What is the Role of an Outline in Your Dissertation Proposal? Is it Important?

by Anvika aryaNovember 21, 2022
Dissertation Proposal

Dissertation proposal. An intimidating word and bane for every student. What comes to your mind when you hear this word? Obviously, some extensive research, a lot of time spending, and energy spending come to your mind. But this is not the case with all students. Some students get rid of the stress that comes from this writing task. But how? The answer to this question is simple and lies in making an outline for your dissertation proposal. Yes, outline. Many students are unaware of the role that an outline plays in writing a perfect proposal. Therefore, in today’s article, we will look at its role in detail. However, before that, let’s define what a proposal is.

Table Of Contents

What is a dissertation proposal?

A dissertation or research proposal is a scholarly document that describes the research you want to do. It details what the research is about, how you will do it, and why doing your proposed research study is worthwhile. Every student has to submit this document before starting to work on the actual dissertation. Dissertation proposals vary in length, structure, and components. Therefore, creating an outline is important for writing a proposal.

The role of creating an outline for your dissertation proposal

An outline plays different roles when writing a proposal. However, making an outline is often an overlooked step. Mostly, students do not pay attention to it and suffer in the end. Therefore, a brief description of the roles it plays is as follows:

Clarify thoughts and develop ideas

The first role that an outline plays in a dissertation proposal is that it clarifies your thoughts and develops ideas. Everyone knows that a blank page in front of you is always intimidating. Making an outline can help you overcome writer’s block and make you think more rigorously so that you know what to write and where to start writing. It also plays the role of arranging ideas and thoughts around your proposed topic.

Stay on target

The second role that an outline plays is that it keeps you on track and on target. When you have an outline opened ahead, you do not dare to move here and there and only write what it asks you to write. Due to a lot of research, it is possible that you may go off track and lose the thread of your proposal. In this scenario, it is an outline that keeps you on track and allows you to write the proposal as it says.

Makes drafting less stressful

Writing a good dissertation proposal is a stressful process. As the writer, it requires you to perform extensive research and spend extra time drafting it. However, when you have an outline, the process of drafting the proposal goes very smoothly. As it describes the relationship between the ideas that you need to write in your proposal, it makes your drafting journey less stressful and more enjoyable.

Gives a direction

Many students lose the direction of their proposal when they are working on it. This is not acceptable at all. Teachers may accept flaws in the writing style or grammar of the proposal, but they do not accept flaws in the content of the proposal. It is exactly where an outline comes into play and plays an important role. Basically, when you have an outline, it gives you a direction to work on your dissertation proposal.

Saves time and energy

The 5th role that an outline plays is that it saves a lot of time and energy for students. Jumping into the writing phase of the proposal without having an outline only creates problems in terms of time expenditure. The reason is that when you do not know what to write in your proposal, these kinds of things happen. So, saving time and energy is another role that an outline plays. Therefore, you should make an outline at any cost. However, if you cannot develop an outline, get help from PhD dissertation writers.

Determines the understanding

Lastly, the outline plays a role in making sure that whether or not you have a clear understanding of your proposed project. It is because you only add those things in the outline that you know and have a thorough understanding about. Furthermore, it also plays a role in making the research idea and tone clear to you.


To sum up, a dissertation proposal is a scholarly document that you submit before working on your actual dissertation. Writing this document in a perfect structure is extremely important, and for this, you must have an outline at hand. The outline serves different purposes and plays various roles in a research proposal. The most important is that it keeps you on track. Hence, always start writing the proposal with an outline.

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