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Developing a workplan.

  • What will be the primary focus of my work today?
  • Where do I plan on working?
  • When will I start working?
  • How long do I plan on working?
  • What strategies will I utilize to manage workplace distractions?
  • Who will I be collaborating with in order to meet these goals?
  • Why have I established these goals instead of other options?

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Developing a Work Plan for Your Thesis

Sarah Eaton blog technology research

Elements to include in a work plan are:

A weekly schedule, preferably aligned with the dates of your term. For example, a work plan for a 12-week semester would start with the first week of classes and end with the final week of classes.

Concrete tasks to do each week. “Read” is not a concrete task; it is a vague one. “Download and read 5 peer-reviewed articles in my topic area” is a concrete task.

Build in time to do drafts of your work. Neither a thesis, nor a proposal can be written at the eleventh hour. Building in time to outline and draft the work is crucial.

Be realistic. If you have a major life event happening in the middle of the semester, develop your work plan around that event. (For example, don’t plan on doing a significant amount of work if you or your partner is having a baby in week seven of the semester.)

Here are some of my favourite resources that I recommend to my students:

Some of these resources need to be adapted to fit a proposal, rather than an entire thesis. Their usefulness likes in helping you to conceptualize and develop your own work plan, customized to your project.

Learning how to manage your available time and knowing what you have to accomplish in a finite amount of time can help you chuck out your work into more manageable pieces. Having a week-by-week plan, that you construct yourself, can help you stay on track and meet your goals.


Share this post:  Developing a Work Plan for Your Thesis

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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 11th, 2017 at 5:00 am and is filed under education , research , University of Calgary . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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thesis proposal work plan

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How to write a thesis proposal

I. Framework II. Structure of a thesis proposal III. Order in which to write the proposal IV. Tips V. Resources

I. Framework

  • An environmental issue is identified.
  • Other people's work on the topic is collected and evaluated.
  • Data necessary to solving the problem are either collected by the student, or obtained independently.
  • Data are analyzed using techniques appropriate to the data set.
  • Results of the analysis are reported and are interpreted in light of the initial environmental issue.
  • the thesis topic addresses a significant environmental problem;
  • an organized plan is in place for collecting or obtaining data to help solve the problem;
  • methods of data analysis have been identified and are appropriate to the data set.

II. Structure of a thesis proposal

  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • Thesis statement
  • Approach/methods
  • Preliminary results and discussion
  • Work plan including time table
  • Implications of research
  • List of references
  • contains short, descriptive title of the proposed thesis project  (should be fairly self-explanatory)
  • and author, institution, department, resreach mentor, mentor's institution, and date of delivery
  • the abstract is a brief summary of your thesis proposal
  • its length should not exceed ~200 words
  • present a brief introduction to the issue
  • make the key statement of your thesis
  • give a summary of how you want to address the issue
  • include a possible implication of your work, if successfully completed
  • list all headings and subheadings with page numbers
  • indent subheadings
  • this section sets the context for your proposed project and must capture the reader's interest
  • explain the background of your study starting from a broad picture narrowing in on your research question
  • review what is known about your research topic as far as it is relevant to your thesis
  • cite relevant references
  • the introduction should be at a level that makes it easy to understand for readers with a general science background, for example your classmates
  • in a couple of sentences, state your thesis
  • this statement can take the form of a hypothesis, research question, project statement, or goal statement
  • the thesis statement should capture the essence of your intended project and also help to put boundaries around it
  • this section contains an overall description of your approach,  materials, and procedures
  • what methods will be used?
  • how will data be collected and analyzed?
  • what materials will be used?
  • include calculations, technique, procedure, equipment, and calibration graphs
  • detail limitations, assumptions, and range of validity
  • citations should be limited to data sources and more complete descriptions of procedures
  • do not include results and discussion of results here
  • present any results you already have obtained
  • discuss how they fit in the framework of your thesis
  • describe in detail what you plan to do until completion of your senior thesis project
  • list the stages of your project in a table format
  • indicate deadlines you have set for completing each stage of the project, including any work you have already completed
  • discuss any particular challenges that need to be overcome
  • what new knowledge will the proposed project produce that we do not already know?
  • why is it worth knowing, what are the major implications?
  • cite all ideas, concepts, text, data that are not your own
  • if you make a statement, back it up with your own data or a reference
  • all references cited in the text must be listed
  • cite single-author references by the surname of the author (followed by date of the publication in parenthesis)
  • ... according to Hays (1994)
  • ... population growth is one of the greatest environmental concerns facing future generations (Hays, 1994).
  • cite double-author references by the surnames of both authors (followed by date of the publication in parenthesis)
  • e.g. Simpson and Hays (1994)
  • cite more than double-author references by the surname of the first author followed by et al. and then the date of the publication
  • e.g. Pfirman, Simpson and Hays would be:
  • Pfirman et al. (1994)
  • cite newspaper articles using the newspaper name and date, e.g.
  • ....this problem was also recently discussed in the press (New York Times, 1/15/00)
  • do not use footnotes
  • list all references cited in the text in alphabetical order using the following format for different types of material:
  • Hunt, S. (1966) Carbohydrate and amino acid composition of the egg capsules of the whelk. Nature , 210, 436-437.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (1997) Commonly asked questions about ozone., 9/27/97.
  • Pfirman, S.L., M. Stute, H.J. Simpson, and J. Hays (1996) Undergraduate research at Barnard and Columbia, Journal of Research , 11, 213-214.
  • Pechenik, J.A. (1987) A short guide to writing about biology. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 194pp.
  • Pitelka, D.R., and F.M. Child (1964) Review of ciliary structure and function. In: Biochemistry and Physiology of Protozoa , Vol. 3 (S.H. Hutner, editor), Academic Press, New York, 131-198.
  • Sambrotto, R. (1997) lecture notes, Environmental Data Analysis, Barnard College, Oct 2, 1997.
  • Stute, M., J.F. Clark, P. Schlosser, W.S. Broecker, and G. Bonani (1995) A high altitude continental paleotemperature record derived from noble gases dissolved in groundwater from the San Juan Basin, New Mexico. Quat. Res. , 43, 209-220.
  • New York Times (1/15/00) PCBs in the Hudson still an issue, A2.
  • it is acceptable to put the initials of the individual authors behind their last names, e.g. Pfirman, S.L., Stute, M., Simpson, H.J., and Hays, J (1996) Undergraduate research at ......

III. Order in which to write the proposal

  • Make an outline of your thesis proposal  before you start writing
  • Prepare figures and tables
  • Figure captions
  • Discussion of your data
  • Inferences from your data
  • Bibliography
  • "Pictures say more than a thousand words!" Figures serve to illustrate important aspects  of the background material, sample data, and analysis techniques.
  • A well chosen and well labeled figure can reduce text length, and improve proposal clarity.  Proposals often contain figures from other articles.  These can be appropriate, but you should consider modifying them if the modifications will improve your point.
  • The whole process of making a drawing is important for two reasons.  First, it clarifies your thinking.  If you don’t understand the process, you can’t draw it. Second, good drawings are very valuable.  Other scientists will understand your paper better if you can make a drawing of your ideas.  A co-author of mine has advised me: make figures that other people will want to steal.  They will cite your paper because they want to use your figure in their paper.
  • Make cartoons using a scientific drawing program.  Depending upon the subject of your paper, a cartoon might incorporate the following:
  • a picture of the scientific equipment that you are using and an explanation of how it works;
  • a drawing of a cycle showing steps, feedback loops, and bifurcations: this can include chemical or mathematical equations;
  • a flow chart showing the steps in a process and the possible causes and consequences.
  • Incorporate graphs in the text or on separated sheets inserted in the thesis proposal
  • Modern computer technology such as scanners and drafting programs are available in the department to help you create or modify pictures.


  • Poor grammar and spelling distract from the content of the proposal.  The reader focuses on the grammar and spelling problems and misses keys points made in the text.  Modern word processing programs have grammar and spell checkers.  Use them.
  • Read your proposal aloud - then  have a friend read it aloud. If your sentences seem too long, make two or three sentences instead of one.  Try to write the same way that you speak when you are explaining a concept. Most people speak more clearly than they write.
  • You should have read your proposal over at least 5 times before handing it in
  • Simple wording is generally better
  • If you get comments from others that seem completely irrelevant to you, your paper is not written clearly enough never use a complex word if a simpler word will do

V. Resources/Acknowlegements

The senior seminar website has a very detailed document on " How to write a thesis " which you might want to look at. Most of the tips given there are relevant for your thesis proposal as well. Recommended books on scientific writing Some of the material on this page was adapted from:


Thesis, major paper, and major project proposals

  • Definitions
  • Introductory section
  • Literature review
  • Methodology

Schedule/work plan

  • Other potential elements
  • Proposal references
  • Ask for help

thesis proposal work plan

If you're unsure if your research proposal requires a schedule or work plan, please consult your project handbook and/or speak with your instructor, advisor, or supervisor.

The information about schedules or work plans in proposals was gathered from RRU thesis and major project handbooks, current in 2020, from programs in the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, the Faculty of Management, and the College of Interdisciplinary Studies. If the details here differ from the information provided in the handbook for your project, please follow the handbook's directions.

Image credit: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

thesis proposal work plan

  • In RRU's Anxiety About Academic Writing guide, this resource is open to everyone.

How Do I Plan the Various Stages of My Research Project?

  • In SAGE Research Methods: Planning and Practicalities, look for How Do I Plan the Various Stages of My Research Project? drop down option. Access via this link requires a RRU username and password.

Learning Skills: Time Management

  • In RRU's Learning Skills guide, this resource is open to everyone.

What Do I Need to Know About Time and Timetabling?

  • In SAGE Research Methods: Planning and Practicalities, look for the What Do I Need to Know About Time and Timetabling? drop down option. Access via this link requires a RRU username and password.

Image credit: Image by Mohamed Assan from Pixabay

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The plan a – thesis writing process, make a decision early.

  • There are many practical and logistical issues that require your independent initiative in a Plan A. If you want to do a Plan A very early on and desire to complete the program with your cohort, carefully read through all the requirements and assess your ability to meet them or will need to adjust your timeline.
  • In your first summer, decide on possible topics in consultation with faculty, identify the feasibility of a Plan A and faculty that might be willing to supervise in your area of interest.
  • Assess your resources (time, finances, support) and whether it will be feasible to pursue a Plan A option.

Work With Your Advisor to Select a General Topic

  • Select your thesis advisor and plan your course of study to support thesis work.
  • Select your general topic and work with advisor to refine research question, review relevant literature, and develop research design.
  • You may at this point approach 2 other faculty to serve on your thesis committee.
  • Submit Student Progress Form I (Advancement to Candidacy)

Plan Your Thesis and Get the Plan Approved

  • Plan your thesis proposal.
  • Submit approval of research plan to the UH Committee on Human Studies [approval must be obtained before any data are collected and before you can submit Form II].
  • Select thesis committee [3 people required, usually on the graduate faculty of the ECE program. You can have a UHM grad faculty member from outside the program. You can also petition to have a non-UHM member.]
  • Submit proposal to committee at least 2 weeks before proposal meeting.
  • Hold proposal meeting and revise as needed, based on faculty feedback.
  • Submit Student Progress Form II (Advancement to Thesis).

Do the Study

  • Register for 700 Thesis Research; 6-12 credits required. [With faculty approval, you can petition to substitute 699 credits for some of the 700].
  • Work with your advisor on an ongoing basis, with committee members as needed
  • Just do it! (a) Recruit participants, (b) Collect data, (c) Analyze data, (d) Decide what it all means.
  • Write thesis (usually sections are done in stages, with lit review and methods done prior to data collection) and revise with advisor’s input.

Defend Your Thesis Work

  • Early in the semester you expect to defend, apply for graduation. You must also be registered for a minimum of 1 credit of 700.
  • Write thesis final draft and submit to committee members at least 1 month before defense.
  • Schedule defense by the Office of Graduate Education deadline (early Nov for Dec graduation).
  • Hold oral defense.
  • Revisions and edits as required by committee.
  • Submit Student Progress Form III by deadline (Final Exam and Approval of Thesis).
  • Submit final, signed copies of thesis to the Office of Graduate Education by deadline.
  • Graduate and bask in the glory.
  • Publish your thesis with advisor as second author.

Tips on Selecting a Thesis Topic

  • Do something that excites you!
  • Sources of good general ideas include your work experience, issues from your courses, current readings, and ideas from your professors.
  • Good research is theory-based and addresses real-world issues. You probably have a good gut feeling on what issues are important in your line of work. Draw from this and develop a deep understanding of the research base.
  • Expect to go through several ideas before you narrow in on the right one.
  • Talk a lot with your likely advisor, the ECE faculty, and colleagues you respect.
  • Do double duty—use your course assignments to feed into your thesis work.
  • If possible, tie your thesis research into your work responsibilities (e.g. evaluate the effectiveness of your program, do an action research project in your classroom, study barriers and facilitators to program compliance, study a developmental issue using children from your worksite).
  • Follow up a general idea by searching for and reading current literature (journals and policy/agency reports) on the topic. This way, you know what the hot issues are, what has already been done, what measures are commonly used, and most important, what had not already been done.
  • Your final research question should be original, that we don’t know the answer to.
  • This is only a thesis! Your research question does not have to be of Nobel Prize significance and scope. Remember, you are doing 6-12 credits worth of work.
  • Work with your advisor and your committee members on a continuing basis. They will help you define your research question, select suitable research methods, and give feedback on your writing. They want you to succeed and know what kind of project is the “right size” for a thesis.
  • Don’t necessarily select a topic too early in the program, but also don’t wait too long. (e.g., identify your general topic and advisor by spring semester of your first year in the program).
  • Consult the Graduate Studies website for the appropriate Plan A processes and forms.

12+ Research Work Plan Templates in PDF | MS Word

A work plan is an overview of a series of objectives and procedures by which a team and/or entity can achieve those goals and provide the reader with a clearer picture of the project’s context. No matter if it is used in professional or academic life, work plans serve the purpose of helping you stay focused when working on a certain project. You disintegrate a process into tiny, manageable tasks by work schedules , and define the tasks you want to achieve.

research work plan templates in pdf ms word

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Step 1: Think About the Objectives

Step 2: introduction and background, step 3: list the resources, step 4: anticipate and define limitations, step 5: assign roles, step 6: write the strategy, determine goals and objectives, organize teams and leadership, establish project timelines, set project budget, quality assurance and control, more in plan templates.


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How to write a thesis proposal in 5 simple steps

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For most grad students, preparing a thesis proposal is the first major step when writing a master’s thesis.

A strong thesis proposal:

  • Acts as a project roadmap before major work begins.
  • Outlines the research you plan to complete.
  • Provides background, context, and qualifications.
  • Limits and narrows the scope of the project.
  • Highlights the frameworks and methodologies to be used.
  • Establishes timelines, budgets, and resources.

But, while the concept of a thesis proposal is easy to understand, these documents can be difficult to write due to both their complexity and the need for students to limit their scope of coverage on their chosen topic.

It’s a lot to manage.

Fortunately, with the right templates and strategies, it is entirely doable.

This article will explain how to write a preliminary thesis, and how to overcome some of the hurdles most graduate students encounter along the way.

Key takeaways

  • A thesis proposal covers what topics you plan to research and write about as part of your master’s thesis.
  • Your proposal should properly define the scope of your research, as well as the questions you intend to explore and the methodology used to answer those questions.
  • A thesis can act as a project outline, going so far as to define the project structure, including proposed chapters, research sources, and more.


1. Outlining

While your thesis proposal is critical during the earliest stages of your project, producing this document isn’t the first thing you should do.

Before you begin writing a thesis proposal, you’ll need to do some preliminary research and establish the basic premise of your content.

Writing a proposal will help to condense your research and narrow the scope of the project even further.

Your thesis proposal starts with outlining the materials you’ve gathered.

This is important because the proposal is as much for your benefit as it is for the advisors and administrators overseeing your project.

Here are the items you’ll need before you try to create a thesis proposal:

Aim, scope, and basic questions

What is the goal of your thesis? What question, hypothesis, theme, or idea do you intend to test or examine?

Do you have the information you need in order to successfully complete this project?

Is the body of research substantial enough to dive into your desired topic?

Do you have access to the data, assets, or equipment you will need for this project to be viable?

Approach and methodology

How do you intend to answer your question or test your hypothesis?

What methods will you use? What steps will you take? How will you accomplish your goals?

Timelines and costs

How long will it take to complete this project? How much will it cost? Who will cover the expenses?

While you don’t have to have an exact answer for each of these items before you start writing your proposal, they should largely be answered by the time you finish.

Keep in mind that the team overseeing your project will use your proposal to determine whether they feel the project is viable.

With that in mind, a well-considered proposal that answers questions regarding the nature of your project, the resources available to complete it, and a firm interest in the idea has a much better chance of succeeding.

Fortunately, you won’t have to start from scratch.

Your school may provide documentation regarding an expected proposal format.

Failing that, several standard outlines exist to help you craft the perfect thesis proposal.

We’ll talk more about that in the next section.

2. Defining a structure

In order to write your proposal, you need to understand the common structure of the document.

The typical parts of a thesis proposal are as follows:

This is the outline or the summary of your work and research methodology.


An introduction is what sets the stage for the rest of your paper.

It puts the rest of your research and ideas in the correct context.

Existing literature/significant prior research

All of your ideas will be supported with research and other well-known literature.

This gives your work credibility, and helps you avoid accusations of plagiarism.

Thesis or project statement

Your thesis statement is a concise explanation of the argument made in your paper.

In this section, you’ll include a brief overview of how you plan to approach the topic and the research method used for your work.

Depending on your approach, you may also need to include information regarding costs, budget , and timelines.

Potential outcomes

In this section, you’ll outline what you expect to find through your research project .


Every study comes with its own unique limitations or constraints which impact the results.

Outline these limitations, and explain how they could impact the findings in your proposal.

Contributions to knowledge

This is your opportunity to explain how your work will contribute to your field of study.

Proposed dissertation chapters

This section will include an outline of how you plan to write and format your dissertation .

While most thesis proposals follow this basic outline, be sure to check with your advisor and administrative team before you begin your draft.

Many schools offer templates for thesis proposals, and they may expect you to adhere to their predetermined formats.

If no such guidelines exist or you’re free to deviate any prescribed template, take the opportunity to tailor the format in a way that highlights the benefits of your proposal.

It’s also worth noting that every proposal may not require each item listed above.

For example, a proposal for a close review of bestselling literature from the early 2000s with a focus on race and culture may not require much explanation in the way of budgeting and cost.

thesis proposal work plan

Thesis Proposal Template

Used 5600 times

Legally reviewed by Yauhen Zaremba

3. Planning your writing

The best way to put together an organized thesis proposal is to determine how you will write it before you get started.

Many thesis proposals are rejected simply because students fail to plan their writing and instead try to hack everything together in a piecemeal approach.

Don’t let that happen to you.

Gather all the necessary information before you start writing, and stick to formats that highlight the value of your proposal.

The usual flow of writing a thesis proposal is as follows:

Start by coming up with a detailed description of the major points you’ll be making in your thesis.

Prepare visuals (if required)

If your thesis includes any visuals, like charts or tables, it can help to prepare these ahead of time.

This will help support the arguments made in your thesis.

Establish a methodology

In the methodology chapter, you’ll explain the approach you took while compiling your work. This should explain the validity of your research and add credibility to your research.

Explanation of data

In this section, you’ll include an overview of the data you uncovered.

Draw conclusions

You’ll also include a brief explanation of the conclusions you’re drawing from the data, and how you believe the data supports your thesis.

Write an introduction

Again, the introduction sets the stage for the rest of the paper.

Write an abstract

Your abstract is a concise summary of the paper.

List your references

The reference list is a complete list of the resources you used to create your thesis.

This is also known as a literature review, and it shows how your work fits within the larger field of study.

Note that the writing of the thesis proposal will not follow the actual structure of the proposal .

It’s often best to write some elements out of order — particularly the introductory matter that is designed to condense the proposal to just a few lines.

Without first writing the outline and extrapolating the data to its fullest, these components can become very difficult to write.

4. Writing the thesis proposal

Once you’ve planned your writing, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get it done!

Thesis proposals are often written in a formal style, which is what sets them apart from many other types of proposals. However, despite any formalities, be sure to keep things simple.

Stay concise and practical while maintaining academic objectivity and leveraging readability.

A word on points of view

A thesis proposal (just like a thesis) is a formal document steeped in history and tradition.

Often, with such documents, it’s common to avoid writing from a first person point of view in order to maintain a sense of objectivity and scientific impartiality toward the subject.

These rules have become more relaxed in recent years . Writing in the first person is more accepted in formal situations, particularly where the author’s point of view may have some impact on the outcome of the work.

This is also more common in some abstracts and introductory sections that are aimed at explaining the author’s goal rather than the nature of the project itself.

However, there is still a lot of debate around this topic.

Take the time to clarify formalities with your administrators and advisors before selecting a specific writing style.

The rules surrounding this will vary depending on your institution — perhaps even from department to department.

5. Proofreading your proposal

A thesis proposal is no place for typos or poor readability.

If you show your proposal to a fellow student or friend and they have a hard time understanding what you are trying to say, even though they are in your field, you will want to revise.

The best practices for thoroughly proofreading a thesis proposal are as follows:

Read the proposal aloud to yourself

Reading aloud will help you spot problems with grammar and sentence structure more easily.

You can also use text-to-speech software to listen for errors, but be sure you read along with the text during playback.

Do not proofread immediately after writing

Any writer will tell you that the best thing you can do when you complete a draft is to walk away from it for a while.

Giving yourself distance allows you to review your text with better impartiality.

Consult with colleagues first

Have peers and colleagues you trust review your material for errors and inconsistencies.

Try to find individuals who have a strong grasp of the material and solicit their feedback before you submit your proposal for review.

Use multiple spellcheckers and grammatical tools

Grammarly , ProWritingAid , and Hemmingway are three popular options. Using several tools will help you identify any hard-to-spot errors. Some errors might be overlooked by one tool but spotted in another.

Remember : Before you’ll be able to move forward with your thesis, your proposal will need to be approved.

To give it the best possible chance, make sure it’s error-free and that grammatical inconsistencies aren’t interfering with the reader’s ability to understand your main ideas.

5 helpful tips to write a better thesis

Knowing how to write other long-form documents like business plans can be a major help when writing your thesis.

While thesis proposals aren’t particularly long, they can be complex.

The thesis itself is both long and complex!

Most master’s theses are several hundred pages long.

They are a full extrapolation of the ideas put forward in your thesis outline, broken down to a fundamental level that demonstrates your deep knowledge of your chosen topic.

At the time most students write their thesis, it is easily the longest and most extensive document they’ve ever written.

With that in mind, it’s no wonder that thesis writing is such a daunting task!

Fortunately, the skills and tips you learn from writing one can also be helpful in other academic documents, like a PhD dissertation proposal.

Before you start writing, here are five extra tips that can help to speed you on your way to a solid thesis.

1. Know the requirements

We mentioned this earlier regarding proposals, but the same rule applies for your actual thesis: Before you start writing your thesis, make sure you have all the necessary requirements in hand.

Review all the requirements for your thesis project with your advisors before you get started.

Determine if there are any restrictions, minimum lengths, or formatting requirements that may have been overlooked.

There is a tremendous difference between a 200-page thesis formatted in a proportional font like Times New Roman or Calibri compared to a monospaced font like Courier or Courier New.

The same is true for spacing requirements and font sizes.

Reaching 200 pages with a double-spaced layout is half the work compared to writing a single spaced document.

Make sure you have a firm grasp on the requirements before you start writing.

2. Constantly check your work

Much of your thesis work will entail editing and rewriting.

As you write, the editorial work will begin to pile up.

You can alleviate some of this pressure by handling some of the editorial work in between working on major sections of your thesis.

However, don’t fret too much over this. No matter how you plan everything out, you won’t have an exact understanding of how to implement some literary techniques (foreshadowing, allusion, etc.) and reference points (anchors, footnotes) until things are written down and you can look at everything collectively.

3. Don’t deviate from your primary goal

By design, your thesis has a theme or a focal point.

Even theses that are designed to explore a given theme or topic do so with a specific purpose in mind.

During your research, you may discover additional questions that should be answered.

Take a considered approach to those questions and discoveries. If this new information directly impacts your research or can be answered in tandem with your main goal, it may make sense to fold those observations and new objectives into your work.

However, you’ll never be able to answer every single question.

While those discoveries may provide you with a base for a separate body of work, what you find may have no bearing on the purpose of your thesis.

It’s usually best not to deviate from the primary goal of your paper.

But, if you choose to open up a new line of questioning, make every attempt to resolve it within the scope of your document.

4. Keep a list of references from the start

If you aren’t keeping track, it is very easy to accidentally omit a citation from your reference list.

The solution to this is simple: Keep a list of references and update it as you work.

You can choose to format the list to your specific style guide (MLA, APA, etc.) immediately, or you can just keep a running list of sources and format everything at the end.

The important thing is that you have an always-updated list so that you know what sources are in your document and where those references are located.

Once you complete your final edits.

Before you submit your thesis, triple check each and every reference on your list to ensure that your citations are accurate before you submit.

5. Take advantage of useful apps

There’s a lot that goes into writing a thesis proposal, and you need a way to stay organized and keep track of the various due dates.

Using a Gantt chart or a kanban board can help you organize the details of your project and manage the various due dates.

Several online platforms exist to help you track, manage, and organize your time.

Apps that provide this functionality are also helpful when working as part of a research team.

Are you ready to write a thesis proposal?

Is it “that time” for you?

Is it time to apply yourself to make your first substantial contribution to research in your field?

The first part of the deal is a rock-solid thesis proposal and we think you’ll be off to a good start with the tips from this how-to.

If you need a little additional guidance, feel free to use our free thesis proposal template .

This template lays out the basic outline of how your thesis proposal should look, which will save you valuable time.

Need more proposal tools for work and business?

Sign up for a 14-day free trial with PandaDoc and see how our in-house proposal platform can help you build incredible documents for your next big project.

PandDoc is not a law firm, or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. This page is not intended to and does not provide legal advice. Should you have legal questions on the validity of e-signatures or digital signatures and the enforceability thereof, please consult with an attorney or law firm. Use of PandaDocs services are governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Originally published May 9, 2014, updated June 8, 2023

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