There are two types of students: those who find out that writing a dissertation is a nightmare in the middle of the process and those who know for sure it will be a nigh
tmare and get ready to it in advance. The first task you get in this process is to write a dissertation proposal, and if you do it right, what happens next won’t catch you off guard.
How to Stop Procrastinate and Write a Dissertation Proposal
Every superhero has the antagonist, the enemy whom he or she is fighting against. We don’t know what your superpower is, but we are well aware of who is your major enemy, and it is Procrastination. It comes out of nowhere right when you’ve just decided to be the most productive student ever, it makes you read someone’s endless posts on Facebook, choose filters for your Instagram or just watch another episode of your favorite series. In short — it makes you postponing everything for doing nothing. The only way to deal with it at least at some level is to write a timeline and follow it.
- Step 1. Choose a topic and come up with a title. Timeframe: up to 3 hours. We bet, you know already what you are going to write about, but it is important to note it down in a clear and precise manner. Your topic should be expressed in no more than 1 sentence (better a short one), and your title should not be too plain. We live in the world of catchy headlines, which means the title of your academic paper can be anything but boring.
- Step 2. Write down goals and objectives. Timeframe: up to 8 hours. It is a must to know your objectives before you start writing. Your findings might go far beyond your initial goals, but you have to make it clear to your professor what exactly you are aiming to do.
- Step 3. Give a background to your research. Timeframe: up to 10-12 hours. In this section, everything counts: literature, context, recent events, applicability and proof of your topic’s importance. As you haven’t gone too far yet, be very attentive and self-critical at this point. If it seems to you that topic is rather plain and lacks substantial background, or doesn’t sound up-to-date enough, consider changing it or find a more fresh context to it.
- Step 4. Elaborate on methodology. Timeframe: up to 2 hours. You should give your professor a clear vision of how you are going to approach this research and why you’ve chosen the particular methods for doing it. Don’t fret. Basically, you just need to choose between empirical and non-empirical methods or give reasons for using both.
- Step 5. Give a hint regarding potential outcomes. Timeframe: up to 6 hours. You need to speculate about what outcomes you expect to receive as a result of research and analysis. It is for sure that right now you can’t guess them, and you are not obligated to, but your professor expects you to be real about what you are doing, so this section is a proof you dig in the right direction.
- Step 6. Draft outline and/or timeline. Timeframe: up to 10 hours. The outline is a detailed plan of your future dissertation, and the timeline shows how you will deal with it step by step. Your timeline might be overall or segmented according to the points in the outline. Try not to boast in advance and be realistic in what you expect from yourself. When the dissertation proposal is proved as valid your professor saves a copy of it, so he or she will be able to check your progress according to it.
- Step 7. Present a preliminary bibliography. Up to 4 hours. You can’t give a precise list, of course, but you should present at least several books and resources on which you plan to base your dissertation. Make your list diverse: use different types of sources and look for not mediocre textbooks. It is also important to use the most current material even if you are writing about Medieval history. Make sure to search for the latest updates in your field.
Of course, the timeline is rather preliminary here, but these are average numbers and we are sure you can beat them if you decide to. Good luck!