Writing A Good Qualitative Dissertation Proposal: Helpful Suggestions

Okay, so this little warm up exercise to writing your actual dissertation can seem like a Herculean task to a novice. The first thing to remember is that this merely a proposal. It is speculative, and it is a way of laying out the groundwork and demonstrating that your dissertation is viable. Rather than seeing this as a spectacular waste of time it is advisable that you view it as a way of ensuring that you don’t waste your time!

So, here’re my helpful suggestions on writing a good qualitative dissertation proposal:

  • Get out in the field before you even think about starting to write your proposal. Hands on, practical research is way better than being stuck behind a laptop or computer all day. Make the most of it!

  • Once you have conducted your initial field research you should be able to:
  • Make a judgement call about how it is going to pan out

    Determine whether it is worth investing further time and effort into the subject matter.

If the above doesn’t float your boat then you can always try the kamikaze approach and dispense with the fieldwork entirely and simply launching straight into your qualitative dissertation proposal. There are major risks to doing this not least because all of the information that you are presenting is speculative and not based in any shape or form upon your research or findings. You might hit lucky, or you might end up wishing that you had spent that much needed time out in the field.

You need to be able to prove the following:

  • That you are able to clearly articulate the scope of the work

  • Spell out what you hope to achieve

  • Give examples of some of your research questions

In a nutshell you are looking to state:

The what, how and why when it comes to writing your actual dissertation. If you are not able to do this successfully then you will need to think again and come up with a different subject to explore. Yes, this will mean writing another qualitative dissertation proposal but that is infinitely preferable to having to start from scratch with the real deal.

Rather than seeing this a chore, you should view it as a sounding board. A means of dipping your toes in the water without being sucked in and drowning.

Okay, so that is a little melodramatic but you get my drift!

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