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Dissertation Writing Tips: How to Organize the Process


Writing a dissertation is a struggle. According to the data provided by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, more than 50% of graduate students fail to complete this type of academic paper. Dissertations appear to be a challenge to those seeking a Ph.D. degree.

Completing this assignment takes more than diligence or advanced knowledge. It is more like writing a book: You need deep research and make it relevant to a specialized discipline. Many graduates reconsider their academic future facing such a trial.

But don’t hurry up to give up! First, you can always get professional assistance here. And second, the below dissertation writing tips will help you schedule an everyday writing routine and ease the dissertation writing process by far.


Dissertation vs. Thesis Conditions and Time Management How to Write a Dissertation: 10 Steps to Help You Dissertation Tips: How to Start and Finish Your Work FAQs

Dissertation vs. Thesis

Before we reveal all the detailed tips for writing a dissertation, let’s ensure you understand the difference between a dissertation and a thesis. (No offense, but many graduates still confuse these two paper types.)

Thesis meaning:

A thesis is an academic paper a student completes at the end of the course to get a Master’s degree. You choose a narrow topic in your field and examine it.

A thesis structure is rigid. Though it may vary a bit, depending on your university or department’s policies, a typical thesis includes the following components:

  1. Title
  2. Abstract
  3. Table of contents
  4. Table of Figures
  5. Body chapters
  6. Conclusion (the results)

Dissertation meaning:

A dissertation is an academic paper a graduate writes if they want to get a Doctoral degree. You conduct your original research to add something to the existing knowledge in your field: a new hypothesis, a new angle for the established research, etc.

As well as a thesis, a dissertation has a rigid structure but a more complex one. When writing a dissertation, get ready to include the following elements there:

  1. Title page
  2. Abstract
  3. Table of contents
  4. Introduction
  5. Literature review
  6. Methodology
  7. Findings
  8. Discussion (analysis and interpretation of your findings)
  9. Conclusion
  10. The list of references
  11. Appendices

So, the primary difference between a thesis and a dissertation is the degree you get after writing it: You’ll need a thesis for a Master’s degree, and you’ll write a dissertation for a Doctoral degree.

Another difference lies in the content: a thesis is between 40 and 80 pages, covering some narrow topic within your field of study; a dissertation is between 100 and 300 pages, aimed at bringing something new (your original research) to the existing research in your niche.

Finally, a dissertation requires an oral defense. After submitting it to your academic advisor and committee, they’ll schedule dates for its oral presentation: You’ll justify your findings and the methodology you used to bring them.

Dissertation Writing Tips: Conditions and Time Management

Before you start working on your doctoral paper, you need to create favorable conditions: choose an advisor, agree on a topic, write a dissertation proposal, and start working with a committee.

Discuss with your supervisor how you would like to cooperate. Also, think of your topic and how you can make it better. Many doctoral students change their direction to get more comfortable with their dissertations.

Agree with the committee on how often they would like to see the drafts of your paper. Through your dissertation writing, do not hesitate to contact your department if needed. It is essential to clarify all questions before they turn into problems.

Now that you have everything to start work on your dissertation, one more critical point to consider is your everyday schedule.

Arrange each day if you want to spend time effectively. Use planning devices, like a calendar, to stick to your schedule. Decide how much time you are ready to devote to your dissertation daily, and do your best to measure your work, either in hours or pages.

At the end of each day, try to evaluate how much time you spent and what you achieved. Maybe you’ll need to optimize your time and process more material. Or perhaps you can take more rest if you get into a good pace with your dissertation.

How to Write a Dissertation: 10 Steps to Help You

  1. Choose a topic
  2. Conduct research
  3. Read literature related to your topic
  4. Check some dissertation examples
  5. Get ready that some of your concepts may change
  6. Prepare the proposal
  7. Follow the structure
  8. Meet with your advisor
  9. Don’t be afraid to edit
  10. Be ready for dissertation defense

Choose a topic

First and foremost, your dissertation topic should have research potential. Remember that you won’t write a paper describing something already known in the field: You’ll need to contribute something new to it, something the academic world will appreciate and refer to.

Please note that you’ll need to explain how your topic is relevant to your selected discipline today and how you can make your experience useful. Will you cover an existing problem from another angle? Will you add anything to existing research on the topic?

Conduct research

Before writing a dissertation, you’ll need to conduct preliminary research: It will help you hone the topic and question you plan to discuss in your paper. Depending on your field, this research might mean reviewing scholarly literature, running some lab tests, visiting archives to check existing data, etc.

Take notes, especially on areas with the potential for expanding research.

Read literature related to your topic

Yes, it takes time, but you won’t be able to choose a relevant topic if you don’t know what’s in your field at the moment. So, get ready to spend hours in libraries or online and read journals and publications in your research area.

Do your best to check credible scholarly sources: You’ll need them to support your chosen topic and research question.

Check some dissertation examples

Okay, it’s about reading again. As a student, you’ve written tons of essays and research papers in college, but a dissertation is another matter. It’s like writing a book, so it’s worth checking some complete dissertation examples to understand what it looks like and set realistic expectations about what your discipline wants from your paper.

Ask your academic advisor to share some recent dissertation examples from doctoral candidates in your department. Or, you can consider online resources like ProQuest Dissertations: They share samples so that you understand the standards of writing a successful dissertation.

Get ready that some of your concepts may change

So, as you see, you’ll read and research many journals, scholarly articles, and other dissertations while preparing to write yours. It’s okay if your topic and some basic concepts you had on it will change during the examination of these documents.

It’s a standard working process where you might understand that some changes are necessary to keep your future dissertation relevant and valuable to the field.

Prepare the proposal

A dissertation proposal is a required document to submit to the committee’s approval before you start working on the draft. It’s a table of contents for them to see what to expect from your future paper and if it’s worth further consideration.

Depending on your discipline, the proposal length may differ, but it’s 10-20 pages in general. Here you need to reveal your research topic, outline the research methods you’ll use, provide an abstract and the literature review, explain your aims and objectives, and write a mini-conclusion and a reference list.

Conclusions are not obligatory because your proposal is not complete research yet, but it’s worth mentioning what you expect to get from your dissertation.

Follow the structure

Dissertations have a rigid structure, so do your best to follow it when outlining your paper and writing the draft. A standard structure includes the following elements:


  1. Title page, with your topic (title), name, an advisor’s name, and date of writing.
  2. Abstract, aka a short summary of your dissertation.
  3. Table of contents where you show the text structure, with sections and page numbers.
  4. Figures (if you have any).
  5. Dissertation introduction, with your thesis and the overview of what we’ll see in your paper.
  6. Body: the main part, with all the arguments, facts, and analyses you have about the problem you cover.
  7. Conclusion: the results of your research, summarizing everything and providing the answer and recommendations.
  8. Bibliography, aka the reference list with all the sources you used during your research.
  9. Appendices: Any additional information that’s not vital to include in the dissertation body but worth mentioning.

Meet with your advisor

You aren’t alone while writing a dissertation. More than that, you should meet with your academic advisor regularly to get feedback and ensure you do everything right. As you write chapters, send them to the advisor, and don’t be afraid of criticism and corrections:

Their comments will help you identify problematic issues, and they’ll suggest ways to improve your dissertation. Plus, regular communication with your advisor and other committee members will boost your confidence when the time comes to defend your dissertation.

Don’t be afraid to edit

So, your dissertation draft is ready. Now, another challenging part of the process comes: editing. You need to re-read your paper several times to prevent any logical errors, repetitive areas, biased or unclear language, grammar and spelling mistakes, etc.

To make the process easier, edit your dissertation chapter by chapter. After that, imagine yourself as a committee member or a person who reads your paper for the first time: Read the whole dissertation and ensure all the arguments are strong, logical, and persuasive.

Derek J. Brown, a Ph.D. graduate, shares 20 practical tips to help you finish a dissertation. Feel free to check if you are still in doubt whether the steps provided here are enough to smash all your fears and worries about dissertation writing.

Be ready for dissertation defense

Unlike other academic papers like essays, term papers, or theses, dissertation writing is not over once you finish the draft and submit it for review. To get a degree, you need to defend your work in front of the academic committee.

The format depends on your field or department policies. In some cases, they’ll ask you to present your research; in other cases, the dissertation defense will include an in-depth discussion with the committee, so ensure you are ready for it.

Stay confident, answer all their questions concisely, and be ready to address any weak points in your study (if the committee notices any). Once you’ve defended your work, the Doctoral degree is in your pocket.

Dissertation Tips: How to Start and Finish Your Work

For most graduates, a dissertation introduction and conclusion are the two most challenging parts to write. It’s much easier to do with the complete proposal at hand, so don’t hurry up to start writing your dissertation draft before you get the proposal finished and approved by the committee.

And the below writing tips will ease the process.

Introduction: Explain the focus of your study

  • Give a background section that makes the reader care about your topic. It is not enough to provide the context and specifics of your topic; show why your research is worth doing and reading. Define influential points about your subject and support them with credible sources.
  • Clarify the focus of your study. Link your research focus to the background section. Explain why you have done this study and show how it refers to the general field you are investigating.
  • Mark the value of your research. Look at your study from a different angle or ask others to do it for you. Why is your research valuable? Try to evaluate the importance of the work you are doing.
  • Include objectives in your study. Show how they help you meet the overall aim of the research.

Conclusion: Summarize your research objectives

Though summing up what you have already done may look simple, you can be too exhausted at this stage of your dissertation writing. Get some rest and clear your head before you take on this final chapter. Here you should cover three points: a summary of your findings, recommendations, and contribution to knowledge.

  • Do not repeat what you have already stated in the discussion section. It was long enough, and readers need minimum information at this point. Just summarize your findings and keep your writing short.
  • Let people know what should happen next. In your recommendation section, cover the prospects of future research. How has your dissertation influenced your field? How can you add even more value to it? Treat your paper as something that may trigger positive changes in your discipline.
  • Mention your contribution to knowledge. In your dissertation, you operate with studies of other researchers. Inform readers what new findings you have added to already existing publications. Explain how your contribution correlates with what other experts have said.

For more dissertation writing tips, you can check any of the below books:


  • What is a dissertation?

A dissertation is academic paper graduates write when willing to get a Doctoral degree. It’s a substantial research project that takes time to complete and requires oral defense for the academic committee to approve.

  • How long is a dissertation?

The length varies by field and takes between 100 and 300 pages. According to doctoral candidates sharing their tips on writing dissertations, the longest are papers on History (nearly 300 pages), and the shortest dissertations (under 100 pages) are those on Math.

  • What is a dissertation proposal?

A dissertation proposal is a detailed plan of your work to submit to your advisor or committee for approval before you start writing a dissertation draft itself. It’s like a table of contents to explain what, why, and how you’ll research in your dissertation. The goal is to justify your research, showing the committee how it will contribute to existing research in your field and that you understand what you’ll conduct within a given time frame.

  • How to write a dissertation?

The process of dissertation writing is long and resource-consuming, and doctoral candidates should be ready to spend a few years on it. First, it’s critical to choose a topic that has research potential and can contribute to existing findings in the field. You’ll need to prepare a detailed dissertation proposal to justify your work for the academic committee (it’s probably the most critical and challenging part of the process) and then start writing a dissertation body. More dissertation writing tips are here.

  • How long does it take to write a dissertation?

It depends on the format and content of your dissertation (how much time you need to conduct your research and get results). In general, the process takes around 1-3 years. With the dissertation writing tips from this blog post, we believe you can organize everything so it would take you less time to complete and defend your paper. If any help is still needed, do not hesitate to ask CopyCrafter’s writers for assistance.

Dissertation Introduction: 5 Steps to Writing an Impressive One

Most graduates stumble when the time comes to write the introduction of a dissertation. No wonder:

First, a dissertation introduction is not a mere paragraph with a hook and a thesis statement you wrote in essays and other college papers. It’s about a page in length, and its structure is much more complicated.

And second, your introduction to dissertation needs to include information about your whole paper: the context and scope behind your topic, the relevance of your research, your aims and objectives, and the overview of your dissertation structure.

Finally, it’s critical you wouldn’t confuse the introduction with your dissertation abstract and an introductory paragraph in your dissertation proposal.


Sounds confusing?

This blog post will help you clear out and shape everything about dissertation introduction writing. Sure thing, you can always ask for professional help or buy dissertations online, but let’s try to handle it by our own strengths first, agree?

Abstract vs. Introduction

In plain English, a dissertation abstract is a summary of your entire study, with research aims, methodology, and conclusions, while a dissertation introduction provides details on the background and your motivation for the study, stating your aims and objectives.

Confusing anyway? Let’s try this:


  • comes before the introduction section of your dissertation
  • overviews the purpose of your study, its research question, the methods you used for research, and conclusions you’ve drawn from it
  • looks like an executive summary of your work





  • comes after the abstract of your dissertation
  • provides the background of your study, sharing a brief description of what knowledge already exists in the subject area (based on the literature review) and what gaps are still present
  • explains why your research is relevant and what aims and objectives you have for the dissertation

Example (a part; see the whole one in the source):



How to Write a Dissertation Introduction

  1. Start with a topic and context
  2. Provide your focus and scope
  3. Explain the relevance of your research
  4. Reveal your aims and objectives
  5. Overview your dissertation structure

The general rule is to write a dissertation introduction in size 12 Times New Roman font, double-spaced. Depending on your topic and research, this chapter can take 5-20 pages and include the following parts:



1. Start with a topic and context

First of all, introduce your dissertation topic to the audience. (You’re writing a dissertation introduction, after all.) Do your best to provide background information to contextualize your research, but ensure you also explain why your topic is worth researching. In other words, why should the academic community care?

To cover that “why,” you’ll need to provide the information on what is already covered in the subject area (based on the existing documents, literature, academic debates, etc.). For that, outline the top 5-7 authors who covered the problem, explain why they are so influential, and how they relate to your topic. Also, mention the gaps still missed and necessary to address in the research.

Note: Don’t make this section too long — one (max. two) pages will be enough for the background information to provide the context. It’s critical to arrive at your research scope and focus so the academic advisors wouldn’t reject your whole paper at its very beginning.

2. Provide your focus and scope

Now it’s time to narrow your subject area and introduce the particular problem or question you’ll focus on in your research. Determine the scope: What you will and won’t cover in your study. This scope may depend on many factors:

  • Your time or budget constraints for research
  • Specifics about the methodology you’ll use for the research
  • Ethical issues about your population of the study
  • Themes or aspects of your topic
  • Any variables that can bias your research, etc.

Your focus also needs to provide the rationale for your study.

Explain why you research this particular area(s) and remember to link the reasons to the background information you’ve already shared. What you need is to tie the importance of your study with the overall research field. This paragraph of your dissertation introduction leads into the aim and objectives, explaining the value and relevance of your research for the academic world.

3. Explain the relevance of your research

What is your motivation for choosing this subject for your dissertation and doing this research? How does it relate to existing work on your topic? Why do you think it’s relevant and timely to do it now?

Start a paragraph by overviewing the current state of research: provide literature, cite the most relevant resources, and focus on the practical application of your topic. Please remember that you’ll conduct a more in-depth survey of relevant sources in the literature review section, so there’s no need to go in-depth in your introduction. You better focus on how your dissertation will contribute to the community:

  • Will it address the gap in the literature devoted to this subject area? Does your topic lack critical investigation?
  • Does it propose a new understating of the topic? Will you look at the area from a different angle?
  • Will it help to solve any theoretical or practical problem?

Explain what new insights you expect to contribute to the academic world with your research. The committee wants to understand how it adds value and why it deserves consideration. Ensure you state it directly in your dissertation introduction.

4. Reveal your aims and objectives

It’s probably the most critical part of your introduction because it sets up the expectations for the rest of your dissertation. Aims and objectives will allow the committee to see if you’ve reached what you expected and come to the desired results at the conclusion of your work.

The aims and research objectives depend on your topic and focus, as well as your dissertation discipline, but ensure you state them clearly:

What is the central aim of your research? Do you plan to test any hypotheses? If so, formulate them in your introduction, either. Do you suggest any relationships between variables? If so, mention that conceptual framework.

Note: You can briefly describe the research methods you used in your dissertation to reach the objectives, but don’t write about all the details. Remember that it’s an introduction; you’ll include all the details in the separate dissertation chapter where you’ll tell about the methodology you used.

The aims and objectives in your dissertation introduction need to be:

  1. Appropriate: Ensure they relate to your study.
  2. Clear: Stay unbiased and avoid ambiguity.
  3. Distinct: Make each objective assist you in achieving the overall research aim.
  4. Achievable: Ensure your aim is realistic, and you can complete it within a reasonable timeframe.

5. Overview your dissertation structure

The final part of your dissertation introduction is brief: Write 1-2 sentences outlining the structure of your work. It will help guide the audience on what they’ll see in your paper if they continue reading.

Think of it as a concise summary of each chapter, showing how each contributes to the central aims and objectives of your research.

Sounds not that challenging, huh?

And here go some more tips for dissertation introduction writing. The below cheat sheet can help you structure everything in the best way possible:

Dissertation Introduction Structure: Checklist

Okay, now we are almost done with writing an impressive dissertation introduction. To ensure you don’t miss anything when crafting it, consider the below checklist. Once you finish the introduction draft, do your best to answer the following questions:

  • Have you introduced your research topic?
  • Have you provided the context for readers to understand your dissertation topic better?
  • Do you specify the focus of your research?
  • Have you shown the relevance of your topic? Why is it important?
  • Have you stated the problem or question your research addresses?
  • Do you outline the aims and objectives of your research?
  • What about your dissertation structure? Have you provided its overview in the introduction?

Your confident “Yes!” to all these questions is a signal the dissertation introduction is ready, and now you can move on to the next chapter of your paper.

Need Help With Dissertation Writing?

Now that you know the process of writing a stellar dissertation introduction, it’s time to craft yours! Follow the above steps, consider the given checklist to cover all the critical aspects — and you’re all set. Also, feel free to read extra dissertation writing tips and check the introduction samples available online to have an exact idea about their content and formatting.

The key is to find the right research question and convince readers about your objective for choosing this particular subject area. Know the topic background and then explain it impressively to justify the relevance of your research.

Any questions left? Don’t hesitate to ask our professional writers to help you with dissertation introduction writing.

How to Write a Dissertation Proposal

A dissertation proposal is a must-have document for graduate students to craft before writing their final paper on a Master’s or Ph.D. course. It’s a detailed plan of your work to convince the academic committee that your research is worth consideration.

Think of it like a marriage proposal:

You persuade your love that it’s a good idea to say “yes” to you. So, your proposal dissertation should be well-planned and attractive enough to engage professors so they will answer, “Yes, let’s go for it,” for your dissertation writing.

In this post, you’ll learn how to write dissertation proposals, with the elements to include and a couple of examples to understand the concept better.

If still in doubt, you are welcome to ask our specialists for professional help with dissertation writing.


What is a Dissertation Proposal?

First, let’s agree on the dissertation definition:

  • dissertation is a long-form academic paper on a particular subject a student writes for a university degree or diploma. Its purpose is to test research skills a student got in university and thus determine their final grade for the course.

When students start their dissertation writing process, one of the first requirements is to provide a dissertation proposal for their academic advisor or committee’s approval.

This document is like the table of contents for your future dissertation:

proposal explains what you want to research in your paper, why, and how you will do that (research methods you’ll use). It’s aimed at justifying and planning your research project, showing how it will contribute to existing research on the topic, and demonstrating to the committee that you understand how to conduct it within a given time frame.

How to write a proposal?

Given it’s a detailed and well-researched document, please abandon hope, all ye who want to accomplish the task in a couple of hours. 🙂 Below is your instruction, with all the critical elements your dissertation proposal should have to get approved.

How to Write a Dissertation Proposal

  1. Craft a title
  2. Provide an abstract
  3. Write an introduction
  4. State a problem
  5. Explain your aims and objectives
  6. Outline your research methods
  7. Provide the literature review
  8. Include the constraints and limitations
  9. Mention ethical considerations
  10. Write a mini-conclusion and a reference list

Here’s how to write a proposal for a dissertation:

Craft a title

Writing a dissertation proposal starts with a title. You can craft the exact wording for it later, but your first stage will be to choose a topic and convey the idea of your investigation.

How to decide on the dissertation topic:

One of the easiest ways is to go back to all lectures, notes, and assignments you completed throughout the course and see if there’s something of your interest with the potential for further research. Consider topics that lack scholarship in that particular area and those potentially interesting for the academic community. Does yours have any scientific significance and practical application?

When crafting a working title for your dissertation, avoid those vague and long. A good title tells readers about the topic you will research and the type of study you will conduct. 


  • Economic growth and environmental problems in international business
  • Influence of the family’s emotional climate on the formation of markers of deviant behavior in early adolescence
  • The anti-Hitler coalition formation in 1941-1945
  • Contemporary art of 2019-2021 as a factor in the transformation of sociocultural reality
  • Threats to EU security amid confrontation between the US and Russia

Provide an abstract

A proposal abstract is like a summary of your dissertation for academic advisors to see what you’ll have there. Please note that not all fields require abstracts, so ask your advisor if you need to include one.

Here’s an example of how dissertation proposal abstracts may look:



In general, abstracts are brief (100-350 words, some are even briefer — no more than 50 words). They should summarize the following info about your research:

  • Problem statement
  • Background of your study
  • Research questions or hypotheses you’ll cover
  • Research methods and procedures you’ll use

Write an introduction

Here you’ll need to expand on your title and write a few paragraphs about the details of your topic. What will you research, and why is it worth researching?

State your central question here and provide a background on your subject: Overview the broad area (introduce the key concepts) and explain the narrower area that will be your focus. Outline what you intend to investigate to provide a sense of your overall research interest.

Focus on the topic here, and do not discuss your research methods or references. You’ll write about them later in the proposal.

State a problem

Consider it a kind of thesis statement for your dissertation. You can incorporate it in the introduction, or it may stand as a separate section in your proposal (everything depends on the field and your academic advisor’s requirements). Some proposals start with a thesis statement and have no introduction at all.


Regardless of its placement in the dissertation proposal, your thesis should:

  • State the problem (clearly!)
  • Answer the question, “What’s the gap your research will fill?”
  • Limit the variables you address.

That’s what your thesis statement may look like in the proposal’s introduction:



Explain your aims and objectives

Your dissertation proposal defense will include this element, so do your best to highlight the issues you’ll explore and the questions you’ll be looking to answer in your final paper.

As well as a thesis statement, aims and objectives may come in the introduction or as a separate section of your proposal. It’s critical to specify the focus and core concepts of your research here.

What to write in your dissertation proposal’s Aims and Objectives section:

  • The goals of your study: What do you want to find?
  • Your study’s rationale: Why should the academic world study this?
  • The original contributions of your study: What makes it different from previous research? What will you add to the field?

This section may also include your hypotheses (if any), limitations of the research, and a subjection defining some terms the audience might be unfamiliar with.

Outline your research methods

And here comes the Methodology section of your dissertation proposal. This element outlines the research methods you’ll use to collect and process the data for your research. You should specify the sources you aim to use, the data you’ll collect (qualitative or quantitative), and the ways you’ll use to analyze it.

Do your best to explain the reasons you’ve decided on those methods: Why are they more appropriate than others? Mention all — lab experiments, surveys, interviews, observation, etc. — and remember to reveal the number of participants you will involve.

Also, outline the variables you’ll measure, the specific tools (if any) you’ll use for selected methodologies, and how you will choose data to ensure valid results.

Provide the literature review

The literature review section is about the list of books and other materials you’ll use for research. It stands to reason you won’t read all of them at the stage of writing a dissertation proposal, but you should still identify the key texts you’ll refer to when working on the dissertation itself.

The list will demonstrate how your research connects to previous studies and how your methods differ from those already done. Please include the resources with theoretical and empirical approaches to your topic; also, mention what value that particular literature brings to your work.

When writing the literature review for your proposal, ensure each text you decide to include there serves the following functions:

  • Reveals the current study within your chosen discipline
  • Illustrates the uniqueness and need for your project, demonstrating how your approach differs from those of other scholars
  • Justifies your research methods
  • Demonstrates your understanding of the topic and approaches to studying it

Writing a literature review will help you see how others covered your topic, what theories they used to analyze materials, and the most appropriate methodologies you can use now for your research.

Include the constraints and limitations

A proposal dissertation also needs to contain the constraints (if any) of your research: 

It’s critical to display your understanding of the broad links to more complex issues related to your topic and specify the role they play in why you decided to focus your work on just a part of the subject.

Also, ensure you recognize the possible limitations you can face when exploring and presenting your findings. Mention them in your dissertation proposal. For example, it can be a lack of prior research on your topic, issues with sample size, time constraints, and any other factors that may influence your study.

Mention ethical considerations

If your research methodology includes working with participants, you need to discuss any ethical concerns in your dissertation proposal. Have you secured their permission to be included in your work? Have you informed the participants about how you’ll use their data? Will their personal information remain confidential?

Ethics matter for human rights, scientific integrity, and collaboration between science and society. If you plan to collect research data from people, you need to outline how you’ll deal with each ethical issue in your dissertation proposal.

Issues you may face:

  • Voluntary participation
  • Informed consent
  • Anonymity
  • Confidentiality
  • Potential for harm
  • Results communication



Write a mini-conclusion and a reference list

A conclusion is not a must-have but still a good practice in dissertation proposals: Sum up your document to remind the committee why you choose that particular topic, what outcomes you expect, and what research type you’ll use in your dissertation.

End your proposal with a bibliography with texts and other sources you referred to in it. Also, you can include appendices (if you already have any) like diagrams or any permissions required in your field of study.

Dissertation Proposal Example

Once you come online and start looking for a dissertation proposal example, tons of documents are available, like these two from Maria Lane and Dimitri Nakassis. Please note they are here to use as a template for dissertation proposal, not a version to copy-paste and use as your own.

All the examples are for informative and educational purposes only. Please don’t use any of them as your proposal: They are samples for you to understand the structure of dissertation proposals and craft yours as an original and well-researched document that will convince academic advisors to approve your work for writing.

So, Here’s a Recap:

A dissertation proposal is a must-write document for those planning to craft a thesis or a dissertation to complete a course and get their final grade on a Master’s or Ph.D. It’s like the table of contents to submit to an academic advisor or committee so they would approve your future work.

This paper explains what, why, and how you plan to research in your dissertation. It’s a detailed and well-researched document aimed at justifying your final project. To get approved, it needs to include the following elements:

  1. A working title
  2. An introduction with your thesis statement, aims, and objectives
  3. A methodology you’ll use
  4. A review of the literature you’ll refer to during the research
  5. Constraints, limitations, and ethical considerations (if any)

If you have questions or need help with a dissertation proposal, you can always ask CopyCrafter’s academic writers to assist you.

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