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A Quick Guide To Writing A Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal

The dissertation proposal is the first test you have to pass if you want to defend a PHD thesis. Writing an impressive proposal is as hard as finishing the whole dissertation, but if you do it right - you will struggle less with your thesis.

Choosing a great title

Choosing a good title is a task more important than many realize, because a great title is harder to achieve that writing ten chapters. The title must be suitable for your project, but at the same time it has to indicate a noticeable antagonism of the main ideas. It has to be eye catching and even shocking, so your readers would be interested in learning more about the topic. It has to be correct and accurate, no matter how many layers of meaning it carries.


You have to be sure why you are writing your dissertation, in order to write a great dissertation and convince someone that it is worth reading. Think carefully why you would like to address certain issues, why that are important for you, but also how is that problem relevant to other people around you. Think why someone would like to read a paper on a specific subject, and you will write a proposal that is convincing and genuine.


Some students think that literature is something that not relevant for writing a proposal, but many successful ones base their whole dissertation on a single book that has influenced them. Know what books are essential to your research, and which you don’t have to use as a resource. Search on the Internet all the books relevant to your topic, or ask some help from your mentor. Even before you start to write you have to be well informed on the topic you are doing your dissertation on.

Questions and preliminary testing

You have to ask yourself some questions and think how you would answer those problems in your dissertation. If you can answer most of your questions in the right away, you are ready to write a proposal. Also, do a preliminary testing of some of your conclusions that you are trying to deliver in your thesis. Test out your logic and methodology, because without them you don’t have a dissertation, and therefore, you don’t have a proposal.

To conclude

Knowing the final point of your dissertation before you start to write it is the key success. You will base your whole work on that conclusion, and you won’t be able to write a convincing proposal if you are not sure what exactly you are trying to say to your readers.

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