Using Free Dissertation Proposal Samples

When writing your dissertation, things can become very stressful and frustrating very fast. A great dissertation proposal is meant to help ease some of that anxiety but having students make a short outline, some initial research, and including their reasoning behind the idea for their dissertation. A dissertation proposal can be likened to a fire drill; practice for the real thing.

But what if you’re stuck on just the proposal? Sometimes it’s hard to even know where or how to start, let alone thinking ahead to the whole dissertation, and that can be overwhelming to most students. Here’s where a sample dissertation proposal can come in handy. If you’ve received some from your professor, or found some samples on the internet, these can go a long way in dispelling some of your frustration over writing your dissertation proposal.

How to use a Sample Dissertation Proposal

When you have a few example proposals that you like read them carefully and take extensive notes. It’s especially recommended that you find dissertation proposal examples that are from your field or your school in particular, because the expectations may be different. Here are a few things that you should be looking for:

  • How many sources are included in the proposal? How much research have they already done, before even starting their dissertation?
  • How do they introduce their topic/question? When do they introduce it (at the beginning of the proposal, partway through or at the end)?
  • How do they support their claim that this is a good idea for a dissertation? Think of your own reasons for choosing your topic or question, and what they mean to you.
  • How long is the proposal? Do you need a page or two, or longer?
  • Do you need a cover or title page at the front of the proposal? Do you include your teacher’s name or class number on it?

Writing Your Dissertation Proposal

Gather everything you have so far; notes, example proposals, friends’ or teacher suggestions, and organize them in your working space. You’ll first want to make a rough outline of what you want to say and how you want to structure the writing of your proposal. Make sure that you include every one of the formatting notes you took on the examples; instructors can be very picky about that. Now you just have to write it! Breathe deeply and relax; this is just the proposal.