Writing A Good Dissertation Proposal Structure: Things To Avoid

To start working on your dissertation, you will first have to get your proposal approved by your supervisor. A dissertation proposal is a document that outlines your research intention, how you will carry your research, and what aspects you plan to include in your study. Thus, you should write a dissertation proposal as clearly and concisely as possible to help the supervisor understand your research aims and objectives in your first attempt.  

When working on your dissertation proposal, these are some aspects that you should avoid. Avoiding these mistakes will help you draft a perfect dissertation plan, and you will increase your proposal approval chances.

Working on a Broad Research Question

A research question is the first thing that your supervisor will notice. Thus, you should make sure that the research question you frame is to the point. Including a lot of aspects in your study or keeping it vague can lead to the rejection of your proposal. Also, a broad research question will cause difficulties in developing your research. A clear, crisp, and brief research question is the way to go. It will help you stay focused, and you will be able to develop an outstanding study.

Ignoring the Structure

Like other academic reports and papers, a dissertation proposal also has a structure. You must follow the proposal structure provided by your supervisor to make sure that you comply with the requirements. In case you haven’t been provided with one, follow the standard structure; introduction, literature review, and methodology. Not following the structure will lead to an unprofessional proposal that will most likely lead to rejection. Thus, organizing your study according to requirements will help you stay on track and prepare a well-arranged proposal. 

Delay in Identifying the Topic

Most students delay in introducing the topic of their study. This is a common mistake that most students make. They usually engage in background information and mention past researches while ignoring the topic at hand. Thus, we recommend that you introduce the topic early in the proposal. This also helps the readers understand what you are trying to explore and how you intend to go about it.

Go Off-Topic

A lot of students tend to go off-topic while writing. You must make sure that whatever you are writing and including in your proposal is relevant to your research topic, it contributes to your research and helps in answering the research question. Including details that do not pertain to your study will not only lead to the rejection of your proposal but will make your research misleading and vague. There are a lot of dissertation services that will guide you and help you develop a proposal according to your university guidelines. You can seek guidance from them by providing your project details. However, you should make sure to choose the best dissertation writing services so that you submit an error-free dissertation proposal on time.

Making it Complicated

Making your proposal complicated and difficult to understand is a complete no-no. Keep your dissertation proposal writing simple yet effective. Doing so will keep the readers engaged, and they will comprehend your research process better. Complicating things like using difficult language, including theories, models, or frameworks that are tough to comprehend, should not be included unless they are necessary. In case you need to add a complicated and elaborate theory that is not easy to understand, make sure that you explain it well. If you fail to do so, your readers will lose interest, and they will be unable to understand your research as well. Thus, choose ways that will help you keep your proposal simple to understand, and that will leave an impact on your readers.

Missing Out on the Reference List

When drafting a proposal, you might not give much importance to a reference list. However, it is one of the essential aspects of writing research. When preparing a proposal, you should always cite sources accurately and include studies that you have referenced in your study. This will help the readers understand how well you have researched and the sources you have used. In addition to this, a proper reference list and accurate citations build up the credibility of your study and increase the chances of getting your proposal approved.


Under no circumstances, you are allowed to plagiarize content. Whether you are referring to a study or a model/framework, you cannot copy and paste material in your research. If you are looking to include a definition, make sure that you cite the book, journal, etc. include the author’s name, the page number where the definition is, and the publishing year. This citation should be accurate so that whoever wants can go to the journal or book page and check where the original content is. Plagiarism is a huge offense in the academic world, and if found guilty, not only will your dissertation proposal be rejected, but you may also be expelled from your college. Thus, make sure that you understand what plagiarism is, and refrain from it when writing your proposal.  

Not Proofreading & Editing

Editing and proofreading your dissertation proposal is a vital step for finalizing your research before submission. There may be a lot of aspects that you include in your initial draft, but upon review, you may decide to remove it. On the other hand, there may be aspects that you might have skipped initially but may want to add it later. Thus, to review all these elements, it is necessary that you edit, review, and, most importantly, proofread your paper. Submitting your proposal without proofreading may lead to rejection, as there may be a lot of typing errors and other mistakes that you may have avoided with the help of proofreading. Furthermore, finding typos in your paper gives a very unprofessional look, which you certainly should avoid. If you are short on time, you can seek dissertation proposal help from companies that offer proofreading and editing services.

While writing a dissertation proposal can be a tedious task for many students but avoiding these aspects when writing can help you structure a proposal that is perfect and has high chances of being approved.  

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