The University of Massachusetts provides a quick guide to preparing and writing a thesis or dissertation proposal. Here are some key points from the article:
- While proposals may be had to find online, dissertations are readily available. Review the table of contents in a variety of dissertations to get an idea of what you should expect to include in your work.
- Talk to your advisor(s). He/She/They will know when you’re ready to write and provide insight into both the process and your own research.
- Organizing your thesis around conference papers can help you maintain hard deadlines.
- Keep your proposal between 20 and 80 pages, but check with your advisor and colleagues for the typical length.
Here is the link to the UMASS article: http://ciir.cs.umass.edu/~strohman/proposal-tips.html
Keep in mind that the guidelines listed here are specific to UMASS, but the general information may be quite useful to you.