For graduate students, writing a thesis proposal is a serious milestone in their academic career. Basically, a thesis proposal is an outline of a serious thesis project that will be written further. In other words, it is a roadmap that should include the essential information that will be discussed in the thesis. It is very difficult to underestimate the importance of the thesis proposal as this paper influences the whole academic career of the student. Therefore, it is particularly important to know how to write a thesis proposal. If you are not sure why you need to spend so much time and effort on thesis proposal writing, you need to understand that the more time you spend on planning and outlining your future work, the better result you will get. Being inexperienced in academic writing, many students fail this assignment unable to understand how it should be written, structured, and formatted. If you one of those students experiencing difficulties with writing a thesis proposal, follow the guide created by the qualified and experienced academic writers and improve your writing proficiency.
What Is a Thesis Proposal?
As we have noticed previously, a thesis proposal is a summary that serves as a detailed outline of future work. It usually indicates the research problem that will be investigated further, as well as clearly states the research objectives, materials, and methods that will be used in research. Writing a thesis proposal has always been a time-consuming task as it requires proper work with sources, as well as a thorough interpretation of the data obtained. However, you should know that by organizing your process carefully, you will be able to minimize your time and effort spent on writing. Below, you will find a few simple steps that will help you figure out how to write a thesis proposal.
An Efficient Guide on Thesis Proposal Writing
Step 1. Make up a good topic
The work on your thesis proposal starts when you begin to think about the topic. The topic for your thesis proposal is the topic of your thesis that will be written further. Therefore, you have to be very careful about your choice. To select a good topic, you need to carry out preliminary research to find out what subject will bring you the anticipated outcome:
- Make sure your topic matches the discipline and your personal research interests;
- Make sure the topic is relevant and up-to-date;
- Make sure there is a gap in your research subject which can be addressed in your thesis;
- Make sure your topic is narrow enough to allow you to focus on the important aspects.
Some students write down several topics and then choose the one that seems to be the best choice for making an in-depth investigation. Remember that once the topic is chosen, you need to get your professor`s approval.
Step 2. Conduct good research
Before you start writing, you need to gather important data, both quantitative and qualitative, on your topic. In academic writing, you should avoid working with personal blogs or encyclopedias. If you want to present accurate results in your proposal, you have to use peer-reviewed and credible academic articles, books, newspapers, etc. Whenever you want to quote some researcher directly in your paper, make sure to do it following the reference style suggested by your instructor.
Step 3. Outline
Your actual work on writing your thesis proposal starts when you outline the data you have gathered. This stage is particularly important as it helps you stay focused on the most important details of your topic. Besides, it enables your instructor to understand the scope of your work. If you write your outline carefully, you will significantly economize the time on the writing process. What your instructor wants to see in your thesis proposal is whether you understand the purpose of your research and whether you can identify your research goals clearly.
Step 4. Follow the universal structure
Any thesis proposal should be written according to the classic structure that assumes writing several integral parts. Let us have a look at the main sections of a good thesis proposal:
Usually formatted in accordance with the specific style, a title page is the source of information about the researcher, the instructor, as well as the course or educational institution. Also, a title page should include a full title of the work.
Typically, an abstract is a brief summary (200 words or less) of the thesis. Despite its short length, an abstract should be pretty informative providing the reader with the research hypothesis, objectives, potential outcomes, as well as the key limitations of the study. Some abstracts also include the list of keywords that provide the reader with a hint on what theories and concepts will be investigated in the paper.
An introduction is one of the main parts of any academic paper. Capturing the readers` interest, an introduction should clearly indicate the purpose of research, its relevance, as well as its potential theoretical and practical value. Also, an introduction should include a good thesis statement or hypothesis that will be proved in the following chapters of the proposal.
As you probably know, all your research findings should be expressed in the literature review chapter. This section should provide a brief but detailed analysis of the sources used in your research. Keep in mind that you should not only summarize these sources but evaluate their importance in terms of your topic investigation. Pay attention that a good literature review section indicates the existing knowledge base and indicates the theoretical framework for your research.
In this section of your thesis proposal, you need to indicate all the methods used in your work. Do not forget to mention all the interviews, experiments, surveys, questionnaires, or equations used in your research even if they turned to be ineffective. Pay attention that this section is necessary to guide other researchers, who would like to proceed to work on your topic.
In this part of your thesis proposal, you need to indicate the value of your project, as well as its relevance. By restating the key aspects discussed within the paper, you will ensure the validity and accuracy of your research. Make sure not to introduce new ideas in your conclusion but just restate the main objectives and goals of your study.
Every researcher knows that using the ideas of other scholars without mentioning their authorship will be considered as plagiarism. If you do not want to violate the rules of academic writing, you need to write the list of all the sourced you have used in your work. This list should include the full bibliographic information about every source.
Step 5. Plan your writing
The best way to make the writing process easy and convenient is to organize your work properly before you get started. You should know that a lot of thesis proposals were not approved because of their poor structure. Since our guide aims to provide you with the helpful tips and suggestions on successful thesis proposal writing, let us explain the correct order:
- Write an outline;
- Prepare all the visuals that will be used in your paper;
- Describe all the methods used in your work;
- Write all the data received;
- Interpret your data;
- Write a conclusion;
- Write a good introduction;
- Make up an abstract;
- Create a list of references.
If you wonder why this list seems backward, you need to know that some parts of your thesis proposal such as an introduction or an abstract are easier to write only when the other parts of your proposal are ready. Of course, there are many other ways to draft a thesis proposal, however, we assure you that the structure mentioned above turned to be very efficient.
Step 6. Write your thesis proposal
Once you are done with all the preparation stages, it is time to start writing your thesis proposal. If you do not know how to draft a thesis proposal, make sure to find good samples online. Learning from these examples, you will understand how to express your ideas clearly and how to organize them well. A good thesis proposal should always be written in a formal style. Thus, you should avoid using the first and second person. At the same time, you should not forget about its readability, objectivity, and clarity. When writing your thesis proposal, gradually move from one section to another and do not forget about smooth transitions between your paragraphs.
Step 7. Proofread your proposal
When your thesis proposal is written, do not hesitate to look it through to fix all the unclear or awkward sentences. Also, when revising your text, you have to fix all the grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Of course, your paper will be evaluated mainly for its content, not its mechanics. However, the obvious grammar mistakes will not allow you to get the best grade for your proposal. To proofread your proposal properly, follow the suggestions given below:
- Do not revise your paper right after writing it. To fix all the mistakes, you need to look into your text with fresh eyes;
- Read the text aloud as it will help you notice a lot of mistakes compared to silent reading. Moreover, this strategy will help you understand whether the structure of your sentences is correct;
- Ask some of your friends to check your paper and provide their feedback;
- Use the automatic spellchecker but do not rely on it fully. Keep in mind that only the thorough manual check will provide you with the best result.
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