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Masters Thesis Proposal


A masters thesis proposal is a document that a masters candidate submits to his or her major professor for the purpose of obtaining approval to bring the intended project to completion. One submits a masters thesis proposal in the early stages of producing a thesis.

Good masters thesis proposals provide the major professor with concrete information about the topic, research methods, and goals of the thesis. The masters thesis proposal will be useful in proportion to the concreteness of the details; therefore, the student must do some clear thinking and bona fide research before submitting the proposal. However, the student must keep in mind that the major professor can reject the proposal entirely or can modify it in significant ways.

Students who are preparing masters thesis proposals, then, must strike a balance between writing the proposals too early in the process, which results in a lack of clear direction for the thesis, and writing them too late, which results in the possibility of having wasted a great deal of time and effort on a fruitless topic. In order to achieve this balance, students may find it helpful to set a timeline for their masters thesis proposals, such as designating one month in which to research the topic enough to prove its feasibility.

Masters thesis proposals seek to show the potential of thesis ideas. If the thesis depends on an experiment, the student must show that he or she can conduct the experiment competently in order to achieve reproducible results. If the thesis focuses on arguing an idea, such as a certain literary critical perspective on a given text, the student must provide enough information in the proposal to show the professor that the idea is potentially valid. The proposal does not need to solve all the problems that the thesis will solve, but it does need to prove that the problems exist and that the student can present a strong hypothesis for their solution.


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