Before beginning your dissertation proposal, you will first need to work with your Chair to get an approved Letter of Intent (LOI). Completing this document will allow you to develop a clear plan for your research.

This document will consist of five major sections that are outlined in the Letter of Intent Template. More details about these sections are provided below.

In 1-2 paragraphs, identify a general problem that supports the need to conduct your proposed research and describe a specific research problem that your research will address. In this section, describe how this problem impacts people, society, organizations, etc. Use in-text citations for research to support your ideas about the existence of this problem. Conclude this section with a statement about how the results could be used to address the specific research problem.

For additional help with constructing your problem statement, see our Writing a Problem Statement page.

In a single paragraph, provide a concise overview of the overall purpose of the proposed study. In this section, describe the focus, methodology, population, and geographical location of the study. As you write this section, be sure the purpose aligns with the problem you identified in your problem statement. The purpose statement should tell your reader how you plan to address and/or investigate the problem.

Begin this section with “The purpose of this [insert type of study] study is to….”

In 1-2 paragraphs, briefly describe the importance of the proposed study. In this section, include how the study represents a unique approach to the problem, how the results contribute to theory and/or practice in the field, the implications of the research, and any gaps in knowledge the proposed study will help fill.

In 1-2 paragraphs describe the research methodology of the proposed study. In this section, provide an overview of the research method and research design, population and sample, and instrumentation. In addition, describe how you will collect data and how you plan to analyze the data.

In this section, list your specific research questions. These research questions must align with the proposed research method and design. For quantitative studies, include the research question(s) and the null and alternative hypotheses.

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