me to make this project feasible?
  • Will you be conducting interviews? If so, make sure to visit  www.nyu.edu/research/resources-and-support-offices/getting-started-withyourresearch/human-subjects-research.html

Before Beginning your Research

  • What decisions do I need to make to complete my proposal, including my approach?
  • What research do I still need to do to a) make those decisions or b) fill in gaps in my proposal?
  • It is always helpful to craft a research proposal with an eye towards the sources/archive you will use. As a general rule, it is helpful to continually ask yourself what sources will you need to answer your research question/interest and allow the availability of sources to play an active role in crafting your research interest.

Thesis Writing

Thesis Proposal

Caleb S.

How to Write a Thesis Proposal - Sample Proposals and Tips!

Thesis Proposal

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Are you struggling with making a thesis proposal, not knowing where to start?

You're not the only one. 

Creating a thesis proposal can feel confusing. But think of a thesis proposal as your guide for your academic research. It helps you plan your research and keeps you on the right path. If the thought of a thesis proposal has left you feeling unsure, don't worry. 

This blog is here to help you understand how you can create a thesis proposal that serves your research project right! 

So, let’s begin!

Arrow Down

  • 1. What is a Thesis Proposal?
  • 2. What Does A Thesis Proposal Include?
  • 3. How to Write a Thesis Proposal
  • 4. Thesis Proposal Format
  • 5. Sample Thesis Proposal
  • 6. Thesis Proposal Writing Tips

What is a Thesis Proposal?

The thesis proposal is a type of detailed summary and outline of your thesis or research work. It provides a layout regarding how you will transform an unformed idea into a thoroughly researched concept. 

Moreover, it also identifies the problem, questions, and methods you will use in your thesis. All students are required to submit this mind map to the supervisor. This is how they will get a comprehensive idea of the research journey. 

A good proposal will prove that your thesis or dissertation is relevant and important. Similarly, it shows that you have adopted the right approach and tools to solve the problem.

  • The following are the primary purposes of writing a thesis proposal.
  • It shows that the chosen topic addresses a significant problem.
  • It demonstrates an organized plan to collect or obtain data for solving the problem.
  • It identifies data collection methods.

Lastly, it states the significance of the thesis indicating how it will contribute to the field.

What Does A Thesis Proposal Include?

A well-structured thesis proposal consists of several critical elements, each playing a distinct role. Here's a concise breakdown of the parts of thesis proposal:

Introduction (1 page) 

This is where your proposal begins. 

It opens with a clear definition of your research's topic area, followed by an explanation of its relevance and significance within the context of your field. 

The introduction also establishes the scope of your research study by defining its boundaries and limitations.

Literature Review (7-8 pages) 

The literature review is a substantial section, comprising four key components. 

Firstly, it offers an overview of the existing body of literature related to your research topic. Secondly, it addresses theoretical frameworks and methodological research designs relevant to your area of study, demonstrating your familiarity with the field. 

Thirdly, it emphasizes the gaps in the literature, showcasing areas that require further investigation and justifying your research.

Research Question (1-2 pages) 

In this section, you formulate a specific research question that your study will seek to answer. 

The research question serves as the focal point of your research. You also explain how your entire research design aligns with and is structured around this central question.

Methodological Design (1-2 pages) 

The methodological design section is critical for outlining how you plan to conduct your research. 

It encompasses several pivotal aspects. You describe your methodological approach ( qualitative , quantitative , or a combination). You detail your participant access strategy and the number of cases to be included. 

You specify case selection criteria, research timeline, data collection methods, data coding, analytics, and other relevant factors.

References 

This is your bibliography, listing all authors cited within your literature review. It validates your sources and provides a solid foundation for your proposed research. 

Each of these components is crucial in creating a robust and structured framework for your thesis proposal.

How to Write a Thesis Proposal

Writing a thesis proposal is a structured process that involves several key steps, each of which plays a vital role in creating a successful proposal. Let's break it down:

Step 1 - Begin with Outlining

Start by outlining the information you've gathered. This step is crucial for both you and your supervisor. It provides a roadmap for your thesis. 

By carefully outlining the parts of your proposal, you can guide yourself while drafting the document.

Step 2 - Know the Proposal Structure

Familiarize yourself with the structure of a proposal. 

The major sections usually include an introduction, methodology, significance, data explanation, conclusions, and references. Understanding this structure is key to a well-organized proposal.

Step 3 - Plan Your Writing Process

It's important to organize your proposal meticulously. This helps you get a clear idea of how to write it. Many proposals get rejected because students don't plan their writing process. Plan the flow of your writing and stick to it. Here's a typical flow:

  • Develop a proposal outline.
  • Prepare visuals like charts or tables.
  • Introduce the topic.
  • Describe your chosen methodology.
  • Explain why your research is significant.
  • Present your data.
  • Draw conclusions from your research.
  • Cite your references.

Step 4 - Writing the Proposal Draft

Once you've planned the writing process, it's time to begin your final proposal draft. Use a formal writing style, but make sure to use simple words. 

This makes it easier for your audience to read and understand. Also, use first-person references as needed, but consult your professors before writing a thesis statement.

Step 5 - Proofread Your Proposal

A good thesis proposal should be free of typos and other grammatical mistakes.

These errors can distract your readers from your actual problem statement. To ensure a polished proposal:

  • Read the proposal aloud to identify grammar and spelling mistakes, along with any issues with sentence structure.
  • Avoid proofreading immediately after writing; wait a day or two for a more objective view.
  • Seek input from someone with a strong understanding of the material.
  • Utilize an online spell checker for added accuracy.

Following these steps will help you craft a well-structured and error-free thesis proposal, increasing the likelihood of your proposal being accepted.

Refer to the following sample to understand the complete writing process.

Thesis Proposal Format

The format of the thesis paper proposal typically follows the below-given pattern.

  • Title Page 

The title page includes the research title, student and supervisor’s name, along with the submission date.

  • Table of Contents 

It gives a complete layout of the proposal by stating the headings and subheadings with their page numbers. 

  • Introduction

The thesis introduction highlights the historical background of your research. It also provides a brief overview of the thesis topic and the motivation behind choosing it.

  • Statement of the Problem

It provides a clear statement that briefly defines the purpose of the study. Check out the below sample for a better understanding.

Sample Statement of the Problem in Thesis Proposal

  • Theoretical Framework 

Here, the research problem will be set within the framework of a theory. Moreover, it will also identify and define the terms conceptually.

  • Literature Review

It includes the review of the available literature on the topic to establish credibility. Keep in mind; this section must be at least 15 pages.

  • Research Objectives

This section states the main objectives that you want to achieve in the research. Similarly, it will also mention the hypothesis and the expected outcome.

  • Methodology

It states the methodological approaches that will be used to achieve the objectives. It will also provide details about how the experiments will be conducted to test the hypothesis.

  • Evaluation of Research Findings

It briefly discusses how the research findings and outcomes will be evaluated.

  • Timetable for Completion of the Thesis

This section includes the dates for:

  • Completion of research
  • The first draft of the thesis 
  • Final draft 

Cite all the primary and secondary sources in the reference list along with their codes. Also, choose a citation style after consulting with your professor.

  • Other Instructions

The other format instructions include the following aspects.

  • Word Count: 5000 words maximum.
  • Font Style and Size: Times new roman, Arial - 12pt.
  • Line Spacing: 1.5 for text, single-spaced for quotations.
  • Margins: It should be set to 1.25 inches for left/right and 1 inch for top/bottom.
  • Page Numbers : It must be in Roman numerals and placed at the bottom center of each page.
  • Citation: APA, MLA, Chicago.

Here’s a thesis proposal outline that you can use as reference:

Thesis Proposal Outline - MyPerfectWords.com

Need to know more about formatting your thesis? Explore this comprehensive blog to gain a deep understanding of thesis format !

Sample Thesis Proposal

Following are some examples and samples for you to get a detailed idea.

Thesis Proposal Sample

Thesis Proposal Example

Thesis Proposal Template

Undergraduate Thesis Proposal Example

Master Thesis Proposal Example

Phd. Thesis Proposal

Architectural Thesis Proposal

Thesis Proposal Writing Tips

Here are some tips for writing a perfect thesis proposal.

  • Know all the requirements before you start writing a proposal. It includes length, font, spacing, etc.
  • Use simple words so that the readers can understand easily.
  • Always check your proposal and carefully proofread for mistakes.
  • Write answers and solutions to your problem in the conclusion as it provides a base for future research.
  • Keep a record of your referencing from the start and triple check it before submitting the proposal.
  • Plan, organize, and structure your proposal within a clearly defined deadline.
  • Use pictures and graphs to illustrate background material, sample data, and analysis techniques. 

Getting started on your thesis? Read here and choose from an extensive list of thesis topics !

So, you now have the key knowledge to create a strong and meaningful thesis proposal. 

However, if you still find yourself facing challenges or require further assistance, don't hesitate to reach out. 

Our reliable essay writing service is here to support you every step of the way.

With our experienced team of professionals, we guarantee to provide you with top-quality thesis help.

Whether you need us to deliver a complete thesis or a proposal, our thesis writing service is here for you 24/7. So, order now! 

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Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

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Writing a Research Proposal

Parts of a research proposal, prosana model, introduction, research question, methodology.

  • Structure of a Research Proposal
  • Common Proposal Writing Mistakes
  • Proposal Writing Resources

A research proposal's purpose is to capture the evaluator's attention, demonstrate the study's potential benefits, and prove that it is a logical and consistent approach (Van Ekelenburg, 2010).  To ensure that your research proposal contains these elements, there are several aspects to include in your proposal (Al-Riyami, 2008):

  • Objective(s)
  • Variables (independent and dependent)
  • Research Question and/or hypothesis

Details about what to include in each element are included in the boxes below.  Depending on the topic of your study, some parts may not apply to your proposal.  You can also watch the video below for a brief overview about writing a successful research proposal.

Van Ekelenburg (2010) uses the PROSANA Model to guide researchers in developing rationale and justification for their research projects.  It is an acronym that connects the problem, solution, and benefits of a particular research project.  It is an easy way to remember the critical parts of a research proposal and how they relate to one another.  It includes the following letters (Van Ekelenburg, 2010):

  • Problem: Describing the main problem that the researcher is trying to solve.
  • Root causes: Describing what is causing the problem.  Why is the topic an issue?
  • fOcus: Narrowing down one of the underlying causes on which the researcher will focus for their research project.
  • Solutions: Listing potential solutions or approaches to fix to the problem.  There could be more than one.
  • Approach: Selecting the solution that the researcher will want to focus on.
  • Novelty: Describing how the solution will address or solve the problem.
  • Arguments: Explaining how the proposed solution will benefit the problem.

Research proposal titles should be concise and to the point, but informative.  The title of your proposal may be different from the title of your final research project, but that is completely normal!  Your findings may help you come up with a title that is more fitting for the final project.  Characteristics of good proposal titles are (Al-Riyami, 2008):

  • Catchy: It catches the reader's attention by peaking their interest.
  • Positive: It spins your project in a positive way towards the reader.
  • Transparent: It identifies the independent and dependent variables.

It is also common for proposal titles to be very similar to your research question, hypothesis, or thesis statement (Locke et al., 2007).

An abstract is a brief summary (about 300 words) of the study you are proposing.  It includes the following elements (Al-Riyami, 2008):

  • Your primary research question(s).
  • Hypothesis or main argument.
  • Method you will use to complete the study.  This may include the design, sample population, or measuring instruments that you plan to use.

Our guide on writing summaries may help you with this step.

  • Writing a Summary by Luann Edwards Last Updated May 22, 2023 1119 views this year

The purpose of the introduction is to give readers background information about your topic.  it gives the readers a basic understanding of your topic so that they can further understand the significance of your proposal.  A good introduction will explain (Al-Riyami, 2008):

  • How it relates to other research done on the topic
  • Why your research is significant to the field
  • The relevance of your study

Your research objectives are the desired outcomes that you will achieve from the research project.  Depending on your research design, these may be generic or very specific.  You may also have more than one objective (Al-Riyami, 2008).

  • General objectives are what the research project will accomplish
  • Specific objectives relate to the research questions that the researcher aims to answer through the study.

Be careful not to have too many objectives in your proposal, as having too many can make your project lose focus.  Plus, it may not be possible to achieve several objectives in one study.

This section describes the different types of variables that you plan to have in your study and how you will measure them.  According to Al-Riyami (2008), there are four types of research variables:

  • Independent:  The person, object, or idea that is manipulated by the researcher.
  • Dependent:  The person, object, or idea whose changes are dependent upon the independent variable.  Typically, it is the item that the researcher is measuring for the study.
  • Confounding/Intervening:  Factors that may influence the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable.  These include physical and mental barriers.  Not every study will have intervening variables, but they should be studied if applicable.
  • Background:   Factors that are relevant to the study's data and how it can be generalized.  Examples include demographic information such as age, sex, and ethnicity.

Your research proposal should describe each of your variables and how they relate to one another.  Depending on your study, you may not have all four types of variables present.  However, there will always be an independent and dependent variable.

A research question is the main piece of your research project because it explains what your study will discover to the reader.  It is the question that fuels the study, so it is important for it to be precise and unique.  You do not want it to be too broad, and it should identify a relationship between two variables (an independent and a dependent) (Al-Riyami, 2008).  There are six types of research questions (Academic Writer, n.d.):

  • Example: "Do people get nervous before speaking in front of an audience?"
  • Example: "What are the study habits of college freshmen at Tiffin University?"
  • Example: "What primary traits create a successful romantic relationship?"
  • Example: "Is there a relationship between a child's performance in school and their parents' socioeconomic status?"
  • Example: "Are high school seniors more motivated than high school freshmen?"
  • Example: "Do news media outlets impact a person's political opinions?"

For more information on the different types of research questions, you can view the "Research Questions and Hypotheses" tutorial on Academic Writer, located below.  If you are unfamiliar with Academic Writer, we also have a tutorial on using the database located below.

TU Access Only

Compose papers in pre-formatted APA templates. Manage references in forms that help craft APA citations. Learn the rules of APA style through tutorials and practice quizzes.

Academic Writer will continue to use the 6th edition guidelines until August 2020. A preview of the 7th edition is available in the footer of the resource's site. Previously known as APA Style Central.

  • Academic Writer Tutorial by Pfeiffer Library Last Updated May 22, 2023 15600 views this year

If you know enough about your research topic that you believe a particular outcome may occur as a result of the study, you can include a hypothesis (thesis statement) in your proposal.  A hypothesis is a prediction that you believe will be the outcome of your study.  It explains what you think the relationship will be between the independent and dependent variable (Al-Riyami, 2008).  It is ok if the hypothesis in your proposal turns out to be incorrect, because it is only a prediction!  If you are writing a proposal in the humanities, you may be writing a thesis statement instead of a hypothesis.  A thesis presents the main argument of your research project and leads to corresponding evidence to support your argument.

Hypotheses vs. Theories

Hypotheses are different from theories in that theories represent general principles and sets of rules that explain different phenomena.  They typically represent large areas of study because they are applicable to anything in a particular field.  Hypotheses focus on specific areas within a field and are educated guesses, meaning that they have the potential to be proven wrong (Academic Writer, n.d.).  Because of this, hypotheses can also be formed from theories.

For more information on writing effective thesis statements, you can view our guide on writing thesis statements below.

  • Writing Effective Thesis Statements by Luann Edwards Last Updated May 23, 2023 226 views this year

In a research proposal, you must thoroughly explain how you will conduct your study.  This includes things such as (Al-Riyami, 2008):

  • Research design:  What research approach will your study take?  Will it be quantitative or qualitative?
  • Research subjects/participants:  Who will be participating in your study?  Does your study require human participants?  How will you determine who to study?
  • Sample size:  How many participants will your study require?  If you are not using human participants, how much of the sample will you be studying?
  • Timeline:  A proposed list of the general tasks and events that you plan to complete the study.  This will include a time frame for each task/event and the order in which they will be completed.
  • Interventions:  If you plan on using anything on human participants for the study, you must include information it here.  This is especially important if you plan on using any substances on human subjects.
  • Ethical issues:  Are there any potential ethical issues surrounding this study?
  • Potential limitations:  Are there any limitations that could skew the data and findings from your study?
  • Appendixes:  If you need to present any consent forms, interview questions, surveys, questionnaires, or other items that will be used in your study, you should include samples of each item with an appendix to reference them.  If you are using a copyrighted document, you may need written permission from the original creator to use it in your study.  A copy of the written permission should be included in your proposal.
  • Setting:  Where will you be conducting the study?
  • Study instruments:  What measuring tools or computer software will you be using to collect data?  How will you collect the data?
  • How you will analyze the data:  What strategies or tools will you use to analyze the data you collect?
  • Quality control:  Will you have precautions in place to ensure that the study is conducted consistently and that outside factors will not skew the data?
  • Budget:  What type of funding will you need for your study?  This will include the funds needed to afford measuring tools, software, etc.
  • How you will share the study's findings:  What will you plan to do with the findings?
  • Significance of the study: How will your study expand on existing knowledge of the subject area?

For more information on research methodologies, you can view our guide on research methods and methodologies below.

  • Research Methodologies by Pfeiffer Library Last Updated Aug 2, 2022 15725 views this year
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  • URL: https://library.tiffin.edu/writingaresearchproposal

How to write a thesis proposal

I. Framework II. Structure of a thesis proposal III. Order in which to write the proposal IV. Tips V. Resources

I. Framework

  • An environmental issue is identified.
  • Other people's work on the topic is collected and evaluated.
  • Data necessary to solving the problem are either collected by the student, or obtained independently.
  • Data are analyzed using techniques appropriate to the data set.
  • Results of the analysis are reported and are interpreted in light of the initial environmental issue.
  • the thesis topic addresses a significant environmental problem;
  • an organized plan is in place for collecting or obtaining data to help solve the problem;
  • methods of data analysis have been identified and are appropriate to the data set.

II. Structure of a thesis proposal

  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • Thesis statement
  • Approach/methods
  • Preliminary results and discussion
  • Work plan including time table
  • Implications of research
  • List of references
  • contains short, descriptive title of the proposed thesis project  (should be fairly self-explanatory)
  • and author, institution, department, resreach mentor, mentor's institution, and date of delivery
  • the abstract is a brief summary of your thesis proposal
  • its length should not exceed ~200 words
  • present a brief introduction to the issue
  • make the key statement of your thesis
  • give a summary of how you want to address the issue
  • include a possible implication of your work, if successfully completed
  • list all headings and subheadings with page numbers
  • indent subheadings
  • this section sets the context for your proposed project and must capture the reader's interest
  • explain the background of your study starting from a broad picture narrowing in on your research question
  • review what is known about your research topic as far as it is relevant to your thesis
  • cite relevant references
  • the introduction should be at a level that makes it easy to understand for readers with a general science background, for example your classmates
  • in a couple of sentences, state your thesis
  • this statement can take the form of a hypothesis, research question, project statement, or goal statement
  • the thesis statement should capture the essence of your intended project and also help to put boundaries around it
  • this section contains an overall description of your approach,  materials, and procedures
  • what methods will be used?
  • how will data be collected and analyzed?
  • what materials will be used?
  • include calculations, technique, procedure, equipment, and calibration graphs
  • detail limitations, assumptions, and range of validity
  • citations should be limited to data sources and more complete descriptions of procedures
  • do not include results and discussion of results here
  • present any results you already have obtained
  • discuss how they fit in the framework of your thesis
  • describe in detail what you plan to do until completion of your senior thesis project
  • list the stages of your project in a table format
  • indicate deadlines you have set for completing each stage of the project, including any work you have already completed
  • discuss any particular challenges that need to be overcome
  • what new knowledge will the proposed project produce that we do not already know?
  • why is it worth knowing, what are the major implications?
  • cite all ideas, concepts, text, data that are not your own
  • if you make a statement, back it up with your own data or a reference
  • all references cited in the text must be listed
  • cite single-author references by the surname of the author (followed by date of the publication in parenthesis)
  • ... according to Hays (1994)
  • ... population growth is one of the greatest environmental concerns facing future generations (Hays, 1994).
  • cite double-author references by the surnames of both authors (followed by date of the publication in parenthesis)
  • e.g. Simpson and Hays (1994)
  • cite more than double-author references by the surname of the first author followed by et al. and then the date of the publication
  • e.g. Pfirman, Simpson and Hays would be:
  • Pfirman et al. (1994)
  • cite newspaper articles using the newspaper name and date, e.g.
  • ....this problem was also recently discussed in the press (New York Times, 1/15/00)
  • do not use footnotes
  • list all references cited in the text in alphabetical order using the following format for different types of material:
  • Hunt, S. (1966) Carbohydrate and amino acid composition of the egg capsules of the whelk. Nature , 210, 436-437.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (1997) Commonly asked questions about ozone. http://www.noaa.gov/public-affairs/grounders/ozo1.html, 9/27/97.
  • Pfirman, S.L., M. Stute, H.J. Simpson, and J. Hays (1996) Undergraduate research at Barnard and Columbia, Journal of Research , 11, 213-214.
  • Pechenik, J.A. (1987) A short guide to writing about biology. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 194pp.
  • Pitelka, D.R., and F.M. Child (1964) Review of ciliary structure and function. In: Biochemistry and Physiology of Protozoa , Vol. 3 (S.H. Hutner, editor), Academic Press, New York, 131-198.
  • Sambrotto, R. (1997) lecture notes, Environmental Data Analysis, Barnard College, Oct 2, 1997.
  • Stute, M., J.F. Clark, P. Schlosser, W.S. Broecker, and G. Bonani (1995) A high altitude continental paleotemperature record derived from noble gases dissolved in groundwater from the San Juan Basin, New Mexico. Quat. Res. , 43, 209-220.
  • New York Times (1/15/00) PCBs in the Hudson still an issue, A2.
  • it is acceptable to put the initials of the individual authors behind their last names, e.g. Pfirman, S.L., Stute, M., Simpson, H.J., and Hays, J (1996) Undergraduate research at ......

III. Order in which to write the proposal

  • Make an outline of your thesis proposal  before you start writing
  • Prepare figures and tables
  • Figure captions
  • Discussion of your data
  • Inferences from your data
  • Bibliography
  • "Pictures say more than a thousand words!" Figures serve to illustrate important aspects  of the background material, sample data, and analysis techniques.
  • A well chosen and well labeled figure can reduce text length, and improve proposal clarity.  Proposals often contain figures from other articles.  These can be appropriate, but you should consider modifying them if the modifications will improve your point.
  • The whole process of making a drawing is important for two reasons.  First, it clarifies your thinking.  If you don’t understand the process, you can’t draw it. Second, good drawings are very valuable.  Other scientists will understand your paper better if you can make a drawing of your ideas.  A co-author of mine has advised me: make figures that other people will want to steal.  They will cite your paper because they want to use your figure in their paper.
  • Make cartoons using a scientific drawing program.  Depending upon the subject of your paper, a cartoon might incorporate the following:
  • a picture of the scientific equipment that you are using and an explanation of how it works;
  • a drawing of a cycle showing steps, feedback loops, and bifurcations: this can include chemical or mathematical equations;
  • a flow chart showing the steps in a process and the possible causes and consequences.
  • Incorporate graphs in the text or on separated sheets inserted in the thesis proposal
  • Modern computer technology such as scanners and drafting programs are available in the department to help you create or modify pictures.

Grammar/spelling

  • Poor grammar and spelling distract from the content of the proposal.  The reader focuses on the grammar and spelling problems and misses keys points made in the text.  Modern word processing programs have grammar and spell checkers.  Use them.
  • Read your proposal aloud - then  have a friend read it aloud. If your sentences seem too long, make two or three sentences instead of one.  Try to write the same way that you speak when you are explaining a concept. Most people speak more clearly than they write.
  • You should have read your proposal over at least 5 times before handing it in
  • Simple wording is generally better
  • If you get comments from others that seem completely irrelevant to you, your paper is not written clearly enough never use a complex word if a simpler word will do

V. Resources/Acknowlegements

The senior seminar website has a very detailed document on " How to write a thesis " which you might want to look at. Most of the tips given there are relevant for your thesis proposal as well. Recommended books on scientific writing Some of the material on this page was adapted from: http://www.geo.utep.edu/Grad_Info/prop_guide.html http://www.hartwick.edu/anthropology/proposal.htm http://csdl.ics.hawaii.edu/FAQ/FAQ/thesis-proposal.html http://www.butler.edu/honors/PropsTheses.html

Grad Coach

Research Proposal Example/Sample

Detailed Walkthrough + Free Proposal Template

If you’re getting started crafting your research proposal and are looking for a few examples of research proposals , you’ve come to the right place.

In this video, we walk you through two successful (approved) research proposals , one for a Master’s-level project, and one for a PhD-level dissertation. We also start off by unpacking our free research proposal template and discussing the four core sections of a research proposal, so that you have a clear understanding of the basics before diving into the actual proposals.

  • Research proposal example/sample – Master’s-level (PDF/Word)
  • Research proposal example/sample – PhD-level (PDF/Word)
  • Proposal template (Fully editable) 

If you’re working on a research proposal for a dissertation or thesis, you may also find the following useful:

  • Research Proposal Bootcamp : Learn how to write a research proposal as efficiently and effectively as possible
  • 1:1 Proposal Coaching : Get hands-on help with your research proposal

Free Webinar: How To Write A Research Proposal

FAQ: Research Proposal Example

Research proposal example: frequently asked questions, are the sample proposals real.

Yes. The proposals are real and were approved by the respective universities.

Can I copy one of these proposals for my own research?

As we discuss in the video, every research proposal will be slightly different, depending on the university’s unique requirements, as well as the nature of the research itself. Therefore, you’ll need to tailor your research proposal to suit your specific context.

You can learn more about the basics of writing a research proposal here .

How do I get the research proposal template?

You can access our free proposal template here .

Is the proposal template really free?

Yes. There is no cost for the proposal template and you are free to use it as a foundation for your research proposal.

Where can I learn more about proposal writing?

For self-directed learners, our Research Proposal Bootcamp is a great starting point.

For students that want hands-on guidance, our private coaching service is recommended.

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Psst… there’s more!

This post is an extract from our bestselling Udemy Course, Research Proposal Bootcamp . If you want to work smart, you don't want to miss this .

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I am at the stage of writing my thesis proposal for a masters in Analysis of w heat commercialisation by small holders householdrs at Hawassa International University. I will appreciate your guidance and support

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comparative constitutional law

Kabir Abubakar

Kindly guide me through writing a good proposal on the thesis topic; Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Financial Inclusion in Nigeria. Thank you

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Master Thesis Proposal

master thesis proposal image

Thesis proposal is considered as the most important proposal when it comes to the academic system. Your thesis proposal becomes a guide to which your academic and career usually depends. The more it is being planned well, the more you will get good results or findings. One of the hardest part is when you start writing for a thesis proposal to decide for an appropriate topic. Writing thesis proposal is quite not easy but it surely prepares you to become worthy professionals someday. In this article, you will be able to know more about making a master thesis proposal.

10+ Master Thesis Proposal Examples

1. master thesis proposal template.

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2. Master Thesis Proposal Form

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3. Sample Master Thesis Proposal

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4. Master Thesis Proposal in PDF

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5. Master Thesis Proposal Example

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6. Master Thesis Proposal Approval Form

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7. Printable Master Thesis Proposal

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8. Master Thesis Project Proposal

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9. Master Thesis Proposal Defense Form

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10. Master of Arts Thesis Proposal

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11. Computer Science Master Thesis Proposal

computer science master thesis proposal

What is a Master Thesis Proposal?

Every school year for every graduating student, the goal is to complete a thesis which allows you to identify a research topic, formulate hypothesis, provide a background or rationale about your study, look for appropriate methods and collect data to get a result.

The purpose of thesis proposal is to present a topic that you think is essential in addressing a particular problem, plan in an organized manner regarding ways on how to collect and gather data to look for a possible solution and to decide what method is best for the data. You may also consider having thesis proposals to train you on how to improve your proposal writing because any degree program would really require you to do one.

Usually, most individuals or professionals are interested in the process on how the thesis proposal is being structured. All you need to do is to present a clear data and idea to relate your thesis idea into another existing study, justify its importance, describe how it is being investigated and to carry out a good conclusion.

Structure of Thesis Proposal

You master thesis proposal should have the following elements:

Title Page – this contains the descriptive title, name of the author, educational institution, department, name of your mentor and his or her institution and the date of delivery.

Abstract – abstract writing involves this is a short summary which contains up to a minimum of two hundred (200) words. It introduces an issue and would let you make a statement about it. It also contains your implication of your work.

Table of Contents – this is where you can see heading and subheadings incorporated with page numbers.

Introduction – this usually play the role in trying to catch you readers’ attention. In this area, you will be going to provide an explanation of the rationale. It should usually begin by discussing from the general perspective down to the specific ones until you reach to the research questions. This should be understandable to the readers.

Thesis Statement – state your thesis statement only in short sentences. This can be in a form of a question, statement or hypothesis. It should be able to capture the essence of your entire study.

Approach/Method used – this describes the approach and materials used and procedures. You should be able to include techniques, graphs and calculations, limitations and assumptions. Do not discuss yet your findings in the section.

Results and Discussion – present the information about your results and how are they going to fit in your theoretical framework.

Plan and Time Table – describe what are your plans until you are able to complete your entire thesis. List down your projects and their respective deadlines and the challenges that you have to overcome.

Implications – write down the list of knowledge that you think your audience still do not know anything about.

Reference – include a reference list on the last part of your proposal. This should include the citations of your concepts, text and data that you do not own. As much as possible, do not use footnotes and your references should be listed in alphabetical order.

How long is a thesis proposal?

It is approximately eight (8) pages long.

Does a thesis proposal requires a statement of the significance of the project?

Every type of research study requires a statement or a paragraph that consists of the study’s significance.

Does a thesis proposal requires a review of the related literature?

Yes. The review of related literature are the existing studies that you must incorporate in your thesis to show accuracy and support.

Generally, students really give serious consideration and effort when they begin writing a thesis. It should be made originally which helps in enhancing the skills good for every students’ expertise. Thesis proposal is your guide to writing an effective and well-written thesis  or research study.

parts of a master's thesis proposal

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Master of Design in Design for Interactions

Our mdes program supports those with design backgrounds who seek to transform their practice..

The School of Design welcomes students who hold undergraduate degrees in a design-based field and at least one year of professional experience to enroll in our MDes program. If you’re looking to build onto your strong foundation in design by studying the “big picture” aspect of designing for interactions—people, organizations, cultures, contexts, and systems—our MDes program can help you. Throughout the program, you will work with some of the brightest thinkers and most talented practitioners in the field, gaining exposure to approaches, ideas, and methods at the forefront of design. Studies rooted in communication, systems thinking, futuring, speculative design, design technology, ethics, and design research form the basis of the MDes. The curriculum enables us to teach you a rigorous process for documenting, analyzing, and understanding the past and present so that you are well-positioned to propose more desirable systems and interactions for the future.

The diversity of our MDes cohort creates an incredible group of people with whom to learn.

In addition to bringing rich cultural experiences from around the world, our MDes students hold a wide range of professional and academic expertise. Holding undergraduate degrees in design-based disciplines such as communication design, product design, user experience design, architecture, and service design, our MDes students bring their unique perspectives to design coursework, which enriches everyone’s learning. Our requirement for MDes students to have at least one year of professional experience also bolsters our program as students bring valuable lessons learned in practice, such as effective collaboration, to their academic studies.

A group of master's students working at a table

Our rigorous curriculum balances structure and autonomy.

Spanning four semesters over the course of two years, the MDes program will challenge your thinking of the roles design can and should play in aiding various forms of interactions throughout society. Through individual and team-based projects that focus on the design of services or social innovation concepts, you will learn design principles, approaches, theories, and tools that are essential to designing for interactions. Each semester is comprised of thoughtfully-aligned seminars, studios, and labs that equip you with important knowledge and skills that aid your development as a design leader. Despite designers typically working in service of others and responding to specific prompts, our MDes courses provide you with ample autonomy in directing your individual work. We take this approach because we recognize the importance of your individual interests and strive to support you as you chart your personal path that builds on your unique design background and voice. Given that CMU is a liberal arts research university, students may also appreciate pursuing research opportunities with faculty and taking courses across campus to broaden and deepen their education.

The MDes thesis provides an opportunity for you to conduct rigorous design research.

A unique feature of the MDes program is the design thesis, which is characterized as an independent research and design project that you will conduct under the mentorship of a faculty advisor. The thesis is complemented by a required second-year seminar, elective coursework in the School of Design, and other departments across the Carnegie Mellon campus. In the first year, you'll identify possible thesis topics relative to School of Design faculty expertise, investigate ways of conducting a thesis, construct a researchable question that will frame your project, secure a thesis advisor, and write a proposal for your second year of study. In the second year, you'll conduct intensive research that aligns with an appropriate design process and culminates in a robust design project that addresses your research question. You will also write a document that describes your steps and discoveries. Throughout the process you will participate in public sharing sessions of thesis work, where you will give and receive feedback to further your inquiry and understanding. You can peruse masters theses from students in the School of Design online at KiltHub .

  • Beyond Big Beef: Transitions to Food Citizenship Through Community, Ema Karavdic
  • Affordances for Multi-device Gestural Interactions in Augmented Reality, Shengzhi Wi
  • Amplifying ASL: Designing with Futuring and Inclusion, Mackenzie Cherban
  • tac.tic: Tactile design language for indoor-outdoor pedestrian navigation, Chirag Murthy
  • Designing for Trust, Meric Dagli
  • Building Long-Term Relationships between People and Products through Customization, Ashlesha Dhotey
  • Designing for Learning Growth: Encouraging Metacognitive Practice to Support Growth Mindsets in Students, Chen Ni
  • Project Care: Empowering Elderly Chronic Disease Patients to Better Understand and Manage Their Treatment Plans Through Enhanced Patient-Centric Services and Systems, Suzanne Choi & Laura Rodriguez-eng

Our MDes equips you with important design skills and knowledge that enable you to realize a lifelong career in design.

The MDes is regarded as a terminal degree in design. As a result, graduates are poised to take on leading design roles in professional practice worldwide. Alumni are also well-positioned to acquire entry-level teaching and research positions at universities. As a graduate, you may also seek to deepen your studies through a design-focused PhD program like ours, or continue your education in areas such as business, human-computer interaction, or public policy. However you chart your path, we are confident that our MDes will provide you with a strong design education that builds on your background and strengthens the positive trajectory for achieving your professional goals.

Master of Design in Design for Interactions (MDes) Curriculum

Fall semester, year 1.

Explore design for interactions, design for services, and design for social innovation and study their potential impact in business and policy. Expand your skills in communication and interaction design.

Investigate the history, current state, and future of interaction design practice and research.

Envision and prototype preferred futures by giving form to the behaviors and interactions of products, services, and systems.

Use design strategies to decode complex information and communicate messages clearly.

Learn to use design tools for physical and digital environments to support your studio projects.

Investigate your personal interests, probe existing theses, and study various ways of conducting a thesis.

Learn about faculty research.

Spring Semester, Year 1

Investigate business and policy opportunities in design for services and social innovation through research-based team project work in your studio course. Work with advisors to prepare your thesis proposal.

Choose to study either Transition Design, Social Innovation or Design for Service.

Tackle a client-sponsored team project using an integrated research and design process.

Learn and apply a range of participatory methods for exploratory, generative, and evaluative research and design.

Construct a researchable question to frame your project, secure an advisor, and plan and propose the research and design approach you'll conduct in your second year of study.

Take a design elective or a course outside of design to complement your skills and knowledge. We recommend courses in policy, business, service or social innovation, interaction or communication design, or professional writing.

Fall Semester, Year 2

Through thesis project work and your choice of electives, craft a generalist degree in design for interaction, or develop a concentration in design for services or social innovation.

Build on the foundation of coursework and studios through thesis research with your advisor. Conduct research and develop creative concepts to investigate a significant challenge, engage with stakeholders in the real world to inspire and evaluate your ideas, and review your progress and evolving body of work with peers and your advisor to inform your subsequent steps.

Survey new models and approaches to interaction design and design for service in professional practice.

Learn research strategies and tools to assist you in your literature and artifact reviews, investigate making as a means of exploring and understanding your topic, and explore ways of visualizing your discoveries to aid your learning and share your findings with others.

Spring Semester, Year 2

Bring your thesis project to fruition by synthesizing your discoveries and disseminating valuable insights that have the potential to benefit others. Take advantage of electives to cultivate your expertise in design for interaction, and design for services or social innovation.

Model, test, and refine, your design concepts that have emerged from your year of deep research and design exploration to deepen your understanding of your topic, synthesize your findings and apply what you learned to your project, document, present, and publicly defend your thesis, and showcase your project as a unique feature of your design portfolio to demonstrate your ability to take on a significant research and design project.

Explore ways of encapsulating your study, synthesizing and structuring your discoveries, and writing and designing your thesis for dissemination.

We invite you to connect with us and learn more about the School of Design and our MDes program.

Check out examples of students’ work . Join us for an online visitors session . Review other areas of our site such as Frequently Asked Questions and Application Process . Plan a visit to Carnegie Mellon and coordinate a tour of the School of Design while you’re here. Contact us to schedule a call with our academic advisor to discuss any outstanding questions that arise. We look forward to meeting you!

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  • Knowledge Base
  • Dissertation

How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

Published on September 7, 2022 by Tegan George and Shona McCombes. Revised on November 21, 2023.

The introduction is the first section of your thesis or dissertation , appearing right after the table of contents . Your introduction draws your reader in, setting the stage for your research with a clear focus, purpose, and direction on a relevant topic .

Your introduction should include:

  • Your topic, in context: what does your reader need to know to understand your thesis dissertation?
  • Your focus and scope: what specific aspect of the topic will you address?
  • The relevance of your research: how does your work fit into existing studies on your topic?
  • Your questions and objectives: what does your research aim to find out, and how?
  • An overview of your structure: what does each section contribute to the overall aim?

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Table of contents

How to start your introduction, topic and context, focus and scope, relevance and importance, questions and objectives, overview of the structure, thesis introduction example, introduction checklist, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about introductions.

Although your introduction kicks off your dissertation, it doesn’t have to be the first thing you write — in fact, it’s often one of the very last parts to be completed (just before your abstract ).

It’s a good idea to write a rough draft of your introduction as you begin your research, to help guide you. If you wrote a research proposal , consider using this as a template, as it contains many of the same elements. However, be sure to revise your introduction throughout the writing process, making sure it matches the content of your ensuing sections.

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Begin by introducing your dissertation topic and giving any necessary background information. It’s important to contextualize your research and generate interest. Aim to show why your topic is timely or important. You may want to mention a relevant news item, academic debate, or practical problem.

After a brief introduction to your general area of interest, narrow your focus and define the scope of your research.

You can narrow this down in many ways, such as by:

  • Geographical area
  • Time period
  • Demographics or communities
  • Themes or aspects of the topic

It’s essential to share your motivation for doing this research, as well as how it relates to existing work on your topic. Further, you should also mention what new insights you expect it will contribute.

Start by giving a brief overview of the current state of research. You should definitely cite the most relevant literature, but remember that you will conduct a more in-depth survey of relevant sources in the literature review section, so there’s no need to go too in-depth in the introduction.

Depending on your field, the importance of your research might focus on its practical application (e.g., in policy or management) or on advancing scholarly understanding of the topic (e.g., by developing theories or adding new empirical data). In many cases, it will do both.

Ultimately, your introduction should explain how your thesis or dissertation:

  • Helps solve a practical or theoretical problem
  • Addresses a gap in the literature
  • Builds on existing research
  • Proposes a new understanding of your topic

Perhaps the most important part of your introduction is your questions and objectives, as it sets up the expectations for the rest of your thesis or dissertation. How you formulate your research questions and research objectives will depend on your discipline, topic, and focus, but you should always clearly state the central aim of your research.

If your research aims to test hypotheses , you can formulate them here. Your introduction is also a good place for a conceptual framework that suggests relationships between variables .

  • Conduct surveys to collect data on students’ levels of knowledge, understanding, and positive/negative perceptions of government policy.
  • Determine whether attitudes to climate policy are associated with variables such as age, gender, region, and social class.
  • Conduct interviews to gain qualitative insights into students’ perspectives and actions in relation to climate policy.

To help guide your reader, end your introduction with an outline  of the structure of the thesis or dissertation to follow. Share a brief summary of each chapter, clearly showing how each contributes to your central aims. However, be careful to keep this overview concise: 1-2 sentences should be enough.

I. Introduction

Human language consists of a set of vowels and consonants which are combined to form words. During the speech production process, thoughts are converted into spoken utterances to convey a message. The appropriate words and their meanings are selected in the mental lexicon (Dell & Burger, 1997). This pre-verbal message is then grammatically coded, during which a syntactic representation of the utterance is built.

Speech, language, and voice disorders affect the vocal cords, nerves, muscles, and brain structures, which result in a distorted language reception or speech production (Sataloff & Hawkshaw, 2014). The symptoms vary from adding superfluous words and taking pauses to hoarseness of the voice, depending on the type of disorder (Dodd, 2005). However, distortions of the speech may also occur as a result of a disease that seems unrelated to speech, such as multiple sclerosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

This study aims to determine which acoustic parameters are suitable for the automatic detection of exacerbations in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by investigating which aspects of speech differ between COPD patients and healthy speakers and which aspects differ between COPD patients in exacerbation and stable COPD patients.

Checklist: Introduction

I have introduced my research topic in an engaging way.

I have provided necessary context to help the reader understand my topic.

I have clearly specified the focus of my research.

I have shown the relevance and importance of the dissertation topic .

I have clearly stated the problem or question that my research addresses.

I have outlined the specific objectives of the research .

I have provided an overview of the dissertation’s structure .

You've written a strong introduction for your thesis or dissertation. Use the other checklists to continue improving your dissertation.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

Research bias

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  • Self-serving bias
  • Availability heuristic
  • Halo effect
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The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:

  • A hook to catch the reader’s interest
  • Relevant background on the topic
  • Details of your research problem

and your problem statement

  • A thesis statement or research question
  • Sometimes an overview of the paper

Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.

This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .

Research objectives describe what you intend your research project to accomplish.

They summarize the approach and purpose of the project and help to focus your research.

Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement .

Scope of research is determined at the beginning of your research process , prior to the data collection stage. Sometimes called “scope of study,” your scope delineates what will and will not be covered in your project. It helps you focus your work and your time, ensuring that you’ll be able to achieve your goals and outcomes.

Defining a scope can be very useful in any research project, from a research proposal to a thesis or dissertation . A scope is needed for all types of research: quantitative , qualitative , and mixed methods .

To define your scope of research, consider the following:

  • Budget constraints or any specifics of grant funding
  • Your proposed timeline and duration
  • Specifics about your population of study, your proposed sample size , and the research methodology you’ll pursue
  • Any inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Any anticipated control , extraneous , or confounding variables that could bias your research if not accounted for properly.

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George, T. & McCombes, S. (2023, November 21). How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction. Scribbr. Retrieved March 18, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/dissertation/introduction-structure/

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  1. Understanding What a Thesis Proposal is and How to Write it

    parts of a master's thesis proposal

  2. 10+ Thesis Proposal Templates

    parts of a master's thesis proposal

  3. Master Thesis Proposal Example Pdf

    parts of a master's thesis proposal

  4. Master thesis structure

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  5. Thesis Proposal : EECS Communication Lab

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  6. Thesis Proposal Template

    parts of a master's thesis proposal

VIDEO

  1. PARTS OF THESIS/RESEARCH PAPER

  2. How to write a sub-project Proposal/Parts of Proposal + Community Facilitator Experiences

  3. Parts of project proposal

  4. Chapter 1 (Part 1) writing proposal of your Dissertation

  5. Introduction to Thesis Proposal Seminar Presentation

  6. Writing Research Proposals

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Dissertation or Thesis Proposal

    Writing a proposal or prospectus can be a challenge, but we've compiled some examples for you to get your started. Example #1: "Geographic Representations of the Planet Mars, 1867-1907" by Maria Lane. Example #2: "Individuals and the State in Late Bronze Age Greece: Messenian Perspectives on Mycenaean Society" by Dimitri Nakassis.

  2. How to Write a Master's Thesis Proposal

    A master's thesis proposal involves a copious amount of data collection, particular presentation ethics, and most importantly, it will become the roadmap to your full thesis. Remember, you must convince your committee that your idea is strong and unique, and that you have done enough legwork to begin with the first few drafts of your final thesis.

  3. PDF A PROPOSAL FOR A MASTER'S THESIS

    A Thesis Proposal is a document that sets forth what is to be studied as a thesis project, why and in what way. It contains a number of important sections. The purpose of the proposal is to communicate the plan for the work to the faculty of the Division of Emerging Media Studies via the First Reader (principal thesis advisor) and a Second Reader.

  4. How to Write a Thesis Proposal, Thesis Proposal Outline

    A thesis proposal covers what topics you plan to research and write about as part of your master's thesis. Your proposal should properly define the scope of your research, as well as the questions you intend to explore and the methodology used to answer those questions. A thesis can act as a project outline, going so far as to define the ...

  5. How to Write a Research Proposal

    The length of a research proposal can vary quite a bit. A bachelor's or master's thesis proposal can be just a few pages, while proposals for PhD dissertations or research funding are usually much longer and more detailed. ... The first part of your proposal is the initial pitch for your project. Make sure it succinctly explains what you ...

  6. PDF Writing a thesis proposal

    Honours level, the thesis is one part of the overall degree, at the Master or other Doctoral level it can be one part of the degree in conjunction with coursework or the whole degree, and at the PhD level, the thesis constitutes the sole requirements of the degree.

  7. How to Write a Proposal: For a Master's Thesis or Dissertation

    Parts of a Proposal. Theses and dissertation proposals across different programs generally include some form of these sections: Title. At this stage in your proposal, you need only provide a working title. Don't worry if you compose a lengthy title, the aim of a title is to convey the idea of your investigation. A good title should:

  8. How to Write a Dissertation Proposal

    Table of contents. Step 1: Coming up with an idea. Step 2: Presenting your idea in the introduction. Step 3: Exploring related research in the literature review. Step 4: Describing your methodology. Step 5: Outlining the potential implications of your research. Step 6: Creating a reference list or bibliography.

  9. Master's Thesis Proposal Tips

    Proposal Tips; Master's Thesis Proposal Tips. By Jodie Nicotra, Department of English and Amy Ross, U of I Writing Center. Writing an overview of your project is designed not only to formally announce your intentions as far as your Master's thesis goes, but also to help you become more fluent in and informed about the topic for your project ...

  10. How to write a research proposal for a Master's dissertation

    The recommended structure of your proposal is: Motivation: introduce your research question and give an overview of the topic, explain the importance of your research. Theory: draw on existing pieces of research that are relevant to your topic of choice, leading up to your question and identifying how your dissertation will explore new territory.

  11. How to Write a Master's Thesis: A Guide to Planning Your Thesis

    Proving your independent initiative and capacity is part of what will earn you your master's degree. Part 3: Revise Your Thesis Read Everything You Can Get Your Hands On. ... After you have written your thesis proposal and received feedback from your committee, the fun part starts: doing the work. This is where you will take your proposal and ...

  12. Thesis Proposals: Common Elements

    Many departments provide a template for the thesis proposal, which will specify which elements you must include and how your proposal should be formatted. That said, most NPS thesis proposals require you to include the following elements, each of which answers key questions about your research: Context, issue, and research question. Significance.

  13. Thesis Proposal > Master's Thesis > Graduate

    Thesis Proposals. Graduate students begin the thesis process by writing a thesis proposal that describes the central elements of the thesis work. Those elements vary depending on the type of thesis (research, artistic, or project) that the student plans to write. Students begin drafting the thesis proposal in the course Thesis Proposal Seminar .

  14. Dissertation & Thesis Outline

    Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates. Published on June 7, 2022 by Tegan George.Revised on November 21, 2023. A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical early steps in your writing process.It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding the specifics of your dissertation topic and showcasing its relevance to ...

  15. Elements of a Thesis Proposal

    The final proposal should be 3-5 pages in length and should include a preliminary bibliography. The proposal should clearly state your topic, delineate your research question (s), discuss the motivations behind your topic, and describe your material and the methodology that you will be relying on in your thesis. See below for further guidance.

  16. A Guide to Writing a Thesis Proposal

    Here's a concise breakdown of the parts of thesis proposal: Introduction (1 page) ... Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always ...

  17. Parts of a Research Proposal

    Parts of a Research Proposal. A research proposal's purpose is to capture the evaluator's attention, demonstrate the study's potential benefits, and prove that it is a logical and consistent approach (Van Ekelenburg, 2010). To ensure that your research proposal contains these elements, there are several aspects to include in your proposal (Al ...

  18. PDF Guidelines for the preparation of a Master's Thesis proposal

    The proposal will also be commented on by your fellow students and the supervisors in the thesis seminar and must be comprehensible to them. As a rule, your written proposal should not be much longer than three pages. Additionally, the proposal should include the planned outline of the thesis, schedule and bibliography (see below: 4.5 to 4.7).

  19. What Is a Thesis?

    A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research. It is usually submitted as the final step of a master's program or a capstone to a bachelor's degree. Writing a thesis can be a daunting experience. Other than a dissertation, it is one of the longest pieces of writing students typically complete.

  20. How to write a thesis proposal

    Abstract. the abstract is a brief summary of your thesis proposal. its length should not exceed ~200 words. present a brief introduction to the issue. make the key statement of your thesis. give a summary of how you want to address the issue. include a possible implication of your work, if successfully completed.

  21. Research Proposal Example (PDF + Template)

    Proposal template (Fully editable) If you're working on a research proposal for a dissertation or thesis, you may also find the following useful: Research Proposal Bootcamp: Learn how to write a research proposal as efficiently and effectively as possible. 1:1 Proposal Coaching: Get hands-on help with your research proposal.

  22. Master Thesis Proposal

    Structure of Thesis Proposal. You master thesis proposal should have the following elements: Title Page - this contains the descriptive title, name of the author, educational institution, department, name of your mentor and his or her institution and the date of delivery. Abstract - abstract writing involves this is a short summary which ...

  23. Master of Design in Design for Interactions

    Master's Program Admissions. Back to Admissions. Opportunities to Visit - Master's Program; Info for Newly Admitted Graduate Students; ... secure a thesis advisor, and write a proposal for your second year of study. In the second year, you'll conduct intensive research that aligns with an appropriate design process and culminates in a robust ...

  24. How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

    Overview of the structure. To help guide your reader, end your introduction with an outline of the structure of the thesis or dissertation to follow. Share a brief summary of each chapter, clearly showing how each contributes to your central aims. However, be careful to keep this overview concise: 1-2 sentences should be enough.

  25. FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces Plan to Lower Housing Costs for

    This proposal is estimated to help 400,000 families purchase their first home. ... The President is unveiling a new $20 billion competitive grant fund as part of his Budget to support communities ...