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Writing A Thesis Proposal

Writing a Thesis Proposal

A thesis proposal is a primary part of writing a thesis. It is a brief document which explains the following aspects of your thesis:

  • What will be the subject and/or topic of your thesis

  • What kind of research you are planning to do

  • What type of problem(s) are you planning to solve

It is common for professors to ask their students to first present their thesis proposal, get approval for it, and only then, proceed towards doing the actual thesis. If your proposal is not approved, you will have to rethink your entire thesis and redo the proposal.

Yes, the thesis proposal is definitely shorter than the final thesis. Yet, a badly written and ineffectively researched proposal stands to be rejected. You can look up our custom thesis writing services and order yours from Prescott Papers.

However, it is great to know to go about writing a thesis proposal. Even if you choose to buy a thesis online, knowing the mechanics of writing it well will help you gauge the quality of work that you have received. So, let us go ahead and learn the basics.

Writing a thesis proposal has the following elements:

  • Title Page

  • Abstract

  • Table of Contents (needed only if the instructions specifically asks for it)

  • Introduction

  • Thesis statement

  • Methodology or approach

  • Preliminary results and discussion

  • Your work schedule along with the time table

  • Implication of the research

  • Reference Page

A thesis proposal is actually a shortened form of the actual thesis that you plan to write after your proposal gets approved. You will use nearly all the work that you do while writing a thesis proposal in the final thesis.

Let us look at each one of the above-mentioned elements in detail.

Title Page

This page lays out the information about what your thesis will discuss. It will also have other details such as the institution you represent, the name of your mentors, and your course details. This page will invariably be signed off by your mentors.


This will be the second page of your thesis proposal. The abstract should be very brief (usually not more than 200 words). It will be a very condensed form of your thesis. It will include the thesis statement, a very short introduction, and some possible implications and outcomes of your thesis. The abstract will be a brief summary of the paper.

Table of Contents

This page will contain the details of your thesis proposal and will depend on the subject you have chosen and the details you plan to include in your proposal. The TOC is part of the thesis proposal only when it is deliberately instructed to do so by your professor(s).


The introduction should be written in such a way that the reader's attention is hooked. You can include some startling and new data or useful information. Basically, when the reader reads the introduction, he or she must feel compelled to continue reading further. Start the introduction by explaining the thesis subject on a broader perspective and keep narrowing down the topic till you reach your focused thesis topic.

Keep your target audience in mind while writing. Do not assume that the readers will know and understand everything you are saying. Avoid using technical terms. However, if it is unavoidable, then ensure you explain them in detail either in-text or as a separate glossary at the end of the paper.

Thesis Statement

This is usually part of the introduction. The thesis statement will let the readers know what hypothesis you are trying to prove in your paper. The thesis statement should be clear, specific, and succinct. Your reader should be in no doubt that this is what the focus of your work is going to be and he or she will get an idea of the scope of your paper.

Methodology or Approach

This section should contain detailed presentations of how you carried out or will carry out your study or research. These methodologies could include how you chose to interpret the researched data, what procedures you followed, details of calculations, what kind of equipment you used, the questionnaire(s) you used carrying any survey, graphs and data you collected, etc. This section must also include limitations of your thesis paper.

Preliminary results and discussions

In this section, you must discuss the preliminary results that you obtained using the data you have collected till now. This should be a true representation of the observations made or the results of checking your hypothesis. You must include both negative and positive findings and observations.

In many proposals, results and discussions are presented in separate sections. While the results are your observations and testing outcomes, the discussions should include your interpretation of the data collected. The discussion part should clearly discern the difference between the actual results and your interpretation of the outcomes and findings.

If you have not done any testing or experiments then this section may not have much. Yet, it makes sense to include results and discussions of basic preliminary studies and findings that you did.

Your work schedule along with the timetable

Lay out the schedule of your work and the timetable that you will follow until the project is completed. You should ideally include timelines and the deadlines that you have given yourself. Use a table to illustrate these points. The timetable should definitely include potential challenges that you could face leading to any changes in your schedule.

Implication of the research

In this section, you must include information that could affect the implication of your research. You should include possible new questions that your research could raise too. In this section, you can also mention problems and implications of other studies on your paper.

Reference Page or Bibliography

You will be using materials and data from a variety of sources for creating your thesis proposal. All these resources need to be credited and mentioned on this page. A thesis proposal without a reference page is highly likely to be rejected. You must cite sources right through your thesis proposal and also have a full list (in more detail) on this reference page.

The following details must be included in the bibliography page:

  • The name of the author

  • The title of the work that you have sourced your material from

  • The name of the publisher

  • The date of the publication

  • The date you retrieved the data (if it is an online source)

Importance of bibliography

Even though the reference page or bibliography is normally not more than one page in length, it is one of the most important sections of your thesis proposal. Here are some reasons why the bibliography page is extremely important and you simply cannot leave it out of your thesis proposal:

  • A duly annotated reference page indicates that you have done a lot of research for your paper

  • The examiner of your thesis proposal will be duly impressed with your work and the credibility of your work

  • Your thesis proposal and subsequent thesis will be stronger when you present the research work you have carried out in the reference page

  • Readers will be able to access this information easily and verify your claim and interpretations

  • Your bibliography will not only tell the world that you are an expert in the subject on which you have written the paper but also will serve as a motivating factor for others to carry on research in the field

  • The bibliography page can potentially be the starting point of someone else's thesis

Final Notes

Your thesis proposal should be so powerful that the examiner who is approving it will not hesitate to do so. The importance of a robust proposal cannot be undermined because if it fails to get you the required approval to carry on your thesis, then you must have to reconsider the entire thesis and rewrite the proposal from the beginning.

If you need to look at a new thesis topic, then all the hard work done till now for this thesis will be fairly wasted. While fear of failure should not prevent you from working hard and moving forward, it should definitely act as a motivating factor to ensure that you present the best thesis proposal whose chances of being disapproved are very low.

At Prescott Papers, we have a team of experienced, qualified, and trained writers and editors who can help you complete your thesis proposal and/or paper. Browse through our various dissertation writing services and call us for any help that you may need.

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