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Masters Thesis Proposal Outline
What is the general topic area
Why this topic is relevant/important (how important to sociologists, to the broader
community, etc.)
What is the specific scope of your research interest
The literature review should be a well-organized overview of the research most
closely related to your work.
This might likely include the dominant debates, theoretical approaches,
methodological research designs that have been used to understand your topic
You are trying to demonstrate two things:
1. You are familiar with the research that has been done in this area and can
explain to fellow sociologists who might not be familiar with this specific
literature, what is out there
2. You have found a gap or “lacunae” in the literature…something that has not
been well researched (or not been researched utilizing a certain theoretical
perspective or methodological design
A concise formulation of your specific research question. If you have taken
Graduate Social Theory, think about the process we went through with the
“Hypothetical research question” assignment. Review some of the feedback you
What is your methodological approach?
How will you get access?
How many cases will you include?
Describe how the cases be selected (random, etc.)
What will be the duration (time-frame) of your research?
How will you record your observations?
How will you code the data?
o Will you start the research with already established research categories
(deductive approach) or will you look for the categories (to code) to
emerge from the data (inductive approach/grounded theory)?
Other considerations specific to your approach
Will your analysis of the coding be qualitative, quantitative or both?
Bibliography -List only those authors included in your 7-8 page literature review.
Masters Thesis Proposal Outline
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