Writing an effective dissertation proposal is a necessary first step in deciding upon a subject area, focusing in on a research question, and identifying the methods that you will use in collecting and presenting your data.
Whether you're writing an undergraduate or postgraduate proposal, it's vital you check your course and institution requirements prior to submission, since the word count and format can vary between universities.
Plus, it is not set in stone and will probably be subject to much change during the entire process.
You might even find that your original research question changes - it may be that you decide that there is not enough evidence to support your original line of argument, or that your chosen topic is too broad and requires further refinement.
Focus on the changes that have been suggested and how you might incorporate them into your revised proposal for your next meeting.
Overall, a dissertation proposal is essential in preparing you for the writing process and will actually serve to make beginning your dissertation decidedly less frightening.
A dissertation question is not the same as a topic…it has to be phrased so that it can be answered in a specific and focused way.
There are various ways that you can get from your topic to a question: Subject = sociology Topic of interest = elderly people More specifically = elderly people in care Especially = elderly people in residential care Precisely = elderly people in warden-controlled residential care homes Remember your initial question isn't set in stone at this stage – it can be modified over the course of your project to suit what you end up investigating.
Make sure that you make notes of all publications that you use in your research, as you will need to include these in your bibliography later on.
Depending upon the referencing system preferred by your university department, you will need the following information: Consult your departmental handbook or ask your supervisor if you need clarification of what information to use when referencing.