Writing an essay or blog article is no brainer; pretty much everybody can cope with creating a content where no expert knowledge is necessary. Writing a dissertation however is the different story. In most cases it is a document submitted in support for an academic degree after all. As a result student and doctorate candidates alike have many questions on how to write a dissertation. Some of them need complete understanding of what the whole writing process should look like, while other need assistance with specific aspects of working on a dissertation. In this article we are going to list most common questions and answers on the issue. We believe it will help those are pursuing an academic degree or some professional qualification with a dissertation.
What is a dissertation? Before writing a dissertation you have to know what it actually is. It will be quite difficult to develop something you don’t know much about, right? A dissertation is a document that presents one’s comprehensive research and findings on a chosen topic. The paper is usually used in the context of obtaining a degree or other qualifications.
Where do I begin? It all starts from choosing a topic. Sometimes it will be a topic that is interesting to a supervisor and sometimes you will have to choose a topic yourself. When you have a topic for your dissertation it is worth creating a timeline for the project with stages and deadlines so that you could always be on track with the progress you are making. This should conclude the initial stage of creating a dissertation.
What are the stages of creating a dissertation? As we have just mentioned, it is a priority to have a topic first. It all goes from there because if you don’t have the topic then you can’t really do anything. It is when you know what you are going to write about you can first think it all through. You should create a picture of a progression in your mind. After you have an understanding in your mind you can start working on the proposal. Then goes the actual research and writing the paper. When you have it all done, share the document with your supervisors and others. The final stage would be editing/revising the dissertation.
What can I expect from my supervisor? The good thing about writing a dissertation is that you are not alone doing it. But what exactly can you expect a supervisor to do? We recommend discussing the expectations with your supervisor at the beginning of your cooperation. It will help both of you develop a good working relationship. It is reasonable to talk about supervisor supporting you intellectually and emotionally. Again, that doesn’t mean that the one will do your work. It is important to keep in mind that there is always the other side of the coin: the expectations of your supervisor toward you.
What are the components of a dissertation? The structure of a dissertation can vary for different disciplines so it is always better to check with course regulations. However, it is most likely that a dissertation you will be writing should contain a title page, abstract, introduction, methodology, discussion (findings), conclusion, and references. These are fundamental parts of every dissertation.
How to write an abstract for a dissertation? An abstract might be one of the shortest sections you have to develop for a dissertation. It usually should not exceed 350 words as it is a brief summary of the research made. An abstract alone should represent what, why, and how you did in your dissertation with mentioning the implications of the research. We recommend developing an abstract last; it will be easier to do it because you will know what you are going to summarize at that point. There are many more articles and materials available online on how to write an abstract for a dissertation.
How to write a dissertation proposal? Any dissertation proposal is a nothing more but a description of what your dissertation is about. It would make sense to mention the questions to be examined, some references to the theoretical background, research methods as well as the potential implications of the research (results). In most cases the proposal shouldn’t be longer than 1000 words but it is always worth clarifying your course requirements.
What style of writing is expected? Obviously, you cannot use a writing style you use when you are chatting with your friends in Facebook. The language and writing style should be appropriate for the targeted audience. Whatever you write, it should be supported by evidence and well argued. You should use a straightforward style without allowing any informalities at all. You can always check the dissertation written on a similar subject to get the idea of what you should aim for.
What to do if I disagree with my supervisor? In the process of writing a dissertation there will likely be some disagreements along the way. If you disagree with your supervisor it is best to take time, think about it, and only then to react. You may have not thought about it, but disagreements with a supervisor can make your dissertation better. It is important to make sure to keep the communication going; otherwise it may do more harm than good. If you think you are stuck and it the conflict doesn’t go anywhere close to the resolution then you can always consult official university documents or student advisers. Usually, all universities have established procedures for dealing with this kind of issues.
Can I get a deadline extension? Even when you know how to write a dissertation there are still lots of things to be overcome throughout this long process. Since writing a dissertation is a time consuming process and very often lots of problems come up along the way. As a result, you may not be able to finish it all in time. The universities are not very keen on providing extensions at all so it is better not to count on any extensions. Despite the tight rules about submission deadlines, universities can provide extensions if you have reasonable grounds for that. Usually, they require a medical evidence or any other evidence by which they may be assured that you are late not because you were too lazy.
The answer to the question “How to write a dissertation?” is obviously more than what we have covered in the content above. In order to comprehensively answer the question many have written books. This is just the attempt to address most common questions people have when they face the assignment to write a dissertation. One can certainly use this material for guidance, but we have to note that this is only a brief summary on what is writing a dissertation is all about. Therefore, we encourage our readers to carefully study the course requirements and read some literature on how to write a dissertation. The whole process is more interesting and fun than it appears. Most people who take this seriously admitted that it was a great journey although it didn’t feel that way in the beginning.
The whole journey isn’t easy we have to say. Most likely one day you will freak out. All who wrote dissertations had to pass through this panic time. Even if you don’t feel your whole work is worth anything and you doubt your entire research don’t make any decisions during this time. At some point it will pass and you will return to your dissertation. The main thing is to keep calm and don’t make any drastic moves when you want to quit. Keep going and one day you will be proud that you could produce your most important piece of work.