writing a dissertation proposal
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This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD. Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014.
Step 2: Determine which of the following resources can most usefully serve as guides while you draft your proposal.
Step 1: Determine your department’s timelines and content requirements.
In the graduate student timeline, the proposal comes after successfully passing qualifying or comprehensive exams and before starting the research for a dissertation or thesis.
The proposal, sometimes called the prospectus, is composed mainly of the Introduction, Research Questions, Literature Review, Research Significance and Methodology. It may also include a dissertation/thesis outline and a timeline for your proposed research. You will be able to reuse the proposal when you actually write the entire dissertation or thesis.
This concise, hands-on book by author Elizabeth A. Wentz is essential reading for any graduate student entering the dissertation process in the social or behavioral sciences. The book addresses the importance of ethical scientific research, developing your curriculum vitae, effective reading and writing, completing a literature review, conceptualizing your research idea, and translating that idea into a realistic research proposal using research methods.
The author also offers insight into oral presentations of the completed proposal, and the final chapter presents ideas for next steps after the proposal has been presented. Taking the view that we “learn by doing,” the author provides Quick Tasks, Action Items, and To Do List activities throughout the text that, when combined, develop each piece of your research proposal. Designed primarily for quantitative or mixed methods research dissertations, this book is a valuable start-to-finish resource.