Dissertation Prospectus – How to Write One

A dissertation prospectus

As a PhD candidate, your candidacy is facilitated by a remarkable thesis. Therefore, have a keen understanding of how to craft a perfect dissertation and more so, the prospectus. 

If you are reading this, you have achieved your Ph.D. candidacy, and you need to submit a dissertation prospectus to the supervisory committee.

Well, you must have a thesis prospectus filed to the supervisory committee as one of the fulfillments to your dissertation project.

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Different institutions have their systematic order, and some necessitate your presence before the committee to discuss your prospectus.

That is why you need to have a keen understanding on how to write one. Through this article, you will understand what a dissertation prospectus should include. 

What Is Included In The Dissertation Prospectus?

  • Title
  • Statement of the problem
  • Scholarly materials available
  • Methodology
  • Feasibility 
  • The attractiveness of the project
  • Cite your sources


Your thesis prospectus must have a title that carefully, succinctly, and precisely showcase the direction of your research project.

Majority of the PhD. students take this chance as an opportunity to showcase their linguistic prowess by availing cute titles.

Well, this is not the time to play with words or punctuation marks.

Therefore, you should ensure that you avoid obligatory colons in the middle of your title.

You will only be able to manage to write the best title when you understand that punctuation marks don’t define the relevance and quality of the title. 

Statement of the problem

Your dissertation will be looking to address one problem. Therefore, ensure that you understand the issue in-depth and through one paragraph, develop a statement of the problem.

The section plays an imperative role in explaining the central area of focus of the dissertation. Your dissertation is primarily an answer to a single question or problem that you must formulate and understand first. Therefore, you can never avail of a solution in the absence of a formulated question.

The statement of the problem helps define the issue that your thesis will answer. Dissertations are long and somewhat complicated. Nonetheless, you need to avoid sophisticating your question and formulate it in the simplest version possible. Your sophisticated thesis must answer an easy to understand and follow the question. Your subject must, therefore, remain simple and clear, which precede answers full of lengthy complications and specific qualifications.

In other words, consider simple solutions to lead and dictate complicated answers.

Scholarly materials available

In the past, other scholars must have investigated the problem and availed their solutions.

Therefore, you need to present the theoretical relationship between your dissertation and previously researched and published papers and projects.

The scholarly findings available should relate to your area of study directly.

Nonetheless, you may consider specific scholarships due to their relevance in the methodological, critical, and theoretical concerns that your dissertation will be presenting. 

The research gap available will be showcased in this section.

The supervisory committee must understand your project undertakings and their relevance. 


Every successful dissertation must stick within the perimeters of a predefined methodology.

Therefore, consider identifying the method governing your thesis project.

The committee must understand whether this is a genre, psychoanalytical, formalist, or poststructuralist theoretical study. 


You need to present the feasibility of your dissertation project to the PhD supervisory committee.

Take time to understand where you will be conducting the study and why.

Also, consider examining whether the necessary materials are available and if not, your course of action. 

The feasibility section helps you address the time factor; is it possible to finish up the project within the predefined timeline.

Finally, identify tools like skills, languages, computer skills and experience, and even archival exposure necessary for the dissertation and explain whether you have the tools at your disposition.

The attractiveness of the project

Many are times when this section is overlooked. It would help if you showed whether this is a project that appeals to your interests.

If yes, explain why you need to conduct this study.

The segment must penetrate through the superficial and showcase the professional angle of the study. 

How will you advance your professional abilities through this project? Do you anticipate publications after the project and if so, what kind?

How will this project help you as a person and career-wise?

Cite your sources

You need to present your primary and secondary sources for your project. Ensure to create annotations when keying in the bibliographies. 

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A prospectus carries a lot of weight as far as your dissertation project is concerned. Therefore, ensure to present an articulate, concise, and precise dissertation prospectus.

The above are segments that you need to incorporate in your prospectus. 

How do you write a prospectus?

You should first consider the subject that you are interested in and then from there formulate a statement problem.

How long does it take to write a dissertation prospectus?

In general, it takes between 12-18 months to complete a dissertation prospectus.

What is the purpose of a dissertation prospectus?

This is to inform the panel of what your research is all about and whether it is viable.

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