Psychology Dissertation Proposal

You are going to want to begin outlining your background section by identifying crucial pieces of your topic that the reader needs to know from the outset.

A good starting point might be to write down a list of the top 5-7 readings/authors that you found most influential (and as demonstrated in your literature review).

In writing the background information, one to two pages is plenty.

You need to be able to arrive at your research focus quite quickly and only provide the basic information that allows your reader to appreciate your research in context.

There are opportunities to combine these sections to best suit your needs.

There are also opportunities to add in features that go beyond these four points.It’s fair to assume that because the abstract and introduction are the first chapters to be read by someone reading your dissertation, it means they must be written first also. You’ll actually be far better off writing your dissertation introduction, conclusion and abstract after you have written all the other parts of the dissertation. Firstly, writing retrospectively means that your dissertation introduction and conclusion will ‘match’ and your ideas will all be tied up nicely. If you write your introduction before anything else, it’s likely your ideas will evolve and morph as your dissertation develops.And then you’ll just have to go back and edit or totally re-write your introduction again.For example, some students like to add in their research questions in their dissertation introduction so that the reader is not only exposed to the aims and objectives but also has a concrete framework for where the research is headed.Other students might save the research methods until the end of the literature review/beginning of the methodology.In terms of length, there is no rule about how long a dissertation introduction needs to be, as it is going to depend on the length of the total dissertation.Generally, however, if you aim for a length between 5-7% of the total, this is likely to be acceptable.Make sure that you employ transitional phrases to ensure that the reader knows how the sections are linked to each other.The research focus leads into the value, aims and objectives of your research, so you might want to think of it as the tie between what has already been done and the direction your research is going.Again, you want to ease the reader into your topic, so stating something like “my research focus is…” in the first line of your section might come across overly harsh.Instead, you might consider introducing the main focus, explaining why research in your area is important, and the overall importance of the research field.

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