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A Definitive Guide On Dissertation Writing For Students: Tips To Structure A Dissertation

A dissertation is quite an important, yet challenging task; something that students loathe! Since it is a major part of a Ph.D. or master’s program, a dissertation requires meticulous research and proper planning. Thus, students often feel anxious at the mere thought of writing a dissertation paper.

I’d been going to college for nine years, and before I completed my dissertation, I quit.

-Robert Weinberg

The entire process is tiring and enough to overwhelm anyone. But, it is an indispensable part of the educational journey for Ph.D. students

To ease your pain and efforts, we have decided to bring you a complete guide on dissertation writing. Besides, we’ll share the entire process & structure for flawless results in your dissertation tasks.

Let’s get started!

What Is A Dissertation? An Overview

A dissertation is a decisive & complex paper assigned to Ph.D. candidates pursuing a doctoral degree. It is pretty extensive and involves several chapters.

Besides, the dissertation is not your regular assignment or essay. Such academic write-ups are comparatively lengthy and discuss varying viewpoints.

It encompasses meticulous research and findings. Further, students must produce informative copies reflecting the topic’s fundamental idea.

In many universities, dissertations are also termed thesis. However, the purpose and idea of the task don’t change regardless of how it is denoted.

Therefore, dissertations are just the perfect way to assess a student’s research & analytical abilities. Further, it enables them to utilize the research tools properly.

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What’s The Ideal Length Of A Dissertation?

The dissertation projects are assigned at different academic levels. Thus, there’s no exact answer to how long a dissertation is. The word count duffers in each case.

Here’s an idea about the total length of a dissertation paper:

  • Undergraduate level: 10,000 to 12,000 words
  • Master’s level: 15,000 to 25,000 words
  • Ph.D. level: Up to 50,000 words

But, what factors decide the word count while writing a dissertation?

Here are the three major components:

  • The total time required to complete the project is a major factor. Thus, you must always have a proper schedule to finish the task on time.
  • Assess the time needed to conduct the necessary research on your chosen topic. Sometimes it may take a whole year or even longer. Therefore, this is a critical point to consider.
  • Another aspect that affects the project timeline is the coordination with the assigner. After all, they provide the instructions you must follow while preparing the document.

How To Write A Dissertation?: Step-By-Step Process

Learn to write perfect dissertations effectively with this elaborated strategy.

Step #1: Pick An Interesting Topic Carefully

This phase requires a lot of brainstorming to come up with fresh & engaging topics. A subject that appropriately reflects your career aspirations would be a good choice.

Don’t hesitate to discuss your ideas with classmates, professors, mentors, or a tutor. You may also consult with certified Ph.D. writers for professional assistance.

Your topic must fulfill the following features:

  • Original
  • Importance
  • Clarity

Do not pick a topic that’s too complex for you or offers limited scope for research. Moreover, the question you choose must result in a deducible hypothesis that you can prove through solid arguments.

Step #2: A Powerful & Well-Thought Dissertation Proposal

Remember, the committee members will review your dissertation proposal. Thus, it has to be strong enough to persuade them.

The format should be simple, easy & clean.

Here’s the ideal format that one must stick to unless directed by the instructor otherwise:

  • The title of your dissertation: Mention your main title, professor’s name, and the date.
  • Introduction: Write briefly about the problem you’ll discuss further in the document.
  • Aim & Objectives: Specify at least three key objectives. Do not extend this part as it may seem like you aren’t focused enough on the plan. Thus, the best way is to narrow down this section.
  • Acknowledgment: Pay your gratitude to the people who assisted you in writing the dissertation.
  • Literature: Does your assigner expect you to enlist some particular references? This is where you mention them.

Besides, also specify all the sources you used to conduct the research. Further, a critical evaluation of all your credible sources is highly required.

  • Research: Next, elaborate on the theme of your research question. A clear outline of the area of research is necessary for this section.
  • Methodology: In this chapter, you must define how you conducted the research. It will enable the assigner to assess the validity of the data.

The following points should be covered in this section:

  1. Method of data collection (surveys, interviews)
  2. The research type & approach (experimental, qualitative, quantitative)
  3. When, where, and how was the research carried out? Who accompanied you in the process?
  4. What tools, software & materials did you use?
  5. What challenges did you face during the research process? How did you overcome them?
  6. Assess & justify your methods.
  • Potential Outcomes: An elaborated section on the results you gained after the research. You can divide the entire section into sub-categories, including sub-questions, themes, or hypotheses.
  • Total Time: A proper schedule would help highlight the procedure or strategy that you followed while writing the dissertation. It also specifies the timeframe you required to complete the task.
  • References: Include a list of all the sources you used to collect the data. Cite the sources correctly, as per the format you have chosen, such as MLA, APA, etc. Make sure the citation style is consistent.

Step #3: Conduct Effective Research On The Chosen Topic

You need to indulge in exhaustive research work for the project’s overall development. Besides, make sure the paper is well-organized.

However, it is vital to ascertain that the information is gathered from reputable & reliable sources.

Some of the popular & useful research methodologies that you can employ are:

  • Surveys
  • Historical research
  • Peer-viewed essays
  • Case studies
  • Interviews, etc.

Step #4: Draft Your Dissertation

It’s time to write your dissertation. Hence, get ready to put in all your efforts for assured high-quality results.

The dissertation has to be appropriately structured. Thus, we recommend preparing a rough draft first. The information should be separated into different chapters.

Include an informative & engaging introduction in the first chapter, along with the importance of the topic. Further, don’t forget to add the objectives & goals of conducting the research.

Next, you need to provide a detailed literature review and a thorough discussion based on the research you’ve performed. Don’t forget to include essential data such as facts, findings, and reference citations.

Next, discuss your research method with a proper justification. Further, the last chapter should conclude the information. In this part, you must present an outline of the research and how you arrived at the solutions to the questions.

Step #5: Proofread & Edit The Dissertation

This is the most crucial step of the exhausting dissertation writing process. But, many students simply skip it, which causes them to lose a massive chunk of their marks despite diligent efforts.

Proofreading and editing a dissertation is time-consuming. Therefore, make sure to fit this part into your schedule for successful results. This reflects your commitment to the work.

Assess the first draft meticulously for mistakes related to grammar, sentence structuring, outline, sequence, punctuation, etc. Moreover, it’s essential to follow the format accurately.

In this phase, you should also delete or add some parts to the dissertation. Further, the arguments should be logical and well-written.

Do the explanation and research information seem valid? Your paper should be easy-to-understand and clear. There are many free tools & software to check for plagiarism & grammatical errors in the write-up. Utilize them to enjoy flawless outcomes.

Step #6: Reference Citation

The best way to avoid accusations of plagiarism is by referencing & citation the sources. It helps you maintain academic integrity. The dissertation instantly becomes more credible and rich in quality.

Remember we told you about picking only authentic & reliable sources? Enlist them correctly according to the academic format you’ve opted for.

It will help you score extra.

Step #7: Take Feedback From Your Family & Friends

Dissertations play a significant role while acquiring a doctoral degree. Thus, they have to be of top-notch quality.

We highly recommend a genuine attempt to get insightful feedback from your classmates or family members. It’ll help you identify the loopholes in the dissertation. Make the necessary improvements for spotless and high-quality outcomes. The person should be reliable since it is confidential paper.

You may also hire a professional dissertation writer to fix the possible issues in the write-up. The idea is to produce a high-quality, perfectly formatted copy that enhances your scorecard.

8 Excellent Tips For Dissertation Writing [Submit Impressive Dissertations On-Time]

Tip #1: Start Early

Students procrastinate their dissertation forever, for it’s a strenuous job. Sometimes, they are simply neglectful their academic tasks and overestimate themselves.

We suggest not to wait too long while working on a dissertation topic. Writing a dissertation is a cumbersome & time-taking process. Hence, start the research at the earliest.

In fact, divide the entire task into chunks and tackle them one by one. It’ll help you complete your dissertation on time and with high accuracy.

Tip #2: Prepare Your Notes

To save yourself from all the trouble, make sure you take proper notes while researching the topic. Make a list of all the valuable sources to save your time.

This way, you can quickly access the information while writing the paper. Besides, include this data in the referencing & citation section to avoid plagiarism issues.

Tip #3: Work With An Action Plan & Schedule:

Create a plan and adhere to it. A routine & well-designed schedule will help you complete the dissertation faster & alleviate your concerns about time management.

Dedicate a certain timeframe to each chapter and different parts of the dissertation writing process. Besides, invest a good amount of time in proofreading & modifications.

Tip #4: Study In Group: 

Dissertation writing would seem easier with a group of friends working on similar goals. This will eliminate half of the dissertation writing issues as you can discuss them with others.

Moreover, it allows you to learn something insightful & exchange knowledge. It allows you to exchange information while enhancing the writing & communication abilities. This would add to your experience and inspire you to do better.

Tip #5: Don’t Stay Stuck

There may come a time when you could feel stuck while working on a specific section in your dissertation. If you face such a situation, move ahead rather than struggle with the point.

But, that doesn’t mean skipping the previous section altogether. You can come back to the section with fresh perspective and much useful data. Or discuss that part with a qualified expert to explore it in-depth.

Tip #6: The First Draft Isn’t The Final Copy

Do not panic about ruining the first draft when you attempt to write the dissertation. The draft is a temporary copy and offers scores for betterment.

Therefore, don’t be afraid to re-write any section if required. This is an essential step to achieving perfection in the write-up.

Tip #7: Don’t Get Stuck On The Introduction

While the introduction is a significant part of a dissertation and comes at the beginning, you don’t have to write it. There’s no hard & fast rule while working on a dissertation.

The dissertation help specialists recommend drafting the main body first. The chapters are extensive and require proper focus, dedication, and time. Thus, work on the chapters instead of wasting your time on the introduction.

You can assess the introduction later when you have a clear understanding on the topic.

Tip #8: Deadlines Are Important

We cannot emphasize enough how critical deadlines are. If you miss a deadline, you will lose half of the scores for being late irrespective of how good your dissertation is.

Therefore, plan the entire process so that you can finish the task before the official deadline.

This strategy will help you boost your productivity and promises better results.

Bottom Line

Writing a dissertation demands a lot of hard work, dedication, focus & excellent research skills. A dissertation is an important academic task for Ph.D. students. Hence, it’s crucial to devise a proper plan and take one step at a time.

Remember, it may take you an entire year to complete the dissertation. Thus, notes are highly useful elements to keep track of all the sources you used for research & data collection.

If you wish to write flawless dissertations, then adhere to the structure we shared in this post. Besides, the tips & tricks will help you boost your skills and ensure timely task completion.

We hope you found this post insightful!

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