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Updated by Whitney Q. Hart on Nov 21, 2019
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6 Ways to Ensure Acceptance of your Dissertation Proposal

Students expect the dissertation to be something they will struggle with, but they do not expect that getting an approval for their dissertation proposal will be a problem.




Students expect the dissertation to be something they will struggle with, but they do not expect that getting an approval for their dissertation proposal will be a problem. Getting your proposal approved can be a long process for many people, because the panel may keep finding issues with it or recommend that you change something about your proposal. If you want to make the process as smooth as possible then read on, because we have 6 strategies you can use to ensure that it gets accepted.


Focus on the Literature

The easiest way to get your dissertation proposal approved is to focus on the research. Read as much literature as you can about your chosen topic and include it in the proposal. Proposals often get rejected because the panelists do not think that you will be able to discover anything new in your dissertation. You need to convince them that you have a good grasp of the current understanding of the topic, which is why you are someone who will be able to discover something new about the topic. If the panel thinks that you have what it takes, they will approve your proposal.


Get an Editor Involved

If you want your proposal to be received warmly it always helps to get an editor involved. Either ask a friend who is good at writing or look online for a professional editor. It is possible that you have chosen a great topic and will be able to make a real contribution to scholars everywhere but your writing skills weren’t good enough to present it properly. The editor will be able to bring out the best in your proposal with their engaging writing, and the panel will see that you can deliver something valuable.


Formatting Counts

The easiest way to get your proposal rejected is to have the wrong formatting style. The panel will take one look at it and realize that you did not format it correctly and immediately reject it. Most universities have a style guide for dissertation proposals on their website, some even provide a template for it. Make sure that all the necessary parts of the proposal are included in yours and that you format it so it looks professional. Do not try to make it look beautiful - there is a certain template that needs to be followed in all proposals.


Networking is Essential

Don’t just spring the proposal on the panel - discuss it with them first. This is one area where networking helps a lot. If you are on friendly terms with the academic panel they will guide you when it comes to writing the proposal. Students who are on good terms with their professors and other people in the institute generally get their proposal accepted without a lot of objections.


Highlight your Unique Strengths

The best dissertation proposals are the ones that focus on something new. You need to look at what sets your dissertation apart. Why are you passionate about the topic you have chosen for your proposal? Why is the topic different from other research and dissertations on the same topic? What gives you the skills that will help you discover something new? If your proposal seems like it will be similar to a previous proposal it may get rejected, but if it seems new and unique it will get accepted.


Make it Personal

The person writing the dissertation is just as important as the dissertation. You don’t just have to convince your supervisors that your dissertation will be valuable, you also have to convince them that you are the right person for the job.