Creating A Brilliant Dissertation Proposal In The APA Format

Most students are expected to write in MLA format. It can feel like a daunting task to attempt a new format, but it doesn't have to be. All you have to do is take the time to learn the new format and you can't go wrong!

Your proposal needs to explain what the dissertation is about. You need to present the questions that you would like to examine. Do not do research on your dissertation before writing your proposal! You are only proposing what you're going to do. You're not supposed to do it until it is accepted, which will be at a later date.

Attempting to write a dissertation before a proposal will show through in your writing. You don't want to give the impression that you've already done research, and you don't want to come to any conclusions. That is for an entirely different paper. Focus on one thing at a time.

Here is the basic format and what should be included in each section:

  • Title Page – the title of your dissertation (so far)

  • Abstract – a summary of your paper and its main points.

  • Introduction – a paragraph that explains your proposal and what to expect in its contents.

  • Background – you can either state the problem here or above in the introduction. This section should be devoted to any information that will contribute to the research. You can also state any previous knowledge about the potential study.

  • Research – you can explain what your research will entail and what it can provide or reveal.

  • Methods – anything you plan to do in order to conduct your research or experiments to provide the data. You need to tell the readers how you're going to go about the dissertation; how you will come to its conclusion.

  • Potential Outcomes – there may be more than one, and any possibilities should be presented. This will help the readers decide whether or not it is worth pursuing, so make sure that the potential outcomes are of interest to them. You need to make it worth their while, and yours.

  • Outline – though it's not always required, you should consider including one. You may be asked how long the research and ultimate outcome will take you. It's better to come up with a plan and to be prepared.

  • References – a list of citations that are only relevant to the sources in your proposal.

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