Graduate Writing Center: Writing Thesis and Dissertation Proposals

7304 Words Sep 2nd, 2013 30 Pages
Writing a Thesis or Dissertation Proposal 1

Writing Thesis and Dissertation Proposals
The Graduate Writing Center of the Center for Excellence in Writing
Overview: This workshop will introduce basic principles of writing proposals across a range of disciplines. It will present practical strategies, and it will include examples of successful proposals. Goals 1. To introduce strategies for bridging the gap between coursework/beginning research and thesis writing. 2. To help you understand the rhetorical situation of the thesis proposal and common elements of such proposals. 3. To introduce practical rhetorical and grammatical principles of writing effective proposals. 4. To provide you with tips for drafting and revising individual
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You will likely modify and refine your scope, argument, and methods. Remember that your proposal is not meant to limit your ideas, but to help you think in practical terms about how you intend to research and write your dissertation. Ask colleagues to form a writing group that you can use to exchange ideas, drafts, and experiences. As lonely as it may seem sometimes, writing is a social activity.

Because proposal requirements vary broadly by department, program, and advisor, generalizing them is difficult. The best advice is the simplest: consult with your advisor, ask to see past successful proposals, and talk to your colleagues. Using other proposals to help you generate ideas in not plagiarizing!

Writing a Thesis or Dissertation Proposal 3

PARTS OF A PROPOSAL
Despite their wide differences, proposals across programs generally include at least some form of the following sections (though you will want to check with your academic advisor about the specific sections s/he requires): Title, Abstract, Introduction/Background, Problem Statement, Purpose/Aims/Rationale, Review of Literature, Methodology, Significance/Implications, Overview of Chapters, Plan of Work, Bibliography. Sometimes these sections may be combined—in some fields, the problem statement, aims, and review of literature are all part of the introduction. The most common elements are the introduction/problem statement,
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