Writing a proposal for thesis is the first thing a student who is enrolled for a doctoral program has to do. A proposal for a Doctoral thesis may be as difficult as the thesis itself. It requires a fair amount of research on the topic and careful study to identify and establish the potential and justification for an in-depth empirical study. To write a good proposal it takes a few months and the proposal has to be approved by the thesis committee before the student proceeds with the research work. Some Graduate schools require the students to defend their thesis proposal too. Writing a proposal for other degrees like Masters or Bachelors is not very difficult, but they also have to be approved before the commencing of research.
It is very helpful for the student to know at the start, what is expected in a thesis proposal. Following thesis outline indicates the essentials for a thesis proposal.
• Title Page
• Contents page
• Thesis statement or Problem statement
• Literature Review
• Research Problem
o Statement and defining of the problem
o Importance of research into the problem
o Purpose of the research
o Conceptual and theoretical framework
o Impact of the study
• Research Methodology
o Questions to be answered
o Design of the research
o Limitations of the research
o Sampling methods
o Data structure
o Methods for data analysis
• Proposed timeframe and requirements for completion
The purpose of writing a proposal for thesis is to convince the thesis approving committee that the selected topic is worthy of researching and that the student has the capacity and capability to carry out the research needed for writing the thesis. They will check the thesis plan and decide whether the student can produce an acceptable thesis by following the proposed methods and with the proposed within the proposed timeframe. The committee will study the soundness of the thesis or the research problem before approving.
The thesis proposal may take months to write but defense normally takes less than an hour with the question and answer time. The thesis proposal has to be written carefully so that it gets approved by the defense committee without any revisions at the presentation. The most important point in the thesis proposal is the thesis statement. This part gets approved with very strict scrutiny. But it gets approved normally because the advisor will not allow the students to submit proposals if the thesis statement is not sound and not formulated correct.
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