9. Make sure your proposal has a comprehensive review of the literature included. Now this idea, at first thought, may not seem to make sense. I have heard many students tell me that "This is only the proposal. I'll do a complete literature search for the dissertation. I don't want to waste the time now." But, this is the time to do it. The rationale behind the literature review consists of an argument with two lines of analysis: 1) this research is needed, and 2) the methodology I have chosen is most appropriate for the question that is being asked. Now, why would you want to wait? Now is the time to get informed and to learn from others who have preceded you! If you wait until you are writing the dissertation it is too late. You've got to do it some time so you might as well get on with it and do it now. Plus, you will probably want to add to the literature review when you're writing the final dissertation. ( Thanks to a website visitor from Mobile, Alabama who helped to clarify this point. )
Conversely, the formula for a thesis with only one point might follow this template:
Question: Write the the question you have been assigned
or the prompt you are going to answer with your essay in the box below.
This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can discover or refine one for your draft.
Once you have formulated a thesis statement that fits this pattern and with which you are comfortable, you are ready to continue.