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How To Write A Thesis Proposal Outline

There are certain documents and processes that you must complete when undertaking things such as a Masters Degree or majors program. One of the first documents you will create is actually a thesis proposal. As you will see, this paper is extremely important. Most university bodies will require that part of a project include writing a thesis proposal – without one, you could fail the whole course. In this article, we look at exactly what a master thesis proposal is and examples of how to write one.

What is a thesis proposal?

First and foremost, you must understand exactly what a thesis proposal outline is. This document is a detailed breakdown of what your thesis project will contain. You will submit this document to a committee within your university, and they will analyze it for approval. Once they had read the contents, they will decide if the topic and thesis you have chosen are acceptable. This is why it is important you know how to finish a thesis in a week – it can have a great bearing on the rest of your semester and university education.

A topic proposal outline such as this will contain numerous things such as – the main subject, your actual proposed thesis statement, literature reviews, and a statement of your methodology and references used. All of this info is extremely useful as professors can analyze it and see the potential worth of your project. It will help them understand if what you have chosen is worthwhile, and can potentially score you high marks.

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Masters thesis Proposal Format

As stated above, there is actually a general format used for this form of paper. Templates and structure can vary slightly (as seen in the examples below), but the general contents remain the same. These contents include – an introduction, thesis statement, research questions, methodology, research design, literature review, and references. In the sections below we describe these different components in greater detail:

General format for a thesis proposal outline

  • Introduction
  • Thesis Statement
  • Research Questions
  • Methodology and research design
  • Literature Review
  • References

Introduction – The introduction should generally be 1 page long. Remember that it is important to avoid plagiarism in thesis outlines – ensure that all of your text is original and your own work. The introduction should simply state your main topic. It should also discuss why this subject has relevance and is worthy of analyzing. More importantly, the intro will state your specific train of thought and scope of your overall research and why you decided to 'write my thesis' on this topic.

Thesis Statement - A thesis statement will draw from what you have outlined in the introduction. This will state your question and exactly what your project will contain. A thesis statement should only be a short, concise paragraph.

Research Questions – Research questions are an important aspect of a master thesis outline example. Your research is important as it provides evidence to back up your thesis. You must be able to show that you have considered how the research benefits your documentation, and what exactly you expect to use the research for. This is why you must compile a list of research questions within your topic proposal outline.

Methodology and research design – Stating your methodology is an important part of the master's thesis proposal outline. This states how you will go about your work. It states what methods you will use to compile data, use research, and write your text. Moreover, it will also state your selection methods for research and what criteria you use. This is important because the professors and committee can see that you are using sound methods and that your thought process is adequate.

Literature Review – A detailed literature review is required to further document your research and source material. It should be organized and explain the research that is specifically related to your topic and thesis. It could include the main arguments and trains of thought relating to your topic. Moreover, it could also include a personal critique of the literature and research you have used. This could mean that you point out potential flaws that you have found or instances where the research falls short. By creating a literature review, you are demonstrating that you understand the research you are using and how it can affect your work.

References – As you will be including references from other sources in your work, you must clearly document them. You must cite the different authors that you have used for research and any material that you have included. This gives due credit and ensures that the master thesis proposal is free of plagiarism.  

Having a clear thesis proposal outline is essential for any student wanting to order a research proposal. A thesis proposal is a statement that outlines the main argument or point of the research, as well as the research approach and objectives. To ensure the success of your proposal, it's important to have a clear outline that takes into account the research ideas, the project timeline, and the resources needed to complete it.

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Thesis proposal template/example

To help understand exactly what is required from a thesis template, we have listed three of the major bodies responsible for creating formats. These bodies are APA, MLA, and Chicago. In the text below, we have listed what these different templates mean and what their format commonly contain.


APA – American Psychological Association

This is actually the largest organization in the US that deals specifically with psychology. The organization includes people from different professions, such as education, science, and medicine. APA is actually responsible for creating different guidelines – they are noted for creating the APA citation format, for example. The APA research proposal style includes the following elements – paper title, abstract, introduction, citation of sources, proposed method, participants, design, and procedure.


MLA – Modern Language Association

This is the main organization within the United States that deals primarily with literature and language. Currently, member count is over 25,000. As with APA, MLA is responsible for creating common citation formats, but also a thesis proposal outline. MLA thesis proposal includes an introduction, thesis statement, and a conclusion.


The Chicago Manual Style has been used for many years (since 1906 in fact). It is widely used in many disciplines and areas of research. The Chicago style includes rules for document formatting, grammar, and punctuation. It also states that any sources should be cited in the correct format.

Which type of template you use will depend entirely upon the preference of your university course. Moreover, it will depend upon your studies and which subject your thesis statement is related too. Don’t forget that you can always gain help and buy thesis papers outlines if you are struggling. This form of the document is really important. If you put in the effort, however, you can get it right and ensure that your thesis is approved.

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Thesis Proposal Writing Tips

Writing any academic work is impossible without a thesis proposal outline and a clear structure of the text. First, you need to prepare, and then start writing the text. Otherwise, it will be difficult for you to concentrate and understand what your work is about. Therefore, we have prepared for you some tips for writing a great thesis:

  • Gather all thesis requirements
    Find out what font, text size, spacing, thesis proposal format, and other characteristics are required of you in your work. Contact your manager, discuss the details with him or her, and study the methodical material before starting to write.
  • Always edit your text
    This is one of the most important rules about how to write a thesis proposal, which should not be neglected. It's best to do this in batches rather than piling up a large volume of sentences and paragraphs because the further you get, the harder it is to find mistakes later. Keep in mind that this process takes a lot of time, so plan your work on the text, taking into account that you will need hours of editing.
  • Use a simple convey a thought
    No doubt, depending on the topic of your master's work or dissertation, you will have to use professional vocabulary, but you should not load the text with complex sentences. Remember that your work will be read by several people, and it should be interesting and easy for them to perceive the information that you present in the thesis.
  • Don't leave open questions
    In any written academic work, you need to answer questions that are in contact with the main topic. In other words, you must find a solution to a particular problem. It is imperative that no open questions remain at the end of your work. And if they remain, then let them serve as the basis for a separate research work.
  • From the very beginning, maintain a list of references and links
    By the end of writing an academic paper, many people lose half of their literary sources. To make things easier for yourself, start a literature review as soon as you start writing your dissertation or thesis. Immediately keep notes of where you got the information from, and make a list, which you will then format in alphabetical order. Check the sources few times. So, you will never lose important information for you and your thesis.
  • Organize your workflow
    Break the outline for thesis proposal into several parts. Set deadlines for each. Do not forget to take into account force majeure and the time for editing after your supervisor's response. Therefore, always have time with a margin. Start with a thesis proposal outline example and then approve it. This will help you meet deadlines and not waste extra effort.
  • Use graphs and images
    Graphs and images are great for demonstrating your awareness of the topic you are writing about. Also, such materials dilute the text and help to gain the required number of pages. Handouts will come in handy when you are defending your thesis. Consequently, do not be lazy to use the visual accompaniment of your academic work.
  • Take advantage of useful apps
    For not only organizing your time but also for understanding how to write a thesis proposal outline, you should use various useful applications. These can be Gantt charts or Kanban boards to organize thesis details and control deadlines. Agile Scrum, LibreOffice Calc, Yodiz (bug tracking system), and Spekfy (financial performance evaluation and analysis) can be alternatives. Even the well-known Microsoft Project is useful for stabilizing and structuring written work.

We hope you have found this guide on writing a thesis proposal useful. If you still have difficulties with this assignment - you can always use the help of professional thesis writers. Remember that this is the document that could potentially get your ideas and work approved. You must, therefore, take great care when creating your thesis and outline. Ensure that you plan your work, use the correct format, and include all of the relevant information or simply pay for your thesis and we`ll do the rest.

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