How To Write A Dissertation Proposal: Goals And Objectives

When you have decided on a dissertation topic and you are ready to get approval from your instructor and the community that will review your work, you will need to write a proposal. There are many features that should be included in the proposal, but you only have so much room to include those features. The goals and objectives section of the proposal are the most important part because this section will help the committee decide if you should continue on the path you have chosen.


The proposal needs to include a goals section that shows the committee what you are hoping to realize through the researching and writing you will do. This section of paper includes long term goals, almost like a resolution, but you will need to show how you expect to get to the results. You do not include your goals in a bulleted list and you should not have more than three goals. However, your goals can have subheadings with smaller objectives that you want to accomplish to get to the ultimate goal. You will want to be specific and precise as you explain what you want to prove and how you will get it done. If your committee members have too many questions, your proposal will be returned and you will have to begin again.


The objectives section is even more detailed that the goals. Objectives can be broken down into daily accomplishments with the idea that those accomplishments will eventually help you reach your goal. The goals should be broad and open, but the objectives should include the small steps you will take each day. The objectives will be concrete actions. While the goals are not bulleted or numbered, the objective are, usually because they need to occur in steps. Many people will create timelines to help them manage the number of objectives they need to meet in order to find success on their dissertations.

Suggestions for Success

It is important that the goals and objectives work together seamlessly. They need to be related, as the objectives eventually lead to the two or three goals. The methods should be understandable and doable, so you always feel like you are getting closer to the goal. The objectives will discuss ideas about how your research will be completed and what sources you will use. The objectives will also include the who, what, when, where, and how of the research you will be doing. Your objectives should also include plans for the times that the objectives do not lead you closer to the goal, too.

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