In preparing a dissertation brief, students should bear in mind that is is not meant to be a dissertation in miniature; it functions, rather, as a blueprint for the dissertation to come. it envisions what the dissertation will do, but it does not undertake those things itself. While the brief necessarily reflects a good deal of preliminary research and thought, it remains a proposal for work yet to come.
The brief includes the following sections:
- the body of the document, which serves the purposes listed above.
- an expanded table of contents supplying a provisional title for each chapter and a description of the content and function of each one (maximum one page per chapter).
- a working bibliography, including sources you intend to read as well as those you have already consulted.