A dissertation is a research project done as part of a postgraduate or undergraduate degree. Usually, a dissertation allows students to present their findings as a response to a proposition or question they choose. The objective of dissertation writing is to test a student’s independent research skills as acquired during their academic stay at the university. Assessment of the paper determines the student’s final grade. While tutors provide guidance, the more significant part of writing a dissertation is independent.
For most university students, a dissertation is the most critical, challenging, and prolonged assignment that requires months of hard work and preparation. But, it can be rewarding, especially if you choose a passionate topic. Therefore, it is a good idea to ensure that you select an interesting topic. Let custom writers with more than a decade of writing expertise help you choose a dissertation topic.
Types of dissertations
The type of dissertation you write varies depending on your module of study. The two main types are empirical and non-empirical dissertations.
- Empirical dissertations. These are those that involve data collection, like in a psychology degree. This may entail practicing ethical and professional guidelines when collecting data. Empirical dissertations in life and natural science subjects may entail or be entirely based on laboratory work.
- Non-empirical dissertations. These are based on existing arguments and data from other people’s work. You may have to spend a significant amount of time in books. In a non-empirical dissertation, you should ensure that you critically analyze other people’s work and explore its practical applications besides describing what they are saying.
How to Write a Dissertation
Whether it’s your Ph.D., Master, or an undergraduate dissertation, the following tips should help you maintain focus.
Carefully Select Your Research Topic
Your research topic must be meaningful and engaging, perhaps something that suits your career aspirations and is significant to the broader academic community. Your dissertation is a chance to demonstrate your ideas and thoughts, consolidate previous knowledge, and examine an area in detail. Choosing something you are sincerely interested in will keep you inspired. If you are stressed about ideas, you can research newspapers, academic journals, course materials, and other media to recognize current issues relating to your field of study and to find inspiration for your dissertation topic.
Also, collaborate with your supervisor to develop a suitable research question, as you can benefit from their awareness of the research area, appropriate methods, and what is achievable within your timeframe. Think about why it’s significant to work on your chosen topic. After summarizing your findings, consider how they relate to your justification of why this is an essential topic or question.
Check the Requirements
Familiarize yourself with your faculty’s referencing style guides, module handbooks, and ethics protocols to avoid silly costly mistakes. Before starting to plan, ensure you know what is expected of you. Find out:
- The word count
- What academic writing is in your discipline
- Where and when to submit your dissertation
Have a Clear Structure and Objective
Once you have picked a topic, you can now write a dissertation proposal. By illustrating the relevance of your research area, you will have an easy time writing your introduction, literature review, and methodology. The dissertation proposal outlines the objective of your dissertation and how you will conduct your research.
Sticking to a plan will assist you in maintaining focus without being too overambitious with the research process. This enhances your chances of developing a coherent and robust argument. Knowing the direction of your ideas helps you remain on track by ensuring you only make relevant points. If you shift your focus at some point, you can adjust your plan, but remember to revise your title, headings, and content.
Allocate time for:
- Researching and reading
- Collecting and analyzing data
- Structuring and restructuring
- Drafting and redrafting
- Printing and binding
When you are ready to start writing, have a reasonable target, such as a thousand words per week, as it can be productive and motivating. Begin writing immediately and utilize the writing process as a resource to help you better comprehend the topic. After completing each section, check to see if you’ve covered everything. Each paragraph should contain a specific function, transitioning well with the other content. Your writing helps you to understand the topic more as you develop the narrative. Your emphasis, interpretation, and analysis will change.
Regularly back up, and maintain research notes and a complete list of your sources. You will save work hours if you keep track of what you read and where you got it. It can be challenging to remember your idea sources, especially when you have piles of books and tons of journal articles.
It’s essential to have a critical and questioning mindset throughout the dissertation writing process, both on your work and findings. Ask yourself how a particular interpretation or explanation convinces you and if there are other valid alternatives. You should also explain your reasoning to your reader. Do not assume that your points are apparent; hence no need for justification, as your ideas may be new to some people. Your assessor cannot award you for a strong argument unless you show evidence of how you came up with a particular conclusion. Besides including many references in your bibliography, ensure your content has the correct spelling for theories and names.
Do Not Ignore the Editing Stage
Thorough editing is crucial to producing a well-structured, polished, and coherent piece of work. Allocate sufficient time to engage with your paper at different levels, from reassessing the reasoning of the entire article to proofreading to checking if you’ve included the correct referencing format. Other than ensuring that relevant citations sustain your main argument, make it clear that you acknowledge the contributions of widespread research and theories within your topic, as failing to do so may make you look ill-informed.
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