To write dissertation is the destination of an academic path. If you are at the point of writing the dissertation, this means that everything that you have done up to this point and all the hardships that you have been through have lead you to this decisive moment. If you don’t want all that effort to be wasted in vain, you need to take care that your dissertation provides academic and scientific value. Moreover, you should keep in mind that your name will be associated with this crown achievement of your academic work, so you want it to be at least worthy.
Just as with any other undertaking, when you write your dissertation, it is important to have an accurate plan of things to do. Since writing the dissertation is most often a one-time undertaking, people who need to do it are most often first timers. They often get confused as to where to begin, what to do next, etc. While many schools do provide guidelines and recommendations in this regard, they are often rather complicated and vague. This is why we have decided to sum up the most relevant recommendations in a comprehensive step-by-step guide.
As you may know, before moving on to the actual dissertation, you need to convince the committee members that the questions that you would like to tackle in your dissertation are interesting and that your future work is going to be valuable. This is what a dissertation proposal is for.
While the exact requirements of a dissertation proposal may vary from school to school, the main thing for a proposal to be convincing is the clarity. When preparing a dissertation proposal, be recommended to try your best to avoid any vagueness or dubiousness, but instead be as exact and easy to follow as possible. A good dissertation proposal should contain clear answers to the following questions:
Proper answers to these questions will ensure a positive decision from the responsible committee. When preparing a dissertation proposal, make sure to have a good brainstorm and choose the topic that will be unique and valuable on the one hand and reasonable on the other. Take care that your proposal does not lead you into a dead end of overwhelming questions that are too complex to be tackled in just one dissertation. Remember that you are welcome to consult with your mentor about such details.
The structure of a dissertation proposal is usually the following:
This stage is decisive in ensuring the effective pace of your work. Dissertation writers are often tempted to pick too many sources that seem relevant and end up wasting their time reading and analyzing resources that turn out to be secondary, putting it mildly. You want to avoid wasting your time, so here are a few tips for effective research:
- Set up a timeline. It may seem obvious that the more resources you are familiar with, the better you can analyze the subject of your dissertation. However, it is often impossible to grasp all the seemingly relevant material. Therefore, the best way to go is to allocate a fixed number of days on your research and stick to this plan.
- Look in the right places. In our age, the Internet is the most popular place for looking for sources. Sadly, though, the information there is not always reliable.Wikipedia, for example, – as popular as it is – is normally not considered as a reliable source of information when it comes to dissertation writing. It is possible, however, to look up some really interesting and valuable authors and publications there, once you scroll down to the references section.
Also, make sure to check and double-check your online resources. There are special tools for that, such as Google Scholar.
We should not forget about offline resources. It would be wise not to discard libraries since librarians are often quite helpful at looking up relevant literature.
- Organize your notes. As obvious as it is, people often get carried away when reading. We come up with interesting ideas and conclusions, and then it gets hard to remember them when we are done reading. In order to avoid such misfortunes, be advised to always take notes on the go. There are numerous online resources and software for that.
Once you have completed the previous steps, it is high time to summarize your efforts into the actual written piece. Though you have already accomplished a significant amount of work by now, you must realize that there is a great deal yet to be done.
A dissertation is no small piece of writing, and a student may often get overwhelmed. The very question – how to begin to write my dissertation? – is often confusing. Once again, having an exact plan will facilitate the process a lot. Here is how it goes:
1) Draw an outline. At this point, it is a great idea to return to your dissertation proposal and organize the notes that you having been taking during your research stage in accordance with the plan from your proposal. It may be necessary to fix the plan, should your research lead you to some unexpected conclusions.
2) Organize a plan. It is recommended to bring all that you have gathered in the following order:
3) Set up a timetable. This time, you plan the amounts of time that you will spend on writing the first drafts of each of the sections mentioned above of your dissertation. Once you have divided your overall plan into smaller goals, it will be easier and less stressful to achieve them.
4) Make your draft. Now that you have completed the steps above, you are ready to put together your first draft. Remember to stick to your set timetable.
Obviously, you cannot bring a draft to the committee. The text of your dissertation will always need some polishing. Students are often tempted to rewrite or paraphrase some segments on the go before the first draft is finished. This is not such a good idea.
As a matter of fact, you will be able to see the possible flaws or things to improve better, if you set your first draft aside for a few days after it is ready.
After a few days, you can edit your draft. Remember that editing, as opposed to proofreading, deals with the essence of your dissertation, so it should be done first.
Once you are positive that your dissertation conveys exactly what you intend, you are welcome to move on to proofreading it. Proofreading, as opposed to editing, deals with the formal issues, such as spelling, grammar, format, etc. Not all students are or should be experts in grammar, so it is recommended to use a proofreading service.
It is always good to have a second opinion. So, be encouraged to least some of your friends or colleagues to read the dissertation and make some suggestions. Remember that your dissertation is your intellectual property, so this person needs to be trustworthy. It is also a good idea to get an opinion from your mentor since this person clearly has an idea of what a good dissertation should look like.
We have made a humble attempt to outline some guidelines to facilitate your dissertation writing process. Still, it is evident that such an undertaking can be confusing and stressful to the point where it becomes next to impossible for some students. The problems that the students most often encounter when they need to write a dissertation can be summarized to the following:
- Other affairs. A student is only human, so (s)he may often have other affairs to take care of, other than academic ones. We need to scrape a living, we have families to take care of, and nobody is safe from various force majeure situations.
- Procrastination. This issue is more common than we like to think. When faced a big task with relatively much time to complete it, we are very tempted to delay beginning it. Eventually, it leads to excessive stress, which makes it even worse.
- Lack of skill. Not every student can possess enough research and writing skills to complete the dissertation. It is wrong to assume that mere expertise in the subject will always be enough to come up with a proper piece of work.
In such cases, you may want to seek some dissertation writing help. It can be recommended to consider professional dissertation help services. Custom dissertation writing may seem ethically ambiguous, but there are situations when such an option needs to be at least considered. As mentioned before, your whole time as a student has been leading you to this point in your life. So, you cannot let any circumstances stand in your way. If necessary, it can and must be employed.
Moreover, if you address a dissertation writing service, you can be sure that it will be done by an expert writer, and the dissertation will be on time and extremely well-written. Dissertation writing services can easily be found online. The problem is not uncommon, so the market is quite saturated, so it should not pose any difficulties to find the best dissertation writing service by comparing the customer testimonials.