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* 1.

1.    Your scope & constraints

2.    Your resources

3.    An outline of sections or chapters

4.    Your timetable

5.    Your references

Step 1: Writing about your scope & constraints
It can be difficult to write about your scope without covering the same topics you tackled when writing about your goals and objectives. The key here is to set the limits of what you will do within the boundaries of what you hope to achieve. Your scope needs to be broad enough to achieve your goals, but narrow enough to be possible in your given time frame.

Time frame is one of your biggest constraints and this must be acknowledged. Other constraints can include availability of data, access to literature, cost of your project, etc.

Scope & constraints writing tips:

1.    Make sure you don’t give yourself too wide a scope. Your dissertation needs to be achievable otherwise you will fail to reach your goals

2.    Equally, don’t limit yourself too much. This can be perceived as lazy or unambitious. Be realistic above all, but make sure you push yourself where possible

Step 2: Compiling your resources
Like your literature review, this section will help you to identify the resources you will need to complete your dissertation. Again, this will be a helpful thing to have once you start researching and writing in earnest.

From something as simple as your university’s IT facilities (noting any particular applications you will use), to more unusual resources like rare transcripts of interviews with historical figures held at specific libraries, make sure you include everything you’ll need to complete your dissertation here. This is a great bit of forward planning you’ll benefit from later, and it illustrates your ability to plan ahead and apply that in a tangible sense to your work.

Step 3: Outlining your sections & chapters
This section is pivotal to writing your dissertation – and it will give your tutor a good idea of the overall structure (and where you may want to make changes!). Include a brief summary of your research paper introduction and conclusion but go into more detail about the bulk of your dissertation, including sub-headings which give yourself and the reader a clear road-map of how your dissertation will progress.

You may want to include 1 to 2 paragraphs of 200 to 300 words that summarise the following sections of your planned dissertation:

Literature survey
Results (if your dissertation is data driven)
Discussion (include 1-2 paragraphs for each major point)

Step 4: Creating your timetable
A rigid timetable will prevent you from getting behind, or scurrying to catch up with your dissertation deadline. Make sure you include realistic time-frames for your research and writing, and incorporate key academic dates and any departmental deadlines you may be working towards. If you will need to take time out to retrieve resources, make sure you include this in your schedule. Allow a bit of leeway for each stage too, as problems and unforeseen changes will inevitably pop up, so having the time to adjust to these is crucial.

Step 5: Including references
There’s nothing too unusual to get to grips with here. Simply include full references for all of your resources. Make sure you use your university’s style guide to complete them and, tah dah! – your systematic, thorough and just-plain impressive dissertation proposal is complete! Now it’s time to take it to your tutor – and get to

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