Your thesis proposal should be developed in consultation with your supervisor and committee. The thesis proposal should include:
- a background theory
- a working hypothesis
- a methodology which should be organized under chapter headings
- a body of work for analysis
- a bibliography
If your thesis will be presented in an alternate format (such as performance), be sure to include this in your proposal.
Some graduate programs require students to undergo a thesis proposal defense. Check with your graduate program about the type of proposal required.
Documenting the Proposal
In order to save time and stress later, it is important to keep a bibliography of articles and other pieces of information that you come across as you do initial library research for your thesis proposal. Here are a few tips:
- Always keep full bibliographic information (author, title, place and date of publication) for each source you read.
- Write a full bibliographic reference on the first page of each article you photocopy.
- Keep a running bibliography up to date.
- Use a good bibliographic word-processing package; a librarian can help you choose one.
- Carry a notebook around with you and jot down new titles or ideas as you come across them.
- Work collaboratively if you can: ask friends to look out for articles or book chapters that you might be interested in.