Dissertation Paper

How to Handle Dissertation Paper

A dissertation is a very important piece of writing that requires succinct preparation and downright keenness even for the smallest of the mistakes. When faced with this type of an assignment, odds are that you are about to conclude an important stage of your academic journey – in an ideal case, a PhD. This is because a dissertation is usually done as a writing to present the end results of an independent research work that is of value to the scientific or academic field either in undergraduate, masters, or PhD level. Despite the difficulty and the pressure that most student undergo when writing their own dissertation paper, this post will help you realize how simple the project is. This post will provide you with a step-by-step guideline of writing a dissertation from top-most writers and university instructors – which will be impactful for any level of dissertation writing.

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What is a Dissertation?

The Cambridge English Dictionary suggests that a dissertation is ‘a long piece of writing on a particular subject, especially one that is done in order to receive a degree at college or university.’ A dissertation is a final year project for a certain course at different levels of study –making it the most important.

Dissertation vs. Essays

One of the most frequently asked questions concerning dissertation – especially with undergraduate students – is; how does it differ with other types of essays. Well, some differences are quite obvious. First, an essay is relatively short and with direct instructions of what to do from the instructor. On the other hand, a dissertation is longer as every aspect of the paper is chosen and conducted by the student independently. Moreover, a dissertation is supposed to showcase the student’s mastery of the subject from conducted an original research and advancing several arguments concerning the topic.

Dissertation vs. Thesis

There are several differences between dissertations and thesis, though in most cases, they are used to mean one and the same thing. The major difference lies in the level to which either of the projects is undertaken. A thesis is a project that marks the end of a Masters program while a dissertation is a project undertaken upon conclusion of a Doctorate program. What is more, a thesis gives the student an opportunity to research and prove knowledge of information gathered throughout a graduate program while a dissertation project gives the student a platform to not only showcase mastery of a topic but also to contribute to the knowledge and practices in the same field.

Guidelines to Writing a Dissertation Paper

Writing a dissertation is not an easy task, let alone an impeccable one that will grab the attention of any supervisor. Therefore, it is important that you take keen note on every aspect of this guideline in order to achieve the best out of your dissertation:

  • Choose a topic

  • Develop a great dissertation proposal

  • Conduct an effective research

  • Undertake a literature survey

  • Create an elaborate structure

  • Write an impeccable dissertation

  • Edit and finalize

  1. Choose a Topic

For a dissertation, you have to choose a topic that is interesting to you and that which you can exhaustively engage with. You need to ensure that the topic is meaningful and relevant as it also remains important to the academic community as well as social development. Since a dissertation paper provides a ground to which you can present new ideas and investigate a subject at a greater length, choosing a topic that interests you keeps you on track as it motivates you. Therefore, have a huge preference for what you will tackle as you consider whether it is important for you and for the rest of the world of academia.

  1. Develop a Great Dissertation Proposal

In layman’s language, a dissertation proposal is a formally written suggestion regarding your dissertation project that is presented for consideration and discussion, in order to persuade a committee that you will present interesting and valuable content in your actual dissertation. A proposal is relatively shorter but it is as important as the dissertation itself as it shows the determination and the enthusiasm that you have in undertaking the dissertation. The general structure of a proposal is as follows;

  • Title of Dissertation

  • Objective of study

  • Sources/literature

  • Research – main part of the proposal and therefore should be elaborate.

  • Methodology

  • Potential results

  • Timeframe for dissertation

  • Bibliography/works cited

  1. Conduct an Effective Research

This is an important part of the dissertation as you will gather information concerning your topic with the purpose to establish a general development of your paper. Since this part is going to greatly determine how your dissertation is going to turn out, you need to promptly plan for it wisely. The first process in an in-depth and effective research is to locate and find the right sources to gunner information. The internet is a good place to begin your humble research process as it will set you on motion. Look for peer-reviewed articles, books, case laws, and other publications online. Remember, Wikipedia is NOT a reliable online source as the data can be written by anyone. However, it is a good platform to find a wide range of information and you can also extract sources from their list of references. Moreover, you can conduct your research from your school library, especially when you seek help from librarians. Afterwards, take notes on every information you find important as you organize your thoughts to project one major idea. This will help you stay focused on what you want to achieve. If your paper is activity based or it needs you to conduct an experiment, ensure you follow every process keenly as you take notes in the process. Take note of every figures you find useful and document every table with relevant data as appropriate.

  1. Undertake a Literature Survey

If you have never done a literature review before, just acknowledge that it involves reviewing materials that have already been published in the same field you are pursuing. After undertaking an effective research, it is eminent to embark on a literature survey that will help you demonstrate the rationale for your research while also describing how it fits in the context you are searching. A literature review will also be effective in explicating what is lacking within your field and how your dissertation will help fill this gap in knowledge. As you were conducting research on your topic, you may have realized certain publications – either electronically or in hard copy – that are relevant to your work. If your research yielded little fruit, you may find helpful content from trusted advanced online sources including Google Scholar, your school online library, and other search engines (such as Google and Yahoo). You may find more substantiated details concerning literature review here.

  1. Create an Elaborate Structure

A dissertation paper is quite long (depending on the school, minimum number of pages ranges from 45-55) and it therefore require a concise and an elaborate structure that will help you sort out everything in advance. Despite having the dissertation proposal that will act as a preliminary outline, you’ll need to have a more detailed outline that will cover every aspect of your dissertation at full length. This will also help you to organize your thoughts, ideas, and research work into parts that you can explore more and elaborate more sufficiently. Basically, a dissertation outline/structure takes the following format;

  1. Title page

  2. Acknowledgements

  3. Abstract/Executive Summary

  4. Table of Contents

  5. List of Figures and Tables

  6. Glossary

  7. Introduction

  8. Literature Review

  9. Methodology

  10. Results

  11. Discussion

  12. Conclusion

  13. List of References

  14. Appendices

  1. Write an Impeccable Dissertation

With the relevant research and an elaborate outline, you can begin writing the dissertation. You need to know that the abstract, introduction, and conclusion are – for efficiency – written last in order for them to match and show consistency in your work. Ensure you invest quality time in every aspect you outlined and avoid any form of procrastination.

  1. Edit and Finalize

Once you are done with the first draft of your dissertation, you can now relax as you seek to edit and proofread your work. Wait for at least a few days before beginning the process of editing your work. While in the process, concentrate on the substance of your paper and ensure each section of the dissertation is satisfying, just like you intended in the first place. Lastly, after editing your work, you need to go through it one more time and ensure there are no syntax, style, orthographical, and grammatical mistakes. We recommend you seek a tutor or a friend to help you detect some of the mistakes that might have slipped your vision.


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