PhD Proposal Writing Guide for Non-Native English Speakers

PhD Proposal Writing Guide for Non-Native English Speakers

For many students writing a dissertation/PhD Proposal is an intimidating task as it requires having a full fledge document to your supervisor. Students are being intimate by the fact that writing the research paper consumes efforts and perfection. This leads to challenges faced with the task assigned to students as a non-native speaker. As research writing comprise of not only related to the topic but add reasoning and logic coherent with the meaning of research problem.

UK is said to be ideal study destination as it is ranked second worldwide. Each year many foreign students meet their goals of studying in UK as statistics calculation shows 458,490 international students to be attending the universities. Many non-native students enrolled in graduate programs and under graduate ones and even further add to the PhD program for doctoral level.

Being international students many of them find themselves stuck in a program which requires writing of thesis/research proposals in English. For such non-native students English is not a first language for them, some are Spanish speakers, brown students and Asians which have different speaking style and language.

English can be confusing and not easy to understand especially for the one whose language is not English. I have come up with some common mistakes to be watched out for while writing thesis or dissertation writing.

8 Common Errors Done By Non-Native Speakers to Be Watched Out 


  • Misleading adjectives
  • Use of incorrect synonyms
  • Indefinite and definite articles to be missing
  • Misperception of subject verb agreement
  • Making no sense of the sentence
  • Wrong tenses
  • Wrong linking of words
  • Overused conjunction

Many non-native students struggle to construct a clear picture of what needs to be written in the dissertation and how?

  1. While writing dissertation students most of the time forgot to place an adjective in a proper order. For example ‘A red big ball’ is incorrect, ‘A big red ball’ is correct.
  2. The use of incorrect synonyms is the big problem for all. No doubt it is a helpful tool to paraphrase a sentence but coming up with synonyms which is different in meaning and prove to be pointless for the sentence. For instance sea and see or knight and night these are the words which are called same sound different meaning named as homonyms. You can say these to be a trap for the non-native speakers.
  3. This is the most common mistake for those who is not familiar with English language. They sentences is missing definite and indefinite articles such as a, the, and an. For example ‘would you like drink’ is incorrect the correct sentence should be ‘would you like a drink’.
  4. Subject verb agreement means subject and verb need to be in correct order. Means the subject must be plural and verb should be plural too. The non-native is mostly confused with ‘were and was’ or ‘I am and I are’ which is incorrect.
  5. Making no sense out of the sentence. This is obvious mistake for non-native as there language is different from English, it make it difficult to construct well-ordered sentences. What people think and construct is two different scenarios, because thinking in a different language make words in an order which you are familiar with.
  6. Wrong tenses make your sentence improper such as I have been to UK 3 years ago. Incorrect I had been to UK 3 years ago.
  7. Linking words to make your sentence relate to one idea to other next. Sometimes it is overused which makes no sense. The tea was hot therefore he burned the tongue incorrect, correct form is the tea was hot, burning his tongue.
  8. Making sentence long to complete the idea is discouraged by the supervisors to make it concise you need to stop adding conjunctions. Overused of conjunctions make it looks unprofessional. Try making short sentences; break it to smaller sentences.

How to Construct a PhD Proposal Writing For Non-Native Speakers

The proposal of the PhD thesis/dissertation writing is the outline of the whole research paper. It is the crust or method to which you would carry your research paper of your doctoral study. Well-furnished research proposals account you to have how it will look in the final research paper and how well it will fit in together. But for some students who are not good in English language face difficulties in writing perfect proposal. To guide them with Dissertation help they need to have the knowledge of structure of the proposal as to start with.

The structure of PhD Proposal writing should be as.


Topic Selection
(What Research Is About)


Aims And Objectives
(Research Question / Problem)


Literature Review
(What Is Been Researched)


(What Are The Nessary Information)


Achievable Outcomes
(What To Be Achevied)


  1. Topic Selection

The main objective of proposal writing is to find a relevant and a topic of your interest.  The topic should the one which the reader has not yet identified yet and become captivated with the content.

  1. Aims and Objective

What will be the research question? With the help of a clear objective we can sketch the whole document along with it.

  1. Review Of The Literature

The literature review shows the previous studies or related studies of the authors who have worked in this area of topic. Keep in mind to add the citations and sources where you gather the information from.

  1. Methodology

How we will scratch out the necessary data from? This section shows the methods used to collect the data and finding, what are the techniques implemented for the relevant topic.

  1. Time Taken/Time Consumed

To present a time frame for all your research to be finalised and what data it should be submitted by? You need to fulfil your research with in the given time frame you have suggested. No delay or ran out of your deadline should be acceptable. Be realistic to mention the day and time of your research as it will arouse suspicion in the supervisors mind, be accurate regarding your time frame.

  1. Achieving the Outcomes

The expected outcomes carried out in your research should be mentioned accordingly. What will be the benefits of your study? This question should be added to your proposal as to know the result of the finding.

  1. List Of References And Sources

The references list is necessary part of your research proposal as it proves to be not copied or plagiarised. You need to check the criteria from the supervisors whether or not you should add the list at the last of the document. In finalisation of your research conclude your study respectively.

Simple Tips to Help Non-Native to Have Perfect Proposal Writing

Let find out tips and tricks of what should be done in your proposal writing as a second language.

You as a Non-English speaker should be aware of some tools and software which will make your life easy. We will live in a world where technology has improved the life style of every individual. Students whether they are not good in English writing, they can easily possess information regarding proper citation, proofreading, and plagiarism checker and so on. With the help of given tools you can format a proper well documented file for your research proposal. If you want to know more about how to write dissertation/thesis you can take help from my blog here.

Ask Your Supervisor for Help

Taking help from the supervisor is essential as they are your mentor; you need to know every detail and criteria to be followed by him.  Taking help from cheap dissertation writing service make your work easier and keep you in-track with your class mates. Many international students are so much social as they are new to the environment it just not hinder the writing performance but also finding of the study is not well performed.

Online Tools to Assist With…


It is the best tool for native and even non-native speakers to guide themselves with the tension of incorrect grammar and spelling mistakes. Moreover, the extension from Google can be downloaded and checked your document from social platforms or research paper. The basic mistake done by non-native speaker is tenses issues, incorrect order of the sentences and of course grammar this all can be fulfilled by single software. No need to stress about plagiarism as it Grammarly is there for help.


This software is an all-rounder, as it is the best tools for research study. It gives you wide range of researchers, mentors who are here for you 24/7 solving your queries, proofreading your work and helping you with citations. It may relief you with references manager tool, guiding you with citation, sources style, bibliography with different references style according to the need.

AOMEI Back up Software

This software is the life saviour for all non-native students out there; take a deep breath as your hero is here for you. The lost document or forgot to save your thesis file, what should be done to retrieve it. AOMEI back up here to rescue! Many students is stress about not saving the important file and end up crying or depressed as nothing can get you back. This tool is design to skip these mishap ones in for all. It is essential to have a back file placed somewhere near you in case of mishap.


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