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A dissertation or a thesis is a challenging piece of work that a student has to undergo in order to earn their doctorate. Dissertation writing is similar to writing a book, it too is divided into several chapters and is longer than your normal academic essays. The aim is to conduct research on a topic you have chosen yourself and produce an independent piece of work. This helps showcase your capabilities as a researcher, your ability to explore a subject extensively, and to demonstrate whether you can manage a research project while using appropriate research tools. Writing a dissertation is a daunting task, and the writing process requires a whole lot of careful planning since your future career path is dependent on it. Graduate students start the process of writing their dissertation with great enthusiasm however, the long and tiring process makes them procrastinate or even give up. So if you thought you could write it in one night, you might be up for a surprise. But don’t sweat it, we have got you covered, with this step-by-step guide on how to write a dissertation- we will assist you with all the necessary pointers that one must need to know before continuing his/her dissertation.
The first step is to figure out your topic, this is the most crucial part of the process. So, you must take your time, brainstorm as much as you can, go to different lengths of finding out the necessary information, go around and ask your friends about their chosen ideas and draw inspiration from them, seek help from your supervisors- use their knowledge about the relevant field to your advantage and they’re also aware of the latest trends and cutting-edge ideas. You can also look for existing dissertations, they might have useful suggestions for future improvements and you might be able to find something that fits your interests. A trick to do that is to hit your college library and skim through the titles and abstracts of the previous student’s dissertations. When choosing a research topic think of an idea which will attract the most amount of funding- researchers know what a nightmare looking for funding can be.
Before starting a dissertation, you will need to write a proposal first. This is a short persuasive document written to be reviewed by the committee members. This proposal template comprises of the introduction of the problem you’re going to tackle, aims and objectives of the research, how you will carry out the research/research methodology (tools used for carrying out the research), limitations and drawbacks of the research, and the significance of the topic and the research question. In a nutshell, the dissertation proposal must be written in a convincing manner to ensure the committee members that your area of interest is valuable and why finding a solution is crucial, and whether you will be able to commit to it. A number of students start panicking during this stage as they find the entire process quite intimidating and they seek help from professionals who can write an essay for cheap, if you are currently going through that stage and then you can order from these dissertation writing services online. If not, and you want to give it a try yourself, continue reading further.
Once you have gone through the stage of presenting your idea and getting it accepted by your supervisor and the committee, you can start working on the dissertation. The next step is research and analysis, so you better pull up your socks- you’re about to turn into a complete scholar. Writing a dissertation requires a whole lot of research and an exhaustive research- you will definitely need to brush up on those reading skills as skimming through just a few articles won’t be sufficient in this case. But make sure not to waste your time reading irrelevant or unreliable sources. You can make use of a number of research methodologies; case studies, surveys, interviews, historical research etc. Don’t forget to organize your research by making a timeline or a Gantt chart for the research stage, taking extensive notes, and analyzing your findings. Analysis is an essential part of academic research; you must know how to interpret the collected data.
After having gathered the relevant information and carrying out the research the next step is determining the structure/format of the dissertation paper. A dissertation research traditionally consists of at least five chapters with an introduction and conclusion, having an average word count of 100,000, but is subject to variation. Avoid making these chapters too long, make them to the point and compact. A dissertation should consist of the following; title, an introduction presenting the idea and the knowledge you have gathered throughout the research process, the literature review, discussions/findings, justification of the research methodologies, conclusion, potential outcomes, cite your references, bibliographic section. You need not use formal vocabulary when expressing your thoughts but try avoiding pronouns such as me, my, mine etc.
Once you have determined the structure that must be followed the actual work of will begin, which is the right up itself. Start with a rough draft, go chapter by chapter, the first chapter should talk about the significance, and the aims and objectives of your research, the next section is the literature review or context of your research, discuss existing researches taken place, use this to show your understanding of the study, present findings, facts and figures, and cite references as you go.
Next, talk about your chosen research method and justify using it. The fifth and usually the last chapter of the dissertation is the conclusion, here you will summarize the entire research, how you have provided solutions for your research question. However, some graduate students have trouble following this linear flow of dissertation writing, so you can really choose whatever works best for you.
The last and final step of this exhausting lifecycle of dissertation writing is editing and proofreading. Show your work to your mentor’s, friends and family for corrections and improvements. Often mistakes are overlooked when we’re writing something ourselves, so proofreading is a good exercise to ensure reaching high quality papers.
In a nutshell, the key is to plan a head and stick to your timeline to avoid wasting time and procrastinating. Were these steps helpful to jumpstart your dissertation writing process?
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