Any dissertation is a longer version of a simple essay. Most often, students are entitled to write a dissertation as they are nearing the completion of their course or program. Professors often use the terms “thesis” and dissertation” as synonyms. One may mean another, and vice versa. As a result, by the moment you need to begin working on your dissertation, you will have enough experience writing academic essays. You will simply to add more text and graphics to make it work.
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It Is Time to Begin
Because dissertations are not the same as essays, you will need to spend some more time getting ready for your project. Gathering and systematizing research evidence will take most of your time. Besides, you will have to write a dissertation proposal. Make sure that you know the difference between dissertation types:
- Learning-based dissertations
- Research-based dissertations
When your dissertation is based on learning, you will have a research question that you will have to answer using high-quality research evidence. If that is the case, your project will have to incorporate the following sections:
As for the second dissertation type, it is based on original research. It means that you will need to conduct a study. However, you should choose any topic or subject that is interesting to you. It should be a field of your specialization. Once you know what you want to study and what type of study you want to conduct, you will have to write a research proposal. In your proposal, you will need to justify the importance of your study and highlight the major aspects of your project. Your proposal will have to be approved before you can proceed with the study itself.
No matter if you are writing a learning- or research-based dissertation, proper formatting and referencing will be the key factor of your success. You will have to be very thorough formatting and referencing each source that you decide to use in your dissertation. Of course, since you are experienced in academic writing, you already know how to format your paper and reference your sources. However, in dissertation writing, you will have to be much more careful and meticulous. In fact, dissertations require much more time and effort than even the most sophisticated essay.
Getting Closer to the Next Stage
Now that you have gathered all sources, you can start writing your dissertation. However, even before you write the very first word, you will have to draft an outline for your project. In other words, you need to make a plan. Without it, you will have difficulty arranging different parts of your dissertation logically. Besides, you will have to organize your dissertation properly and secure enough evidence to support each and every component.
Only when you have developed a plan, you can write a perfect, well-organized dissertation. Your plan should incorporate all requirements and components provided by your dissertation supervisor. Although most dissertations follow standardized requirements, you will still have to consider what your supervisor expects from you.
How to Structure Your Dissertation
Your introduction is one of the most important components of your dissertation. Here you will have to provide a background and focus on your work. You will also need to work on developing a strong thesis statement. Your thesis will also have to be linked to your methods. Make sure that all components of your dissertation are logically connected. Make sure that you follow the requirements provided by your professor word for word. Otherwise, you will fail to make a strong argument and defend it in front of your audience. Your introduction will have to be incorporated into the body of your work. It will have to be connected to all other components of your dissertation.
While working on your dissertation, you will pay most attention to the body of your project. Your dissertation will consist of several chapters. Each chapter will address a different aspect of your project. Most dissertations contain three or four chapters. However, the exact number depends on many things. Again, check with your supervisor how many chapters your dissertation must have.
Each chapter will contain several paragraphs. Each paragraph will need a topic sentence. Each topic sentence will be connected to the key aspect addressed in the chapter. All paragraphs will need to be logically related to each other.
Do not forget to support your claims with evidence. Such evidence must be credible and reliable. You cannot make bold claims or statements without supporting them. Otherwise, your dissertation will fail. Check twice when you use direct quotations. They must be properly formatted. Besides, it is better not to overload your dissertation with text borrowed from other sources. You must show that you understand the subject and can think critically. Try to paraphrase and incorporate as much original thought into your work as you can.
Your conclusion also deserves attention. Do not disregard its importance. You should have enough time to write a brilliant conclusion for your dissertation. Try to imagine what you will include in your conclusion as you are working on your body paragraphs. Try to think several steps in advance. Check if your conclusion includes the following:
- A brief and concise summary of the main findings;
- Implications for research and practice;
- Limitations and ways to address them.
You may also include some final thoughts regarding the importance of your dissertation subject. A self-reflection component is also valuable.
More Useful Tips
Before you submit your dissertation for grading, edit and proofread it thoroughly. Your dissertation should not contain any mistakes. Try to read each chapter aloud. Try to ask someone else to review your dissertation and provide their opinion. Also, make sure that you have enough time to complete your references list or your bibliography, whatever is needed for your project. It will make a large portion of your grade after you finish your dissertation.
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