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How to Write a Dissertation or Thesis Proposal
Published on September 21, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on July 18, 2023.
When starting your thesis or dissertation process, one of the first requirements is a research proposal or a prospectus. It describes what or who you want to examine, delving into why, when, where, and how you will do so, stemming from your research question and a relevant topic .
The proposal or prospectus stage is crucial for the development of your research. It helps you choose a type of research to pursue, as well as whether to pursue qualitative or quantitative methods and what your research design will look like.
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Table of contents
What should your proposal contain, dissertation question examples, what should your proposal look like, dissertation prospectus examples, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about proposals.
Prior to jumping into the research for your thesis or dissertation, you first need to develop your research proposal and have it approved by your supervisor. It should outline all of the decisions you have taken about your project, from your dissertation topic to your hypotheses and research objectives .
Depending on your department’s requirements, there may be a defense component involved, where you present your research plan in prospectus format to your committee for their approval.
Your proposal should answer the following questions:
- Why is your research necessary?
- What is already known about your topic?
- Where and when will your research be conducted?
- Who should be studied?
- How can the research best be done?
Ultimately, your proposal should persuade your supervisor or committee that your proposed project is worth pursuing.
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Strong research kicks off with a solid research question , and dissertations are no exception to this.
Dissertation research questions should be:
- Focused on a single problem or issue
- Researchable using primary and/or secondary sources
- Feasible to answer within the timeframe and practical constraints
- Specific enough to answer thoroughly
- Complex enough to develop the answer over the space of a paper or thesis
- Relevant to your field of study and/or society more broadly
- What are the main factors enticing people under 30 in suburban areas to engage in the gig economy?
- Which techniques prove most effective for 1st-grade teachers at local elementary schools in engaging students with special needs?
- Which communication streams are the most effective for getting those aged 18-30 to the polls on Election Day?
An easy rule of thumb is that your proposal will usually resemble a (much) shorter version of your thesis or dissertation. While of course it won’t include the results section , discussion section , or conclusion , it serves as a “mini” version or roadmap for what you eventually seek to write.
Be sure to include:
- A succinct introduction to your topic and problem statement
- A brief literature review situating your topic within existing research
- A basic outline of the research methods you think will best answer your research question
- The perceived implications for future research
- A reference list in the citation style of your choice
The length of your proposal varies quite a bit depending on your discipline and type of work you’re conducting. While a thesis proposal is often only 3-7 pages long, a prospectus for your dissertation is usually much longer, with more detailed analysis. Dissertation proposals can be up to 25-30 pages in length.
Writing a proposal or prospectus can be a challenge, but we’ve compiled some examples for you to get your started.
- Example #1: “Geographic Representations of the Planet Mars, 1867-1907” by Maria Lane
- Example #2: “Individuals and the State in Late Bronze Age Greece: Messenian Perspectives on Mycenaean Society” by Dimitri Nakassis
- Example #3: “Manhood Up in the Air: A Study of Male Flight Attendants, Queerness, and Corporate Capitalism during the Cold War Era” by Phil Tiemeyer
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The research methods you use depend on the type of data you need to answer your research question .
- If you want to measure something or test a hypothesis , use quantitative methods . If you want to explore ideas, thoughts and meanings, use qualitative methods .
- If you want to analyze a large amount of readily-available data, use secondary data. If you want data specific to your purposes with control over how it is generated, collect primary data.
- If you want to establish cause-and-effect relationships between variables , use experimental methods. If you want to understand the characteristics of a research subject, use descriptive methods.
A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.
Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation , such as:
- Your anticipated title
- Your abstract
- Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review , research methods , avenues for future research, etc.)
A well-planned research design helps ensure that your methods match your research aims, that you collect high-quality data, and that you use the right kind of analysis to answer your questions, utilizing credible sources . This allows you to draw valid , trustworthy conclusions.
The priorities of a research design can vary depending on the field, but you usually have to specify:
- Your research questions and/or hypotheses
- Your overall approach (e.g., qualitative or quantitative )
- The type of design you’re using (e.g., a survey , experiment , or case study )
- Your sampling methods or criteria for selecting subjects
- Your data collection methods (e.g., questionnaires , observations)
- Your data collection procedures (e.g., operationalization , timing and data management)
- Your data analysis methods (e.g., statistical tests or thematic analysis )
A dissertation prospectus or proposal describes what or who you plan to research for your dissertation. It delves into why, when, where, and how you will do your research, as well as helps you choose a type of research to pursue. You should also determine whether you plan to pursue qualitative or quantitative methods and what your research design will look like.
It should outline all of the decisions you have taken about your project, from your dissertation topic to your hypotheses and research objectives , ready to be approved by your supervisor or committee.
Note that some departments require a defense component, where you present your prospectus to your committee orally.
Formulating a main research question can be a difficult task. Overall, your question should contribute to solving the problem that you have defined in your problem statement .
However, it should also fulfill criteria in three main areas:
- Feasibility and specificity
- Relevance and originality
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- Honors Undergraduate Thesis
- Program Resources
Thesis Proposal Examples
The Honors Undergraduate Thesis program requires students to submit a research proposal to the Office of Honors Research prior to advancing to the Thesis semester.
Generally, a scientific research proposal will include a brief introduction to the research topic, a literature review, and a methodology that will explain how the student plans to meet the objectives of the research. A proposal in the Arts and Humanities will generally include an introduction and a creative work (e.g. screenplays, short stories, artwork) or theoretical analysis.
Students will create a signature cover page for the thesis proposal that will list the entire committee and HUT Liaison. The Thesis proposal cover page template can be found here .
The following are examples of substantially researched, properly formatted research proposals and their respective signature pages. These examples should be used for reference only and not necessarily as templates. Students should his or her Thesis Chair and committee regarding the structure of the proposal, information that should be present, and documentation style.
What is a Thesis Proposal?
A thesis proposal is a document that outlines the thesis topic, defines the issues that the thesis will address, and explains why the topic warrants further research. It should identify a problem and provide a proposed solution to that problem.
Proposals representative of the sciences (both hard sciences and social sciences) should generally include the following:
- A brief introduction, which will define the thesis topic and explain the purpose of the thesis.
- A literature review that outlines the most relevant readings and theories which pertain to the thesis topic.
- A methodology section, which should include the research questions, hypotheses, participants, materials, and procedures.
- A bibliography or reference list. Most of the sources should be from peer reviewed articles or books. As with other academic papers, the use of internet sources should be limited.
For students conducting more theoretical or comparative analyses, the structure could also take the form of chapters that define and specify each concept, and a concluding chapter that brings all of these ideas together.
For students in the arts, a proposal and thesis may take the form of a creative project. In this instance, the proposal may include:
- A brief introduction, which includes the thesis statement, general intent of project, what the project should accomplish, and justification for considering the project a legitimate endeavor.
- A literature review, which includes any supporting literature that justifies the intention of the project.
- A method for accomplishing the project. Include any necessary background or equipment needed for the project, where the project will be conducted, and a proposed timeline for completion.
- A bibliography or reference list.
An alternative structure would be for students who are writing their own short stories, novellas, or screenplays.
Here, the thesis should include a clear mastery of the skill set by producing chapters of the novella, poetry selections, or the working/final screenplay. [/accordion-item][/accordion]
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College of Arts and Humanities Art History History English-Creative Writing English-Literature Philosophy
College of Business Administration Finance
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Computer Engineering Mechanical Engineering
College of Health and Public Affairs Legal Studies Sports and Exercise Science
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College of Sciences Anthropology Chemistry Mathematics Physics International & Global Studies Psychology Sociology
Graduate students begin the thesis process by writing a thesis proposal that describes the central elements of the thesis work. Those elements vary depending on the type of thesis (research, artistic, or project) that the student plans to write. Students begin drafting the thesis proposal in the course Thesis Proposal Seminar .
Below, please find detailed information about the following:
- research thesis proposal
- artistic thesis proposal
- project thesis proposal
- formatting your proposal
- getting your proposal approved
- submit your proposal
Research Thesis Proposal
The proposal for a research thesis consists of five sections:
- Thesis Statement Following an optional introduction, the basic function of this section is to articulate a phenomenon that the student proposes to investigate (whether a social event, process, a literary work, an intellectual idea or something else), and the question(s), issue(s) or problem(s) related to that phenomenon that the student plans to address in the thesis. The core of the statement may take the form of a hypothesis that the student will test, of a proposition or argument that the student intends to support, or of a general problem or question the student will explore. The section puts that basic problem statement in a larger context by explaining its historical origins (where did it come from?) and its intellectual, social, and/or artistic context (what conversation, debate, or line of inquiry does it participate in?). It also describes the sub-questions or themes that constitute the general problem. Students will cite appropriate scholarly, professional and other sources for the ideas, questions and background information contained in the section.
- Research Methods In this section, the student will identify (a) the kinds of information that needed to answer the question(s) raised in the Thesis Statement, (b) the methods the student will use to gather that information, and (c) the strategies by which the student will organize and analyze the information in such a way as to reach and support a conclusion, to construct a sound argument. If the central problem has several facets, the student may need an array of different methods for collecting and analyzing information. Students should be as precise as possible in each stage of the methods statement: Is information needed about the stylistic techniques in a novel, about changes in the poverty rates in Kenya since independence, about the ways children think about nature? Will the student pull out the metaphors in a text, find government reports on household income, interview kids about their experiences in the woods? Will the student deploy statistical forms of content analysis, correlate poverty rates with political changes, interpret themes in children’s stories? Students should reflect on the broad methodological approaches that they propose to use, and cite sources from which they derive their methods and tools. A student's central goal is to demonstrate that they know how to go about answering the question(s) that have been raised. Please note that if students intend to conduct research on living people, they will need to get the approval of the University Committee on Activities Involving Human Subjects (UCAIHS). Before they apply for that approval, students will need to take a tutorial and pass a test on the various regulations. Refer to the UCAIHS website for more information.
- Justification and Limitations This section of the proposal should explain the rationale for the thesis and the importance of the topic. Indicate the reasons why this study is important to conduct and whom it will benefit. Identify the limits beyond which the inquiry will not go. For instance, if a student is writing about a historical subject, the student must explain the relevance of the time period selected. Finally, describe the contribution the work will make to the field.
- Conclusion This section should summarize the nature and intention of the student's work. Conclude the discussion and mention any pertinent information which may not have been included above.
- Annotated Bibliography This section consists of a list of books and articles and artworks with accompanying annotations that explain why these readings and other sources are likely to be crucial as the work advances.
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Artistic Thesis Proposal
The artistic thesis consists of an artistic work and supporting essays, and it is important to conceive of each element as contributing to a coherent whole. The proposal itself consists of five sections:
- Concept Statement This section includes a brief introduction that forms the framework for the entire thesis and articulates the questions around which the creative project and supporting essays revolve.
- Description of the Artistic Work and Artistic Aims This section describes the major artistic work that will comprise the submitted artistic thesis. Students may want to refer to particular artistic influences or genres that will inform the work, or describe the aesthetic from which the creative work derives. In this section, students should also: refer to some of the artistic reasons that led to their decision to embark on this particular project; discuss the goals that will guide the development of the work; and provide concrete details about the final form and media of the work (will it be, for example, a collection of short stories, a novel; an evening of dance an exhibition of paintings, a film, or what?). If the artwork involves live performance, this section should state whether it will be a public or private event, where the event will be held, and any other details relevant to bringing the project to completion.
This section should provide the reader with relevant historical or critical information to place the central research question in context, and this section should also discuss the key theories, methods, and sources to be used within the research essay. It should demonstrate that the student knows how to begin answering the question(s) they are posing. What sorts of things will the student need to find out? What research methods will be used? What kinds of sources will be reviewed, and how will information from them be used? Who, if anyone, will be interviewed, and what kinds of questions will the subjects be asked? Students should also reflect, in this section, on the broad analytical approach that will structure their research and identify the school(s) of thought that will inform their investigations.
- Justification and Limitations This section should explain the importance of the student's work in the context of their particular artistic discipline and discuss how all components of the thesis project taken together as a single project will contribute to the scholarly and artistic fields with which it engages. This section should also discuss limitations, personal and practical, relating to the project and the student’s readiness. If the project is a film, for example, how much direct experience has the student already had in that field, and how will the student allocate the time to finish the project by the desired defense date? How much is the project likely to cost, and how does the student expect to obtain funding? What kind of spaces will be needed for rehearsal as well as presentation of the work?
Project Thesis Proposal
The project thesis includes two major components: (a) an activity (program, intervention, campaign, etc.) designed to address (solve, remediate, improve) a problem, issue or opportunity in the student's domain as a professional or activist; and (b) a written document that describes, rationalizes, analyzes, and assesses the activity. It is not strictly a research study, but rather an exercise in reflective practice. Therefore, the proposal takes a form different from that of the research or artistic thesis proposal. Please note, as well, that a project thesis must be not only designed but implemented and evaluated.
- Problem Statement This section of the proposal identifies, describes, and analyzes the problem (issue, need, opportunity) that the student will address in the project. Clearly articulate the nature of the problem: its historical, social and professional context; its dimensions and extent; its impact, and perhaps some previous efforts to address it. Present information that explains the student's understanding of the origins or causes of the problem, to set up the rationale for the choice of a strategy to solve it. At each stage, refer to appropriate scholarly and professional literatures.
- Project Plan Students should spell out their plans for addressing the problem. Students should describe the institutional setting within which the project will take place, as well as the individuals, groups, or organizations with whom they will work. What will the student (and, perhaps, others) do? What resources and strategies will be used? If the student need funds, how will they be raised and disbursed? What schedule will be followed? Be efficient, but concrete and clear in specifying the activities that will make up the project. Identify the professional and theoretical sources of the strategies for the project: What precedents and ideas are the student drawing on? Also, the student should discuss the means by which they will record and report the project activities for the members of the thesis committee. Will the student write a journal, shoot videos, keep material artifacts and documents? Students must be clear about how they intend to document the project. They may also elect to invite the members of their committee to witness the project first-hand.
- Assessment The proposal speaks to three aspects of the assessment process. In all three, students should be concrete and refer to appropriate literatures as sources of their plans. Criteria : First, students should describe and justify the criteria by which they will determine whether the project has succeeded. What are the goals and objectives? What changes does the student want to see in the participants, the organization, the larger world? Methods: What information will be needed to determine whether the goals and objectives have been met? How will that information be collected and organized? Analysis : How will that information be utilized to describe the project’s success or failure? What sorts of lessons does the student hope to draw from the assessment?
- Justification and Limitations This section of the proposal should explain the rationale for the thesis and the importance of the topic. Indicate the reasons why this study is important to conduct and whom it will benefit. Identify the limits beyond which the inquiry will not go. Finally, describe the contribution the work will make to the field.
- Conclusion This section should summarize the nature and intention of the work. Conclude the discussion and mention any pertinent information which may not have been included above.
Format of the Proposal
All thesis proposals should conform to the following specifications:
- Title Page The title should be reasonably succinct, but descriptive enough to convey the nature of the thesis; the title page should include your full name, the date of submission, and your adviser’s name.
- Length The thesis proposal should be approximately 8 pages, excluding the annotated bibliography. Remember that this is a proposal, not the thesis itself; tell us what you propose to do and how, don’t do it.
- Annotated Bibliography This bibliography should contain brief commentaries on no fewer than 10–15 relevant source works.
The Approval Process for the Thesis Proposal
The Thesis Proposal Seminar (TPS) Students write their thesis proposals while enrolled in the Thesis Proposal Seminar (CORE-GG 2401, a 2-credit core requirement offered every spring). Throughout that semester, students work closely with their Adviser and Instructor to draft an acceptable proposal. When the proposal has received approval from both the Thesis Proposal Seminar instructor (Gallatin reviewer) and the adviser, the student is allowed to move on to their thesis research. The three steps of the approval process are outlined below.
- TPS Instructor/Reviewer Approval The Thesis Proposal Seminar instructor serves as the Gallatin reviewer of the thesis proposal. A student must receive a grade of ‘Pass’ in the Thesis Proposal Seminar for the proposal to be considered ‘reviewer approved.’ If the student’s proposal is not finished at the end of the semester, the student will receive a grade of 'Incomplete' in the course and will have until June 15th to submit the proposal before moving on to thesis research.
- Adviser Approval Students work closely with their advisers over the course of the semester to produce a proposal that the adviser can approve. Once the adviser agrees that the proposal is ready, students submit their final proposal via the online Thesis Proposal submission form . The Thesis Proposal submission form allows students to provide Gallatin with additional information about the courses, internships, independent studies, jobs, and other experiences that have prepared the student for their thesis work.
- MA Program Approval Once the M.A. Program verifies adviser approval of the proposal and the student has passed the TPS, the MA Program updates the student record to show that the Thesis Proposal requirement has been satisfied.
The deadline for submitting an adviser approved thesis proposal online is June 15.
Format for a Thesis Proposal
Format is prescribed as shown below.
Table of Contents
A brief overview of the proposed research topic, and the motivation for its selection.
At least fifteen pages reflecting enough serious review of the topic to establish credibility for the proposal.
A description of the research to be undertaken. If appropriate, a statement of the hypothesis. A definition of an experiment, development project, or other expected outcome.
A description of how the goal is to be achieved: how the hypothesis will be tested, how the experiment will be conducted, etc. Provide enough detail so that an assessment can be made of the feasibility and suitability of the proposed work.
Evaluation of Results
A brief discussion of how the outcome of the research is to be evaluated.
Tentative Table of Contents for the Thesis
Tentative timetable for completion of the thesis.
Include dates for:
- completion of research
- first draft of thesis (at least six weeks prior to the defense)
- final draft (at least two weeks prior to the defense)
- defense (no later than the tenth week of the quarter in which you plan to graduate)
See: Use of References in the Thesis , Cite Electronic Resources , Cite Source Code
The title page:
(see Graduate Coordinator for a hard copy example)
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How to Write a Great Thesis Proposal The Easy Way
Table of Contents
- 1. What Is A Thesis Proposal?
- 2. Thesis Proposal Template
- 3.1. Craft Your Abstract
- 3.2. Choose Topic and Working Title
- 3.3. Create Your Introduction
- 3.4. Write the Thesis Research Questions
- 3.5. Present Your Literature Review
- 3.6. Write Down the Methodology
- 3.7. Provide Your Timeline
- 3.8. Craft A Conclusion
- 4. Thesis Proposal Example
- 5. Thesis Proposal FAQ
What Is A Thesis Proposal?
A thesis proposal is the link-bridge to the main thesis, laying out the plan of how you will conduct the research. This way, the professors (assessment committee) will know that you are on the right path and got the right tools to get to the final destination.
The first step is developing a thesis proposal outline, commonly referred to as a thesis proposal template, which will help you do your project. It provides a clear thesis proposal format so that you can easily know what to do at what stage. Your proposal should be structured on a number of key elements, each of which should assist you to define the main project.
Thesis Proposal Template
- Abstract . This is a summary of the entire proposal.
- Define the topic of the proposal. The topic is the title of the project and gives the reader a general idea of what the thesis is all about.
- Write the introduction . The introduction helps to bring out the main issues in the thesis as well as its significance.
- Craft your research questions. These are the questions that you will be seeking to answer in the thesis.
- Review the related literature. This is a comprehensive analysis of existing literature on the topic you are working on.
- Methods . These are the theoretical approaches and methods that will be used to do the study.
- Timeline . In this part, you outline the time required for doing your study.
- Conclusion . This is the last part of your proposal and is used to give the anticipated results from the study.
How to Write a Thesis Proposal
A thesis proposal requires comprehensive research, preparation, and a well-defined final destination. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you craft thee best proposal for your thesis.
“ The differences in communication styles between men and women have been a topic of interest in the research world for many years. These differences may lead to miscommunication, conflict, and even dissatisfaction between couples. This study analyzes the communication styles among genders, more specifically among married couples. It questions how differences in communication styles between married couples married five years or less affect marital satisfaction. …”
Discuss the topic with your supervisor. Your supervisor can help you to refine the topic further, and give you the assurance that you are headed in the right direction. He/she will also assist you in grasping the complexities to anticipate along the way and the best way to approach them. See a good thesis proposal example topic.
“ A Detailed History of Halloween and King of Gourds: A Study of Horror Symbolism”
“ The first spooky faces were carved on pumpkins by rats, although considered inferior, mimics were later done by people. When rats brought the dangerous Black Death, people started connecting pumpkins to plague. Pumpkins were also used to scare off the spirits of the dead person to prevent further deaths. Soon after, Jack o lanterns were adopted across the globe as common Halloween talismans. ”
“ What effect does daily use of Facebook have on the Attention span of adolescents?” “What effect do legal approaches have on people who drink and drive in the UK?”
“ Noller (1980) comprehensively compared the effectiveness of women and men as nonverbal communicators. Being an effective communicator involves both encoding and decoding messages. Noller argued that w omen have a natural tendency to be more expressive. He added that men tend to make more errors than women when encoding messages.”
Theoretical approaches. Analytical framework. Formulas and equations. Experiments. Philosophies.
“Pumpkins are crucial Jungian symbols used to indicate the desire of the subconscious mind to control and change the feeling of horror and fear of the people’s desire to understand the unknowable. This study will expand the field of pumpkinology, while fellowship with rats will further be expanded. This will herald a new era of plague-less companionship.”
Thesis Proposal Example
Check out this thesis proposal sample from our dissertation proposal writing services to get an idea of how a good thesis proposal is supposed to look and to give you a better idea of what to do.
Significant advances in technological capacity have brought the world closer. While this is a positive aspect, it has also introduced a new kind of problem. Cyber-attacks are common features in the present internet age. Individuals and governments are at risk of being targeted, leading to studies involved in alleviating possible breakdown of society owing to its dependence on technology. The paper aims at determining the United States’ preparedness for cybercrime by looking at the nation’s best law enforcement agencies, the CIA and the FBI. By understanding the inner workings of these bodies with relation to cybercrime, the research aims at eliciting an understanding of issues that have been dealt with and showcasing emerging issues that threaten existing cybersecurity measures in a bid to improve them. Cybercrime has shown considerable advancement over the past, necessitating nationwide attention, where the Federal government should use its resources to ensure it is always up to date on matters concerning cybersecurity. In this way, the avenues used by cybercriminals are destroyed.
The significant advancement made in internet technology has yielded a lot of aid in the development of certain aspects of the world relating to information technology. Ranging from medical studies to an intricate internet monetary system (Bitcoin has grown significantly over the past few years) internet development is at the core of modern civilization. As such, issues relating to the internet are of particular concern, especially to developed nations such as the U.S.A. In recent years, a new form of crime has developed due to the growth in internet usage. Cybercrime is a relatively new threat in the American system. Nations such as China and Russia have evidenced an inclination towards technological development, therefore, it is important to determine America’s preparedness for issues that deal with cyber-attacks. The issue can be seen to have dire consequences for economies as cybercriminals have in the past hacked into American corporations (incidences have been blamed on Russia and China). Well-established protocols should be put in place to deal with the growing threat that cannot be alleviated by traditional means of defense. The paper aims at determining if the U.S. is prepared in case of future cyberattacks as cybercriminals continue to increase on a global scale.
Therefore, cybercrime can be deemed as the newest threat to the development of nations in the internet era, which leads to the purpose of this study. It entails an intricate knowledge of writings on the issue and methods that can be used to determine the level of risk faced by an organization or government with regard to cyber attacks. In this way, the researcher aims at ascertaining the relevance of U.S.A. security against cybercrime.
Many scholars argue that governments, as seen by efforts of agencies such as FBI, have limited interest in developing countermeasures for cyber threats. While these institutions confer that the next leading global giants will undoubtedly have the best virtual network connectivity, most of them do not consider cybercrime as serious. In recent years, the United States (U.S) government has come up with various legislations regarding crime committed on cyberspace. While they have elicited some kind of response from the public, enacted legislation is inadequate in curbing cybercriminals. A good example of the limited focus on cyber security is evidenced in the restrictions placed on the FBI with regard to an iPhone that had potentially useful information due to a confidentiality clause.
Such issues should be considered when coming up with legislation concerning cybercrime. Nevertheless, such an issue showcased instances where the public views technological advancements of the government in curbing crime as the FBI hacked the suspect’s phone. It is important to note that a large portion of legislation targeting cyber criminals has been developed after individuals have committed a crime. This is particularly visible in the nation’s interest in cyberspace which developed after leaked information revealed that the Chinese government had hacked government systems in the U.S.A. for an unknown period of time. As such, the FBI has failed in this regard to protect citizens from cybercriminals. A large number of crimes dealing with the internet have led to leaked information concerning individuals such as social security numbers and credit card information. Therefore, loss of such information has led to an increase in crime where identity theft plays a crucial role in highlighting cyber-crime effects. Nevertheless, governments continue to downplay the importance of cyber security, since there is no clearly accepted definition of cyber warfare, cyberattacks and cybercrime. This leads to hackers being provided the opportunity to continue with their tasks unhindered, allowing them to progress faster than the law in this respect.
Furthermore, it is necessary to point out the diversity of cybercrime to better develop the issue. Cybercrime targets anyone without any form of consideration for age, sex, or financial status. A young child whose information has been stolen could be the victim in a social security fraud case. In this case, individuals use the child’s documents to open up new lines of credit thereby giving criminals revenue to conduct their activities which negatively affects the individuals in the future and the country. For such a victim, it is difficult to determine the source of the hack since most people realize these issues when they require credit such as when applying for a loan. In the same way, an organization may be threatened with leakage of information regarding a particular product that could potentially lead to loss of revenue. Multiplier effects of such hacks are immense, cutting across the economy as some people are at risk of losing their livelihoods.
Therefore, new laws enacted to protect people against cybercrime have led to a unanimous agreement by nations. This concerns the role of cyber security in eradicating cybercrime, showcasing its importance in a country. Mohammed and Mariani also agree as they emphasize for governments to adopt better measures of cybersecurity. To deter criminals, nations need to understand the implications of cybercrime in the communities involved. Rather than wait for a criminal occurrence to develop good countermeasures, they should invest a sizeable quantity of resources to the attainment of peak cybersecurity measures.
A large number of studies related to cybercrime have focused on the ability of a country to mitigate cybercrime based on existing research and technological capabilities. However, this study aims to develop an understanding of the American system with regard to its readiness to deal with this form of crime. In this respect, the research will focus on the government’s primary law enforcement agency tasked with interior security (F.B.I) and their ability to prevent cybercriminals from operating in the U.S. It is important to ascertain the agency’s level of development in terms of computer expertise. Moreover, the CIA is tasked with external protection of the nation. The study will thus include measures taken by the CIA. in their pursuit of a nation without cybercriminals.
However, the key to determining the relevance of a nation’s systems in curbing cybercrime is the legislature where it needs to come up with severe penalties for perpetrators of these acts. As such, individuals who wish to become hackers will be less receptive to the allure of hacking as they consider the penalty as extremely high. This requires a nation to develop strong foreign policies dealing with cybercrime. Such systems act as a deterrent to foreign nationals who would wish to hack a country such as America due to the potential legal ramifications. In this manner, the number of white hat hackers is likely to increase thus contributing to a nation’s systems to counter cybercrime. As a large pool of individuals possesses skills that could potentially aid a government to prevent future attacks, it is important to look at the criminal system and how it deals with cybercriminals. Some of these individuals possess a significant number of skills that could improve cybersecurity when used in a positive manner. Therefore, rather than work against people with good computer skills, the government will work with them to boost the nation’s cyber security. This reduces the number of people in the prison system and provides the government with a proper labor force to maintain cyber security.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to consider the impact of integrating criminals into the justice system since it might have detrimental effects. These may arise because of nationalism. Individuals who hack American systems are less likely to be of American descent. Therefore, providing them with access to sensitive information could be disastrous if they continue exhibiting radical tendencies. However, for an agency or bureau to develop proper measures of security, there is a need to understand the mindset of cybercriminals. Offering these individuals incentives such as monetary compensation and reduced jail sentences could help mitigate against the aforementioned issues.
Research Design & Methods
The research will differ from the majority of studies by concentrating on non-experimental methods, specifically correlational research where the focus is on reduction of cybercrime in the nation as security systems continue to improve. With a certain focus on the American system, the study will encompass various studies in an attempt to find a connection between them. In this way, it will be possible to determine the manner in which the U.S. has survived a myriad of cyber attacks based on existing technology. Furthermore, this approach aids in showcasing a trend of the manner in which cybercrime is developing in contemporary societies. As such, the CIA and FBI come into focus. They are deemed the paramount institutions established by the U.S. in dealing with threats, both externally and internally and thus a review of the processes employed by both institutions is helpful in gauging American readiness for cyber warfare.
In recent years, various internet-based institutions have taken over the global markets. Bitcoin threatens the very existence of conventional financial instruments as it continues on an upward trend. Other actors such as Google have grown considerably over the past decade to become giant corporations. As such, the internet continues to broaden in its application to normal day life. It is, therefore prudent that the US government improve its cyber security to protect its organizations.
Moreover, it is impossible to come up with an accurate depiction of the nation’s state in terms of cybersecurity. This is because information regarding systems used by the CIA and FBI is highly classified. As such, the study can only base its arguments on technologies used by the F.B.I., that is, those that they evidence to the public as opposed to the one’s they do not reveal. It is also important to gauge the direction in which government institutions have gone in their attempts to deviate cybercriminals from criminal behavior. A recent issue concerning the hack of an iPhone belonging to the San Bernadino shooter is proof of the advancement in hacking technology within the government. It is possible to come up with an insightful view of the focus placed by governments, particularly the American government concerning cyber security by looking at budget records and trends in recent past. A rise in the value assigned to local agencies to deal with cyber threats shows increased interest in cyber security.
Cybercrime plays a huge role in modern societies. Many nations have claimed that whomever leads in technological capacity wields a large power. As such, while governments focus on physical threats, the study intends to ascertain their readiness for a cyber attack. With the U.S. as the primary source of information, the paper aims at developing an understanding into the digital world and ways that the government has, and should, use resources in creating impenetrable cyber security systems.
Seek Thesis Proposal Help
At this point, it is important to point out that writing a thesis proposal is never easy. Indeed, many are university students who get stuck even before getting started. But you cannot give up because the proposal is the gateway to crafting a great thesis. Therefore, you should seek writing help from professionals.
The experts have been writing thesis proposals and other tasks that students fund tough to handle. In addition to being experts in different fields, they know what works and what does not. So, they are your best bet to crafting a great proposal and, finally, the best thesis to impress the evaluation committee. We are the best master thesis writing service online, and are as reliable as it gets!
Thesis Proposal FAQ
- How long should a thesis proposal be? Although the length of a thesis proposal may differ from one university to another, the average length is about ten pages.
- What is the best formatting and citation for a proposal and thesis? Well, there is no standard formatting and citation method when it comes to writing proposals and thesis. However, your department will give the recommended formatting and citation style that students should use for their proposal. If your department does not provide a clear guideline on formatting and citation, consider checking the best sample thesis proposal to see how the best students did it.
- How long does it take to draft a thesis proposal? It depends on the type of research paper you are writing and the requirement for the proposal. You can dedicate an entire day to draft a proposal. But, the average amount of time you should spend on a thesis proposal should not exceed three days.
- Literature review
- Research methodology
- Ethical consideration
- Research timeline
- Is Writing a thesis proposal stressful? Definitely, writing a thesis proposal requires ample time for research and preparation to avoid being rejected. It might take your time but when you have an idea of what you’re working on, it isn’t too stressful.
- Best way on how to write a thesis proposal? It is very simple. Research. Doing a thorough research before starting your proposal makes the work easier. The secret to every thesis proposal or research paper that is properly written is the amount of research that went into producing the paper. Therefore, when starting your proposal, carry out an extensive research on your topic to build up more information.
- Is Writing a thesis proposal hard? Aside from researching, most times, putting together a thesis proposal even after extensive research can be a bit difficult. It could be the challenge of not knowing how to start or “how to put pen on paper”. Every researcher or student experiences this at the initial stage. But, the important thing to note is that you don’t need to get it right in your first draft. Just write. You can structure it later.
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How to write a thesis proposal
I. Framework II. Structure of a thesis proposal III. Order in which to write the proposal IV. Tips V. Resources
- An environmental issue is identified.
- Other people's work on the topic is collected and evaluated.
- Data necessary to solving the problem are either collected by the student, or obtained independently.
- Data are analyzed using techniques appropriate to the data set.
- Results of the analysis are reported and are interpreted in light of the initial environmental issue.
- the thesis topic addresses a significant environmental problem;
- an organized plan is in place for collecting or obtaining data to help solve the problem;
- methods of data analysis have been identified and are appropriate to the data set.
II. Structure of a thesis proposal
- Table of contents
- Thesis statement
- Preliminary results and discussion
- Work plan including time table
- Implications of research
- List of references
- contains short, descriptive title of the proposed thesis project (should be fairly self-explanatory)
- and author, institution, department, resreach mentor, mentor's institution, and date of delivery
- the abstract is a brief summary of your thesis proposal
- its length should not exceed ~200 words
- present a brief introduction to the issue
- make the key statement of your thesis
- give a summary of how you want to address the issue
- include a possible implication of your work, if successfully completed
- list all headings and subheadings with page numbers
- indent subheadings
- this section sets the context for your proposed project and must capture the reader's interest
- explain the background of your study starting from a broad picture narrowing in on your research question
- review what is known about your research topic as far as it is relevant to your thesis
- cite relevant references
- the introduction should be at a level that makes it easy to understand for readers with a general science background, for example your classmates
- in a couple of sentences, state your thesis
- this statement can take the form of a hypothesis, research question, project statement, or goal statement
- the thesis statement should capture the essence of your intended project and also help to put boundaries around it
- this section contains an overall description of your approach, materials, and procedures
- what methods will be used?
- how will data be collected and analyzed?
- what materials will be used?
- include calculations, technique, procedure, equipment, and calibration graphs
- detail limitations, assumptions, and range of validity
- citations should be limited to data sources and more complete descriptions of procedures
- do not include results and discussion of results here
- present any results you already have obtained
- discuss how they fit in the framework of your thesis
- describe in detail what you plan to do until completion of your senior thesis project
- list the stages of your project in a table format
- indicate deadlines you have set for completing each stage of the project, including any work you have already completed
- discuss any particular challenges that need to be overcome
- what new knowledge will the proposed project produce that we do not already know?
- why is it worth knowing, what are the major implications?
- cite all ideas, concepts, text, data that are not your own
- if you make a statement, back it up with your own data or a reference
- all references cited in the text must be listed
- cite single-author references by the surname of the author (followed by date of the publication in parenthesis)
- ... according to Hays (1994)
- ... population growth is one of the greatest environmental concerns facing future generations (Hays, 1994).
- cite double-author references by the surnames of both authors (followed by date of the publication in parenthesis)
- e.g. Simpson and Hays (1994)
- cite more than double-author references by the surname of the first author followed by et al. and then the date of the publication
- e.g. Pfirman, Simpson and Hays would be:
- Pfirman et al. (1994)
- cite newspaper articles using the newspaper name and date, e.g.
- ....this problem was also recently discussed in the press (New York Times, 1/15/00)
- do not use footnotes
- list all references cited in the text in alphabetical order using the following format for different types of material:
- Hunt, S. (1966) Carbohydrate and amino acid composition of the egg capsules of the whelk. Nature , 210, 436-437.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (1997) Commonly asked questions about ozone. http://www.noaa.gov/public-affairs/grounders/ozo1.html, 9/27/97.
- Pfirman, S.L., M. Stute, H.J. Simpson, and J. Hays (1996) Undergraduate research at Barnard and Columbia, Journal of Research , 11, 213-214.
- Pechenik, J.A. (1987) A short guide to writing about biology. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 194pp.
- Pitelka, D.R., and F.M. Child (1964) Review of ciliary structure and function. In: Biochemistry and Physiology of Protozoa , Vol. 3 (S.H. Hutner, editor), Academic Press, New York, 131-198.
- Sambrotto, R. (1997) lecture notes, Environmental Data Analysis, Barnard College, Oct 2, 1997.
- Stute, M., J.F. Clark, P. Schlosser, W.S. Broecker, and G. Bonani (1995) A high altitude continental paleotemperature record derived from noble gases dissolved in groundwater from the San Juan Basin, New Mexico. Quat. Res. , 43, 209-220.
- New York Times (1/15/00) PCBs in the Hudson still an issue, A2.
- it is acceptable to put the initials of the individual authors behind their last names, e.g. Pfirman, S.L., Stute, M., Simpson, H.J., and Hays, J (1996) Undergraduate research at ......
III. Order in which to write the proposal
- Make an outline of your thesis proposal before you start writing
- Prepare figures and tables
- Figure captions
- Discussion of your data
- Inferences from your data
- "Pictures say more than a thousand words!" Figures serve to illustrate important aspects of the background material, sample data, and analysis techniques.
- A well chosen and well labeled figure can reduce text length, and improve proposal clarity. Proposals often contain figures from other articles. These can be appropriate, but you should consider modifying them if the modifications will improve your point.
- The whole process of making a drawing is important for two reasons. First, it clarifies your thinking. If you dont understand the process, you cant draw it. Second, good drawings are very valuable. Other scientists will understand your paper better if you can make a drawing of your ideas. A co-author of mine has advised me: make figures that other people will want to steal. They will cite your paper because they want to use your figure in their paper.
- Make cartoons using a scientific drawing program. Depending upon the subject of your paper, a cartoon might incorporate the following:
- a picture of the scientific equipment that you are using and an explanation of how it works;
- a drawing of a cycle showing steps, feedback loops, and bifurcations: this can include chemical or mathematical equations;
- a flow chart showing the steps in a process and the possible causes and consequences.
- Incorporate graphs in the text or on separated sheets inserted in the thesis proposal
- Modern computer technology such as scanners and drafting programs are available in the department to help you create or modify pictures.
- Poor grammar and spelling distract from the content of the proposal. The reader focuses on the grammar and spelling problems and misses keys points made in the text. Modern word processing programs have grammar and spell checkers. Use them.
- Read your proposal aloud - then have a friend read it aloud. If your sentences seem too long, make two or three sentences instead of one. Try to write the same way that you speak when you are explaining a concept. Most people speak more clearly than they write.
- You should have read your proposal over at least 5 times before handing it in
- Simple wording is generally better
- If you get comments from others that seem completely irrelevant to you, your paper is not written clearly enough never use a complex word if a simpler word will do
The senior seminar website has a very detailed document on " How to write a thesis " which you might want to look at. Most of the tips given there are relevant for your thesis proposal as well. Recommended books on scientific writing Some of the material on this page was adapted from: http://www.geo.utep.edu/Grad_Info/prop_guide.html http://www.hartwick.edu/anthropology/proposal.htm http://csdl.ics.hawaii.edu/FAQ/FAQ/thesis-proposal.html http://www.butler.edu/honors/PropsTheses.html
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Step 1: make an outline of your proposal, step 2: defining a structure, step 3: planning your writing, step 4: write about your topic following the thesis proposal format, step 5: proofread your finished proposal, not following instructions, research issues being investigated are not important enough, research purpose, objectives, and questions don’t align, unjustified topic for the research study, share this post on your network, you may also like these articles, 21+ sample demolition proposals in pdf | ms word.
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Powerful Ideas. Proven Results.
All students should give serious consideration to electing to write a thesis. A thesis involves original research and is a proven method for developing specialized knowledge and skills that can enhance an individual’s expertise within a substantive area of study. A thesis is recommended for students who intend to continue study toward the PhD degree or plan research-related employment. If the thesis option is elected, the student must write the thesis and pass an oral examination on a report of research initiated by the student under the guidance of the major professor. A faculty committee, chaired by the major professor, will evaluate the written report and conduct an oral examination of the candidate.
Thesis Proposal Outline
This sample outline may not be appropriate for some studies. You should decide, in consultation with your major professor, whether to follow the sample outline below or modify it to suit the needs of your particular study. Proposals from former students are available on the department website and can be reviewed to assist you in developing your proposal.
- General background of the subject area
- Specific background for the topic of investigation
- Review of the literature
- Definitions of all key terms
- The hypotheses or questions to be addressed
- Identify and justify the choice of general approach and specific research method
- Subjects (if applicable; describe them and your rationale for their selection)
- Outline of Projected Results
- Potential Conclusions and Implications
- “Working” Bibliography of Sources & Materials
Sample Thesis Proposals
- Sample 1
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- Sample 3
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Proposal Overview and Format
Proposal committee, proposal hearing or meeting.
- Printing Credit for Use in School of Education Labs
Students are urged to begin thinking about a dissertation topic early in their degree program. Concentrated work on a dissertation proposal normally begins after successful completion of the Second-Year Review, which often includes a “mini” proposal, an extended literature review, or a theoretical essay, plus advancement to doctoral candidacy. In defining a dissertation topic, the student collaborates with her or his faculty advisor or dissertation advisor (if one is selected) in the choice of a topic for the dissertation.
The dissertation proposal is a comprehensive statement on the extent and nature of the student’s dissertation research interests. Students submit a draft of the proposal to their dissertation advisor between the end of the seventh and middle of the ninth quarters. The student must provide a written copy of the proposal to the faculty committee no later than two weeks prior to the date of the proposal hearing. Committee members could require an earlier deadline (e.g., four weeks before the hearing).
The major components of the proposal are as follows, with some variations across Areas and disciplines:
- A detailed statement of the problem that is to be studied and the context within which it is to be seen. This should include a justification of the importance of the problem on both theoretical and educational grounds.
- A thorough review of the literature pertinent to the research problem. This review should provide proof that the relevant literature in the field has been thoroughly researched. Good research is cumulative; it builds on the thoughts, findings, and mistakes of others.
- its general explanatory interest
- the overall theoretical framework within which this interest is to be pursued
- the model or hypotheses to be tested or the research questions to be answered
- a discussion of the conceptual and operational properties of the variables
- an overview of strategies for collecting appropriate evidence (sampling, instrumentation, data collection, data reduction, data analysis)
- a discussion of how the evidence is to be interpreted (This aspect of the proposal will be somewhat different in fields such as history and philosophy of education.)
- If applicable, students should complete a request for approval of research with human subjects, using the Human Subjects Review Form ( http://humansubjects.stanford.edu/ ). Except for pilot work, the University requires the approval of the Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Behavioral Science Research before any data can be collected from human subjects.
Registration (i.e., enrollment) is required for any quarter during which a degree requirement is completed, including the dissertation proposal. Refer to the Registration or Enrollment for Milestone Completion section for more details.
As students progress through the program, their interests may change. There is no commitment on the part of the student’s advisor to automatically serve as the dissertation chair. Based on the student’s interests and the dissertation topic, many students approach other GSE professors to serve as the dissertation advisor, if appropriate.
A dissertation proposal committee is comprised of three academic council faculty members, one of whom will serve as the major dissertation advisor. Whether or not the student’s general program advisor serves on the dissertation proposal committee and later the reading committee will depend on the relevance of that faculty member’s expertise to the topic of the dissertation, and his/her availability. There is no requirement that a program advisor serve, although very often he or she does. Members of the dissertation proposal committee may be drawn from other area committees within the GSE, from other departments in the University, or from emeriti faculty. At least one person serving on the proposal committee must be from the student’s area committee (CTE, DAPS, SHIPS). All three members must be on the Academic Council; if the student desires the expertise of a non-Academic Council member, it may be possible to petition. After the hearing, a memorandum listing the changes to be made will be written and submitted with the signed proposal cover sheet and a copy of the proposal itself to the Doctoral Programs Officer.
Review and approval of the dissertation proposal occurs normally during the third year. The proposal hearing seeks to review the quality and feasibility of the proposal. The Second-Year Review and the Proposal Hearing are separate milestones and may not occur as part of the same hearing or meeting.
The student and the dissertation advisor are responsible for scheduling a formal meeting or hearing to review the proposal; the student and proposal committee convene for this evaluative period. Normally, all must be present at the meeting either in person or via conference phone call.
At the end of this meeting, the dissertation proposal committee members should sign the Cover Sheet for Dissertation Proposal and indicate their approval or rejection of the proposal. This signed form should be submitted to the Doctoral Programs Officer. If the student is required to make revisions, an addendum is required with the written approval of each member of the committee stating that the proposal has been revised to their satisfaction.
After submitting the Proposal Hearing material to the Doctoral Programs Officer, the student should make arrangements with three faculty members to serve on her or his Dissertation Reading Committee. The Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee form should be completed and given to the Doctoral Programs Officer to enter in the University student records system. Note: The proposal hearing committee and the reading committee do not have to be the same three faculty members. Normally, the proposal hearing precedes the designation of a Dissertation Reading Committee, and faculty on either committee may differ (except for the primary dissertation advisor). However, some students may advance to Terminal Graduate Registration (TGR) status before completing their dissertation proposal hearing if they have established a dissertation reading committee. In these cases, it is acceptable for the student to form a reading committee prior to the dissertation proposal hearing. The reading committee then serves as the proposal committee.
The proposal and reading committee forms and related instructions are on the GSE website, under current students>forms.
Printing Credit for Use in GSE Labs
Upon completion of their doctoral dissertation proposal, GSE students are eligible for a $300 printing credit redeemable in any of the GSE computer labs where students are normally charged for print jobs. Only one $300 credit per student will be issued, but it is usable throughout the remainder of her or his doctoral program until the balance is exhausted. The print credit can be used only at the printers in Cubberley basement and CERAS, and cannot be used toward copying.
After submitting the signed dissertation proposal cover sheet to the Doctoral Programs Officer indicating approval (see above), students can submit a HELP SU ticket online at helpsu.stanford.edu to request the credit. When submitting the help ticket, the following should be selected from the drop-down menus for HELP SU:
Request Category : Computer, Handhelds (PDAs), Printers, Servers Request Type : Printer Operating System : (whatever system is used by the student, e.g., Windows XP.)
The help ticket will be routed to the GSE's IT Group for processing; they will in turn notify the student via email when the credit is available.
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Thesis Format - Detailed Guideline and Template
Published on: Apr 23, 2019
Last updated on: Jan 1, 2023
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Writing a thesis can be a daunting task as it requires chapters of research work. However, learning from those who have tackled this task can make the process smoother. Moreover, students must also follow strict formatting requirements in thesis writing .
It is always better to consult the supervisor to determine the proper thesis structure format and writing style. Any deviations from the formatting guidelines may lead to the rejection of the thesis proposal.
If you are working on your thesis and need guidance about how to format a thesis. Refer to this guide to get a better idea of a good thesis format.
Thesis Format Definition
A thesis format is a set of rules you should follow to plan, structure, and organize your main ideas. It is essential to give a logical direction to the thesis paper.
Moreover, the structure is the first thing that the supervisors notice while going through your essays, papers, or thesis. Therefore, students must follow a proper format. However, it is a stressful task for those people who are unfamiliar with the right template.
Every institution follows its formatting guidelines for thesis and dissertation. It is beneficial for a student to know them before getting started with the paper. Moreover, they can also consult with the teacher to get a better understanding of the concept.
Remember, a poorly formatted thesis can affect your grades. Therefore, pay close attention to this section while writing your project.
Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job
What is the Proper Thesis Format?
A thesis format usually consists of four major sections.
Section 1 - Preliminary Pages
- Title page (required)
- Dedication (optional)
- Acknowledgment (optional)
- Abstract (required)
- Table of contents (required)
- List of tables (required)
- List of figures (required)
- List of abbreviations (optional)
Section 2 - Text
- Introduction (referred to as Chapter 1)
- Body of Thesis
Section 3 - References/ Bibliography (required)
Section 4 - Appendices (optional)
The sections of the thesis paper format are discussed below in detail.
Preliminary pages are the write-ups that come before the main chapters of your thesis. They are counted in sequence. Moreover, such pages are used to arrange and divide the various sections logically.
The following are the main parts of the preliminary pages.
The title page serves as a basic introduction to your thesis research. It is a meaningful description of your work. Furthermore, a thesis title page format must include the following elements:
- The topic of the thesis
- Student name
- Supervisor name
- Date of submission
However, never put a page number on this page.
Check out our compiled list of thesis topics to get amazing ideas for your work.
Dedication is one of the preliminary pages of your thesis. It includes the dedication of your research work to your loved ones or the people that hold it in high regard. It is an optional page but should be numbered with Roman numerals if included.
On the acknowledgment page, the writer appreciates and acknowledges the people who contributed directly or indirectly to the research. These may include the supervisor, advisors, and the parents who supported you to produce successful wor
The abstract is a description of your work. It should briefly state the research methodology, research problem, conclusion, and results. Moreover, an abstract is of 100-150 words that roughly makes 5-10 sentences.
The table of contents contains a list of headings and subheadings of the thesis with the page numbers. This section must be numbered with Roman numerals at the center bottom of each page.
Also, make sure to write the text with double spacing and follow the supervisor’s format.
Tables usually list the tabulated numerical data. Thus, a list of tables is a type of reference tool that includes table titles and numbers. It enables the readers to quickly navigate through the data on a thesis page. Moreover, it is similar to creating a table of contents and also includes page numbers.
Some common types of figures include images, charts, maps, drawings, and graphs. Thus, the list of figures in a thesis must consist of the figure titles and numbers. Furthermore, this section also follows the same format of thesis used in the table of contents.
Remember to use double spacing and Roman numerals for page numbers.
A list of abbreviations includes unfamiliar terms, symbols, acronyms, and their meaning. These can be in different fields and languages like Latin and English abbreviations.
The text contains well-defined parts and chapters discussing the analysis of your thesis. Also, it should start with page 1 in Arabic numerals.
The main chapters included in the text are given below.
It is referred to as the first chapter of a thesis project. A good thesis introduction must state the following aspects.
- The purpose of the study
- The problem being studied
- The background of the research (context and importance)
- Previous work by other scholars
- A methodological approach to carry the research
- Criteria for the success of the research
The important parts of the main body are as follows.
- Theoretical Framework - It discusses the research problem within the framework of a theory. Moreover, it will further develop a theoretical basis for your methodology design.
- Methodological Procedures - List and describe the key methodology and designs used to conduct the thesis work. Similarly, this section can also use visuals to illustrate the testing procedures.
- Findings - The findings usually present the results with the help of tables and graphs. Furthermore, you can also characterize the result patterns by estimating their accuracy.
- Discussion - This section will discuss the results and their significance in detail. You can also compare the results with the relevant theories.
The following are the major elements of a thesis conclusion.
- Summarize the Research - Provide a brief summary of the research approach and the findings. Also, review and relate the results to the problem statement.
- Assess Your Study - This section will assess your work’s success according to the success criteria mentioned in the introduction. Similarly, it will also discuss how well the results matched your expectations.
- State Your Contributions - It will state the contribution of your research to the knowledge in your field. Explain how the study helps solve the problem statement and address the gap in the existing literature.
- Recommendation - Here, discuss how the results have confirmed or challenged an existing theory and recommend future research directions.
This section contains an alphabetical list of all the sources used in the research. Follow the bibliography, footnote, and thesis reference format guidelines specified by the institution.
However, if your referencing section is longer than two pages, classify and divide it into subsections. It should be done according to the type of sources (books, journals, etc.) or time period.
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A writer must provide calculations, procedures, and data in separate and detailed appendices. Moreover, give each appendix a letter (A, B, C), a title, and an introduction paragraph.
Refer to the below-given document to understand the format template of a thesis paper.
Thesis Format Template
Thesis Format Sample
Here are some thesis format examples to get a better understanding.
MLA Thesis Format
APA Thesis Format
Baby Thesis Format
Undergraduate Thesis Format
Masters Thesis Format
PhD Thesis Format
Thesis Format for Computer Science
Thesis Paper Formatting Tips
Here are some expert tips to format your thesis proposal or final thesis draft.
- Use the A4 page size for a thesis paper.
- Times New Roman 12pt and Arial 11pt are the commonly used font style and size.
- There should be 1.5 line spacing for the text and single spacing for the quotations.
- The right/left margin should be set to 1.25 inches, and the top/bottom margin must be set to 1 inch.
- All pages must be numbered in Roman numerals except the title page. It must be placed in the bottom center of each page.
- Use a citation style recommended by your instructor. It may include APA, MLA, and Chicago referencing.
- Italics are used for writing books and journal titles.
- Bold text should be used within the text for headings and subheadings.
- Use short and simple words for the readers to understand easily.
- Capitalize the first letter of the important words in headings and titles.
- Do not change the all-cap style used for acronyms, e.g., AIDS.
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University Thesis and Dissertation Templates
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Theses and dissertations are already intensive, long-term projects that require a lot of effort and time from their authors. Formatting for submission to the university is often the last thing that graduate students do, and may delay earning the relevant degree if done incorrectly.
Below are some strategies graduate students can use to deal with institutional formatting requirements to earn their degrees on time.
Disciplinary conventions are still paramount.
Scholars in your own discipline are the most common readers of your dissertation; your committee, too, will expect your work to match with their expectations as members of your field. The style guide your field uses most commonly is always the one you should follow, and if your field uses conventions such as including all figures and illustrations at the end of the document, you should do so. After these considerations are met, move on to university formatting. Almost always, university formatting only deals with things like margins, font, numbering of chapters and sections, and illustrations; disciplinary style conventions in content such as APA's directive to use only last names of authors in-text are not interfered with by university formatting at all.
Use your university's formatting guidelines and templates to your advantage.
If your institution has a template for formatting your thesis or dissertation that you can use, do so. Don't look at another student's document and try to replicate it yourself. These templates typically have the necessary section breaks and styles already in the document, and you can copy in your work from your existing draft using the style pane in MS Word to ensure you're using the correct formatting (similarly with software such as Overleaf when writing in LaTeX, templates do a lot of the work for you). It's also often easier for workers in the offices that deal with theses and dissertations to help you with your work if you're using their template — they are familiar with these templates and can often navigate them more proficiently.
These templates also include placeholders for all front matter you will need to include in your thesis or dissertation, and may include guidelines for how to write these. Front matter includes your table of contents, acknowledgements, abstract, abbreviation list, figure list, committee page, and (sometimes) academic history or CV; everything before your introduction is front matter. Since front matter pages such as the author's academic history and dissertation committee are usually for the graduate school and not for your department, your advisor might not remember to have you include them. Knowing about them well before your deposit date means you won't be scrambling to fill in placeholders at the last minute or getting your work returned for revision from the graduate school.
Consider institutional formatting early and often.
Many graduate students leave this aspect of submitting their projects until it's almost too late to work on it, causing delays in obtaining their degree. Simply being aware that this is a task you'll have to complete and making sure you know where templates are, who you can ask for help in your graduate office or your department, and what your institution's guidelines are can help alleviate this issue. Once you know what you'll be expected to do to convert to university formatting, you can set regular check-in times for yourself to do this work in pieces rather than all at once (for instance, when you've completed a chapter and had it approved by your chair).
Consider fair use for images and other third-party content.
Most theses and dissertations are published through ProQuest or another publisher (Harvard, for instance, uses their own open publishing service). For this reason, it may be the case that your institution requires all images or other content obtained from other sources to fall under fair use rules or, if an image is not considered under fair use, you'll have to obtain permission to print it in your dissertation. Your institution should have more guidance on their specific expectations for fair use content; knowing what these guidelines are well in advance of your deposit date means you won't have to make last-minute changes or removals to deposit your work.
- How It Works
How to Write the Perfect Thesis Proposal
Before you begin your thesis or dissertation, you will have to prepare a proposal. A thesis proposal is a roadmap to your actual research. It outlines the topic and acts as a guide to understand why the issues you wish to address in your thesis, warrant research.
How to Write a Thesis Proposal
The first step is to understand how to write a thesis proposal. There are a few simple steps that you can follow:
- Zero down on your topic: You may have a sense of what you wish to write about. However, you need to make sure that the topic is of interest in your field. It should answer important questions and must have a good scope for content collection.
- Example – You may want to write on genocides in history and Norman Naimark is one of your favorite authors.
- Make a working title: The length of your working title should be more than the final title. It should also be more descriptive so as to have a better discussion with your professor or committee.
Example – Actual title – ‘Genocides in History’. Working title – ‘Genocides in History that Shaped the World’
- Review the available literature: This will help you know about the existing research on your topic and help determine the scope for further research.
- Make an outline of your proposal: Your thesis proposal sample must list all the important points that you wish to include in your proposal.
Example – include all preliminary research, create appendices for secondary information, literature review and more.
- Create headings: Each section of your thesis proposal should be broken down into sub-topics. This helps present vital information in a better manner.
Example – when you are writing the subtopics for the methodology make a list of books that you will refer to, why you think the topic is important and how your will approach various subjects.
- Put it all together: Use the thesis proposal format mentioned below and put together your thesis proposal. Make sure you include your timeline, theoretical approach, and methodology as well.
Structure of a Thesis Proposal
There is a set thesis proposal structure that students must adhere to while writing their proposal. You can also refer to a thesis proposal template for better understanding:
Title page: Every thesis proposal example will include a title page which includes a descriptive title. It also includes information like the name of the author, name of the mentor, date, name of the institution etc. The title must reflect the subject, the proposed method of research and the lessons that one will learn from it. Abstract: In the beginning of every sample thesis proposal, you will notice a short 200 word paragraph summarizing the thesis. This is known as the abstract. It includes the title, the key statement, the methods used to address the subject and the implications of the research once completed. Table of Contents: This is one of the most important elements of the thesis proposal. It will provide a complete thesis proposal outline, listing all the headings and subheadings. Introduction: The introduction must be catchy and impressive. This will urge your reader to explore your ideas further. The background of the topic and a broad perspective of the research must be provided in this introduction. Key questions: The questions that you wish to answer in the thesis must be listed. When a reader views these questions in the thesis proposal example, it will show the direction that you intend to take with your research. Literature review: The literature review provides a description of all the sources that you wish to use in your research. This shows the information that you have already accumulated for your research. It also indicates the future goals of the thesis. Methodology: This section describes all the methods that you wish to make use of in the thesis paper in order to answer the key questions. Conclusion: When you are writing a thesis proposal, pay attention to the conclusion. This section indicates the possible research of your research, the contributions it will make to your field and the expected accuracy of your results. Thesis proposal summary: This is the section where the goals of your proposal are stated in brief. Bibliography: You must provide a list of all the references that you will make use of for your research. Remember that the bibliography must be written according to the writing style required for your thesis, be it APA or MLA writing style.
How Long Should a Thesis Proposal Be?
A thesis proposal should not be more than 8 pages long.
The idea of the thesis proposal is to make the purpose of the research clear. It should provide a clear idea about how you wish to go about your research. There is no need to delve into the details when you are writing the proposal. These eight pages exclude the bibliography.
Tips on How to Write a Good Thesis Proposal
Here are five tips to help you make a convincing thesis proposal:
Your thesis proposal must be solid, yet flexible. Try to incorporate as many important elements as possible to prove that the subject you have chosen warrants further research. However, be open to changes and feedback. That is the whole idea of the proposal. Make sure you choose a subject that excites you. This will urge you to dig deeper and gather as much information as possible. Your subject should be a good balance between novelty and already established ideas about the subject. Do you have enough material to prepare the thesis in the given period of time? This is the most important question that you should answer. The questions listed in your thesis proposal should be open-ended, yet well defined. Allow some scope for discussion and debate. Avoid straightforward, “Yes and No” questions. Choose subjects that will help you develop marketable skills. Think of subspecialties in your field. Select a subject that will help you explore these subspecialties in your field. This will help you develop skills that will help you land better jobs and open more opportunities for you in the future. This approach is most likely to convince your professor and university committee about the scope of your thesis.
If you are looking for writing help or are confused about how to write a thesis proposal sample, get in touch with us today . We help students across various areas of study create the best proposals that make a good impression.
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