How To Create A Dissertation Prospectus: Writing The Literature Review

Dissertation prospectus is aimed at explaining the issue or the topic the dissertation concerns. It defines, explains, points out the main questions that would be dealt with in the course of the research. Identification of all the epistemological, methodical and theoretical issues, reviewing literature etc. also form a part of the prospectus. Prospectus is prepared keeping in mind the purpose of the research work and thus varies from one paper to another. The prospectus in fact states whether the student is ready to proceed with the research on the topic and also provides a basis on which the committee members can provide their advice on.

Literature review which is a part of the prospectus is a sort of evidence that proves to the teacher that the student is well acquainted with all the publications and the previous research work done on the same or related topics. The literature review is mainly based on the objective of the research or the issue that it deals with.

How to Write a Dissertation Prospectus

The prospectus must have answers to the following questions.

  • What is the subject of dissertation?
  • How it has been defined?
  • What are the main issues or the questions that the research deals with?
  • Why have you chosen this topic?
  • What work has been done previously on the same topic?
  • How is your dissertation work different from theirs?
  • What new approach have you taken to the topic that hasn’t been explored before?
  • What are the main sources that are used to dive into the topic?
  • Do you have any special requirement for completing the dissertation?

If your prospectus has answers to all these questions it is almost ready. It should have a proper informative title, the answers to the above questions should comprise the body of the prospectus and a chapter breakdown will have a few lines about each of the chapters in the study.

Writing a literature review takes a lot of effort since you have to dig out all the previously published works on the topic of your dissertation. You must try and compare the works and point of views of different authors. Authors who have similar opinions should be included in one group. Also it is important to note the sections in which there is a disagreement amongst the authors. Through the literature review you establish the historical importance of your study.