Answered By: Rachel Willard
Last Updated: Aug 29, 2016     Views: 2582

For students pursuing a PhD, the premise is the document that conveys their initial investigation into a research topic—completing the premise comes at the beginning of the capstone process. Your premise will be used to (a) identify your preliminary topic and (b) help identify the faculty members who will help guide your development of the dissertation prospectus.Take a look at the Writing Center's pre-proposal kit for resources to begin your writing process. Once you start, feel free to make an appointment with a writing instructor for a one-to-one review of your premise document. 

Then download and read over the Dissertation Premise Guide available in the PhD section of the Office of Student Research Administration. This document has guidelines for how to construct a premise. You can also download the Premise Template available through the Writing Center to make sure that your document follows the correct formatting specifications.


Additionally, the Academic Skills Center offers 6-week doctoral writing workshops for students working on their preproposal (premise and prospectus) documents all the way through the final capstone chapters.  Find more information regarding the doctoral writing workshops on the Academic Skills Center's website. 


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Further Questions?

Do you have other general writing questions? E-mail the Writing Center at

Other questions about your doctoral capstone or the Form & Style review? E-mail the Dissertation Editors at

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