Tip #6: Be comfortable with "selling" your ideas. "Selling" is a bad word in academic circles. But we use it as a quick way of saying "persuading". Your entire proposal (and dissertation) is, essentially, one long persuasive paper. You are trying to present facts and information to persuade the reader to adopt your viewpoint. Remember this. You don’t have to be fair in presenting all the sources. You have to be persuasive. Sometimes, there is a difference. Be able to "sell" your topic in your proposal. Be able to "sell" your research methodology. You have to believe in it, and understand it, and articulate it in order to get others to accept and approve of it.