How to Develop a Thesis Proposal
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How to Develop a Thesis Proposal

How to develop and write a thesis proposal.

One of the bottlenecks among students in coming up with a thesis proposal is the difficulty they encounter in research conceptualization. While this may be quite a challenge, there are ways by which the student can get over this common cause of frustration.

To facilitate the development of a thesis proposal, four crucial points should be taken into consideration:

1. Clarify in your mind what you would like to research on.

There is a whole lot of ideas swirling in one's head that must be captured into something meaningful and worthy of investigation. There is therefore a need to write down those ideas on sheets of paper for you to pore on, contemplate or further analyze. 

Many students, however, complain that they seem to be unable to generate ideas in their heads. And if there are, those ideas appear to be just vague things that cannot be fully expressed into statements of the problem. This is a common complaint among students. How can one come up with clear statements, thus definite directions in their venture to the research world?

It is indeed difficult to come up with a research or thesis proposal unless one is quite knowledgeable of the subject matter that will have to be explored. This is the reason why students take basic and major courses to equip them with knowledge and skills on their specific areas of expertise. Serious, diligent students who do their best in complying with the requirements of their basic and major subjects, therefore, should easily come up with good ideas to develop the thesis proposal. 

But there may be situations wherein the student may still find difficulty despite a good background knowledge in his area of specialization. At this point, additional exploration of information sources may help. That brings us to point number two.

2. Make a good review of literature.

Once the topic is made clear in one's mind, the way to go is to make a good review of literature or gather secondary data. Search the internet or browse related literature in the library. The main purpose of the review of literature is to find out if there are already research work done on the topic the student wants to pursue. This is to avoid "reinventing the wheel" or doing something which has already been done before. It will be a waste of time and money to do something which has already been done before. 

3. Consult experts on the subject.

Talk to people knowledgeable about the subject matter. Experts possess a great deal of knowledge derived from experience and deep thinking. These experts are usually in their senior years and are veteran mentors in their field.

4. Go to the field and observe.

While you are not yet formally conducting a study, it would help if you go to the field or study area to familiarize and have a taste of the actual situation you will be in. Be observant and reflect on those observations. Useful insights from your field exposure will help you develop your thesis.

Once you have undergone these stages, the next way to go is to formulate your conceptual framework and lay down the map of your research. 

©2011 December Patrick A. Regoniel

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Comments (5)

Very nice and practical tips to develop a thesis proposal.

good presentation

Excellent and educational information

Very valuable article. I find choosing a research topic and refining the parameters difficult even today.

Out of votes but shared to my students. Very timely since they are due to write their proposals now...