Differentiating Between Research Proposal and Dissertation


Dissertation and Research Proposal: What is the Difference?

A dissertation and a research proposal have a close relationship. This article will help you distinguish between the two by reviewing key differences. There are dissertations published, and proposals that seek to determine the structure of a dissertation. While both are essential in their own right, they serve different aims and should be structured accordingly. This article focuses on the differences between the two to help you understand the importance of each.

Research Proposal Purpose

This proposal is meant to determine the scope of the research. As such, it must answer specific questions that fall within the scope of the study. If successful, the research should add on to the current knowledge in the field. These questions will either make or break the proposal.

A dissertation is designed to present new information. Therefore, the proposal is more in-depth and detailed than the typical research proposal. The differences between the two are further highlighted in the document’s introduction when the field of research is narrow and when new knowledge is proposed to be introduced.

Dissertation Structure

The structure of a dissertation is a breakdown of all the chapters and information contained within. In most cases, the structure is a summarized version of the whole document. The introduction contains the first chapter while the conclusion contains the last one. However, other sections may follow this order depending on the nature of the dissertation.

A proposal has an introductory section that consists of the theory introduction, literature review, and methodology. The hypothesis, findings, and discussions are then included in the section. The literature review highlights previously done research on the topic. The methodology part describes how the research will be conducted and the procedures to be followed.

Research Proposal Structure

Unlike the dissertation, a research proposal does not have an introduction or conclusion. It instead follows the same structure as the dissertation with the addition of some subheadings. Some of the sections that make up the proposal include the methodology, exploration, analysis, and conclusion. However, all proposals must conform to the standard dissertation structure with an introduction, literature review, and abstract.

Timeframe for Dissertations

Dissertations are typically long, depending on the field of study. The research section can exceed over 100 pages, which is longer than for a dissertation. On the other hand, dissertations have several chapters that are further subdivided into parts. The time frame for a proposal depends on the nature of the research. It may be several years before the research is complete.

A dissertation may take several years before it is complete. Therefore, it is common for a student to drop or extend a proposal. However, a research proposal is still considered final until the institutions that offer it approve it. It is then released to the public for criticism before being accepted or rejected by the relevant committees.

In summary, it is best to consult a faculty member or ask your instructor if you are not sure which is the correct structure to use. They will know the structure to apply and any other special instructions that must be followed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one × two =