Recommendations On Thesis Proposal Writing


In order to write a high quality proposal, you need to understand its purpose clearly. Consequently, you should also be able to clearly outline it in your paper and make it as concise as possible. The easiest way to understand if you succeeded in it is to make sure that it is easy readable not only for specialists in the given area of study but also for people being unaware of the subject. It is also necessary to provide a background of the issue under discussion. However, it should serve as additional information, while the main emphasis should be placed exceptionally on the purpose of the research.

This part of thesis proposal gives the students a possibility to combine the ideas and knowledge obtained during the curriculum with the information that is planned to be used in thesis. Nevertheless, it is not simply a description of what was learnt during the semester. On the contrary, the information obtained in class should serve only as a basis for further writing. The writer should be able to show how this knowledge was useful for preparation of the thesis and deeper investigation of the subject.


The significance of the project should be outlined by explaining the following, how the project can be used to refine, revise and improve the existing knowledge on the given topic.

All three elements (refining, revising and extending knowledge) play a sufficient role in justifying the importance and worthiness of the research. It is crucial to show how the study can contribute and add value to already existing projects, studies and researches made to investigate the given topic. Thesis proposal is not about learning but about applying the obtained knowledge.

Literature Review Section

The current section is important as it serves to provide materials that are relevant to your research and support your point. Well-written literature review also shows that the writer is not limited to the information obtained in class but he/she also understands the discussed question from different perspectives (major and minor viewpoints, secondary issues connected to the problem, etc.). Literature review should be presented in a form of an annotated bibliography combined with short summery of the sources.


Primary and secondary sources should be clearly outlined in your proposal. Referring to the literature review section, you should provide information on how your proposal used the materials represented there. It will also be useful to provide information regarding data collection in terms of its costs (coping, purchasing, etc.), availability, time spent on reaching, collecting, and analyzing it, as well as efforts made to deal with the materials (working with databases, translating information, etc.).

Research Design

Research design section is used to explain how the study and research will be conducted. It contains information on methods used, as well as instruments to reach the purpose. The aim of the writer while providing the current section is to show the reader that the materials used will eventually lead to the desired outcomes. There are two ways of presenting research design:

  • Informally.
  • Formally.

Informal presentation is provided in form of questions and explains how they will be answered. At the same time, formal presentation is written in a form of a hypothesis and explains how it will be tested. Moreover, the writer should be clear in outlining the steps that will be taken to test the hypotheses or answer the questions. He/she should also provided information on the expected errors, omissions, risks, biases, usage of special instruments, methods and techniques, paradigms, controls and all the data that are going to be found. The methodology the students use in this case is the one obtained during the course. 

Outline of the Project

After deciding on the topic of the thesis, it is time to start working on it. It is important to create an outline, which will help you organize your work better. The approximate outline of the thesis proposal may look as follows:

  • Introduction;
  • Purpose statement;
  • Rationale;
  • Research design section;
  • Findings;
  • Conclusions.

While choosing the title of the paper, the writer should pay attention to whether it is informative enough and attractive to the reader. The title should clearly explain what the thesis will be about.


Miscellaneous information contains data on the costs, publication prospects, travel plans, etc. Moreover, it is recommended to add the Institutional Review Board request alongside with its approval. In the process of thesis proposal submission, it is also necessary to add a copy of IRB. However, it can be submitted later, upon request. The students have to provide IRB approval and request (their copies) to their academic advisor, as well. It is necessary to check and get necessary clarification on the documents that have to be submitted with the proposal in order to avoid problems.

After the work is done and you proposal is approved, you should send a request to student’s committee to get a thesis committee form. This form is extremely important for students in order to be eligible for graduation.