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Academic Proposals

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This resource introduces the genre of academic proposals and provides strategies for developing effective graduate-level proposals across multiple contexts.

Introduction

An important part of the work completed in academia is sharing our scholarship with others. Such communication takes place when we present at scholarly conferences, publish in peer-reviewed journals, and publish in books. This OWL resource addresses the steps in writing for a variety of academic proposals.

For samples of academic proposals, click here .

Important considerations for the writing process

First and foremost, you need to consider your future audience carefully in order to determine both how specific your topic can be and how much background information you need to provide in your proposal. While some conferences and journals may be subject-specific, most will require you to address an audience that does not conduct research on the same topics as you. Conference proposal reviewers are often drawn from professional organization members or other attendees, while journal proposals are typically reviewed by the editorial staff, so you need to ensure that your proposal is geared toward the knowledge base and expectations of whichever audience will read your work.

Along those lines, you might want to check whether you are basing your research on specific prior research and terminology that requires further explanation. As a rule, always phrase your proposal clearly and specifically, avoid over-the-top phrasing and jargon, but do not negate your own personal writing style in the process.

If you would like to add a quotation to your proposal, you are not required to provide a citation or footnote of the source, although it is generally preferred to mention the author’s name. Always put quotes in quotation marks and take care to limit yourself to at most one or two quotations in the entire proposal text. Furthermore, you should always proofread your proposal carefully and check whether you have integrated details, such as author’s name, the correct number of words, year of publication, etc. correctly.

Methodology is often a key factor in the evaluation of proposals for any academic genre — but most proposals have such a small word limit that writers find it difficult to adequately include methods while also discussing their argument, background for the study, results, and contributions to knowledge. It's important to make sure that you include some information about the methods used in your study, even if it's just a line or two; if your proposal isn't experimental in nature, this space should instead describe the theory, lens, or approach you are taking to arrive at your conclusions.

Reasons proposals fail/common pitfalls

There are common pitfalls that you might need to improve on for future proposals.

The proposal does not reflect your enthusiasm and persuasiveness, which usually goes hand in hand with hastily written, simply worded proposals. Generally, the better your research has been, the more familiar you are with the subject and the more smoothly your proposal will come together.

Similarly, proposing a topic that is too broad can harm your chances of being accepted to a conference. Be sure to have a clear focus in your proposal. Usually, this can be avoided by more advanced research to determine what has already been done, especially if the proposal is judged by an important scholar in the field. Check the names of keynote speakers and other attendees of note to avoid repeating known information or not focusing your proposal.

Your paper might simply have lacked the clear language that proposals should contain. On this linguistic level, your proposal might have sounded repetitious, have had boring wording, or simply displayed carelessness and a lack of proofreading, all of which can be remedied by more revisions. One key tactic for ensuring you have clear language in your proposal is signposting — you can pick up key phrases from the CFP, as well as use language that indicates different sections in academic work (as in IMRAD sections from the organization and structure page in this resource). This way, reviewers can easily follow your proposal and identify its relatedness to work in the field and the CFP.

Conference proposals

Conference proposals are a common genre in graduate school that invite several considerations for writing depending on the conference and requirements of the call for papers.

Beginning the process

Make sure you read the call for papers carefully to consider the deadline and orient your topic of presentation around the buzzwords and themes listed in the document. You should take special note of the deadline and submit prior to that date, as most conferences use online submission systems that will close on a deadline and will not accept further submissions.

If you have previously spoken on or submitted a proposal on the same topic, you should carefully adjust it specifically for this conference or even completely rewrite the proposal based on your changing and evolving research.

The topic you are proposing should be one that you can cover easily within a time frame of approximately fifteen to twenty minutes. You should stick to the required word limit of the conference call. The organizers have to read a large number of proposals, especially in the case of an international or interdisciplinary conference, and will appreciate your brevity.

Structure and components

Conference proposals differ widely across fields and even among individual conferences in a field. Some just request an abstract, which is written similarly to any other abstract you'd write for a journal article or other publication. Some may request abstracts or full papers that fit into pre-existing sessions created by conference organizers. Some request both an abstract and a further description or proposal, usually in cases where the abstract will be published in the conference program and the proposal helps organizers decide which papers they will accept. 

If the conference you are submitting to requires a proposal or description, there are some common elements you'll usually need to include. These are a statement of the problem or topic, a discussion of your approach to the problem/topic, a discussion of findings or expected findings, and a discussion of key takeaways or relevance to audience members. These elements are typically given in this order and loosely follow the IMRAD structure discussed in the organization and structure page in this resource. 

The proportional size of each of these elements in relation to one another tends to vary by the stage of your research and the relationship of your topic to the field of the conference. If your research is very early on, you may spend almost no time on findings, because you don't have them yet. Similarly, if your topic is a regular feature at conferences in your field, you may not need to spend as much time introducing it or explaining its relevance to the field; however, if you are working on a newer topic or bringing in a topic or problem from another discipline, you may need to spend slightly more space explaining it to reviewers. These decisions should usually be based on an analysis of your audience — what information can reviewers be reasonably expected to know, and what will you have to tell them?

Journal Proposals

Most of the time, when you submit an article to a journal for publication, you'll submit a finished manuscript which contains an abstract, the text of the article, the bibliography, any appendices, and author bios. These can be on any topic that relates to the journal's scope of interest, and they are accepted year-round.

Special issues , however, are planned issues of a journal that center around a specific theme, usually a "hot topic" in the field. The editor or guest editors for the special issue will often solicit proposals with a call for papers (CFP) first, accept a certain number of proposals for further development into article manuscripts, and then accept the final articles for the special issue from that smaller pool. Special issues are typically the only time when you will need to submit a proposal to write a journal article, rather than submitting a completed manuscript.

Journal proposals share many qualities with conference proposals: you need to write for your audience, convey the significance of your work, and condense the various sections of a full study into a small word or page limit. In general, the necessary components of a proposal include:

  • Problem or topic statement that defines the subject of your work (often includes research questions)
  • Background information (think literature review) that indicates the topic's importance in your field as well as indicates that your research adds something to the scholarship on this topic
  • Methodology and methods used in the study (and an indication of why these methods are the correct ones for your research questions)
  • Results or findings (which can be tentative or preliminary, if the study has not yet been completed)
  • Significance and implications of the study (what will readers learn? why should they care?)

This order is a common one because it loosely follows the IMRAD (introduction, methods, results and discussion) structure often used in academic writing; however, it is not the only possible structure or even always the best structure. You may need to move these elements around depending on the expectations in your field, the word or page limit, or the instructions given in the CFP.

Some of the unique considerations of journal proposals are:

  • The CFP may ask you for an abstract, a proposal, or both. If you need to write an abstract, look for more information on the abstract page. If you need to write both an abstract and a proposal, make sure to clarify for yourself what the difference is. Usually the proposal needs to include more information about the significance, methods, and/or background of the study than will fit in the abstract, but often the CFP itself will give you some instructions as to what information the editors are wanting in each piece of writing.
  • Journal special issue CFPs, like conference CFPs, often include a list of topics or questions that describe the scope of the special issue. These questions or topics are a good starting place for generating a proposal or tying in your research; ensuring that your work is a good fit for the special issue and articulating why that is in the proposal increases your chances of being accepted.
  • Special issues are not less valuable or important than regularly scheduled issues; therefore, your proposal needs to show that your work fits and could readily be accepted in any other issue of the journal. This means following some of the same practices you would if you were preparing to submit a manuscript to a journal: reading the journal's author submission guidelines; reading the last several years of the journal to understand the usual topics, organization, and methods; citing pieces from this journal and other closely related journals in your research.

Book Proposals

While the requirements are very similar to those of conference proposals, proposals for a book ought to address a few other issues.

General considerations

Since these proposals are of greater length, the publisher will require you to delve into greater detail as well—for instance, regarding the organization of the proposed book or article.

Publishers generally require a clear outline of the chapters you are proposing and an explication of their content, which can be several pages long in its entirety.

You will need to incorporate knowledge of relevant literature, use headings and sub-headings that you should not use in conference proposals. Be sure to know who wrote what about your topic and area of interest, even if you are proposing a less scholarly project.

Publishers prefer depth rather than width when it comes to your topic, so you should be as focused as possible and further outline your intended audience.

You should always include information regarding your proposed deadlines for the project and how you will execute this plan, especially in the sciences. Potential investors or publishers need to know that you have a clear and efficient plan to accomplish your proposed goals. Depending on the subject area, this information can also include a proposed budget, materials or machines required to execute this project, and information about its industrial application.

Pre-writing strategies

As John Boswell (cited in: Larsen, Michael. How to Write a Book Proposal. Writers Digest Books , 2004. p. 1) explains, “today fully 90 percent of all nonfiction books sold to trade publishers are acquired on the basis of a proposal alone.” Therefore, editors and agents generally do not accept completed manuscripts for publication, as these “cannot (be) put into the usual channels for making a sale”, since they “lack answers to questions of marketing, competition, and production.” (Lyon, Elizabeth. Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write . Perigee Trade, 2002. pp. 6-7.)

In contrast to conference or, to a lesser degree, chapter proposals, a book proposal introduces your qualifications for writing it and compares your work to what others have done or failed to address in the past.

As a result, you should test the idea with your networks and, if possible, acquire other people’s proposals that discuss similar issues or have a similar format before submitting your proposal. Prior to your submission, it is recommended that you write at least part of the manuscript in addition to checking the competition and reading all about the topic.

The following is a list of questions to ask yourself before committing to a book project, but should in no way deter you from taking on a challenging project (adapted from Lyon 27). Depending on your field of study, some of these might be more relevant to you than others, but nonetheless useful to reiterate and pose to yourself.

  • Do you have sufficient enthusiasm for a project that may span years?
  • Will publication of your book satisfy your long-term career goals?
  • Do you have enough material for such a long project and do you have the background knowledge and qualifications required for it?
  • Is your book idea better than or different from other books on the subject? Does the idea spark enthusiasm not just in yourself but others in your field, friends, or prospective readers?
  • Are you willing to acquire any lacking skills, such as, writing style, specific terminology and knowledge on that field for this project? Will it fit into your career and life at the time or will you not have the time to engage in such extensive research?

Essential elements of a book proposal

Your book proposal should include the following elements:

  • Your proposal requires the consideration of the timing and potential for sale as well as its potential for subsidiary rights.
  • It needs to include an outline of approximately one paragraph to one page of prose (Larsen 6) as well as one sample chapter to showcase the style and quality of your writing.
  • You should also include the resources you need for the completion of the book and a biographical statement (“About the Author”).
  • Your proposal must contain your credentials and expertise, preferably from previous publications on similar issues.
  • A book proposal also provides you with the opportunity to include information such as a mission statement, a foreword by another authority, or special features—for instance, humor, anecdotes, illustrations, sidebars, etc.
  • You must assess your ability to promote the book and know the market that you target in all its statistics.

The following proposal structure, as outlined by Peter E. Dunn for thesis and fellowship proposals, provides a useful guide to composing such a long proposal (Dunn, Peter E. “Proposal Writing.” Center for Instructional Excellence, Purdue University, 2007):

  • Literature Review
  • Identification of Problem
  • Statement of Objectives
  • Rationale and Significance
  • Methods and Timeline
  • Literature Cited

Most proposals for manuscripts range from thirty to fifty pages and, apart from the subject hook, book information (length, title, selling handle), markets for your book, and the section about the author, all the other sections are optional. Always anticipate and answer as many questions by editors as possible, however.

Finally, include the best chapter possible to represent your book's focus and style. Until an agent or editor advises you to do otherwise, follow your book proposal exactly without including something that you might not want to be part of the book or improvise on possible expected recommendations.

Publishers expect to acquire the book's primary rights, so that they can sell it in an adapted or condensed form as well. Mentioning any subsidiary rights, such as translation opportunities, performance and merchandising rights, or first-serial rights, will add to the editor's interest in buying your book. It is enticing to publishers to mention your manuscript's potential to turn into a series of books, although they might still hesitate to buy it right away—at least until the first one has been a successful endeavor.

The sample chapter

Since editors generally expect to see about one-tenth of a book, your sample chapter's length should reflect that in these building blocks of your book. The chapter should reflect your excitement and the freshness of the idea as well as surprise editors, but do not submit part of one or more chapters. Always send a chapter unless your credentials are impeccable due to prior publications on the subject. Do not repeat information in the sample chapter that will be covered by preceding or following ones, as the outline should be designed in such a way as to enable editors to understand the context already.

How to make your proposal stand out

Depending on the subject of your book, it is advisable to include illustrations that exemplify your vision of the book and can be included in the sample chapter. While these can make the book more expensive, it also increases the salability of the project. Further, you might consider including outstanding samples of your published work, such as clips from periodicals, if they are well-respected in the field. Thirdly, cover art can give your potential publisher a feel for your book and its marketability, especially if your topic is creative or related to the arts.

In addition, professionally formatting your materials will give you an edge over sloppy proposals. Proofread the materials carefully, use consistent and carefully organized fonts, spacing, etc., and submit your proposal without staples; rather, submit it in a neat portfolio that allows easy access and reassembling. However, check the submission guidelines first, as most proposals are submitted digitally. Finally, you should try to surprise editors and attract their attention. Your hook, however, should be imaginative but inexpensive (you do not want to bribe them, after all). Make sure your hook draws the editors to your book proposal immediately (Adapted from Larsen 154-60).

  • Graduate School

How to Write a Master's Thesis Proposal

How to Write a Master's Thesis Proposal

How to write a master’s thesis proposal is one of the most-asked questions by graduate students. A master's thesis proposal involves a copious amount of data collection, particular presentation ethics, and most importantly, it will become the roadmap to your full thesis. Remember, you must convince your committee that your idea is strong and unique, and that you have done enough legwork to begin with the first few drafts of your final thesis. Your proposal should serve as a foundational blueprint on which you will later build your entire project. To have the perfect thesis proposal, you need to have original ideas, solid information, and proper presentation. While it is a good idea to take assistance from thesis writing services , you still need to personally understand the elements that contribute to a master’s thesis proposal worthy of approval. In this blog, we will discuss the process of writing your master’s thesis proposal and give you tips for making your proposal strong. Stay tuned!

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Article Contents 8 min read

How to decide the goals for your master's thesis.

If you are pursuing a master’s or a PhD , you will be undertaking a major research paper or a thesis. Thus, writing a thesis proposal becomes inevitable. Your major objective for pursuing a master’s degree is to improve your knowledge in your field of study. When you start your degree, you delve deeper into different concepts in your discipline and try to search for answers to all kinds of questions. If you come across a question that no one can answer, you can select that question as your research thesis topic.

A master's thesis proposal will have multiple sections depending on your decided layout. These sections will continuously support your argument and try to convince the reader of your core argument. The structure will also help you arrange the various parts of the paper to have a greater impact on the readers. A paper should always begin with you giving a brief summary of the topic and how you have come across it. The introduction is particularly important because it will give the readers a brief idea about the topic of discussion and win their interest in the matter.

After the summary has been given, slowly you need to progress into the body of the thesis proposal which would explain your argument, research methodology, literary texts that have a relation to the topic, and the conclusion of your study. It would be similar to an essay or a literary review consisting of 3 or 4 parts. The bibliography will be placed at the end of the paper so that people can cross-check your sources.

Let's take a look at the sections most master's thesis proposals should cover. Please note that each university has its own guidelines for how to structure and what to include in a master’s thesis proposal. The outline we provide below is general, so please make sure to follow the exact guidelines provided by your school:

Restate your primary argument and give us a glimpse of what you will include in the main master\u2019s thesis. Leave the reader wanting more. Your research proposal should talk about what research chapters you are trying to undertake in your final thesis. You can also mention the proposed time in which you will complete these chapters.  ","label":"Conclusion and proposed chapters","title":"Conclusion and proposed chapters"}]' code='tab1' template='BlogArticle'>

A thesis proposal needs to be convincing enough to get approval. If the information is not enough to satisfy the evaluation committee, it would require revision. Hence, you need to select and follow the right methodology to make your argument convincing. When a research proposal is presented, the reader will determine the validity of your argument by judging the strength of your evidence and conclusions. Therefore, even writige:ng a proposal will require extensive research on your part. You should start writing your thesis proposal by working through the following steps.

Interested in a summary of the points covered below? Check out this infographic:

Exploring your topic in detail

You need to delve deeper into your chosen topic to see if your idea is original. In the process of this exploration, you will find tons of materials that will be supportive of your argument. When choosing your research topic and the problem you want to explore, you should always consider your primary research interest (yes, the one which you had mentioned in your research interest statement during grad school applications) for a better master’s thesis. You have a high probability of performing better in an area that you have always liked as compared to any other research area or topic.

Reviewing the literature

You have to include all the sources from where you have formed your argument and mention them in the thesis proposal. If you neglect to mention important source texts, the reader may consider it to be plagiarism. Furthermore, you want to keep track of all your research because it will be easier to provide references if you know the exact source of each piece of information.

Finding opposing arguments for your study

You should also mention any texts that would counter your argument and try to disprove their claims in the thesis. Make sure to use evidence if you try to disprove the counterarguments you face.

Emphasizing the importance of your research

At the end of the thesis proposal, you need to convince the reader why your proposal is important to your chosen field of study, which would ultimately help you in getting your topic approved. Thus, it is essential to outline the importance of your research thoroughly.

Drafting your proposal

After doing proper research, you should go ahead and draft your proposal. Remember you will not get it right in just one draft, it will take at least 50 attempts to come up with a satisfactory proposal. You should proofread your draft several times and even have a fellow student review it for you before sending it further to your research supervisor.

Getting your proposal evaluated by your supervisor

After you have written sufficient drafts, you need to get your proposal evaluated by your research supervisor. This is necessary to meet the graduate research requirements. It will ensure the clarity and correctness of your proposal. For your supervisor to evaluate your proposal, you should complete the research methodology part along with sufficient proposed work.

Since your supervisor will play a crucial role in your master's research thesis, you must choose a supervisor who can be your ultimate guide in writing your master's thesis. They will be your partner and support system during your study and will help you in eliminating obstacles to achieving your goal.

Choosing the ideal supervisor is a pretty daunting task. Here’s how you can go about the process:

You should approach your professor with an open mind and discuss the potential goals of your research. You should hear what they think and then if you both mutually agree, you can choose them as your supervisor for your master\u2019s thesis. "}]'>

Length of a Master’s Thesis Proposal

The length of a master’s thesis proposal differs from university to university and depends on the discipline of research as well. Usually, you have to include all the above-mentioned sections, and the length is around 8 pages and can go up to 12-15 pages for subjects such as the liberal arts. Universities might also define the number of words in the guidelines for your master’s thesis proposal and you have to adhere to that word limit.

Are you debating between pursuing a Masters or a PhD? This video has details that can help you decide which is best for you:

How to Format a Research Thesis Proposal Correctly?

Now that you know how to write a thesis proposal, you must make it presentable. Although your school might give your specific instructions, you can keep in mind some of the general advice:

  • You can use some basic font like Times New Roman and keep the font size to 10 or 12 points.
  • The left margin should be 1.5 inches and all other margins should be 1 inch each.
  • You should follow double-spacing for your content.
  • The first line of paragraphs should be indented 0.5 inches and the paragraphs should be left or center aligned.

Tips to Write a Strong Master's Thesis Proposal

When you are writing your master’s thesis proposal, you should keep these tips in mind to write an excellent master’s thesis proposal with all the correct elements to get approval from the evaluating committee:

Select your research objectives wisely

You should be clear on what you wish to learn from your research. Your learning objectives should stem from your research interests. If you are unsure, refer to your grad school career goals statement to review what you wanted out of grad school in the first place. Then, choose your objectives around it.

Write a clear title

The title of your research proposal should be concise and written in a language that can be understood easily by others. The title should be able to give the reader an idea of your intended research and should be interesting.

Jot down your thoughts, arguments, and evidence

You should always start with a rough outline of your arguments because you will not miss any point in this way. Brainstorm what you want to include in the proposal and then expand those points to complete your proposal. You can decide the major headings with the help of the guidelines provided to you.

Focus on the feasibility and importance

You should consider whether your research is feasible with the available resources. Additionally, your proposal should clearly convey the significance of your research in your field.

Use simple language

Since the evaluation committee can have researchers from different subject areas, it is best to write your proposal in a simple language that is understandable by all.

Stick to the guidelines

Your university will be providing the guidelines for writing your research proposal. You should adhere to those guidelines strictly since your proposal will be primarily evaluated on the basis of those.

Have an impactful opening section

It is a no-brainer that the opening statement of your proposal should be powerful enough to grasp the attention of the readers and get them interested in your research topic. You should be able to convey your interest and enthusiasm in the introductory section.

Peer review prior to submission

Apart from working with your research supervisor, it is essential that you ask some classmates and friends to review your proposal. The comments and suggestions that they give will be valuable in helping you to make the language of your proposal clearer.

You have worked hard to get into grad school and even harder on searching your research topic. Thus, you must be careful while building your thesis proposal so that you have maximum chances of acceptance.

If you're curious how your graduate school education will differ from your undergraduate education, take a look at this video so you know what to expect:

Writing the perfect research proposal might be challenging, but keeping to the basics might make your task easier. In a nutshell, you need to be thorough in your study question. You should conduct sufficient research to gather all relevant materials required to support your argument. After collecting all data, make sure to present it systematically to give a clearer understanding and convince the evaluators to approve your proposal. Lastly, remember to submit your proposal well within the deadline set by your university. Your performance at grad school is essential, especially if you need a graduate degree to gain admission to med school and your thesis contributes to that performance. Thus, start with a suitable research problem, draft a strong proposal, and then begin with your thesis after your proposal is approved.

In your master’s thesis proposal, you should include your research topic and the problem statement being addressed in your research, along with a proposed solution. The proposal should explain the importance and limitations of your research.

The length of a master’s thesis proposal is outlined by the university in the instructions for preparing your master’s thesis proposal.

The time taken to write a master’s thesis proposal depends upon the study which you are undertaking and your discipline of research. It will take a minimum time of three months. The ideal time can be around six months. 

You should begin your master’s thesis proposal by writing an introduction to your research topic. You should state your topic clearly and provide some background. Keep notes and rough drafts of your proposal so you can always refer to them when you write the first real draft.

The basic sections that your master’s thesis proposal should cover are the problem statement, research methodology, proposed activities, importance, and the limitations of your research.

A master’s thesis proposal which clearly defines the problem in a straightforward and explains the research methodology in simple words is considered a good thesis proposal.

You can use any classic font for your master’s thesis proposal such as Times New Roman. If you are recommended a specific font in the proposal guidelines by your institution, it would be advisable to stick to that.

The ideal font size for your master’s thesis proposal will be 10 or 12 points.

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sample masters thesis proposal

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.

Grad Coach

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

Webinar - How to write a research proposal for a dissertation or thesis

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.

Literature Review Course

Psst… there’s more!

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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Prize-Winning Thesis and Dissertation Examples

Published on September 9, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on July 18, 2023.

It can be difficult to know where to start when writing your thesis or dissertation . One way to come up with some ideas or maybe even combat writer’s block is to check out previous work done by other students on a similar thesis or dissertation topic to yours.

This article collects a list of undergraduate, master’s, and PhD theses and dissertations that have won prizes for their high-quality research.

Table of contents

Award-winning undergraduate theses, award-winning master’s theses, award-winning ph.d. dissertations, other interesting articles.

University : University of Pennsylvania Faculty : History Author : Suchait Kahlon Award : 2021 Hilary Conroy Prize for Best Honors Thesis in World History Title : “Abolition, Africans, and Abstraction: the Influence of the “Noble Savage” on British and French Antislavery Thought, 1787-1807”

University : Columbia University Faculty : History Author : Julien Saint Reiman Award : 2018 Charles A. Beard Senior Thesis Prize Title : “A Starving Man Helping Another Starving Man”: UNRRA, India, and the Genesis of Global Relief, 1943-1947

University: University College London Faculty: Geography Author: Anna Knowles-Smith Award:  2017 Royal Geographical Society Undergraduate Dissertation Prize Title:  Refugees and theatre: an exploration of the basis of self-representation

University: University of Washington Faculty:  Computer Science & Engineering Author: Nick J. Martindell Award: 2014 Best Senior Thesis Award Title:  DCDN: Distributed content delivery for the modern web

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University:  University of Edinburgh Faculty:  Informatics Author:  Christopher Sipola Award:  2018 Social Responsibility & Sustainability Dissertation Prize Title:  Summarizing electricity usage with a neural network

University:  University of Ottawa Faculty:  Education Author:  Matthew Brillinger Award:  2017 Commission on Graduate Studies in the Humanities Prize Title:  Educational Park Planning in Berkeley, California, 1965-1968

University:  University of Ottawa Faculty: Social Sciences Author:  Heather Martin Award:  2015 Joseph De Koninck Prize Title:  An Analysis of Sexual Assault Support Services for Women who have a Developmental Disability

University : University of Ottawa Faculty : Physics Author : Guillaume Thekkadath Award : 2017 Commission on Graduate Studies in the Sciences Prize Title : Joint measurements of complementary properties of quantum systems

University:  London School of Economics Faculty: International Development Author: Lajos Kossuth Award:  2016 Winner of the Prize for Best Overall Performance Title:  Shiny Happy People: A study of the effects income relative to a reference group exerts on life satisfaction

University : Stanford University Faculty : English Author : Nathan Wainstein Award : 2021 Alden Prize Title : “Unformed Art: Bad Writing in the Modernist Novel”

University : University of Massachusetts at Amherst Faculty : Molecular and Cellular Biology Author : Nils Pilotte Award : 2021 Byron Prize for Best Ph.D. Dissertation Title : “Improved Molecular Diagnostics for Soil-Transmitted Molecular Diagnostics for Soil-Transmitted Helminths”

University:  Utrecht University Faculty:  Linguistics Author:  Hans Rutger Bosker Award: 2014 AVT/Anéla Dissertation Prize Title:  The processing and evaluation of fluency in native and non-native speech

University: California Institute of Technology Faculty: Physics Author: Michael P. Mendenhall Award: 2015 Dissertation Award in Nuclear Physics Title: Measurement of the neutron beta decay asymmetry using ultracold neutrons

University:  Stanford University Faculty: Management Science and Engineering Author:  Shayan O. Gharan Award:  Doctoral Dissertation Award 2013 Title:   New Rounding Techniques for the Design and Analysis of Approximation Algorithms

University: University of Minnesota Faculty: Chemical Engineering Author: Eric A. Vandre Award:  2014 Andreas Acrivos Dissertation Award in Fluid Dynamics Title: Onset of Dynamics Wetting Failure: The Mechanics of High-speed Fluid Displacement

University: Erasmus University Rotterdam Faculty: Marketing Author: Ezgi Akpinar Award: McKinsey Marketing Dissertation Award 2014 Title: Consumer Information Sharing: Understanding Psychological Drivers of Social Transmission

University: University of Washington Faculty: Computer Science & Engineering Author: Keith N. Snavely Award:  2009 Doctoral Dissertation Award Title: Scene Reconstruction and Visualization from Internet Photo Collections

University:  University of Ottawa Faculty:  Social Work Author:  Susannah Taylor Award: 2018 Joseph De Koninck Prize Title:  Effacing and Obscuring Autonomy: the Effects of Structural Violence on the Transition to Adulthood of Street Involved Youth

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How to Write a Research Proposal for a Master's Dissertation

Unsure how to start your research proposal as part of your dissertation read below our top tips from banking and finance student, nelly, on how to structure your proposal and make sure it's a strong, formative foundation to build your dissertation..

It's understandable if the proposal part of your dissertation feels like a waste of time. Why not just get started on the dissertation itself? Isn't 'proposal' a just fancy word for a plan?

It's important to see your Master's research proposal not only as a requirement, but a way of formalising your ideas and mapping out the direction and purpose of your dissertation. A strong, carefully prepared proposal is instrumental in writing a good dissertation.

How to structure a research proposal for a Master's dissertation

  • Motivation: introduce your research question and give an overview of the topic, explain the importance of your research
  • Theory:  draw on existing pieces of research that are relevant to your topic of choice, leading up to your question and identifying how your dissertation will explore new territory
  • Data and methodology: how do you plan to answer the research question? Explain your data sources and methodology
  • Expected results: finally, what will the outcome be? What do you think your data and methodology will find?

Top Tips for Writing a Dissertation Research Proposal 

Choose a dissertation topic well in advance of starting to write it, allow existing research to guide you , make your research questions as specific as possible , collate your bibliography as you go , colour code your notes based on which part of the proposal they apply to , write your motivation after your theory, make sure your data and methodology section is to-the-point, and succinct, link your expectations to existing research.

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Published By Nelly on 01/09/2020 | Last Updated 29/11/2023

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Thesis Proposals

All students should give serious consideration to electing to write a thesis. A thesis involves original research and is a proven method for developing specialized knowledge and skills that can enhance an individual’s expertise within a substantive area of study. A thesis is recommended for students who intend to continue study toward the PhD degree or plan research-related employment. If the thesis option is elected, the student must write the thesis and pass an oral examination on a report of research initiated by the student under the guidance of the major professor. A faculty committee, chaired by the major professor, will evaluate the written report and conduct an oral examination of the candidate.

Thesis Proposal Outline

This sample outline may not be appropriate for some studies. You should decide, in consultation with your major professor, whether to follow the sample outline below or modify it to suit the needs of your particular study. Proposals from former students are available on the department website and can be reviewed to assist you in developing your proposal.

  • General background of the subject area
  • Specific background for the topic of investigation
  • Review of the literature
  • Definitions of all key terms
  • The hypotheses or questions to be addressed
  • Identify and justify the choice of general approach and specific research method
  • Subjects (if applicable; describe them and your rationale for their selection)
  • Limitations
  • Outline of Projected Results
  • Potential Conclusions and Implications
  • “Working” Bibliography of Sources & Materials

Sample Thesis Proposals

  •   Sample 1
  •   Sample 2
  •   Sample 3

Thesis Writing

Thesis Proposal

Caleb S.

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

Published on: Apr 15, 2019

Last updated on: Nov 11, 2023

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.

Whether you need us to deliver a complete thesis or a proposal, our thesis writing service is here for you 24/7. So, order now! 

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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10+ Master Thesis Proposal Examples [ Research, Project, Arts ]

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Master Thesis Proposal

10+ master thesis proposal examples, 1. master thesis proposal template, 2. master thesis proposal form, 3. sample master thesis proposal, 4. master thesis proposal in pdf, 5. master thesis proposal example, 6. master thesis proposal approval form, 7. printable master thesis proposal, 8. master thesis project proposal, 9. master thesis proposal defense form, 10. master of arts thesis proposal, 11. computer science master thesis proposal, how long is a thesis proposal, does a thesis proposal requires a statement of the significance of the project, does a thesis proposal requires a review of the related literature.

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What is a Master Thesis Proposal?

Structure of thesis proposal, more design, 10+ information technology project proposal examples, 10+ engineering project proposal examples, 7+ dissertation proposal examples, 4+ dissertation questionnaire examples, how to write a successful thesis proposal examples, thesis proposal example, thesis summary examples, thesis paper examples examples, 22+ research statement examples, 20+ professional business proposal examples, 15+ market research proposal examples, 12+ grant proposal writing examples.

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Examples of research proposals

How to write your research proposal, with examples of good proposals.

Research proposals

Your research proposal is a key part of your application. It tells us about the question you want to answer through your research. It is a chance for you to show your knowledge of the subject area and tell us about the methods you want to use.

We use your research proposal to match you with a supervisor or team of supervisors.

In your proposal, please tell us if you have an interest in the work of a specific academic at York St John. You can get in touch with this academic to discuss your proposal. You can also speak to one of our Research Leads. There is a list of our Research Leads on the Apply page.

When you write your proposal you need to:

  • Highlight how it is original or significant
  • Explain how it will develop or challenge current knowledge of your subject
  • Identify the importance of your research
  • Show why you are the right person to do this research
  • Research Proposal Example 1 (DOC, 49kB)
  • Research Proposal Example 2 (DOC, 0.9MB)
  • Research Proposal Example 3 (DOC, 55.5kB)
  • Research Proposal Example 4 (DOC, 49.5kB)

Subject specific guidance

  • Writing a Humanities PhD Proposal (PDF, 0.1MB)
  • Writing a Creative Writing PhD Proposal (PDF, 0.1MB)
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  • Honors Undergraduate Thesis
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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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10 Thesis Proposal Examples for Masters and PhDs

In this blog post, we will be sharing with you examples of thesis proposals on different topics. These thesis proposal example are all actual proposals written by graduates for their thesis and were accepted by the supervisor and the committee. So you can check the format of these proposals and can get an idea of how you can write your own thesis proposal.

If you are confused on how to start writing your proposals and thesis then you can take the help of online services which can help you write your thesis or dissertation as well as your thesis proposal. You can check this post for the top 10 best thesis writing services available online.

Here are some thesis proposals that you can check out to know more about the thesis proposal structure and format.

Thesis Proposal Example 1 – Computer Science

Thesis Proposal Title: Computer Vulnerability Analysis Writer : Ivan Krsul University: Purdue University Year: April 1997 For: Masters Thesis Proposal Pdf: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2362&context=cstech You can download the thesis proposal pdf here .

Thesis Proposal Sample 2 – Software and System Engineering

Thesis Proposal Title: Pattern-based methods for model-based safety-critical software architecture design Writer: Maged Khalid University: Year: 2013 For: PhD Thesis Proposal Pdf: https://dl.gi.de/bitstream/handle/20.500.12116/17401/493.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Thesis Proposal Example 3 – Education

Thesis Proposal Title: QUALITY STANDARDS OF ONLINE HIGHER EDUCATION IN TURKEY Writer: Omer Uysal University: Anadolu University Year: 2009 For: PhD Thesis Proposal Pdf: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Abdullah-Kuzu/publication/268188633_A_THESIS_PROPOSAL_QUALITY_STANDARDS_OF_ONLINE_HIGHER_EDUCATION_IN_TURKEY/links/54c656560cf219bbe4f82d2a/A-THESIS-PROPOSAL-QUALITY-STANDARDS-OF-ONLINE-HIGHER-EDUCATION-IN-TURKEY.pdf

Thesis Proposal Example 4 – Computer Science

Thesis Proposal Title: A Plan-Based Approach to Conversational Implicature Writer: Elizabeth Hinkelman University : The University of Rochester Year: 1987 For: PhD Proposal pdf: https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA189201.pdf

Masters Thesis Proposal Example 5 – IT

Thesis Proposal Title: Smart SoC-Testing facilitated by the usage of IJTAG complemented with onboard microprocessor access Writer: Clemens Pircher University: Vienna University of Technology Year: 2021 For: Masters Proposal PDF: https://ti.tuwien.ac.at/institute/teaching/ti-research-presentations/da-proposal-pricher.pdf

Masters Thesis Proposal Example 6 – Computer Engineering

Thesis Proposal Title: On the Strongest Message Adversary for Consensus in Directed Dynamic Networks Writers: Stephan Felber University: Vienna University of Technology Year: 2021 For: Masters Proposal Pdf: https://ti.tuwien.ac.at/institute/teaching/ti-research-presentat ions/proposal_felber.pdf

Thesis Proposal Example 7

Thesis Proposal Title: Predicting birds’ flight range Writer: University: LINKOPING UNIVERSITY Year: 2018 For: Maters Proposal Pdf: https://www.ida.liu.se/~732A64/info/Projects/2018/MSc_2019_Flight.pdf

Thesis Proposal Sample 8 – Computer Engineering

Thesis Proposal Title: Fully Homomorphic Computation On Private Blockchain Transactions Writer: University: University of Colorado Year: 2019 For: Masters Proposal PDF: http://cs.uccs.edu/~gsc/pub/master/hbarbosa/doc/thesis_proposal.pdf

Example of Thesis Proposal 9 – Social Work

Thesis Proposal Title: MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR EMPOWERING LGBTQ YOUTH: Writer: Anahi Luases University: California State University Year: 2021 For: Masters PDF: https://www.proquest.com/openview/6db6a2c6b779fe2ab49fef0c34e2d642/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cb l=18750&diss=y

PhD Thesis Proposal 10

Thesis Proposal Title: Polarized Deduction Modulo Theory Writer: Olivier Hermant University : Mine Paris Tech Year: 2017 For: PhD Proposal PDF: https://www.cri.mines-paristech.fr/~hermant/docs/2017/phd-polarized.pdf

You can check all the thesis proposals to check the format and how you should write the proposal.

1 thought on “10 Thesis Proposal Examples for Masters and PhDs”

sample masters thesis proposal

Thanks for the templates, very useful. I wanted to ask, as I come from a very different field (Anthropology): how is this format of citing used called? I read the models 1 and 10 and it really called my attention. Thanks in advance and best regards!

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An thesis proposal examples on masters is a prosaic composition of a small volume and free composition, expressing individual impressions and thoughts on a specific occasion or issue and obviously not claiming a definitive or exhaustive interpretation of the subject.

Some signs of masters thesis proposal:

  • the presence of a specific topic or question. A work devoted to the analysis of a wide range of problems in biology, by definition, cannot be performed in the genre of masters thesis proposal topic.
  • The thesis proposal expresses individual impressions and thoughts on a specific occasion or issue, in this case, on masters and does not knowingly pretend to a definitive or exhaustive interpretation of the subject.
  • As a rule, an essay suggests a new, subjectively colored word about something, such a work may have a philosophical, historical, biographical, journalistic, literary, critical, popular scientific or purely fiction character.
  • in the content of an thesis proposal samples on masters , first of all, the author’s personality is assessed - his worldview, thoughts and feelings.

The goal of an thesis proposal in masters is to develop such skills as independent creative thinking and writing out your own thoughts.

Writing an thesis proposal is extremely useful, because it allows the author to learn to clearly and correctly formulate thoughts, structure information, use basic concepts, highlight causal relationships, illustrate experience with relevant examples, and substantiate his conclusions.

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Step 1: make an outline of your proposal, step 2: defining a structure, step 3: planning your writing, step 4: write about your topic following the thesis proposal format, step 5: proofread your finished proposal, not following instructions, research issues being investigated are not important enough, research purpose, objectives, and questions don’t align, unjustified topic for the research study, share this post on your network, you may also like these articles, 21+ sample demolition proposals in pdf | ms word.

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  1. PDF A PROPOSAL FOR A MASTER'S THESIS

    Revised, January 2019 WHAT IS A THESIS PROPOSAL? A Thesis Proposal is a document that sets forth what is to be studied as a thesis project, why and in what way. It contains a number of important sections.

  2. How to Write a Research Proposal

    A bachelor's or master's thesis proposal can be just a few pages, while proposals for PhD dissertations or research funding are usually much longer and more detailed. Your supervisor can help you determine the best length for your work.

  3. Academic Proposals

    For samples of academic proposals, click here. Important considerations for the writing process First and foremost, you need to consider your future audience carefully in order to determine both how specific your topic can be and how much background information you need to provide in your proposal.

  4. How to Write a Master's Thesis Proposal

    Updated: Nov 23, 2023 How to write a master's thesis proposal is one of the most-asked questions by graduate students. A master's thesis proposal involves a copious amount of data collection, particular presentation ethics, and most importantly, it will become the roadmap to your full thesis.

  5. How to Write a Dissertation or Thesis Proposal

    Revised on July 18, 2023. When starting your thesis or dissertation process, one of the first requirements is a research proposal or a prospectus. It describes what or who you want to examine, delving into why, when, where, and how you will do so, stemming from your research question and a relevant topic.

  6. PDF A Sample Research Proposal with Comments

    The proposal should discuss problem statement, objectives, research methodology, research activities, and a time schedule in about 3-5 pages. A sample proposal is attached here for your reference.

  7. Thesis Proposal > Master's Thesis > Graduate

    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 th...

  8. How to write a thesis proposal in 5 simple steps

    A strong thesis proposal: Acts as a project roadmap before major work begins. Outlines the research you plan to complete. Provides background, context, and qualifications. Limits and narrows the scope of the project. Highlights the frameworks and methodologies to be used. Establishes timelines, budgets, and resources.

  9. PDF How to Write a Graduate Proposal

    Purpose of Proposal A plan of action and justification for research that you plan to do A step towards gaining approval for thesis and/or dissertation A way to receive funding for research Ex. Write a proposal for grant money

  10. How To Write A Research Proposal (With Examples)

    The 5 Essential Ingredients Research proposals can vary in style between institutions and disciplines, but here I'll share with you a handy 5-section structure you can use. These 5 sections directly address the core questions we spoke about earlier, ensuring that you present a convincing proposal.

  11. Research Proposal Example (PDF + Template)

    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:

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    Author: Suchait Kahlon Award: 2021 Hilary Conroy Prize for Best Honors Thesis in World History Title: "Abolition, Africans, and Abstraction: the Influence of the "Noble Savage" on British and French Antislavery Thought, 1787-1807" University: Columbia University Faculty: History Author: Julien Saint Reiman

  13. PDF Writing a thesis proposal

    Understand the purpose of the thesis proposal Understand the general structure of a thesis proposal Understand the purpose and structure of the introduction of a thesis proposal Be clear about how to formulate research questions, aims, objectives. Some sections have exercises for you to complete. Some of these exercises provide an

  14. How to Write a Research Proposal for a Master's Dissertation

    The recommended structure of your proposal is: Motivation: introduce your research question and give an overview of the topic, explain the importance of your research. Theory: draw on existing pieces of research that are relevant to your topic of choice, leading up to your question and identifying how your dissertation will explore new territory.

  15. Thesis Proposals

    Methods Limitations Outline of Projected Results Potential Conclusions and Implications "Working" Bibliography of Sources & Materials Sample Thesis Proposals Sample 1 Sample 2 Sample 3

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    Sample Thesis Proposal 6. Thesis Proposal Writing Tips 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.

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    10+ Master Thesis Proposal Examples 1. Master Thesis Proposal Template cidse.engineering.asu.edu Details File Format PDF Size: 122 KB Download 2. Master Thesis Proposal Form atsandbox.webster.edu Details File Format PDF Size: 766 KB Download 3. Sample Master Thesis Proposal industrial-engineering.uark.edu

  18. Examples of Research proposals

    Research proposals. Your research proposal is a key part of your application. It tells us about the question you want to answer through your research. It is a chance for you to show your knowledge of the subject area and tell us about the methods you want to use. We use your research proposal to match you with a supervisor or team of supervisors.

  19. Thesis Proposal Examples

    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.

  20. 10 Thesis Proposal Examples for Masters and PhDs

    10 Thesis Proposal Examples for Masters and PhDs Academic In this blog post, we will be sharing with you examples of thesis proposals on different topics. These thesis proposal example are all actual proposals written by graduates for their thesis and were accepted by the supervisor and the committee.

  21. Free Masters Thesis Proposal Samples and Examples List

    An thesis proposal examples on masters is a prosaic composition of a small volume and free composition, expressing individual impressions and thoughts on a specific occasion or issue and obviously not claiming a definitive or exhaustive interpretation of the subject. Some signs of masters thesis proposal:

  22. 15+ Thesis Proposal Examples for Masters and PhDs

    15+ Thesis Proposal Examples for Masters and PhDs. peachyessay September 26, 2022 Academic Guide, Blogs; Thesis proposals are a large undertaking that is often intimidating and often met with anxiety by graduate students. Writing a thesis or dissertation is an honour bestowed on many of us, but it can be a challenging task to manage.

  23. 24+ SAMPLE Thesis Proposals in PDF

    A thesis proposal is a piece of document designed to explain what you want to study, how it will be studied, why the topic needs to be studied, and when you intend to conduct the study. In short—this is your research work plan. Its main purpose is to communicate to your readers how you plan to approach a project.