What is a dissertation proposal?

Date published by Date updated: March 24, 2017

The research proposal for your dissertation may also be called a research plan. It describes what or who you want to examine, why, when, where and how.

You need to develop your research proposal and have it approved by your supervisor before you start writing your dissertation. It should outline all of the decisions you have taken about your project, from your topic to your sample.

What does the dissertation proposal contain?

It’s important to answer the following questions in the dissertation proposal for your dissertation:

  • Why is the research necessary?
  • What is already known? What is the problem?
  • Where will the research be conducted?
  • When will it be conducted?
  • Who should be studied?
  • Who is the study for?
  • How can the research best be done?

The “why” and “what” questions should be addressed in your problem definition and problem statement. Incorporate answers to the other questions into the research design.

How to write your dissertation proposal

Our comprehensive step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of writing a dissertation proposal for your dissertation.

Is this article helpful? (your vote is anonymous)
Processing your vote...
Your vote is saved :-)
You have already voted. Thanks :-)
2 visitors think this article is helpful. 2 votes in total.
Scribbr prof

Your dissertation without language mistakes and blunders?

Get help from a professional Scribbr editor.
More info & rates » Trustpilot score of 9.8

Article by Bas Swaen

Bas is co-founder of Scribbr. Bas loves to teach and is an experienced thesis writer. He tries to help students with writing clear and easy to comprehend articles about difficult topics.


  1. jomar:

    Hello Sir Bas Swaen , a pleasant day to you!
    I had had a research in regards with Affiliate Marketing Industry here in the Philippines. Can you help me more?

Comment now