How to Write a Thesis Proposal? |Guidelines, Structure, and Tips.

For research students, a thesis proposal is their all-time partner. In simple terms, a thesis proposal is an outline of your planned or intended research work. And It is equally important in determining the academic quality of your long thesis paper.

From your side, you must take sufficient time in framing the thesis proposal format. In your research proposal clearly state all the questions that your thesis paper will try to answer. A concise thesis proposal is more useful than a lengthier one.

how to write thesis proposal

Objective of Thesis Proposal

A research proposal is mainly constructed to convince the funding authorities about the relevance of the project. Also, you can submit the proposal even before starting the writing work or in between your writing work.

However, you have to structure your proposal well so that the funding authorities get convinced about your research work.

So, make sure that your proposal finds a reflection of your high research work. And also, contextual with your field of study, and defines well the methods of research work. At the most, institutions or organization that mainly funds for the research work are:

● State-sponsored funding authority.
● An educational institution.
● And supervisor or trainer for the project work.

Components of a Research Proposal

Students are expected to write well-followed research proposals by their supervisors. And if you cover the below three aspects in your thesis proposal format, then it will look good.

1.   Bring clarity and be particular.

It’s understandable that in your proposal, you are under pressure to cover all points. But you should more focus on linking two or more words to form one. So, be specific to your area of research and don’t put unwanted points in your research proposal. At the same time, writing with clarity is also important. At least, try to write in simple academic language and don’t put confusing sentences in your proposal. Moreover, your thesis proposal if not clear will confuse the fundraiser and as a result no, funds will come to you.

2.   Maintain distinctiveness from other works.

The proposal will seek the reader’s attention immediately if it looks unique to them. The proposal which never simply agrees with previously established theories interests them. So, try to bring your way of researching and comprehending to the world of academics. Besides that, the more it can challenge the earlier established theories, the greater are the chances for acceptance.

3.   Try to keep it concise.

As you know that the increasing level of word counts sometimes degrades the quality of the proposal. Therefore, write succinctly, that is merging two or more words into a single word.  Keep it concise so that it does not get bogus or consume too much of the reader’s time.

If you maintain these three points then the chances of approval from the funding institutions increases.

Steps to Write a Thesis Proposal.

Here, you will know step-wise ways of writing a thesis proposal properly without common errors.

1.   Layout your materials.

As you know, arranging the gathered materials is very important to write a successful research proposal. And after arranging the material, start outlining the main areas of your material. In this way, you come in a better position to handle your thesis proposal with quality. Just while researching in the future carefully follow the outline and get an outstanding result.

Below points mention how you can outline your materials properly:

  • Firstly, leave out a place where you have to write the thesis statement of the paper.
  • Mark with alphabets and numbers the main points of your material.
  • Highlight those points with a marker.
  • Below your main points, feature the supporting statements for each point.

2.   Structure your thesis proposal.

While writing plan the structure of your research proposal in this way:

●     First, make an abstract.

In the abstract portion, summarize the entire paper in about one to two paragraphs. Keep it concise yet interesting. Avoid putting your opinion in this section.

●     Make an introduction.

In your introduction section, set the stage and create the essence of the entire proposal. Put your opinion in this section with related context works.

●     Literature research of the paper.

Altogether, It is important to inform the readers about the source of your secondary research. That is, you must have started your fieldwork research work based on information from some already existing literature. So, list them and share briefly about them. And at last, try to establish the relation of that literature works with your primary fieldwork research.

●     Methods that are used.

In this section, explain the technique of your research work. That is your approach to handling the problems related to the topic. Furthermore, this section is more detailed and technical.

●     Probably outcomes of the research.

Here, share your thoughts about your expectation from the project work. That is, what are the possible impacts you are expecting from this research work. Analyze the previous condition with your expected condition.

●     Drawbacks.

For every successful research work, there are some possible threats and limitations present. So, explain to your readers the limitations that can obstruct your research procedure. And it will be equally good if you have a solution to curbing such limitations.

●     Plan set up for writing.

All the previous sections explained the research techniques and impacts but this section is the next step after a research work. Here, the writer shares how he is planning to write and format the proposal.

●     Reference list and citation.

In the reference list add all the sources which have assisted you in carrying forward your research. Organize them properly and order them chronologically. You can follow APA, Harvard University, Chicago, MLA, and many other formats for referencing.

3.   Start writing the research proposal.

Once your structure and planning are properly done, begin writing the research proposal. Finally, do remember that proposals are written in formal language. Therefore, it’s good to write in the third person only. Make the proposal simple and readable from that of a formal tone.

You can also add some extras apart from what was mentioned if your institution supports and advises you to do so.

Length of your research proposal.

The length of your research proposal varies with the educational degrees.

Like if you are a master’s student then you have to write a research proposal of about five to six pages.

However, a Ph.D. student’s thesis proposal is expected to be more detailed and well explained. 

Therefore, in simple terms, a research paper is like a shorter version of your long dissertation. Also, remember in a thesis proposal, there are no discussion and result sections. Other than that, all aspects are more or less covered in a thesis proposal.

Thus, that’s how a research proposal is written. Once done don’t forget to revise it twice and proofread well before submitting it. It is so because your thesis proposal determines the quality of your long thesis work. If you have any doubt about the research proposal contact your instructor or go through some previous thesis proposal samples.

So, write your proposal well, so that you get an instant fund from your sponsored institution.

Research Proposal Format

Since the thesis proposal varies with the subject and is quite lengthy sometimes, therefore, here are two thesis proposal sample layouts. You can take guidance from this layout depending on your field of research. You can check out our site for examples of Research proposals.


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