Tips on How to Write a Dissertation

The result of your dissertation writing will directly depend on the approach you take towards your task completion. Devise a work schedule that will help you manage your time better.

Planning is important in any work and especially in the process of dissertation writing. In order to reach the desired result, you would prepare well for the work that lies ahead.

The whole process of dissertation writing starting from typing its title to the moment when you submit your paper is a result of much stress, excitement, panic and other both negative and positive emotions. With your tips, you will be able to complete your task easily.

The following information will be useful regardless of the dissertation you write (Master’s, PhD or undergraduate).

Thoroughly Choose Your Dissertation Topic

The topic of your future paper is important for many reasons. The most essential of them is that the right topic will not only help you complete the task faster, but it will also make the writing process enjoyable. So, think of a topic that is really interesting and engaging.

Many scholars support this idea. One of such people is Michelle Schneider who states that choosing an appropriate topic will help the writer reveal their thoughts, open their potential to the fullest, as well as make a deeper investigation of the topic of interest.

If you find it difficult to make up a topic yourself, you can use some help. Your topic can be hidden somewhere among the course readings, newspapers, academic journals, etc. Do not be lazy to spend some time for looking for it, as it may spare much of it in the future.

Moreover, it is strongly recommended to keep in touch with your supervisor. They are the person who can show you a right direction of your investigation and give useful advice. Discuss your ideas with them and it will guarantee that you will not make mistakes from the very beginning.

After collecting some materials and summarizing your findings, return to your topic to see whether they justify it and prove that the topic is really important.

Study the Requirements in Details

During the first preparation stage, it is important to concentrate on general requirements to your dissertations. Revise ethic protocols of your faculty, clarify what formatting style is required, look through module handbooks, etc. It will help you avoid mistakes, which can negatively influence your performance. The things you should find out before starting work include:

  • Word count;
  • Deadlines;
  • The basic requirements to the academic writing.

Moreover, it is recommended to ask a set of specific questions, which will help avoid interruptions during the writing process. They include:

  • How the dissertation should be structured?
  • What forms of the analysis to choose?
  • What source can and cannot be used?
  • What is the correct way to use them?

The answer to these questions can be easily received from your supervisor.

Set Clear Goals

After the first stage of your work is completed, you are ready to move on. The next thing to do is to write a dissertation proposal. The primary aim of your proposal is to outline the purpose of the study and the way you intend to reach the final result. If you manage to clearly explain how your research can be useful and why it is relevant, it will be easier for you to complete your task.

Adhering to your primary plan will help you stay focused. It will ensure that you do not distract on things that are not essential. Moreover, it will help you make your argument more precise, coherent and strong. If you know what and how to do, you will definitely remain on the right path.

It is clear that you may slightly shift from your plan. In such case, it should be revised accordingly. Add new headings if necessary. Moreover, in case of any changes in your primary structure, do not hesitate to discuss it with your supervisor. It will help you save logical flow of your dissertation.

The following list represents activities that have to be completed to the set deadline:

  • Making a research on the topic;
  • Collecting data;
  • Analyzing data;
  • Writing a draft;
  • Proofreading;
  • Printing of your paper and binding it.

These steps, if completed properly, will lead any writer to success. Some scholars also recommend using Gantt charts to plan your work, as it can be a useful tool for fruitful dissertations writing.

Start Writing a Final Version

The writing process itself should not be chaotic. It means that it should not look like this: “I will write two paragraphs of this chapter today, while I will finish the whole chapter on Sunday. I believe, I will be free that day.” Such approach can lead to a great mess up and violation of all possible deadlines. Try to write at least 1,000 words per week, and you will be sure that it will be done on time.

Make use of writing. Let it help you understand the topic better. Make sure you address all the points and cover all the information required. Check each section after you have completed it. Make sure each of them serves its functions.

Considering the fact that writing helps you develop a better sense of the topic, it is possible that the more you write the more your emphasis will change. As a result, editing of the paper you write can become not the end but to some extent, the beginning of the work.

Do not forget to make notes and back up the information you use. It will be a big problem, if you lose most of your data in the middle of a writing process. Writing down the ideas and sources that can be later used in the working process can save you hours of dissertation writing. Otherwise, you will spend them on looking for a source you have seen sometime and somewhere.

Maintain Critical Mindset

Even after the topic is chosen, plan is developed and the draft is written, it is not time to relax. In order to come up with a really professional piece of writing, you should remain focused during the whole process of writing. Keep on putting yourself questions related to the work you are doing.

It is also important to remember how strongly you believe in the correctness of your own thoughts, as well as consider possible alternatives to them.

However, it is always easier to convince yourself than someone else. Do not forget that the aim of your paper is to explain your point and send a necessary message to the readers. Some things that may seem obvious to you may not be so easily understandable to others. As a result, facts and evidences are those elements, which make your paper more credible.

For this purpose, you will need to write a bibliography that contains sufficient number of reliable, valid and up-to-date sources. Remember that not only the source but also its format matters!

Remember About the Importance of the Editing

Considering the difficult, time-consuming and stressful nature of dissertation writing, you should not forget that even obvious mistakes can be overlooked from the first time. Do not take editing for granted. Do not forget to include it in your schedule as one of the final steps of your work. Besides, not everyone pays necessary attention to such things as grammar and spelling in their efforts to cover the most important issues first. As a result, editing can become a powerful tool in the process of polishing your paper and making it a professional writing piece.

Do not forget about proper formatting of citations in your paper. Citations serve as a reminder that the dissertation you write is not only based on your own ideas, thoughts and assumptions. They show the reader that you are well informed in regard to a specific field and support your paper with contributions of other authoritative scholars.

Enjoy the Result

If you had paid enough attention to all the aspects of your dissertation writing, you can relax and enjoy the work you have done. Make a perfect dissertation one of your biggest achievements! 

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