As you begin the “final approach” of your Ph.D. coursework, you begin the planning phases of your dissertation. Obviously, the first step is to decide upon the question or problem you wish to address. Most students have a general idea of their topic area, but refining it into a problem statement and developing a research proposal can be a bit intimidating. This proposal must follow institutional and/or departmental guidelines, of course, but it is the scrutiny of professors that usually generates the greatest anxiety. Not only do you need to have a question or problem of substance, but you must also present it in a scholarly manner with impeccable style and grammar. For an English major, this may not be an issue; for others, who find writing challenging, it is wise to seek assistance. That’s where Master-Dissertations.com comes in!
In general, a research proposal for a dissertation has specific sections, clearly defined and requiring specific components, as follows:
Title page: A short phrase describing your proposed problem or question; your name as the author; the department, institution, advisor, and date of submission. (format will vary with institution)
Abstract: Chances are, you have read many abstracts by this point in your academic career. It should therefore be easy to understand the format; the key will be to write yours specifically. Remember, the abstract is a brief summary (200 words or less) of the problem to be addressed, a short description of your proposed approach to the problem, and the potential implications of such a study.
Table of Contents: You have seen enough table of contents to know that you need to list content and appropriate page numbers
Introduction: An attention-grabbing introduction will inform your reader of the primary focus of your research problem. You will need to justify your choice of problem and its potential implications for improvement in the research area or profession. A brief review of your understanding of the problem is in order here, including some reference to the research of others that has motivated you.
Statement of Problem/Question and Hypothesis: Again, be brief and to the point. State the problem in clear and concise terms and posit your hypothesis, putting the parameters on your particular research.
Design and Methodology: Here, you must describe the design of your research, including the methods to be used, a brief description of the instruments you plan to create or use, and the procedures you will use to analyze the data you collect. You should also mention the limitations of your research, including nuisance factors that may present themselves.
Discussion of Previous Results: You may wish to include relevant research of others that you have already studied and how this research may influence and impact your research
Plan for Timetable of Research and Completion: Here, you will want to establish a flexible but clear timetable for completion of each phase of your dissertation. Remember that you will not be strictly held to this timetable, but your committee will want to see that you have a plan at the onset.
Implications of Research: In this small section, you will present the justification for your research by indicating its importance to the field of knowledge and/or to the profession.
Reference Citation: In this proposal, you have no doubt used the work of others. These should be appropriately cited, according to the guidelines of your department or institution.
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