How to State the Objectives in a Dissertation Proposal: Writing Guidelines and Examples
There is nothing more important to a Ph.D. level candidate, or more frightening, than the writing of a dissertation. This is not just writing an essay with a few referenced resources. Writing a dissertation is a process that requires a lot of hard work, a time commitment that is unparalleled in academia, and a precise level of expectations that are generally not negotiable.
While the requirements for a Ph.D. paper may vary somewhat between different colleges and universities, the basics of the process are the same. The procedure begins with the writing of your proposal. Your proposal needs to include the objectives your paper will address.
Objectives of your research
The objectives of your research need to be included in your proposal. You need to include a clear statement of what you hope to achieve with your research and a prediction of your outcome. Most importantly, you must clearly identify exactly how you plan to obtain the achievements and outcomes you’ve just stated you plan to do. In other words, you have to clearly explain your objectives.
Tips for stating objectives
How do you go about stating the objectives of your research? What do dissertation proposal objectives actually look like? Here’s a few pointers on fine tuning the objectives for your proposal:
- Objectives should be in the form of specific statements. The objectives should describe measurable outcomes and include the steps you plan to take to reach your stated outcome.
- Objectives should make use of forceful verbs. Weak verbiage, such as consider, appreciate, perceive, is generally unacceptable. Make use of strong verbs, such as collect, classify, synthesize.
- Objectives should be specific.
- Objectives should be measurable. Explain how you will know when you have achieved your goal.
- Objectives should be narrow in focus. Make sure you aren’t attempting more than you can possibly complete.
- Objectives should be realistic. Ensure you have access to the resources you will need to complete your proposal.
- Objectives must be obtainable within a reasonable time. Determine how much time you can devote to your dissertation, then compute whether you will have the resources to see it through.
Examples of various objectives
Your dissertation proposal will include multiple objectives. A few examples of how objectives may be worded are:
- The known historical record of tectonic-plate movement will be used for data set extraction
- Astronomical tables detailing the major planetary alignments will be used for extracting data sets during the stated window of observation.
- Data sets will be synthesized to determine the presence of correlation points between geological and astronomical events.