Thesis Writing

Thesis Proposal

Caleb S.

How to Write a Thesis Proposal - Sample Proposals and Tips!

Published on: Apr 15, 2019

Last updated on: Jan 18, 2024

Thesis Proposal

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Are you struggling with making a thesis proposal, not knowing where to start?

You're not the only one. 

Creating a thesis proposal can feel confusing. But think of a thesis proposal as your guide for your academic research. It helps you plan your research and keeps you on the right path. If the thought of a thesis proposal has left you feeling unsure, don't worry. 

This blog is here to help you understand how you can create a thesis proposal that serves your research project right! 

So, let’s begin!

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What is a Thesis Proposal?

The thesis proposal is a type of detailed summary and outline of your thesis or research work. It provides a layout regarding how you will transform an unformed idea into a thoroughly researched concept. 

Moreover, it also identifies the problem, questions, and methods you will use in your thesis. All students are required to submit this mind map to the supervisor. This is how they will get a comprehensive idea of the research journey. 

A good proposal will prove that your thesis or dissertation is relevant and important. Similarly, it shows that you have adopted the right approach and tools to solve the problem.

  • The following are the primary purposes of writing a thesis proposal.
  • It shows that the chosen topic addresses a significant problem.
  • It demonstrates an organized plan to collect or obtain data for solving the problem.
  • It identifies data collection methods.

Lastly, it states the significance of the thesis indicating how it will contribute to the field.

What Does A Thesis Proposal Include?

A well-structured thesis proposal consists of several critical elements, each playing a distinct role. Here's a concise breakdown of the parts of thesis proposal:

Introduction (1 page) 

This is where your proposal begins. 

It opens with a clear definition of your research's topic area, followed by an explanation of its relevance and significance within the context of your field. 

The introduction also establishes the scope of your research study by defining its boundaries and limitations.

Literature Review (7-8 pages) 

The literature review is a substantial section, comprising four key components. 

Firstly, it offers an overview of the existing body of literature related to your research topic. Secondly, it addresses theoretical frameworks and methodological research designs relevant to your area of study, demonstrating your familiarity with the field. 

Thirdly, it emphasizes the gaps in the literature, showcasing areas that require further investigation and justifying your research.

Research Question (1-2 pages) 

In this section, you formulate a specific research question that your study will seek to answer. 

The research question serves as the focal point of your research. You also explain how your entire research design aligns with and is structured around this central question.

Methodological Design (1-2 pages) 

The methodological design section is critical for outlining how you plan to conduct your research. 

It encompasses several pivotal aspects. You describe your methodological approach ( qualitative , quantitative , or a combination). You detail your participant access strategy and the number of cases to be included. 

You specify case selection criteria, research timeline, data collection methods, data coding, analytics, and other relevant factors.

References 

This is your bibliography, listing all authors cited within your literature review. It validates your sources and provides a solid foundation for your proposed research. 

Each of these components is crucial in creating a robust and structured framework for your thesis proposal.

How to Write a Thesis Proposal

Writing a thesis proposal is a structured process that involves several key steps, each of which plays a vital role in creating a successful proposal. Let's break it down:

Step 1 - Begin with Outlining

Start by outlining the information you've gathered. This step is crucial for both you and your supervisor. It provides a roadmap for your thesis. 

By carefully outlining the parts of your proposal, you can guide yourself while drafting the document.

Step 2 - Know the Proposal Structure

Familiarize yourself with the structure of a proposal. 

The major sections usually include an introduction, methodology, significance, data explanation, conclusions, and references. Understanding this structure is key to a well-organized proposal.

Step 3 - Plan Your Writing Process

It's important to organize your proposal meticulously. This helps you get a clear idea of how to write it. Many proposals get rejected because students don't plan their writing process. Plan the flow of your writing and stick to it. Here's a typical flow:

  • Develop a proposal outline.
  • Prepare visuals like charts or tables.
  • Introduce the topic.
  • Describe your chosen methodology.
  • Explain why your research is significant.
  • Present your data.
  • Draw conclusions from your research.
  • Cite your references.

Step 4 - Writing the Proposal Draft

Once you've planned the writing process, it's time to begin your final proposal draft. Use a formal writing style, but make sure to use simple words. 

This makes it easier for your audience to read and understand. Also, use first-person references as needed, but consult your professors before writing a thesis statement.

Step 5 - Proofread Your Proposal

A good thesis proposal should be free of typos and other grammatical mistakes.

These errors can distract your readers from your actual problem statement. To ensure a polished proposal:

  • Read the proposal aloud to identify grammar and spelling mistakes, along with any issues with sentence structure.
  • Avoid proofreading immediately after writing; wait a day or two for a more objective view.
  • Seek input from someone with a strong understanding of the material.
  • Utilize an online spell checker for added accuracy.

Following these steps will help you craft a well-structured and error-free thesis proposal, increasing the likelihood of your proposal being accepted.

Refer to the following sample to understand the complete writing process.

Thesis Proposal Format

The format of the thesis paper proposal typically follows the below-given pattern.

  • Title Page 

The title page includes the research title, student and supervisor’s name, along with the submission date.

  • Table of Contents 

It gives a complete layout of the proposal by stating the headings and subheadings with their page numbers. 

  • Introduction

The thesis introduction highlights the historical background of your research. It also provides a brief overview of the thesis topic and the motivation behind choosing it.

  • Statement of the Problem

It provides a clear statement that briefly defines the purpose of the study. Check out the below sample for a better understanding.

Sample Statement of the Problem in Thesis Proposal

  • Theoretical Framework 

Here, the research problem will be set within the framework of a theory. Moreover, it will also identify and define the terms conceptually.

  • Literature Review

It includes the review of the available literature on the topic to establish credibility. Keep in mind; this section must be at least 15 pages.

  • Research Objectives

This section states the main objectives that you want to achieve in the research. Similarly, it will also mention the hypothesis and the expected outcome.

  • Methodology

It states the methodological approaches that will be used to achieve the objectives. It will also provide details about how the experiments will be conducted to test the hypothesis.

  • Evaluation of Research Findings

It briefly discusses how the research findings and outcomes will be evaluated.

  • Timetable for Completion of the Thesis

This section includes the dates for:

  • Completion of research
  • The first draft of the thesis 
  • Final draft 

Cite all the primary and secondary sources in the reference list along with their codes. Also, choose a citation style after consulting with your professor.

  • Other Instructions

The other format instructions include the following aspects.

  • Word Count: 5000 words maximum.
  • Font Style and Size: Times new roman, Arial - 12pt.
  • Line Spacing: 1.5 for text, single-spaced for quotations.
  • Margins: It should be set to 1.25 inches for left/right and 1 inch for top/bottom.
  • Page Numbers : It must be in Roman numerals and placed at the bottom center of each page.
  • Citation: APA, MLA, Chicago.

Here’s a thesis proposal outline that you can use as reference:

Thesis Proposal Outline - MyPerfectWords.com

Need to know more about formatting your thesis? Explore this comprehensive blog to gain a deep understanding of thesis format !

Sample Thesis Proposal

Following are some examples and samples for you to get a detailed idea.

Thesis Proposal Sample

Thesis Proposal Example

Thesis Proposal Template

Undergraduate Thesis Proposal Example

Master Thesis Proposal Example

Phd. Thesis Proposal

Architectural Thesis Proposal

Thesis Proposal Writing Tips

Here are some tips for writing a perfect thesis proposal.

  • Know all the requirements before you start writing a proposal. It includes length, font, spacing, etc.
  • Use simple words so that the readers can understand easily.
  • Always check your proposal and carefully proofread for mistakes.
  • Write answers and solutions to your problem in the conclusion as it provides a base for future research.
  • Keep a record of your referencing from the start and triple check it before submitting the proposal.
  • Plan, organize, and structure your proposal within a clearly defined deadline.
  • Use pictures and graphs to illustrate background material, sample data, and analysis techniques. 

Getting started on your thesis? Read here and choose from an extensive list of thesis topics !

So, you now have the key knowledge to create a strong and meaningful thesis proposal. 

However, if you still find yourself facing challenges or require further assistance, don't hesitate to reach out. 

Our reliable essay writing service is here to support you every step of the way.

With our experienced team of professionals, we guarantee to provide you with top-quality thesis help.

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Caleb S. (Literature, Marketing)

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

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  • Dissertation

How to Write a Dissertation Proposal | A Step-by-Step Guide

Published on 14 February 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on 11 November 2022.

A dissertation proposal describes the research you want to do: what it’s about, how you’ll conduct it, and why it’s worthwhile. You will probably have to write a proposal before starting your dissertation as an undergraduate or postgraduate student.

A dissertation proposal should generally include:

  • An introduction to your topic and aims
  • A literature review  of the current state of knowledge
  • An outline of your proposed methodology
  • A discussion of the possible implications of the research
  • A bibliography  of relevant sources

Dissertation proposals vary a lot in terms of length and structure, so make sure to follow any guidelines given to you by your institution, and check with your supervisor when you’re unsure.

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Table of contents

Step 1: coming up with an idea, step 2: presenting your idea in the introduction, step 3: exploring related research in the literature review, step 4: describing your methodology, step 5: outlining the potential implications of your research, step 6: creating a reference list or bibliography.

Before writing your proposal, it’s important to come up with a strong idea for your dissertation.

Find an area of your field that interests you and do some preliminary reading in that area. What are the key concerns of other researchers? What do they suggest as areas for further research, and what strikes you personally as an interesting gap in the field?

Once you have an idea, consider how to narrow it down and the best way to frame it. Don’t be too ambitious or too vague – a dissertation topic needs to be specific enough to be feasible. Move from a broad field of interest to a specific niche:

  • Russian literature 19th century Russian literature The novels of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky
  • Social media Mental health effects of social media Influence of social media on young adults suffering from anxiety

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Like most academic texts, a dissertation proposal begins with an introduction . This is where you introduce the topic of your research, provide some background, and most importantly, present your aim , objectives and research question(s) .

Try to dive straight into your chosen topic: What’s at stake in your research? Why is it interesting? Don’t spend too long on generalisations or grand statements:

  • Social media is the most important technological trend of the 21st century. It has changed the world and influences our lives every day.
  • Psychologists generally agree that the ubiquity of social media in the lives of young adults today has a profound impact on their mental health. However, the exact nature of this impact needs further investigation.

Once your area of research is clear, you can present more background and context. What does the reader need to know to understand your proposed questions? What’s the current state of research on this topic, and what will your dissertation contribute to the field?

If you’re including a literature review, you don’t need to go into too much detail at this point, but give the reader a general sense of the debates that you’re intervening in.

This leads you into the most important part of the introduction: your aim, objectives and research question(s) . These should be clearly identifiable and stand out from the text – for example, you could present them using bullet points or bold font.

Make sure that your research questions are specific and workable – something you can reasonably answer within the scope of your dissertation. Avoid being too broad or having too many different questions. Remember that your goal in a dissertation proposal is to convince the reader that your research is valuable and feasible:

  • Does social media harm mental health?
  • What is the impact of daily social media use on 18– to 25–year–olds suffering from general anxiety disorder?

Now that your topic is clear, it’s time to explore existing research covering similar ideas. This is important because it shows you what is missing from other research in the field and ensures that you’re not asking a question someone else has already answered.

You’ve probably already done some preliminary reading, but now that your topic is more clearly defined, you need to thoroughly analyse and evaluate the most relevant sources in your literature review .

Here you should summarise the findings of other researchers and comment on gaps and problems in their studies. There may be a lot of research to cover, so make effective use of paraphrasing to write concisely:

  • Smith and Prakash state that ‘our results indicate a 25% decrease in the incidence of mechanical failure after the new formula was applied’.
  • Smith and Prakash’s formula reduced mechanical failures by 25%.

The point is to identify findings and theories that will influence your own research, but also to highlight gaps and limitations in previous research which your dissertation can address:

  • Subsequent research has failed to replicate this result, however, suggesting a flaw in Smith and Prakash’s methods. It is likely that the failure resulted from…

Next, you’ll describe your proposed methodology : the specific things you hope to do, the structure of your research and the methods that you will use to gather and analyse data.

You should get quite specific in this section – you need to convince your supervisor that you’ve thought through your approach to the research and can realistically carry it out. This section will look quite different, and vary in length, depending on your field of study.

You may be engaged in more empirical research, focusing on data collection and discovering new information, or more theoretical research, attempting to develop a new conceptual model or add nuance to an existing one.

Dissertation research often involves both, but the content of your methodology section will vary according to how important each approach is to your dissertation.

Empirical research

Empirical research involves collecting new data and analysing it in order to answer your research questions. It can be quantitative (focused on numbers), qualitative (focused on words and meanings), or a combination of both.

With empirical research, it’s important to describe in detail how you plan to collect your data:

  • Will you use surveys ? A lab experiment ? Interviews?
  • What variables will you measure?
  • How will you select a representative sample ?
  • If other people will participate in your research, what measures will you take to ensure they are treated ethically?
  • What tools (conceptual and physical) will you use, and why?

It’s appropriate to cite other research here. When you need to justify your choice of a particular research method or tool, for example, you can cite a text describing the advantages and appropriate usage of that method.

Don’t overdo this, though; you don’t need to reiterate the whole theoretical literature, just what’s relevant to the choices you have made.

Moreover, your research will necessarily involve analysing the data after you have collected it. Though you don’t know yet what the data will look like, it’s important to know what you’re looking for and indicate what methods (e.g. statistical tests , thematic analysis ) you will use.

Theoretical research

You can also do theoretical research that doesn’t involve original data collection. In this case, your methodology section will focus more on the theory you plan to work with in your dissertation: relevant conceptual models and the approach you intend to take.

For example, a literary analysis dissertation rarely involves collecting new data, but it’s still necessary to explain the theoretical approach that will be taken to the text(s) under discussion, as well as which parts of the text(s) you will focus on:

  • This dissertation will utilise Foucault’s theory of panopticism to explore the theme of surveillance in Orwell’s 1984 and Kafka’s The Trial…

Here, you may refer to the same theorists you have already discussed in the literature review. In this case, the emphasis is placed on how you plan to use their contributions in your own research.

You’ll usually conclude your dissertation proposal with a section discussing what you expect your research to achieve.

You obviously can’t be too sure: you don’t know yet what your results and conclusions will be. Instead, you should describe the projected implications and contribution to knowledge of your dissertation.

First, consider the potential implications of your research. Will you:

  • Develop or test a theory?
  • Provide new information to governments or businesses?
  • Challenge a commonly held belief?
  • Suggest an improvement to a specific process?

Describe the intended result of your research and the theoretical or practical impact it will have:

Finally, it’s sensible to conclude by briefly restating the contribution to knowledge you hope to make: the specific question(s) you hope to answer and the gap the answer(s) will fill in existing knowledge:

Like any academic text, it’s important that your dissertation proposal effectively references all the sources you have used. You need to include a properly formatted reference list or bibliography at the end of your proposal.

Different institutions recommend different styles of referencing – commonly used styles include Harvard , Vancouver , APA , or MHRA . If your department does not have specific requirements, choose a style and apply it consistently.

A reference list includes only the sources that you cited in your proposal. A bibliography is slightly different: it can include every source you consulted in preparing the proposal, even if you didn’t mention it in the text. In the case of a dissertation proposal, a bibliography may also list relevant sources that you haven’t yet read, but that you intend to use during the research itself.

Check with your supervisor what type of bibliography or reference list you should include.

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Proposal Overview and Format

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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 their 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 their availability. There is no requirement that a program advisor serve, although very often they do. 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 their 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 Proposal

Thesis proposals.

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.

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Thesis proposal

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.

dissertation schedule

“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.

  • Introduction

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.

Literature Review

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.

Theoretical Framework/Approach

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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Research Proposal Example/Sample

Detailed Walkthrough + Free Proposal Template

If you’re getting started crafting your research proposal and are looking for a few examples of research proposals , you’ve come to the right place.

In this video, we walk you through two successful (approved) research proposals , one for a Master’s-level project, and one for a PhD-level dissertation. We also start off by unpacking our free research proposal template and discussing the four core sections of a research proposal, so that you have a clear understanding of the basics before diving into the actual proposals.

  • Research proposal example/sample – Master’s-level (PDF/Word)
  • Research proposal example/sample – PhD-level (PDF/Word)
  • Proposal template (Fully editable) 

If you’re working on a research proposal for a dissertation or thesis, you may also find the following useful:

  • Research Proposal Bootcamp : Learn how to write a research proposal as efficiently and effectively as possible
  • 1:1 Proposal Coaching : Get hands-on help with your research proposal

Free Webinar: How To Write A Research Proposal

FAQ: Research Proposal Example

Research proposal example: frequently asked questions, are the sample proposals real.

Yes. The proposals are real and were approved by the respective universities.

Can I copy one of these proposals for my own research?

As we discuss in the video, every research proposal will be slightly different, depending on the university’s unique requirements, as well as the nature of the research itself. Therefore, you’ll need to tailor your research proposal to suit your specific context.

You can learn more about the basics of writing a research proposal here .

How do I get the research proposal template?

You can access our free proposal template here .

Is the proposal template really free?

Yes. There is no cost for the proposal template and you are free to use it as a foundation for your research proposal.

Where can I learn more about proposal writing?

For self-directed learners, our Research Proposal Bootcamp is a great starting point.

For students that want hands-on guidance, our private coaching service is recommended.

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This post is an extract from our bestselling Udemy Course, Research Proposal Bootcamp . If you want to work smart, you don't want to miss this .

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I am at the stage of writing my thesis proposal for a masters in Analysis of w heat commercialisation by small holders householdrs at Hawassa International University. I will appreciate your guidance and support

Abrar Shouket

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comparative constitutional law

Kabir Abubakar

Kindly guide me through writing a good proposal on the thesis topic; Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Financial Inclusion in Nigeria. Thank you

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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

I. Framework

  • 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
  • Introduction
  • Thesis statement
  • Approach/methods
  • 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
  • Bibliography
  • "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 don’t understand the process, you can’t 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.

Grammar/spelling

  • 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

V. Resources/Acknowlegements

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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Master's Thesis Proposal Tips

By Jodie Nicotra, Department of English and Amy Ross, U of I Writing Center

Writing an overview of your project is designed not only to formally announce your intentions as far as your Master’s thesis goes, but also to help you become more fluent in and informed about the topic for your project. 7-8 double-spaced pages should probably be enough.

Broken into fully developed sections, each with a heading, this overview should include: 

Thesis Writing

Thesis Proposal

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Writing a Thesis Proposal - Guide, Outline, Format & Tips

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Published on: Oct 16, 2021

Last updated on: Feb 6, 2024

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Are you feeling overwhelmed and stuck when it comes to crafting a compelling thesis proposal that will impress your committee?

As a graduate student, you know that your thesis proposal is the key to future career opportunities. However, with so much pressure and competition, it's easy to feel lost and unsure of where to start.

But don't worry! 

In this blog post, we'll provide you with expert guidance and actionable tips on how to write a winning thesis proposal. From choosing the right topic to developing a persuasive argument, we'll walk you through the process step by step. 

So if you're stuck and need some help writing your A-grade thesis proposal, check out this guide for the fundamentals on how to get started!

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Thesis Proposal Definition

The thesis proposal is a detailed summary and outline of your research project. It outlines how you will develop an incomplete idea into a thoroughly researched concept.

The thesis proposal is a concise and written summary of your research project. It is like a blueprint for your project. It outlines how you will develop an incomplete idea into something valuable with thorough evidence. 

Furthermore, it discovers methods, questions,  and problems that will be used in your thesis.

The proposal typically includes the following:

  • An Introduction to the research problem
  • A review of relevant literature
  • An explanation of the proposed methodology
  • A discussion of the expected outcomes 
  • Significance of the study

Furthermore, it will help you discover methods and questions used in your thesis. This is how you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the research process. 

Check out this video guide on what is a thesis proposal and how to write it for your better understanding!

Purpose of a Thesis Proposal 

A good proposal will show the significance and relevance of your thesis or dissertation. It also indicates that you used the proper approach and tools to solve the problem.

The primary goals of writing a thesis proposal are as follows.

  • It demonstrates that the chosen topic addresses a significant problem.
  • It shows methods of data collection.
  • It identifies a well-organized research plan for gathering or obtaining data to solve the problem.
  • Finally, it expresses the thesis's significance, indicating how it will contribute to the field.

Have a look at this thesis topics blogs to explore ideas for your next paper.

How to Write a Thesis Proposal?

To write a thesis or a research proposal, simply follow the simple steps outlined below.

1. Make an Outline

Before you start writing your proposal, it's a good idea to create an outline. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure that you cover all the necessary points.

Your outline should include the following sections:

2. Understand the Proposal Structure

It is important to understand the parts of thesis proposal. A thesis proposal typically follows a specific structure.  It should include:

3. Make a Writing Process Plan

Writing a thesis proposal can be a lengthy process, so it's a good idea to create a plan. 

Determine how much time you have to work on the proposal and set specific goals for each day or week. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you finish the proposal on time.

4. Compose the Proposal Draft 

Once you have your outline and plan, you can start your thesis proposal.

Begin by writing the sections that you feel most comfortable with, such as the introduction or literature review. 

Similarly, make use of the first-person pronoun. However, before writing a thesis statement, you must consult your professors.

Don't worry about getting everything perfect on the first draft – you can always go back and make changes later.

5. Edit and Proofread Your Proposal 

Once you have a complete draft, it's time to edit and proofread. Read through your proposal carefully and make sure it flows well and makes sense. 

Check for spelling and grammar errors and ensure that your references are formatted correctly.

Follow these useful tips to avoid mistakes in your thesis proposal: 

  • Never proofread a proposal right after writing it. Instead, wait a day or two to look at it objectively.
  • Use an online spell checker to assist you.
  • Read the proposal aloud to identify grammar and spelling errors and incorrect sentence structure.
  • Request someone to proofread who has a thorough understanding of your thesis topic.

Look at the sample below to understand the entire writing process of the thesis proposal. 

How to Write a Thesis Proposal Sample Pdf

Thesis Proposal Outline

If you're a graduate student, you're likely familiar with the importance of a thesis proposal. 

However, creating a strong and effective proposal can be a daunting task, especially if you're unsure of where to start. 

This section will guide you through the process of creating a thesis proposal outline.

Introduction (1 page) 

  • What is the subject matter?
  • What is the research study's scope?
  • What is the topic's relevance or significance?

Learn to write an engaging introduction for your thesis with this thesis introduction blog!

Literature Review (7-8 pages) 

  • It allows you to identify a gap in the literature that has not previously been thoroughly researched.
  • To grasp the idea, theoretical approaches and methodological research designs are used.
  • It demonstrates that you are familiar with the research that has been done in this field.
  • It provides an overview of the existing literature on your topic.

Research Question (1-2 pages) 

It involves creating a specific research question. Furthermore, the writer creates the research study based on these questions.

Methodological Design (1-2 pages) 

  • What will your research's analysis be? (either qualitatively, quantitatively, or both)
  • What will be your research methodology? (experiments, case studies, surveys, questionnaires, interviews, etc.)
  • How are you going to code the data? inductive or deductive approach)
  • What type of sampling research methods will you use? (probability and non-probability sampling methods)
  • How many cases are you planning to include?
  • How will you collect the information? 
  • How will you reach out to the participants?
  • What will be the duration of your research study?
  • What are your other work-related considerations?

It includes a bibliography  and a list of the authors who contributed to your literature review.

Thesis Proposal Format 

The thesis proposal format typically follows the pattern shown below.

The title page includes the title of the research, the submission date, the names of the student and supervisor.

  • Table of Contents 

The proposal is laid out in an easy-to-follow manner with headings and subheadings for each section.

  • Introduction

The introduction to your paper gives a brief overview of the historical context and reasons for selecting the topic.

  • Statement of the Problem

Provide a summary of the study's purpose in a clearly worded statement.

Sample Problem Statement in Thesis Proposal

  • Theoretical Framework

The research problem will be posted within the framework of a theory to identify and define terms.

  • Literature Review

A literature review is a vital tool to provide credible information. It includes reviewing the relevant literature and creating credibility. Make sure this section is at least 15 pages long. 

  • Research Objectives 

In this section, you should outline your research's goals. Similarly, it will state the hypothesis and expected outcome of your research.

  • Methodology

The methodology section explains how to conduct experiments and analyze data to achieve the goals. Also, it tells how the experiments will test the hypothesis.

  • Analysis of Research Findings

Here, the research findings and outcomes will be evaluated rigorously.

  • Timetable for Thesis Completion

The following dates are included in this section:

  • Completion of draft
  • Initial draft
  • Complete draft
  • Thesis Proposal Defense

Include every primary and secondary source and their codes in the reference list. Also, you must consult with your professor before deciding on a citation style.

  • Other Requirements

The following are some requirements for your proposed project you should follow: 

  • 5000 words is the maximum word count limit for your thesis proposal. 
  • Line spacing should be 1.5 for text and single-spaced for quotations.
  • Set the margins to 1.25 inches on the right/left and 1 inch on the top and bottom.
  • Write in Times New Roman or Arial font and use 12pt size.
  • Ment sources in APA, Chicago, or MLA citation styles. 
  • Mention page numbers at the bottom center of each page in Roman numerals. 

Look at the below PDF to learn about the thesis format template.

Thesis Proposal Template

Need to explore the detailed guide on thesis format? Check our thesis format blog here!

Thesis Proposal Examples

Here are some thesis proposal examples to help you get a clear understanding.

Thesis Proposal Example

Thesis Proposal Sample

Thesis Proposal Presentation

Undergraduate Thesis Proposal Example

Master Thesis Proposal Example

MBA Thesis Proposal

PhD. Thesis Proposal

Tips for Writing a Thesis Proposal 

Writing a thesis proposal can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding experience. 

Here are some tips to help you write a successful thesis proposal:

  • Start early: Writing a thesis proposal takes time, so it's important to start early. This will give you enough time to research your topic, plan your proposal, and make revisions.
  • Understand the requirements: Before you start writing, make sure you understand the requirements for your proposal. This includes the format, length, and any specific guidelines provided by your institution or advisor.
  • Conduct a thorough literature review: A literature review is a critical component of any thesis proposal. It shows that you understand the existing research on your topic and can identify gaps that your research will fill.
  • Clearly state your hypothesis: Your research question or hypothesis is the foundation of your proposal. It should be clear, concise, and focused.
  • Choose appropriate research methods: The research methods you choose should be appropriate for your research question or hypothesis. They should also be feasible and ethical.
  • Explain the significance of research: It's important to explain why your research is important and how it will contribute to the field. This will help convince your readers that your research is worth funding and conducting.
  • Edit and proofread your proposal: Before submitting your proposal, make sure to edit and proofread it carefully. This will help you catch any errors or inconsistencies and ensure that your proposal is clear and well-written.
  • Get feedback: It's always a good idea to get feedback on your proposal from colleagues, advisors, or other experts in your field. They can provide valuable insights and suggestions for improving your proposal.

In short, writing a thesis proposal demands your full attention and you need to proceed step by step. This way, you can ensure a smoother journey to completing your thesis.

However, due to time constraints and other personal challenges, it becomes very difficult even when you know how to do it. If you have an idea but are lost for words, you can get help from our amazing AI essay writing tool .

Need expert and professional help for more specific aspects of your thesis? We've got your back!

CollegeEssay.org offers budget-friendly proposal essay writing service to help you out. Our team has expert college essay writer from various disciplines, and we promise personalized and original writing assistance so can submit an excellent proposal on time.

Reach out to our academic writing service today! 

Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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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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  • How It Works

How to Write the Perfect Thesis Proposal

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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  • How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .

Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.

You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:

  • Start with a question
  • Write your initial answer
  • Develop your answer
  • Refine your thesis statement

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Table of contents

What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.

The best thesis statements are:

  • Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
  • Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
  • Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.

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The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.

You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.

You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?

For example, you might ask:

After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .

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Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.

In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.

The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.

In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.

The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.

A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:

  • Why you hold this position
  • What they’ll learn from your essay
  • The key points of your argument or narrative

The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.

These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.

Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:

  • In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
  • In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.

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A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

  • Ask a question about your topic .
  • Write your initial answer.
  • Develop your answer by including reasons.
  • Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

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