Dissertation is the longest paper you have to write in your academic program to get a degree. Commonly this is a process which will be conducted at the end of your degree program to prove others about your knowledge in certain field and make some contribution to it through your research work. The research you are going to conduct determines whether you are eligible for getting a degree or not.
The dissertation will not follow the same procedure as other research paper follows. Writing dissertation requires more involvement of a student and give more time, energy and focus, so writing dissertation is considered as the most difficult work to do. To know about basics of writing a dissertation go further through this article.
How to Write a Dissertation
- Choose the Best topic
Selection of topic for dissertation writing is an important task, mainly for doctorate students. You should not choose a topic which only holds your interest but it should also have enough information to complete your work.
One useful way which helps you to frame your research ideas is to format your ideas in the form of a research question or thesis statement. The thesis statement will focus mainly on the key concepts of research and produce them in a single line whereas the research question only focuses on the research problem you address.
Choose a topic from the area in which you find gaps and need further investigation after doing a thorough literature review in the area which you are interested in.
- Conduct Preliminary research
Doing a preliminary research is conducting source check. At this level of writing dissertation you have to know from where you can get the relevant data which is required for your research and not the complete answer for your research question.
Make notes of the information you collect from the sources, also note the question which you witness so that the answer for it could be found later on. At this stage itself, plan how you are going to structure your dissertation which will help you in submitting research proposal.
- Submit a Research Proposal
When you write dissertation for your doctorate degree you have to submit your research proposal prior to start working on your research. Here you should produce complete plan of your research including research method and way of addressing research gap. The acceptance and rejection of your proposal by your mentor depends on the quality of proposal you produce.
- Conduct Principle Research
When you have completed preliminary research and also your research proposal is accepted then now finally you can start writing your dissertation.
In this stage you have to go through all the existing knowledge on this topic till date and understand about that completely. By the end of this stage you should get a clear idea on what key factors of the research gap you are going to address and how you are going to analyze and test it.
In this you have to also take a look on the primary sources like data from an experiment that has been conducted and also data from some people who are directly involved in it. Make sure to find secondary sources also like reference from books, articles or data collected by some other person for their purpose.
- Outline your Dissertation
Outline is the rough plan for your dissertation which helps you in your writing work. At any time you can make changes to your outline before start writing because it is not an official section in your paper.
In your outline you have to make notes on the important key words to be used in every chapter which will be further expanded and explained in the dissertation at every section such as introduction, methodology, literature review, results, conclusion, and discussion. If you have to make use of any quotes directly in any of the section, mark it in the outline.
- Write the First Draft of your Dissertation
If you have a clean outline for your dissertation then creating your first draft is not a difficult task, just you have to follow the instructions present in it.
The body in your dissertation including introduction and conclusion should not present full of your research, it should be just a summary of your work. No need to explain it in detail. You have to point out only the key features of it; rest of the things will be taken care by your research findings.
Many students face problem in writing a more general introduction and conclusion part, because it is a bit challenging to write content abstractly in the same time thinking broadly.
- Consult your Adviser
When you face any difficulties during your writing process you can take help from your advisors. Especially when you are working on your first draft don’t hesitate to ask doubts to them regarding it.
After complete writing your first draft, get that corrected with your adviser. They can spot the errors in it and correction can be done. Feel free to get help from your advisors; they are getting paid for it.
- Gather Feedbacks from Advisor
Other than getting feedbacks from adviser, search for someone else may be some experienced professionals who can offer you a better opinion. The person who has knowledge on dissertation can give extra useful insights to improve your dissertation.
- Write the Final Draft of your Dissertation
When you complete collecting feedbacks, now you have to analyze them all and implement it in your final draft. You may be seeing changes in some parts of your first draft and others may be left as it is. At this phase you can make changes and edit the areas which are not needed and can also add new areas.
- Edit and Proofread Dissertation
Before submitting the final work you have to do the final editing process in spotting any spelling or grammar mistakes. Read it several times to spot even small errors. Stay focused in finding mistakes and correcting it.
- Defend your Dissertation
Dissertation defense is known as that, in some programs universities need their students to present their research orally in front of expert panel. The panel members will ask you several questions from your research to check your understanding of that topic and reliability of your findings.
This round determines whether you will receive a degree or not. You should stay calm, be polite and give your best in this. If you have done this properly then nothing can stop you from getting the degree.
Dissertation Writing Tips
>> Start Early: Think about your topic in early stage itself, and make sure to follow the guidelines provided.
>> Record your sources: When you collect data from sources make sure to record or keep track on it.
>> Know what you want to Say: You should find answer for this question to stay more focused to your research objective.
>> List your Objectives: Find the objective of your research and then select a research methodology to meet that.
>> Back up your Decisions: You should have proper defense to argue for every decision you made.
>> Be Aware of your Research Limits: Make sure to know about the limitations in your research. Make your findings more valid and reliable.