Searching for Sample Dissertation Proposals on the Web

The web can be a great resource for all things school-related, including the hunt for a sample dissertation proposal. Finding proper samples can greatly streamline your own writing process by giving you guidelines for which format and style to use. Locating appropriate samples can be tricky, and anyone starting to get frustrated by fruitless searches should stop and consider the following guidelines:

Think about what you need.

Before you can even begin to search online for a sample dissertation proposal, take a moment to make sure you know what it is you’re looking for. You should have a clearly defined topic in mind, and a distinct understanding of what it is your professor or advisor wants from you. If possible, keep a written record of your dissertation proposal guidelines nearby while you search, so you can refer back to them and compare them to the samples you find.

Stick to reputable websites.

There is, for whatever reason, no shortage of shady websites out there offering fake or poorly written sample dissertation proposals. When you come across a sample dissertation proposal, take note of the site it’s hosted on and the author listed. Ideally, you should look for authors who actually hold advanced academic degrees; a quick search will tell you which degrees the author holds, if he or she even exists at all.

Read, don’t skim.

It might be tempting to skim through a proposal sample, see that it’s by a respectable author and immediately decide to use it as a model for your own proposal. This isn’t a good strategy. Take the time actually read each sample proposal; evaluate the content, topic and style and compare them to the guidelines given to you by your professor. A paper that might initially seem like an ideal sample for you might actually, upon closer inspection, be completely incompatible with your intended style. Rushing through the samples now will only mean more wasted time later, when you have to scrap your mismatched proposal and start your search all over again.

Keep searching.

Not all proposals are created equal. The very first proposal you find might be the product of a PhD holder and written in roughly the style that you need, but that doesn’t mean you should immediately stop your search and start on your own proposal writing. Wait until you’ve found a few more useful proposals; the more of them you read, the better you’ll get at judging the relatively quality of the samples you find. Your first sample might be an absolutely masterpiece, but it could just as easily be a dud. The only way to find out is to track down a few more proposals to compare it to.