Lincoln International Business School
Proposed Proposal Format
The dissertation proposal that you complete must address the issues outlined below – it must include sufficient information under each sub-heading. As a guide your proposal should be sufficiently detailed to allow the supervisor to judge its relevance and feasibility as well assist yourself in planning and executing your research. It is expected that this could take you up to 2000 words. The critical focus and background sections should indicate a fairly sophisticated knowledge of the existing knowledge base and the methods section should likewise be sufficiently robust and precise. A template is available.
1. Proposed Title:
Clear indication of content and approach. This should mirror the content of your proposal.
2. Critical focus, problem, hypotheses, or questions to be tackled:
What is the aim of the research? What are your research objectives?
This should not be a trivial issue, nor too broad an issue. You could try articulating your main theme as a central research question, to be followed by more specific ones.
It must provide a basis for analysis and for the drawing of sound conclusions, and be set in a worthwhile context (see point 3 below)
There may be several related problems which you are interested in, but the dissertation should focus on one. You may need to prepare several proposals, one for each possible topic, in order to decide which has most potential.
3. Background, and potential value of the topic:
This should include an initial literature survey, and a justification of its relevance.
Why should we be concerned with this topic, and how would you assess its relative importance? How is it relevant academically, professionally, sectorally, socially, economically etc?
This should be in terms of the existing literature but could also include contemporary business practice or policy relevance?
How original is this proposal? This should indicate the link between the content of your proposal and previous work that has been carried out in this subject area. This is the justification for your investigation and should outline the context within which you research will be embedded.
4. Sources & Method:
What are the possible approach(es) to the problem?
What sources and method(s) are proposed for the data collection, analysis/ evaluation?
Why are these methods appropriate?
Where are the sources located?
What are the potential limitations of this methodology and how may they be overcome?
5. Access & Resources:
How likely is it that you will get access to the information you would like?
Whose co-operation or permission will be needed?
How can you resource this?
Are any special resources required (e.g. Language/translation, computer software, special books, travelling etc) and are these available to you?
Is the research achievable given the timescale and resource base?
6. Plan of Work:
A detailed plan of the practical nature of the project including realistic timescales, phases, stages, and an overall timetable.
Summarise the key ethical issues associated in the design, implementation and presentation stages.
Have you completed and included a FULL discussion on the separate ethical approvals form? If NOT then you cannot expect to proceed further.
Ethical approval forms are available on the Blackboard page. You are expected to complete either an EA1 Or EA2 when undertaking your dissertation.
Anticipated outcome; type of conclusions(s) expected or hoped for.
What if your desired conclusion is not achieved (e.g. null hypothesis accepted; model not adequate; sources or data suspect, etc.)
9. Chapter Outline:
A list of chapter headings at this stage can be a guide to working through or summarising some of the points made above.
Of course, it will only be tentative.
A full and complete list, including all items referred to in the proposal. This should be biased towards peer-reviewed journal articles rather than text books. The bibliography must be presented in a consistent manner, following recognised academic conventions.