Advice on Writing a Thesis Proposal

How to Write a Thesis Proposal

Before you write a research paper, you need to start with a thesis proposal. The purpose of the thesis proposal is to persuade your professor or the committee that your chosen topic is worthy of exploring. If successful, you might even be able to secure funding in order to carry it out.

Importance of Choosing a Solid Thesis Proposal Topic

If you want to succeed at writing a research paper, it starts with developing a clearly defined research problem. It will help you figure out whether it is realistic to conduct research on this topic before you proceed. In addition, if you create a clearly defined thesis, it will make the process of researching and writing your paper so much easier and more time-efficient since you will have built a solid foundation. The proposal can also serve as a guide as you write the actual thesis paper.

As you are thinking of your thesis proposal, think of it as a system composed of several parts. These parts each serve an important function and the absence of any of them would render the paper meaningless. By focusing on this approach to writing your proposal, you will be able to focus on each individual section.

Statement of Research Question

You will develop a research question and provide some background. As you do this, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the statement written clearly?
  • What are you trying to argue?
  • For what reason? What is its significance? Why should you make this argument?
  • What inspired you to choose this argument?

Keep These Tips in Mind

  • Recognize the broader goal of the proposal and think of the individual elements as helping you carry it out.
  • How does each section contribute to the entire paper?
  • If any section were removed, would it affect the paper?


In this part, you will discuss why you have chosen your topic. You should be able to answer the following questions:

  1. Why is this topic worthy of further exploration? How will it contribute to your field of research?
  2. What are the future implications based on what you expect to find?
  3. Is there in fact a research gap related to your topic?
  4. Do studies exist that partially focused on your topic, but failed to address certain aspects that you believe require examination?
  5. Would the results expand the possibilities of other research related to your topic?

Literature Review

The literature review section of your paper will demonstrate that you are knowledgeable with research and scholarly journals related to your chosen topic. It will also verify whether a research gaps exists.

  • What are the best literature sources for determining what has already been written about your proposed topic? What does previous research say? Who wrote it?
  • When assessing the literature as a whole, what does it reveal? What information is missing? Why are both of these aspects important for your topic?
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Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework is the perspective you take as you approach the topic. Having a framework allows you to ponder questions related to the topic that otherwise could not be asked without this technique.

  1. What are your arguments based?
  2. What are you assuming or presupposing as you conduct the research? Why?
  3. How are they associated with your theoretical framework?
  4. What does having a theoretical framework allow you to move forward with this topic?


The methodology section explains which methods and tools you used in order to carry out your research. Aside from justifying your chosen methods – which will allow your adviser to understand how it will help you produce new and unique results – you should also explain why other methods would not be appropriate for your research.

  • Through what means will you go about your study?
  • Which research methods have you chosen? Quantitative? Qualitative? Both? Explain your justification.
  • Which sources will you use? Scholarly journals? Questionnaires? Interviews? Documents? Explain the reasons for choosing these sources?
  • How does choosing a certain methodology make it possible to explore different questions?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your chosen methods?
  • Regarding the weaknesses, why will they not prevent you from carry out your research in an effective, reliable way?

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