Definition of a Dissertation Proposal

Understanding what this kind of a paper is and how it applies in the academic field is important for both the learners and those who receive the final dissertation. But first, what is dissertation proposal? Well, this is a document of academic nature that comes before the dissertation paper is written. It is purposed for giving information to the readers about the final dissertation or thesis. For the readers to be able to tell what the final dissertation document will be about, they must have a preceding document that states what the writer will be basing his/her work on as a guideline or as a reason informing the research work. A proposal is meant to tell others what you intend to do in terms of carrying out empirical research supported by facts and provable data. There are several structures that can be adopted while writing a dissertation proposal and they depend on the nature of the research, the institution and the arrangement preference of the writer.

Just as stated earlier, how to write dissertation proposals requires the writer to embark on a process of providing a layout of the process involved including substantiation of the key points that the paper must address. In learning institutions, it is a requirement that the dissertation proposal outline should be provided to the supervisors so that they can suggest adjustments because they have experience that can help steer the research successfully. One is less likely to encounter problems if there is a good layout of the paper including sources that are acceptable. Just a pointer, the sources or rather the authors used during research must have ethos, logos, and pathos. How this is important is subject to the background of the paper and the advice that the lecturer will give to the researcher. It is easier and more convenient to redirect a paper to meet its purpose and achieve its goals if the student has a dissertation proposal outline.

Among merits of doing dissertation proposal writing is that the writers will get a head start in terms of understanding the goals as well as referring to the document to see if the goals are aligning the document towards the expected outcome. The outline is equitable to a road that has hurdles ahead. Understanding the presence of potholes, bumps, and depression along the road will help the driver to navigate them without causing damage to the car or causing an accident.

Components of a Dissertation Proposal

To get a good dissertation proposal example, it is imperative that you understand that an outline has several steps and components. Just as indicated earlier, there could be variations with respect to requirements from various learning institutions and professors. It is advisable to consult the institution or those responsible before choosing a step because copy-pasting from the internet will not only warrant one a zero but will also compromise the quality of their work. That said and done, there are the key areas that a dissertation proposal must address and they should appear in the outline.

Introduction: Background of the Study

The background section is meant to give readers a reason why they should read the paper besides explaining why that particular research should be carried out as part of dissertation proposal writing. The writer should be able to justify through the research background the necessity of that research in addition to giving the readers the elements that are to be addressed. The background should highlight the problem or the gap the researcher has established and tell of how the literature written about that problem has not fully offered a solution. The background could also be informed by the recommendations made by the past researches. More importantly, the points that have been mentioned should be presented in brief and accompanied by a strong thesis for it to be impactful. Remember that the outline is as good as the final document itself.

Furthermore, a description of the paramountcy of the research can as well be explained in the introductory part plus the conceptual framework. One may as well decide to include some elements such as the defining the terms used, explaining the limiting factors as well as the delimitations. Below is an example of a background of the study.

Introduction Examples:

  • Definition of gambling as buying the chance of making money or the act of taking a calculated risk due to a potential reward it projects or, involving in series of actions that yields to the favorable, unfavorable or neutral outcome (Littler & Fijnaut, 2007).
  • Gambling as a major concern which touches on morality
  • Its effects are physical, economic, social and psychological on the youth who engage in it and the need to create awareness about its harmful effects (Figone, 2012)


A thesis is a statement in a dissertation proposal template that intends to fill up the gap in researches or compared works of eminent persons. It is a claim or a position taken by the researcher. A claim will ride the entire project and keep the writer on track in terms of sticking to the theme of the research and avoiding unnecessary deviation. For example,

Stopping gambling is a collective responsibility and attitude change towards gambling is imperative given that gambling has adverse effects on the youth, their families and their productive life according to Surpon, (2012)

Literature Review Section in a Sample of Dissertation Proposal

A sample of dissertation proposal must include in them some of the key points that will eventually inform the final document. The section can be broken down into main topics, the auxiliary topics and basic explanations attached to them so that the reader can get an idea of the whole paper. How to write dissertation proposal must, therefore, be based on such reviewed literature from credible authors and sources. In the literature, it is advised that the in-text citation is included for the reader to be able to authenticate the validity of claims and statements made in support or against the idea that the writer is projecting. Some lecturers prefer the inclusion of a conceptual framework at this point but the most important thing is always to agree on the structure beforehand so that the writer can know exactly where the framework will fall. Provided below is a sample of dissertation proposal literature review.

The Body of a Review Literature: An Example

  1. Why the youth are the active participants in the gambling
  2. Psychological and Physical Effects of Gambling on Youth
  • Guilt
  • Perceptions of poor health
  • Insomnia and probable depression due to losses associated with betting
  • Anxiety
  • Substance abuse
  • Opting out of school or learning institutions (Banks, 2014)
  1. Economic effects of gambling
    • Borrowing and lending money
    • Loss of personal possessions
    • Unproductive life due to betting and expectations of money (“Youth Gambling – A Need for Responsible Social Policy 2004.pdf,” n.d.)
  1. Social effects of Gambling
    • The proliferation and advancement of technology have made gambling easier and accessible at our doorsteps (“Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act_0.pdf,” n.d.).
    • Decreased family time because of gambling
    • Gambling and crime (“Research on the Social Impacts of Gambling: Final Report – media_34552_en.pdf,” n.d.).
  1. Moral perspective about gambling
    • Societal perception about gambling
    • Gambling and sports (“Research on the Social Impacts of Gambling: Final Report – media_34552_en.pdf,” n.d.).
  1. The role of media and government in creating awareness about gambling and its effects
    • Television and gambling
    • Government policies on Gambling (Banks, 2014)


A good literature review section in a dissertation proposal template must appreciate the need to have a summary of the literature reviewed so that the readers can get the whole idea in one-read.

  • Youths are mostly affected by gambling; therefore, it is important to highlight the dangers associated with gambling so that we can save our youths.
  • Gambling if not checked has serious negative effects both socially psychologically, physically, economically and morally
  • Policies and regulations must be put in place to check gambling activities on casinos and online physically.
  • People start betting as a leisure, but it ends up as a life-threatening activity that drives the youth into crime, therefore, behaviors among youth in school and community should be monitored especially with the entry of many betting companies and counseling services offered to help the young men and women from falling victims to gambling (Figone, 2012)

Research Methodology in Dissertation Proposal

Again, the structure varies and in most cases is informed by the nature of the research and the requirements from the university. However, a dissertation proposal example must have the part of the introduction, the design of the research to be adopted section, the method of data collection and a concluding statement that emphasizes the reason for the methods adopted.

A Provisional Section for Research findings

Ideally, the proposal does not preempt the findings, but it instead provides an idea about how the findings will be treated. This section however speculative is important in guiding the writer and showing the lecturer how the student will order the findings and present them to the readers in a professional and scientific way.


In conclusion, the structure and of a dissertation proposal outline is not cast in stone, but it largely depends on the nature of the project to be carried out, the lecturer and the surrounding factors that may alter the direction of the research.