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Sample Dissertation Proposal:
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Sample Dissertation Proposal

When the time comes for a graduate student to write a dissertation proposal, there can be a variety of questions. What format does the proposal take? How long should it be? How should the references be cited? Is a review of literature required? One way to answer many of these questions is to have access to a sample dissertation proposal to use as a model for the student's own dissertation proposal.

Sample dissertation proposals can be obtained by speaking with other students who have already gotten past the dissertation proposal stage and are already writing their dissertations. These students will have approved dissertation proposals they may be willing to share. Another resource the student can consult is his or her faculty advisor. The advisor may have a file of sample dissertation proposals the student can review as guidelines.

Dissertation information and sample dissertation proposals are available online. Many universities maintain websites loaded with helpful free information intended for their own students but accessible to all. If a student locates a sample dissertation proposal from another university it is advisable to check with the student's own department chair to find out if there are any "house" stylistic guidelines that are different from the sample dissertation proposal in question.

Any quality sample dissertation proposal will show that in essence, a dissertation proposal is similar to an incomplete dissertation. A full dissertation has an introduction, a literature review, a methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion. Since the research discussed in the dissertation has not yet been conducted during the dissertation proposal stage, the dissertation proposal will lack results and discussion sections. A sample dissertation proposal will, however, contain an introduction, a literature review, a proposed methodology, and a conclusion. Again, it is essentially an abbreviated dissertation without the results and discussion chapters. Sample dissertations will show in detail how each of these sections is constructed, and will no doubt be an indispensable tool for any student working to submit a successful dissertation proposal.