5 Easy Steps to Write an Excellent Dissertation Proposal

5 Easy Steps to Write an Excellent Dissertation Proposal

The fall semester is in full swing and many students who are planning to take up research courses in next semester are likely worried about preparing and submitting their dissertation proposals early so that they can start working on their research.

Academic research is quite tedious job and lot depends upon how a candidate prepare her dissertation proposal. The overall rigor of research is defined how effectively the proposal is prepared and presented.

There are two things which you need to understand before writing your dissertation proposal. A dissertation proposal is not an essay and it is also not a mini dissertation. Making this distinction will enable you to write a better and professionally relevant proposal.

So, to make your life easier, here are some simple tips on making dissertation proposal with ease.


1. Speak to your supervisor first

Supervisors are often hard to reach for a student but before you start writing your dissertation proposal and identify your research prospect, you need to speak to your supervisor first.

Few things which should be discussed including the topic you want to choose and the overall research methodology to be adapted. This is important because it will help your supervisor to provide you guidance in timely and appropriate manner.

2. Define your research objectives

Your meeting with your supervisor will give you sufficient understanding of what research objectives you need to choose. Finding your research prospect and converting it into a well-defined research objective will do most of the job for you.

Correctly and wisely choosing the research objective or aims is critical to the success of your research project.


3. Find research samples online

Instead of following the book advice, you can always find some research proposals online and download them.

One of the key benefits of first reviewing an already approved research proposal is the fact that it offers you a great insight on how to structure the document.

Though there are set patterns and structures for writing a dissertation proposal, if you can read an already approved proposal, you can understand the kind of flexibility you can have while writing your own.

4. Identify the research methodology

Following a sound research methodology will enable you to perform your research in easy manner. If you opt for a methodology that is hard to digest or understand, it is better to avoid it.


The reason being is that if you are not clear on how to use various research methods, your research will not yield the desired results.

5. Know your software

The findings of your research results are often assimilated with the help of any statistical software. If your research is complex and requires special coding of results or use of other sophisticated statistical models, it is better if you understand or know the software capable of doing this.

Some of the key software used for result interpretation include SPSS, Minitab, Matlab, SAS and E-Views. Though the individual preferences can change but make sure you know stuff.

If you are not aware of how to use the software, your overall research quality will be compromised and you will not be able to write better research proposal.


6. Follow the ethics

Every university has its own code of conduct for research and dissertation writing. Always know what is your code of conduct and follow it before you start writing your dissertation proposal.

Above is a list of simple of steps that are easy to follow. It’s important to know these before you actually start working on your dissertation proposal. Always be open to new suggestions and make sure you follow the ethical guidelines for conducting research in your university.

More by this author

Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

50 Free Online Resources for Self-Motivated Learners How to Relieve A Toothache When A Dentist Isn’t Nearby? Say Goodbye to Sleepless Nights! 10 Essential Oils That Help You Sleep Soundly. Are You Obsessed with Your Sneakers? They Can Be The Cause of Smelly Feet 5 Simple Tips to Reduce Stress and Stop Anxiety Quickly

Trending in Productivity

1 How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive 2 How to Be A Genuine Expert in Your Field 3 How to Get Unstuck and Get Back On Track to Achieving Your Goals 4 What to Do When Bored at Work (And the Reason Why You Feel Bored) 5 10 Things High Achievers Do Differently to Attain Greatness

Read Next


Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.


We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.


2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.


Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.


You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via

Read Next