The advice provided below is aimed at students who are undertaking a postgraduate degree course and who are required to write a thesis proposal for a research project.
Thesis proposals are usually written with the aim of convincing one’s professor or an examinations board that:
Your course supervisor or coordinator(s) are in the best position to provide clarification about what your academic institution expects. While the primary differences usually concern the complexity levels and length of a particular research project, one notable difference is that there should be something new in a PhD thesis.
A thesis proposal is usually presented in report form and often, as well, at a seminar. These papers can be submitted to an examinations committee or to any personnel who are closely involved in your course e.g. a course supervisor or an institution’s coordination staff.
A thesis proposal is a great way of helping the writer focus on their research objectives and for helping them to clarify the need and importance of their work. It should also forecast any foreseen problems and results, describe the intended research methods, and plan any interventions and/or alternatives.
The whole process of preparing a research proposal is an iterative one. While the writing is in progress, it is likely you will discuss several drafts with your course supervisors. Writing should be done to a regular schedule so that it is completed on time. The timeframe often varies but it usually means sometime in the first three to nine months of your postgraduate studies.
Your research work should contribute in a worthwhile way to the field it relates to and it should meet one or more of these conditions:
Lead to a new and better theory, model or concept.