Dissertation Prospectus: Guidelines To Know And Follow

The dissertation prospectus is an official document you write and submit to your selected graduate committee as soon as you have attained candidacy and are planning your steps towards working on the dissertation project towards earning your PhD. The dissertation prospectus vs proposal is best described in terms of argument: in the former you are only announcing the topic and area you are interested and pursuing, in the latter you have to make the case for why your proposed study work is justified. Because of this – many students can usually write a prospectus in a matter of a few days and not have to spend all that time creating a dissertation proposal defense PowerPoint. There are, however, a few guidelines you should know and follow:

Start With Clear and Focused Title

The first thing you need to do is show the direction and nature of your intended research project. This can be achieved simply by inserting and clear and focused title with states exactly what you want to study by using precise keywords. There is no need to use a subtitle; a single sentence title will do.

A “Thesis” Paragraph Statement

Next, open your prospectus with a few sentences (about a paragraph’s worth) describing the central research questions your project will address. It might help to use a dissertation prospectus outline to help write the content to this “thesis” paragraph, since a lot of the dissertation’s structure fits nicely into the prospectus general format.

Link to Prior Related Studies

Then next paragraph should focus on making a connection with prior related studies in your area of interest. This is similar to a literature review without having to go in-depth. You want to explain the relationship in terms of methodological, theoretical, and critical concerns you plan to address in the dissertation.

Your Proposed Study Methods

Another paragraph needs to briefly detail the study methods you plan on using. Have a look at your dissertation prospectus example in your hands and note the way methods are stated in relation to the best possible approaches for a specific design. This could mean that you are going to conduct interviews, surveys, questionnaires, or collect data.

State the Feasibility of the Study

Now, you have to think about whether or not your study is feasible. Can you do it at your institution without having to travel? Do you have to travel and do you have the resources to do so? What about your library’s resources or those available through inter-library loan? All of these are questions you need to address.

A Preliminary Research Bibliography

Finally, you are required to bring in a preliminary research bibliography providing an overview of the resources you have already identified as essential to research work you plan on doing. A good dissertation prospectus guide will also recommend that you consider types of works that you might not have all the details for just yet.

There is no precise length for writing a prospectus, but you are still advised to learn about the proper dissertation prospectus format in order to be certain you don’t omit any important section that could make a bad first impression on your selected graduate committee. As is always a good recommendation you should ask a professional for assistance – even if you are just viewing a dissertation prospectus sample, knowing that it has been put together by a true academic writing expert will make the process of creating one from scratch much easier.


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