• Dissertation Proposal: Part I 
Part I consists in a text which must cover the following points:
    1. A preliminary title for the dissertation
    2. A justification for the research: why is the topic interesting and worth researching?
    3. Scope of the research: what questions are you thinking of addressing and why? 
What questions are you going to leave out? Indicate what research you think you will need to do in the coming weeks and months. Are you considering undertaking empirical research or solely textual-based research?
    4. The skeleton of a table of contents
    5. A time frame for completing your dissertation in time, which can be in the form of 
either a table or a text.


Dissertation Proposal: Part II

Part II of your proposal must take the form of a bibliography in three sections.

  1. The first section is an annotated bibliography of at least four academic sources of high standing which you have read and consider crucial for your research project (this part does count towards your word count).

ï List the first source you wish to review in correct OSCOLA or Harvard form.
ï Add a paragraph providing a short summary of the piece and explaining its

relevance to your own particular research. ï This can be for a variety of reasons:

o Perhaps the piece helps you to frame your project
o It highlights an important point that you know you will need to address
o It gives you an opportunity to disagree with the author
o It provides a useful or interesting quote you will want to use
o It provides a different perspective from the way your topic is generally

Repeat the exercise so you end up with four sources in your annotated bibliography.

  1. The second section is a bibliographical list of the sources you have already consulted and intend to use in your dissertation.
  2. The third section is a bibliographical list of the sources you intend to consult in the coming weeks.

Sections 2 and 3 of Part II of the proposal are not part of the 2,000-word count, nor are the bibliographical citations in section 1 of Part II. However, your own writing that reviews these four pieces cited in the annotated bibliography are part of the word count.

Together Part I and Part II of your research proposal should demonstrate that you have become acquainted with the area of law that you are researching and that you have a good idea of where you are going and will be in a position to submit a 8,000 word dissertation later in the academic year.

Marking criteria for the dissertation proposal

  1. Is the research project well defined?
  2. Are the aims of the project clear and interesting?
  3. Does the research project appear feasible?
  4. Are the student’s research plans realistic in the given time frame?
  5. Is the bibliographical review well written and relevant to the topic?
  6. Does the proposal demonstrate critical analysis on the part of the student?
  7. Is the proposal written clearly and grammatically?
  8. Are the bibliographical items presented in accordance with OSCOLA/Harvard 
protocols (as chosen by the student) – and consistent to one referencing system?

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