Coming with an impressive and clear cut thesis proposal is usually the first stumbling block a student faces while working towards a doctorate. There are so many times, the germ of an idea that we feel could make great research material, is quashed right at the outset as it wasn’t fleshed out properly or sounds vague and doesn’t quite make the cut, in the eyes of the guys at the committee desk.
How long should your thesis proposal be?
Now, this can be quite a challenge, you don’t want your proposal to be too short as it would look like you haven’t covered enough ground and to be honest a little unprepared. But at the same time you don’t want to be rambling and seem like you are trying too hard! It is safe to stick twenty to forty pages.
What you leave out is as important as what you put in there!
Formulate your thoughts! One easy way to save time is to arrange and edit information based on the framework of your thesis proposal. Start with the title and abstract, and make it descriptive instead of flowery. Let your introduction be crisp and to the point and let it begin with a key point on the topic you are working on, and end with a key point of what you wish to bring to the table. In the background and related work section make quick reference to the context of your subject and related study material.
When explaining about your proposed research, use as many numbered or bulleted points to sound, to the point and concise. Include a timetable of your working schedule. In the conclusion or boilerplate mention clearly you’re the purpose and intention of your study and the results you expect upon conclusion of your project.
Spend more time out there!
And finally try to spend more time on the field. According to (xxxx) a social activist based in Mexico sounds a lot more compelling than a boring essay on the racism and drug culture of teens in Mexico. Spend more time scouting the streets for info instead of the university library as it will not only give your thesis proposal a fresh perspective but also open up newer horizons.
Bite sized tips!
Work everyday. We know this is something your mom could have told you, but is essential you work so you don’t need to go full throttle at the final hour!
Audio record whatever audio information you collect and transcribe it later on, instead of jotting down notes that you may misplace or not able to make head or tail of later.
If you are quoting or including statistics from other sources make sure you give the credits or it might come across as tacky or worse still plagiarized.