Dissertation Proposal Writing Tips For University Students

When writing a dissertation proposal, university students are expected to utilize the knowledge and skills they have learned throughout the course. These include research skills, critical thinking skills, planning and organization skills, time keeping skills, and knowledge synthesis and application skills. However, many university students still experience some challenges and frustrations when required to perform such a task. For this reason, it pays to have access to some basic guidelines. Here are some dissertation proposal writing tips for university students to help make things easier.


One of the most important dissertation proposal writing tips for university students is to first understand the role of the proposal. In a general sense, the proposal serves to describe your proposed work plan. It outlines what you are planning to study by describing the scope of study and you research questions. It also describes how you plan to study the selected topic- your methodology. Additionally, it describes why the topic needs to be investigated-the significance of your study. It also describes the timelines of the study and occasionally describes where the work will be conducted.


It is also important to understand the purpose of the dissertation proposal before you sit down to write one. The proposal serves to fulfill three basic purposes. First, it serves to justify and contract or plan for a research project. Secondly, it serves to demonstrate how your study or project will contribute to the existing body of knowledge and research. Thirdly, it serves to show that you understand how discipline-specific research is conducted in a time-frame that is acceptable.

General Advice

One of the challenges that students face when it comes to proposal writing is poor planning and anxiety. In order to plan effectively and battle the anxiety associated with such a task, you can do the following:

  • Create a writing schedule
  • Start by free-writing
  • Always keep a notebook where you jot down any relevant thoughts that cross your mind.
  • Record some of your information in audio form by saying some parts of the writing
  • Compose various sections of the proposal in different files on your computer and even on various index cards
  • Begin with the sections that are more clear-cut
  • Understand that the paper will be negotiated and prepare for revisions
  • Think of your proposal as an intro to your thesis
  • Always keep in mind that this is not supposed to limit your ideas but to assist you think more practically.

Polishing Skills

Another important element of being efficient with your work is making sure content is polished. When your final draft is completed review it for mistakes. Instead of skipping this step, you can invest in a professional with quality skills to do this for you.

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