Format of Your Phd Dissertation Proposal
Once you have decided on your research topic, you must go about articulating it in a particular manner. It is best to pick a familiar format which has acceptance among the scholarly community.
TITLE: Dissertation proposal must begin with a title which is both concise and descriptive.
BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE: Context and background are crucial for explaining and clarifying your research proposal to those who will evaluate your proposal. It can begin by articulating the circumstances which caused you to develop interest in the particular research area.
As you write your proposal, make a point to survey the existing literature in your research area. Provide a summary of the literature you have been able to read up on. Also try to identify areas where the literature has shed considerable light and also areas where research has not been extensive. Try and link the area in which you are interested to areas where path-breaking or original research has not taken place as yet. Further, you must present a convincing argument about why your research, in particular, would be original and help in the production of knowledge which is not only useful, but also provide fresh avenues for research.
FRAMING THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS: This is perhaps one of the most important tasks you will need to concentrate your energies on. Research questions must be lucidly framed. The question should not be tautological or be a truism. It must be a question on which genuine research can be conducted. Further, the research question must be realistic in terms of your proposed timeframe within which you are committed to completing your research.
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND METHODOLOGY: Here you will need to outline the theories you will be using also explain the rationale for using these theories. In this section, you will be required to prove your awareness and understanding of the research problem as well as how the application of certain theories will help in the enhancing of your research. Also cite the possible issues which might emerge in the course of your research, and how these issues might impact your research work. Do not forget to give credit to those from whom you are borrowing and extending your ideas. We will separately dwell on the issue of methodology
METHOD: Your PhD proposal is incomplete without a separate section which details the methods you will use to give a successful conclusion to your research. If you manage to write it well, the admissions committee will have a fair understanding of the manner in which you mean to tackle the research problem. In essence, it implies charting out your work plan and outlining the activities which are needed to complete your project. Remember to also provide an outline of the data gathering methods you intend to use. List the skills you require to do your research- state if you already possess these skills- and if not- how you intend to acquire these skills.
ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS: Any academic research often encompasses complex ethical considerations. You must cite any possible ethical issues of conflict of interest which could emerge during your research. Plagiarism is a strict no-no and must be avoided at all costs.
TIMESCALE: Provide a tentative schedule for your project so that your supervisors have a fair idea of the time you will require for your research. You will be expected to adhere to the timeframe provided by you. Make sure it is a not and over-ambitious or over-optimistic schedule.
DISSEMINATION: Explain why your research, once completed, should be disseminated through publication and other means. You would certainly want your research to be published. Finally, before you submit your proposal, have it a peer-reviewed by your colleagues and teachers.