Dissertation Proposal Style: An Academic Manual

Some instructors prefer the Modern Language Association Publication Manual while others prefer the Publication of the American Psychological Association style manual. Other style manuals include the Chicago Manual of Style or Strunk and White’s The Element of Style. The APA Manual is generally used for those enrolled in schools of Psychology, Counseling, Sociology, Criminology, Health Sciences, Business, Economics, or Education. The Modern Language Association Manual is generally used for Humanities, Literature, History, Philosophy, Art, etc.

Ethics, Legal Issues and Protection of Rights

When writing, careful consideration should be given to the ethical treatment of the subject and established ethical standards set by experts in that field. Legal considerations also should be researched so as to follow all legal guidelines associated with the particular field or subject matter being discussed. Accuracy in scientific knowledge should be ascertained by referencing the appropriate manuals for standards that have been laid out by the experts. When conducting experiments or research on participants it is essential that provisions be made for the protection of their rights. The protection of intellectual property rights should also be provided for so that all contributing parties have the assurance that their contributions are not only respected but ensured.  Finally careful consideration with researched referencing should be given to Journal Standards, and of course, the authors should be careful to establish and state their bias and state the opposing views and biases of opposing parties that are prevalent in their area of study.

Theme Development

The document should be written clearly and simply so that the layman could understand it. However it is important to use specialized terms when dealing with the subject matter to convey mastery over the subject. The author should use one topic sentence per paragraph that discusses one aspect of and lends toward the contiguity of the argument. The author should be sure to develop the theme of the composition as each paragraph ensues.


The document should be formatted, and should include a Title Page, an Abstract, a description of the research utilized, including the methodology, results and conclusions, and a or some Case Studies, and a description of the Methodology used. The document should include an Introduction, Methodology, including participants, materials, and procedure, features, scope, and reliability of the study, the results should be summarized, it should include a discussion, references, an appendix or appendices, the Author’s Notes, including the author’s Departmental Affiliation, any changes in that affiliation during the project, acknowledgements, and contact information.

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