How to write a master thesis proposal: noteworthy techniques
When you write a master thesis you are often required to produce a proposal beforehand which must be approved before you can start the research and writing of your thesis. Writing an academic proposal is the first of many steps involved in producing a large project or thesis. When you write the academic proposal, your job is to convince your academic committee or advisor that your topic and your approach are solid. They will then approve or not approve the topic. If it is approved, then you have the clear to start with the actual research. Not only should you indicate the plan of action you have, but your proposal should indicate the theoretical positioning you plan to take and your relationship to previous work in this field.
Your proposal should have three elements in it:
- 1. A rationale for why you selected this topic. Your rationale should indicate why the topic is useful within the discipline, or important. It is good here to indicate what limitations you will encounter; never promise to deliver something you can’t.
- 2. A review of literature previously published that relates to your topic. You will need to explain how you plan to explore new territory and build off of the studies that have already been published.
- 3. An outline of the intended methodology or approach. You might want to include a timeline, costs, and any additional resources required to complete your work.
Certain disciplines have standardized organization for the proposal. This is why it is important to ask your particular department about any expectations.
No matter the expectations, your job in organizing an outline is to emphasize the research question, or the focus of the work. You want to use headings, visuals, and lists to make your cross referencing and literature easy to review. You should be precise and show that you selected a feasible idea which can easily be put into action.
Below are some tips regarding the proposal:
- - Explain why your idea contributes to your field and how. Use technicalities to explain the methods.
- - Provide enough detail to establish that your research question is feasible, but not so much that your reader is bored.
- - Show that you can deal with any changes in your focus or problems down the road.
- - Show that you are eager and confident by using concise styles, active verbs, and positive phrasing.