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Writing a Dissertation Proposal

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❶You will have many source for your thesis proposal; your thesis proposal is incomplete and will be rejected without a list of references and citations throughout the work.

Structure of a dissertation

Your dissertation without language mistakes and blunders?
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How it works

Overall, a dissertation proposal is essential in preparing you for the writing process and will actually serve to make beginning your dissertation decidedly less frightening. Plus, it is not set in stone and will probably be subject to much change during the entire process. You might even find that your original research question changes - it may be that you decide that there is not enough evidence to support your original line of argument, or that your chosen topic is too broad and requires further refinement.

Students succeed with Oxbridge Essays Take a closer look at how our team help thousands of students every year get better grades with our dissertation writing service. Was there a topic that you were particularly interested in? Was there a concept that you thought could have been developed further? Or have you noticed a stark lack of scholarship in your research for an assignment, that suggests to you that further research into this particular subject area is needed?

Perhaps you are better able to select a more general area of interest, in which case you can start by looking at relevant journals and publications until you find a more explicit direction.

Make sure that you make notes of all publications that you use in your research, as you will need to include these in your bibliography later on. Depending upon the referencing system preferred by your university department, you will need the following information:. It could be that you identify one particularly interesting study, but realise that its findings are outdated, or are not easily applicable to modern times. You may decide that you want to investigate whether the findings would be the same in more recent research.

The date of publication — is the source outdated? Has there been any significant development that would affect the field of research since the study was carried out?

Can you identify any methodological errors that would undermine the results that the authors presented? Are there any ethical concerns that you believe should be rectified in any future studies of the same topic? Putting pen to paper: With the guidance of your supervisor, you will be able to alter the direction of your research as you go.

Although by now, you should have a clear idea of the potential for your research, and what your conclusions might be. Depending upon whether your course is of a scientific or mathematical nature, meaning that you are likely to be dealing with experiments providing you with definitive results and quantitative analysis; or a more theoretical nature, meaning that your research will mainly be qualitative; your hypothesis will be proven or disproven throughout the course of your dissertation. The first step in creating your dissertation proposal should be planning its structure.

Like the dissertation itself, your proposal will require an introduction, a main section and a conclusion. As a brief guide:. Methodology The methodology section is where you will outline the methods through which you will collect and process your data.

You should include how and what you are going to do. If your research is quantitative in nature, this will probably include a reference to a questionnaire, survey, or data source, and you should make clear the scope of your research e.

You will also need to explain why you have selected the methods that you have — are they more specific to your research area? Aims and Objectives Here you will highlight the main issues that you are attempting to explore. What is it that you want to achieve? What are the main questions that you are looking to answer? What predictions can you make? Literature Review The literature review gives you the opportunity to make a really good argument for the importance of your research, and connect it to similar research, or present it as an extension to other existing studies.

You will need to list the most important sources that you have consulted thus far in your research, and how they helped you to guide your own research. If you can, placing your work alongside others to show how it further elaborates or contributes to the more general field will show that you have adequately prepared for your proposal.

There is potential to include any flaws that you may have identified within this existing work, and how you will avoid this in your own dissertation. Always check the specific requirements of your School or department. Ask if they can provide you with dissertation writing guidelines.

As your dissertation is a larger piece of writing you should have a title page. Your School should provide you with a standard Solent University dissertation cover.

Position the window carefully in the centre of the page. You could either create a moveable text box on the page in order to do that, or use our template which has the window positioned correctly. Plan your work carefully so you have plenty of time to get these last details right. Work backwards from your deadline and leave yourself a few days to print and bind. Everyone else will be too! Good academic writing is about ease of understanding.

Numbering the sections makes it easy to know where you are in the dissertation at any one time. It also means that your reader can use the contents page to find any particular part of the text they are interested in. Numbering sections in your dissertation. Continue to add sub-sub sections by increasing the number of decimal points. Avoid doing this excessively as you may make the structure too complicated. If including a figure or table, refer to it in the body of your paper at the point where it appears.

As far as page numbering goes, there are four sections to your dissertation: Title page Your title page should have no number. Preamble The preamble is everything between the Title page and the Introduction:. All these sections, with correct numbering, appear in the general dissertation template which can be accessed below. Look at the example title page above. It has the dissertation details in the correct place to appear through the cover window. If your dissertation is in any way different to the normal format as, for example, some design dissertations may be , consult your supervisor for correct presentation.

Professional binding For advice and guidance, email the university's Print Centre at print. Opening hours are 8am Online orders including posters, dissertations and a wide range of printing, finishing and binding options can also be placed using this Canon Print Centre link. Before submitting check that you have completed all required details.

If in doubt check with your supervisor but as a minimum you should include: Plagiarism is taking the words, theories, creations or ideas of another person and passing them off as your own. Plagiarism can be deliberate — copying a passage from a book or journal or pasting something from the internet into an assignment without referencing the original source. You can also commit inadvertent plagiarism which is where you unintentionally repeat some of the information you have read in the course of your research.

You must ensure you do reference ALL material that comes from another source so question yourself as to whether you have read the information elsewhere and go back to your sources to locate the reference.

Watch this video to find out more about avoiding plagiarism:. Plagiarism is a serious issue that can result in failing an assignment, failing the year or even having to leave the course. All forms of plagiarism will be taken seriously - deliberate or not! Plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct. Southampton Solent University has clear guidelines on student academic conduct and procedures for dealing with academic misconduct.

Make sure you are familiar with these by looking at the links on this webpage:. To avoid plagiarism , make sure you include references within your assignment to all sources you use and then include full details of all the sources in a reference list at the end of your work.

To find out more, download the Avoiding plagiarism summary below. Test your understanding of what plagiarism is by clicking on the links below. Subject specific books and ebooks http: If you'd like some more help with dissertation proposals and writing dissertations you can:. If you have any feedback about dissertation proposals and writing dissertations. Thank you to all staff and students at Southampton Solent University who contributed to this course.

Solent Online Learning Course: Friday, 14 September , 9: What sections go into a dissertation? This book will cover: The first step is to put together your proposal. Dissertation proposals What are the essential elements to a good dissertation proposal? Dissertation Proposal Template Word doc. Title You need a working title to focus on throughout your research. Introduction Set out your reasons for undertaking this particular study in your Introduction.

Outline the problem — what is the key issue? Explain why you think this is worth investigating Describe the nature and purpose of your research Indicate what you hope to achieve.

If you are unable to complete your statement then you are not yet ready to begin. Aims and objectives The primary focus of your research project is usually expressed in terms of aims and objectives. Aim An intention or aspiration; what you hope to achieve. Aims are statements of intent, written in broad terms. Aims set out what you hope to achieve at the end of the project. Objective A goal or a step on the way to meeting the aim; how you will achieve it.

Objectives use specific statements which define measurable outcomes. Objectives should be S. A less ambitious but completed objective is better than an over-ambitious one that you cannot possible achieve. Realistic — do you have the necessary resources to achieve the objective?

Time constrained — determine when each stage needs to be completed. Is there time in your schedule to allow for unexpected delays? Use strong positive statements which use strong verbs. There are no fixed number of aims or objectives. Some tutors are happy with one clear strong aim, whilst others like to see a main aim supported by at least two subsidiary aims.

Data sets will be extracted from the known historical record of tectonic-plate movement Data sets will be extracted from astronomical tables detailing the various alignments of the major planets covering the same period as data from the geological record. The data from both sets will be synthesis ed to establish if correlation points exist between major geological events and planetary alignments. Methodology Remember to do the following when writing your Methodology: It is important to explain what research methods you used to collect your info.

Discuss with your project supervisor the extent and level of detail required; original research will obviously require a more detailed description than a project based solely on secondary research. Not every dissertation proposal contains a Literature survey. Literature survey summary PDF opens in new window.

Scope and constraints Set the boundaries clearly in this section. Examples of boundary setting: Resources List resources that you will need to complete your study in the Resources section. Timetable Below is a proposed timetable for your dissertation.

It should also be sufficiently detailed for your supervisor to identify any areas of weakness in order to provide you with appropriate guidance: Academic calendar week no. Activity 10 Receive clearance from supervisor to proceed. Christmas break Review literature and start work on first draft.

Aim to complete chapter one. Receive feedback on previous work. Easter Write up final draft of dissertation - begin drafting out conclusion. Check if your faculty has any specific requirements. References The reference list at the end of your work demonstrates the depth of your research. Find out which sections you need to include by asking your supervisor, by identifying what is standard practice in your discipline or by reading papers written by other students: Cover page All dissertations and theses submitted at Southampton Solent University must be bound and have an official cover page.

Example cover page Dissertation Template Word doc In the template above, the title page is formatted correctly. Give yourself plenty of time to get your printing and binding done. Lots of other people will be submitting around the same time, so the printers are likely to be busier than usual. Acknowledgements The acknowledgments is a paragraph which thanks everyone who has helped you whilst you have been researching and writing your dissertation.

Abstract The Abstract is a summarise d version of your complete paper. Briefly outline what your paper aims to do Briefly outline the results and the conclusions you have reached. Contents page A dissertation or a thesis is an extended piece of writing. Example contents page Usually, the Contents page will come after the Acknowledgements and Abstract, and before the List of figures if you have one and the Introduction.

List of figures or illustrations You will need to include a List of figures, a List of illustrations or even both if your dissertation has the following items: It should give the number of the page that it appears on. They can change through the work plan and list of references should generally be included. For example, if you must include many pictures to explain your theory, you may choose to place them all at the end of the thesis proposal, instead of placing them with the work.

This will make for a cleaner proposal. Explain the study by focusing first on the broad picture. Continue narrowing this down until you get to the research question. Cite references when needed. If you want to use this approach, you must keep this approach for all the points in the proposal.

This can be included in the introduction, or it can have its own section. State the thesis and clarify the hypothesis or theory that you are going to attempt to prove with the thesis. This is going to be the focus of your work and give the reader a chance to understand the scope of your overall thesis paper.

Describe everything you did to reach your conclusion or hypothesis. This can include the approach you took the materials you used and the procedures you followed. You should also include calculations, equipment, graphs and other information, as well as any limitations you had. Cite references when required.

Here, you will present the results that you have come up and draw up conclusions relating to the research that you have done. This is a true reporting of what you found while testing your hypothesis if it is a technical thesis paper , including both positive and negative findings. Sometimes the results and discussion will be two separate sections. The discussion relies on your own observations and interpretations of the results. When discussing the results, there needs to be a clear division between what was found and how you interpret those findings.

This section in your proposal may be sparse if you have not yet performed the study or experiment, or have not completed your research, but it is still a good idea to detail some of your preliminary findings here. Use the table to list the stages of the project, include any deadlines you have provided for yourself, and discuss any challenges you may face.

Could there be any new knowledge that comes up? If so, try to think of what this knowledge will be and include it here. Are there any other implications or problems others may find when doing their own research?

Dissertation proposals & writing dissertations

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Dissertation proposal structure. Learn how to make a structure of dissertation proposal through a sample dissertation proposal structure.

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The first step in creating your dissertation proposal should be planning its structure. Like the dissertation itself, your proposal will require an introduction, a main section and a .

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Your dissertation proposal should have several key aspects, regardless of the structure: the introduction, the methodology, aims and objectives, the literature review, . Structuring a perfect dissertation proposal requires a lot of research and hard work. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you best structure your proposal.

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Oct 21,  · In the action plan of a dissertation you'll present your problem and explain what your research will consist off. Example of a research proposal structure. Date published October 21, by Koen Driessen. Date updated: July 27, /5(94). The introduction is the section where you tackle your dissertation. In this part of the dissertation proposal structure is you should expound your research problem or statement of the question. Notice importance of your dissertation and its relevance and how this would contribute to your field of research.