Easy Steps to Writing a Dissertation: The Basics
Do you know what it means to write a dissertation or do you know the main steps to writing a dissertation? Most likely, you understand that writing a strong dissertation is a torture. You can imagine how much time and knowledge it will take to produce a nice, cohesive and well-developed Ph.D. dissertation. Lots of students get into the same dissertation writing trap every year. They have no experience writing dissertations, yet they cannot escape the dissertation writing necessity. Even in the presence of a comprehensive dissertation writing guide, most students fail to accomplish the tragic dissertation writing mission, either because they are too tired or because they are not certain that they can complete it on time. For many students, writing a dissertation is something new and unfamiliar. This is why they hesitate and cannot complete their dissertation on time. This is why it is so important to be prepared for the difficulties surrounding dissertation writing. It is important to understand how much it will take to write a dissertation and what information and knowledge the student will need to produce a high-quality project. This writing guide provides answers to the basic questions regarding dissertation writing. It is time to begin!
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.
How to Write a Dissertation?
To write a good dissertation, you will need to follow several important steps. Basically, you will need to do extensive research. Your dissertation should integrate numerous sources of literature. You will also need to expand upon the latest studies. Your fellow students and faculty members should see that your research has added academic value and can improve the quality of knowledge and practice in your field.
What Are the Main Elements of the Dissertation?
The dissertation writing process should cover each and every aspect of the dissertation structure. Generally, you will include the following chapters: purpose, thesis statement, background information, literature review, methodology, findings, and conclusions. You will also include a cover page and a page with references. Follow this structure:
- Cover page
- Chapter 1 – Background and introduction
- Chapter 2 – Review of literature
- Chapter 3 – Methodology
- Chapter 4 – Results
- Chapter 5 – Discussion
- Conclusion and implications
Writing Your Dissertation Professionally
Without any doubts, dissertation writing is one of the most burdensome and troublesome things a student may need to do in his or her lifetime. Of course, most students are reasonable about the amount of work they will have to accomplish while working on their projects. However, by the time they are ready to start, they suddenly realize that it is just beyond their capacity. This guide is for you to outline the steps to writing a dissertation.
- Start with a topic. This is one of the decisive points in the dissertation writing process. Do not pick an arbitrary topic. Be thorough when selecting the subject for your work. Do not choose a topic that was researched by other fellow students. Do not choose a topic that is just too new to generate interest. Try to use something familiar but present it in an unexpected light. This way, you will have enough resources to get evidence from, and you will also catch your audience by surprise.
Research, research, research. Extensive research is everything, when it comes to dissertation writing. You will need to identify a gap in knowledge and use evidence from published sources to justify its importance. It is better to divide your subject area into several components and research each one separately, step by step.
- Design an outline. When you are ready to translate your research into writing, create an outline. This will become the backbone of your dissertation. You will follow it like a plan. You will see what information you need to include and what additional information you are to find to meet your dissertation advisor’s recommendations.
Edit and refine the dissertation while working on it. The moment you finish the first draft of your dissertation, you will exhausted, both physically and mentally. It is a good reason to take some break. Do not start editing the project before you are ready. You may need to take away for a few days before you are ready to get back to the process. Once you are in, you will see your own errors with a fresh eye.
Edit it. Now you can start editing your dissertation. Please note that editing is not the same as proofreading. Editing means that you will review the essence and contents of the paper. While proofreading, you will revise the form in which you present the argument. At first, you will need to see the essence of your paper. You will need to remove any redundant or irrelevant information, adding relevant data instead. You will need to review and revise the essence of your argument. Sometimes, you will need to review the purpose-methodology alignment to make sure that they match. You can make your dissertation smaller and more concise. This way, it will sound more compelling.
- Proofread it. Your dissertation paper must be proofread to pass the most stringent check and earn you the highest score. Proofreading is one of the final things you will do when working on your dissertation. You will have to review each sentence and word. This is a tedious process! However, if you feel that it is above you to proofread and review the dissertation, do not wait too long to ask for help. Besides, even if you are committed to this project, you may need someone else to look at your paper. Do not fall into the depths of embarrassment. Better ask someone truly dedicated to help you with your task.
- Feedback is needed. Do not submit the dissertation for grading without receiving your tutor’s feedback. You can always ask your supervisor if any improvements are needed to meet the basic academic requirements. Most tutors are good enough to communicate with their students and provide valuable advice. If you cannot reach your instructor, you can always order proofreading and editing help online.
The Most Common Questions About Writing a 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 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.
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Nora is an accomplished freelance writer who has a Master's Degree in Social Science. She specializes in psychology and has a strong scientific background. Nora can navigate new topics with ease. She uses the language to the fullest, creating well-researched and informative content. View all posts...