Outline of Dissertation Proposal

Outline of dissertation proposal

Most proposals follow a general structure that we will highlight for you below. In some fields, universities, or colleges, these sections may be combined. Consult with your professor about your proposal’s specific requirements. The sections in a typical outline of dissertation proposal are:

  • Title – At this stage, only a working title is required. As you continue with the dissertation writing process, you will refine your title. Your title should be as concise as possible to avoid confusion. Also, make sure that your title is informative.
  • Introduction/Background – Provide readers with some background of your study and a brief description of what your study is about. Outline of dissertation proposal
  • Problem Statement – Also known as the statement of the problem, it focuses on the knowledge gap that your study focuses on.
How To Write a Problem Statement:

The problem statement should tell a story from beginning to end. The reader should understand the problem with no prior knowledge of the subject and without having read any other sections of the dissertation. Introduce the problem by first providing some general background information. After sharing background information, draft the general problem using this formula: The general problem is _____ resulting in ______ (in the second blank includes the negative consequences of the problem). Include 1-3 sentences that address the impact of adversity on the specific problem, and conclude with a sentence that summarizes the importance of addressing the problem as a whole.

Next, support the problem by adding one (or two) sentences that address the impact of adversity of the stated general problem.

After adding a supporting sentence(s) that addresses the impact of the adversity, state the specific problem using this
formula: The specific problem is ________resulting in______(in this second blank include the negative consequences of the problem).

  • Purpose/Aims/Rationale/Research Questions – These are your study’s objectives, and they include the hypothesis that your study promotes. This section can also have a list of questions that your research will answer.
    • How To Write a Purpose Statement

      Your statement of purpose clearly (but briefly) articulates the study’s focus, methodology, population, and geographic location. Begin this section with “The purpose of this [insert type of study] study is to….

      Here is an example

      The purpose of the modified Delphi study will be to gain consensus from a nationwide panel of management, diversity, and civil rights experts on strategies for supporting LGBTQ employees in managing their sexual identities at work, including specific work practices and policies that would provide such support. A growing body of literature highlights that in conjunction with pro-LGBTQ policies, an organizational culture with a strong presence of LGBTQ leaders, allies, and support networks positively correlates to higher degrees of job satisfaction and well-being in the workplace (Rumens, 2016). Furthermore, there is a need for inclusive policies to protect LGBTQ employees from discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity (Rumens, 2016). This study will gather consensus to help build a framework around policy development and implementation that could be used in organizations that operate in states that do not currently provide employment protections for LGBTQ individuals. Furthermore, employment practices and strategies will be identified that could strengthen the authenticity of practices and policies within organizations while positively impacting the leadership and peer relationship.

      Identify a knowledge gap.

  • Review of Literature – This part contains the relevant studies that have previously been conducted and are pertinent to your work. You are not expected to have read everything when you are writing your proposal, but this does not mean that your literature review should be shallow.
  • Methodology – This section explores the overall means of how your study’s goals will be achieved. Here’s how to write the methodology section of the dissertation proposal
    • The purpose of the proposed modified Delphi study will be to gain consensus from a nationwide panel of management, diversity, and civil rights experts on strategies for supporting LGBTQ employees in managing their sexual identities at work, including specific work practices and policies that would provide such support. Twenty management, diversity, and civil rights experts with at least three years of experience in management, diversity, or civil rights will be recruited to build a panel of experts. The Corporate Equality Index (CEI) is a benchmarking tool developed by the Human Rights Campaign that evaluates and promotes organizations that have policies and practices for LGBTQ employees; the CEI public directory of the Human Rights Campaign will be used to reach out to management and diversity experts at a variety of organizations to solicit participation in the study. Additional organizations that will be used in identifying management and diversity experts for the panel include the network directories for the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Society for Human Resource Management, and the National Diversity Council. Civil rights experts will be recruited from various nationally and state-recognized non-profit organizations specializing in LGBTQ civil rights, including the network directories of the Human Rights Campaign and One Colorado.
  • Outline of dissertation proposalPlan of Work – Also referred to as a timeline, it includes the specific dates for completing particular dissertation sections. It helps you manage your time through the dissertation process and allows the faculty/committee to decide if your project is realistic.
  • Bibliography – This section includes sources that have informed your literature review, methodology, and the overall dissertation proposal.

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Outline of dissertation proposal



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