Dissertations are a crucial part of degree programs in all the universities and professional schools all around the world. Proposal for dissertation is the first step for dissertation writing. It can be said that a proposal is the statement or question which you intend to answer through your research work in the dissertation.
The proposal for dissertation needs to be approved by the committee to begin the work on it. It should be set after thorough literature reviews of all the previous research done on your specific subject. A student before preparing the proposal should be able to defend his proposal in front of the committee. It is interesting to know that most students fail in this very first step of writing a dissertation. The proposal should have a scope of research on a question which is unanswered and which if answered will be a valuable research.
It would not be wrong to say that proposal for dissertation is outline of the dissertation. It should state the statement to be researched, the tools and techniques of research should be mentioned and how the research and the hypothesis are related should be mentioned in the proposal. The proposal should be written after an initial research on the topic of the dissertation. Going through all the journals, magazines available on the topic should be read to know how much is known and what extra is required to be known through research work.
There is no space defined for proposal it could one of the lengthiest because it covers the statement, the research work and methodology. It need not contain the results; it just proposes your point of view regarding a particular subject. A proposal could be for about 20-30 pages since it incorporates the whole work to be done for a dissertation.
Nataliya V. Ivankova in her dissertation on a mixed method study has stated that most of the post-graduation students quit their studies under the pressure of dissertations. This fact itself states that dissertation writing is the toughest part of doctoral studies. Writing the proposal for dissertation can prove tougher as in writing a proposal students have to be on their own. For writing a dissertation or in research work they can take advice of their mentors but not in writing a proposal.
Writing proposal for dissertation is different for different streams just as the dissertations are different. It has a definite structure and each university has a specific format for writing the proposal which should also be studied along with the title specific content. It should be structured as an inverted triangle which points to a specific statement or research.
A proposal for dissertation is the base line of your dissertation. A rough sample should be prepared first and advice of the mentor should be taken regarding it, if your mentor is convinced it will be easier for you to write the dissertation. Your proposal should be written in a manner which makes it easier for the reader to understand the research work and correlate it with the statement and the title of the dissertation.