Thesis proposal writing process - Milestones & pitfalls
The thesis proposal may be seen as the most challenging writing assignment for students seeking their doctoral or Ph.D. degree. Many feel there is more pressure doing the proposal than the actual dissertation, which is understandable. You are trying to develop a concept you want permission to further explore and research.
You are creating groundwork for something that could take potentially weeks or months to fully detail. In the end, you want your efforts to lead to an approval. You don’t want to think about what may happen if you don’t get approved, so you figure you want to do what is possible to get it right the first time.
Milestones to Work Toward
Sine a thesis proposal can take a considerable amount of time to complete most people just want to get it done as soon as possible. To say that you have completed such an assignment by the deadline is something many consider a breath of fresh air. Getting your content approved by the committee is even more reason for excitement. But, of course, the writing process has areas and actions you need to complete in order to get to the next level.
Getting an outline completed can be helpful in breaking up your work into smaller parts. The thesis proposal has several sections of information you need to research. Each time you complete a section you have reached a new milestone. Developing your topic or selecting something new and interesting can be a milestone as well. It helps to allow yourself plenty of time to research, write, and rewrite your content.
Pitfalls to Avoid
Sometimes being careless and not planning ahead by using time wisely is the biggest pitfall experienced. Not taking time to proofread, edit or revise your content is another pitfall that can be avoided. If your content has misspellings, errors, and details hard to follow the committee is more likely to disapprove your proposal. Failing to give yourself enough time to thoroughly research your topic may also lead to disaster.
Some students spend several weeks alone collecting data. The more you have the easier it will be to write your proposal. Some may not have a strong thesis statement or collect enough data to provide valid evidence. Copying content word for word is another pitfall to avoid; some students think they can copy their content when time is running out, but eventually get caught.