Helpful Hints for Writing a Dissertation Prospectus

Generally, a prospectus is a plan you have put together for the study you want to explore in your dissertation. Using a sample dissertation prospectus of previous work in the same field could help create your own. A prospectus describes the problems you want to solve, the significance of the problem, a question you would want to ask concerning the problem, and the styles employed in solving that problem.

On the other hand, a dissertation is the main body of the study where all the work is reflected. For many, it is easier to write a dissertation, so why use a dissertation prospectus? Well, a prospectus is important for a dissertation because it is first presented to the committee or advisor in charge of your dissertation. It shows them the direction you would like to go in putting together your dissertation. This will give room for advice on what is feasible to research.

Creating a dissertation prospectus may seem like a difficult path to tread. This is because many presume that a dissertation prospectus is the condensed interpretation of the dissertation itself. This is relatively untrue because a prospectus is a proposal for your dissertation. The importance of the prospectus in a dissertation is that it gives it a path to tow. In the process of writing the dissertation, the plans outlined in the prospectus may become modified. Anyhow, a well-detailed prospectus will yield an excellent dissertation.

Dissertation prospectus outline

1. The topic of the study and aims

Before doing a dissertation, a topic or area that interests you in your field should already exist. In stating the study, you should move from general to specific. For instance, if your topic is the effect of drugs on mental health, a specific topic that will make the dissertation feasible can be drawn. A dissertation prospectus example of a specific topic is the effects of drug use on the performance of university students in the examination.

A broad topic makes it delicate to explore and present a viable dissertation. Finding a niche makes it easier to answer the questions that will arise. It also helps the dissertation to proffer a solution to the problems stated. The dissertation prospectus also needs to include the aims of the study, which are the points demanded to be proven in the dissertation should be added.

2. Presentation of research using existing literature

Background research should be made to create a prospectus for your dissertation. This is to give you some security regarding the future of your dissertation. There may be loopholes found in previous studies that may pique your interest and raise problems to which you might want to find answers. The answers provided will, in turn, contribute to the field your dissertation is from.

Making research using previous literature concerning the topic of your dissertation helps to give insight into the possibilities of new results on the topic chosen. This also points to the method of data collection that is best for the dissertation.

3. Proposed research methodology

Data collection is an important aspect of prospectus creation because it is the part that shows the originality of the work. A topic will be accepted if there is a possibility of data collection that is adequate for the dissertation’s success.

There are several ways of data collection for students who want to write a dissertation, and the method chosen should be included in the prospectus. It could be through observation, sampling, journals, and oral histories. Any or some of the methods applied should be indicated in the prospectus. In doing so, advice on the best data collection method could be given.

4. An outline of the expected result

In a dissertation prospectus, the study’s implication needs to be indicated. The relevance of the study to the field, in general, is reflected in this part of the prospectus. You need to give a detailed outline of your expected result in clearly defined points that show that your research is not empty.

5. The bibliography

This is usually the final part, containing the primary and secondary sources used in creating the prospectus. This needs to be stated in it, and every detail provided here must be verified.


Having a dissertation prospectus guide helps create a proposal that covers the plans laid down for your dissertation. Also, remember that the prospectus should be written in the future tense because the dissertation still needs to be written.

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