Writing a Dissertation Proposal: Outline and Example

A dissertation proposal is an academic paper that is usually written to give readers more information about your dissertation. It lets the students, instructors, and other people find out what your dissertation will be about, what questions will be examined, what the theoretical background will be, what your methodology will be, and how students and researchers will use its results.

The structure for writing a dissertation proposal may vary. It depends on the size of the paper, the course, and other specific requirements.

Students usually write such proposals before writing their dissertations, since your proposal is like a working first draft from which you can get valuable feedback from your advisor and others. Feedback from your advisor can help you avoid mistakes in your dissertation. It is better to fix these mistakes before you start writing your first chapter. If you notice them after the main sections of your dissertation are already written, it can be too late in the process to fix them.

The proposal allows you to understand your dissertation’s goals before you begin writing it. If you keep all your goals in mind, it will be much easier to develop a sound structure, to make a dissertation proposal outline, and to ultimately find the right direction. Doing all of this is also quite helpful for students who have never written such tasks before. While this is a good starting point, some are just unable to handle it. If you see that you can’t complete your paper on-time at a high academic level, you can use a

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What Does A Dissertation Proposal Include?

There are several parts that are used in dissertation proposals but the structure can be different. That is why you should not use the first structure you find from the Internet. Instead, you should choose a structure that works best for your paper. Make sure you have the main sections that help you show your paper’s basic points, the goals you are going to reach, the methods you are going to use, and sections like literature and bibliography. You can find out about this when you search for

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Most academic papers usually start with this section. You can use it to demonstrate the background of the topic to your readers, provide a thesis statement, and your study’s objectives. You should also outline questions that you are going to answer in your dissertation research proposal.

If you want your thesis to be impactful, your paper should be significant for your subject area. You may describe the significance of your study in the introduction. You should also include useful definitions, limitations, delimitations, and other similar sections into your introduction depending on your department’s requirements.

Review of the Literature.

In this section, you should provide a basic review of the literature and other data sources that you are going to use when writing your paper. Students often put the research description, framework, and review of research into the review of the literature section.


The structure of this section can be different, except for its beginning and end. You can start it with the introduction, research design and questions, describe the setting and participants of the study, provide information on data collection and analysis, and finish it with the conclusion. There can also be such sections as a research hypothesis, as well as setting and sample.

Research findings.

This section helps you to show what information you already have and are going to use for your paper. Make sure you organize your findings list in accordance with the research objectives given in previous sections.


The conclusion can include a summary of your thesis proposal. It should also contain conclusions based on your research and be organized like the introduction. This section can contain a discussion of your work and provide suggestions for future research.

You can use this basic structure for writing dissertations for different subjects. Don’t forget to proofread your paper before sending it to your instructors to check its grammar. If there are any requirements given by your professor, you should follow them to get good results.On the other hand, you can think about

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Creating a proposal for a dissertation helps you stay organized and create a complete dissertation. Without an outline, you could miss part of the text or create a poor structure. Find out writing dissertation proposal outlines can help your overall project.

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Dissertation Proposal Example

There are many examples of such papers. However, not all of them are useful. Only the

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can provide you with the quality examples. Therefore, you will need to make sure that the Ph.D. proposal example you use has the right structure and has similar requirements.

For example, if you need to write a proposal for a dissertation on the computational model of the acquisition of intellectual expertise, then you have to start from the title and note the name of your university.

Here, you can give a summary of your paper as well as your goals and objectives. Despite the size of the paper, its abstract is usually small and helps your readers to understand what your project is about quickly. If you feel unsure about completing this task, just ask us

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After that, you have to organize information in several sections. This is an example of a structure for such a dissertation proposal:

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  1. Introduction. Show your readers what you are going to present them and give a short description of your results and hypothesis
  2. Background and Previous Works;

    1. What is Intellectual Expertise? In this section, you let your readers understand the most-used scientific terms, a concise history of the subject of your research, as well as other relevant academic works.
    2. The Case:

      1. The Difficulty of Studying Expertise Acquisition;
      2. The Models of Learning and Cognition;
    3. Why Calculus Learning should be Studied More;
  3. The Description of the Model. In this section, you can give basic information on the structure of your system, the role of different nodes, and what design and training methods you use.
  4. Experiments. Provide your readers with the hypothesis, training and test criteria, and other information about your experiments

    1. Drill and Test Experiments;
    2. Fully Integrated Experiments;
    3. Incremental Learning Experiments;
  5. Proposed Work;
  6. Perspectives from Learning Theory;
  7. Perspectives from Symbolic Cognitive Science;
  8. Conclusion;
  9. The List of Literature;

Note that this example is good for studies in cognitive science. However, it can be quite different for other topics.