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writing strategies for future PhD holders

Writing A Dissertation Proposal In A Few Easy Steps

Some may erroneously think that writing a dissertation proposal is a piece of cake. However, even if you know some basic steps that may help you, many difficulties may appear. Writing a dissertation proposal is not a lineal process, and sometimes you will have to work through some steps not even once. First of all, you should clearly understand what a dissertation proposal is. According to a graduate student handbook it is a paper work of 40-70 pages, which is needed only after completing all course work and passing every general exam. If you read the graduate student book further, you’ll find out that dissertation proposal can be divided into three parts: Project statement and Research Questions, Literature Review, and Methodology. So what is the best way to begin? You will be ready to start writing if the general idea of the document you are writing about is found and every useful example is prepared. But before starting to write you will have to use every source of information for the brainstorming process: books, newspapers, journals, Internet, to support your proposal with credible academic facts. Try to avoid not academic sources and facts that can’t be scientifically proved. It is also better to divide the dissertation proposal into small paragraphs to make it more readable for the audience. Try to support every statement with some facts; three or two will be alright. To organize all your notes after brainstorming you will have to write a dissertation proposal plan. On a piece of paper write the first rough copy of your work. This will help you to figure out the basis and composition of your paper and what brainstormed information to use. This rough copy is not your final step, only a primary product which needs to be double-checked and edited. After the draft is ready, you should leave it for a couple of days for next corrections. You can also show your work to a friend/parent/colleague/academic advisor. It is better if the person is familiar with the proposal’s theme to give you proper comments. Only after those steps, you are free to check the dissertation proposal, edit it and redraft. If you have some open quotes, double-check them, and don’t forget that every academic proposal must contain references to the citations. This step is important and protects your work from plagiarism, which can cause you some serious problems in academic world. Finally, the last but not the least step, is to hand in your complete dissertation proposal. Make sure you have followed all the guidelines that where required by your academic advisor, and don’t forget to have an extra copy for yourself, just in case.


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