Writing a Powerful Thesis Proposal and Winning the Fight for Excellence
While being a graduate learner, I remember how much time I spent designing my thesis proposal. There was no one to help me, and I had to invent the bicycle each time I faced another writing challenge. I cannot forget how exhausted and tired I felt at each stage of thesis proposal writing. Although I saw dozens of thesis proposals online, they did not provide any refreshing ideas or suggestions for research. They did not motivate me to write a good proposal. Then I suddenly realized that I wanted to improve my thesis writing skills. The recommendations below are based on my experience and expertise. They also reflect some of the most common recommendations provided in the most popular books on academic and thesis writing.
Before you even start, consider the following thing:
Your thesis proposal is always presented in the future tense. Your thesis based on your approved proposal will be presented in the past tense. Below are some of the most valuable tips you may wish to follow to achieve the best writing result.
13 Recommendations for Writing a Competitive Proposal for Your Thesis
Introduction (1-2 pages)
- If your supervisor expects that you will have an introduction, then make sure it does not exceed two pages. It must be interesting and captivating for your readers.
- It is always better if you write the introduction after your thesis has been completed. This way, you will have a better understanding of your thesis and the information that needs to be included in your introduction.
- The first thing to do is to determine what research question you want to answer. Then develop a research statement that will guide the process of your study.
- The question you will have to answer will depend on the type of the study you are planning to conduct. For example, you may wish to focus on some theoretical gaps. Or you may want to address some of the ethical controversies surrounding the study of culture. Is there any specific you would like to research? How do you expect to use the results of this study? How will they contribute to the wellbeing and welfare of the society in general?
- Now it is your turn to convince the reader that the problem exists and is worth our attention.
- List at least four evidence-based reasons why this problem is more important than others, why it warrants further analysis, and how it will benefit research, practice, and broader communities.
- The statement of purpose must be specific and accurate. Formulate your purpose in the following manner: "The purpose of the proposed study is…" and continue, depending on what you intend to do, including changing, understanding, or analyzing the issue in detail.
- Now you should also specify the goal of your study. It is always about investigation, so formulate it as this.
- Here you must specify the advantages of conducting your proposed study..
- Now imagine that someone who is reading your background section or problem statement approaches you with the following question: "So what?" Your task is to share solid evidence and argumentation that your proposed study is worth being conducted. Why will your target audience value this study and your contribution to science and research? Justify each point.
- Here you will use technical terms and academic language to describe the methodological features of your proposed work.
- It would look much more persuasive if you list at least two different methodologies, describe the pros and cons of using each in your study, and provide relevant justification for your selection of the proposed method.
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- Search across databases and retrieve the latest evidence to support your argumentation and justify the importance of your study question. Consider the context of your study and critique earlier research as the basis for your thesis proposal.
- In this review, you may also want to consider different designs and methods of study.
- Develop clear and unambiguous statements as to the expected results of your proposed research.
- Be succinct and accurate setting the criteria for your study.
- Define the key terms you are going to use in your thesis and future research. Provide your readers with a more comprehensive understanding of your problem, thesis, and questions.
- Try to include synonyms or use easy-to-understand language to explain the most typical terms and definitions.
- Here you are expected to describe the key assumptions governing your research. What are the values and principles that govern your study?
- You should also specify the assumptions governing your methodological choices. Your readers should see that you have been reasonable and thorough selecting your methods and designs.
Scope & Limitations
- Be clear about the advantages and limitations of your methods.
- Answer some of the following questions to make it clearer for your readers. What sampling and design would best suit the context of your study?
- Specify the research procedure, so that future researchers could easily replicate your study. Conceptualize and operationalize your variables. Develop research questions and hypothesis. Say how you will gather and process your data.
- Interpret the meaning of your variables and their significance for the study.
- Try to see how your study will impact research and practice three or more years later? Can you see that the results of your study will be sustainable in the long run?