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Writing a Dissertation

This article is focused on the task of writing a dissertation. The purpose of the article is to help you construct this considerable piece of writing and provide you with some support to make sure you can successfully complete it. You may also consider getting help from the custom dissertation writing services. However, this article will give you some recommendations on how to write it yourself.

Write While Doing Your Research

Planning your working process is an important part not only of your dissertation but also of any other written assignment. Many people tend to postpone their writing until their research is completely done or until they sort everything out in their minds. Regardless of the reason, putting your writing off until later is not a good idea.

When you describe your research in detail and in a logically organized sequence of words, it will inevitably show where more thought is needed, and it may also give you new insights and ideas for further research.

Writing should be considered a part of your investigation, not a kind of obligatory task that is usually done when everything else is completed. You should treat the writing process as an integral part of your research.

How Should You Approach Your Writing?

If the writing process is still hard for you to start, we have good news. The process has already been started if you have written any of the following materials related to your research:

  • A literature review

  • A research proposal

  • A report of any study that you have conducted

  • A presentation for a conference

  • A learning journal where you note down the ideas that come to your mind

Each of these materials is aimed at communicating something about your work to yourself, your supervisors, or anyone who reads the information. When you start writing the actual text of your dissertation, these earlier materials will be used to create a longer and more comprehensive report.

Check Out All the Requirements

Before you start writing your dissertation you should check the precise requirements regarding:

  • The word limit, and which sections it includes

  • The chapters that should be included and the kinds of material each of them should contain

  • Which content is appropriate to include in the main text and which should be placed in the appendices

  • The marking system

The Structure

There are some general regulations that define the structure of dissertations in different subjects. You should check them before you start writing.

The common structure usually includes:

  • a title page;

  • an abstract;

  • acknowledgements;

  • introduction;

  • contents;

  • materials, methods, and literature review;

  • results;

  • discussion;

  • conclusions;

  • references;

  • appendices.

Title Page

You can inform your reader about the research in the title of your dissertation. Therefore, the title needs to be clear, descriptive, specific, and properly represent the research you have conducted. Whether there is a required format for a title page, you should necessarily stick to it.

Abstract

This part may be very short. However, you should approach it with great care. Essentially, your abstract should contain a concise summary of your research. You should view it as both a document on its own and a part of your dissertation. As a stand-alone document, the abstract should provide the details of why and how you did your research and what your results and implications are. You should necessarily check whether or not there is a word limit for the abstract to adhere to.

Presenting all the relevant material within a very restrictive word limit can be quite challenging. You can check how other authors manage to fulfill this task by seeking help from custom dissertation writing services.

Acknowledgements

Throughout your entire working process, you may have obtained different kinds of help from various individuals. Acknowledgments are a part of your dissertation where you can mention the people who have been especially helpful. You may read the respective sections in other dissertations in your field to see how such assistance is usually mentioned.   

Contents and Table Lists

The contents pages demonstrate the structure of your dissertation. Once you create the contents, you will see whether the size of each section is appropriate or you have to unite them or create any subsections.

Introduction

The introduction is usually the first piece of your text that a reader comes to. However, sometimes it is better to postpone its preparation to last so that you are well aware of what you are introducing. The basic roles of the introduction are, as follows:

  • To broaden the information summarized in the abstract

  • To present the brief overview of the dissertation

The Literature Review or the Context of Your Study

The purpose of this chapter is to show that you have a deep understanding of the field of your research and that you have a clear picture of what place your research occupies among other works in this field. You are supposed to cover the following points:

  • Describe the existing research in your field

  • Consider whether you need to refer to any other fields that are closely related to yours

  • Identify a gap in the research where you claim that the further research is necessary

  • Explain how you plan fills that particular research gap

Highlighting these points will help you provide a logical link to the questions or problems that you will be addressing in your research.

Apart from the research context, there can be other relevant contexts you may present, including theoretical, political, methodological, and practice contexts.

Chapters Describing Methods, Sources, and Material

In this section, you should give a straightforward description of how you have conducted your research. If you have used any specific equipment or materials, you will have to describe them precisely and clearly so that another researcher has enough details to replicate your study.

Results

The way you should present your results highly depends on the field of your research. For example, in a scientific dissertation, the results and discussion of the results are usually separated. At the same time, a social science dissertation may combine the results and their discussion in one chapter.

Before you choose a specific style of your presentation, you should consider:

  • How do you want to begin your presentation: with a general overview of the results or their detailed description?

  • In which order would you like to present the detailed results?

  • How will you balance the description of your results considering your word limit?

Discussion

This is where you should explain which place your research occupies in the defined area. Analyze your research in relation to a wider context and assess the usefulness of your findings. You should also explain what your research has contributed to this specific field. Finally, you should highlight the implications of your results for theory, practice, and further research.

Conclusions

This chapter should not just summarize your research. It is supposed to refer to the main points of your dissertation and explain what they mean in terms of the entire field.

References

This section has to be properly structured and organized according to the required referencing style. You should make sure you have included all the sources cited in your text. It is important to double-check the reference list once you have finished your dissertation since you may add or lose the references after numerous revisions.

Appendices

Appendices usually contain the information that a reader may want to see, but it would take up too much space and hinder the logical flow if placed in the main text. However, you should make sure to provide the necessary references to the appendices within the main text.

Creating a Detailed Structure

The dissertation that is well-structured, logical, and coherent, is usually easy to follow and interesting to read. It means that your examiners will probably be able to easily understand your argument without trying to make any links themselves.

The way to make a consistent argument throughout an entire dissertation is to create a plan or map of what you want to say. You should always keep in mind the research question or topic and make it go like a thread throughout your dissertation. It will link all the elements of your study and give coherence to its reporting.

Conducting the research and writing a comprehensive report are two different things, whereas the latter may be harder than it seems. You may have profound knowledge in your field but can’t figure out how to formulate it in the most impressive manner. In such situations, it is usually helpful to divide the task into smaller and more easily accomplished elements.

  1. You can start by making a thorough and unstructured list of all the ideas and elements that you need to include in your research. These elements may include chapter headings, ideas of graphical representation, your notes, and ideas for further research.

  2. Then, you should write down the main chapter headings in the logical order.

  3. Under each heading, you should list the important subheadings. When doing it, you may decide that some chapters need to be split into separate segments, which will be united at the end of the chapter. In this case, each of the segments may have its own subheading.

  4. Under each subheading, you should state the main content you are planning to include. Make sure that the entire content is presented logically and consistently.

  5. Whenever you notice any ideas, quotes, references, and clarifications that are relevant to your research, you may write them down as they occur, making sure they are not forgotten.

  6. You should keep a proper balance between and within the chapters. The entire structure should facilitate the coherent description of the research you have conducted.

  7. At this stage, you may also ask others to comment on your work before proceeding to add other details.

Writing Down the Details

While keeping the word limit in mind, at this stage you can concentrate on getting everything noted down in a document. This writing can be edited later, but you will already have a solid start.

Writing as You are Progressing Your Research

As it was mentioned above, it is highly recommended to start writing when your research is still in progress. In some cases, one or more of your chapters may be required for assessment before you finish your research. It will be extremely helpful in your working process. However, you should be prepared to hear critical remarks and revise your work. Just remember that critical feedback is not a failure, but rather your way to perfection.

Revising the Structure

Once you have finished your draft dissertation, it is easier to define where you can improve it. To ensure your text is easy to read, you can add clear signposting at the beginning of sections and provide links between chapters to highlight their relation to each other. Logical order and consistency are equally vital for the entire chapters and for small paragraphs, so you should always pay attention to it.

It is also useful to apply a marking guide to your dissertation in order to see whether you can improve any parts or aspects.

When reading your research, you should always remember the word limit. Therefore, you will understand whether you need to increase or reduce the total number of words. As you are editing your dissertation, you may rearrange your points, cutting off the unnecessary material and adding the information you consider more important.

Thus, by numerous revisions, you will gradually move to the perfectly written text. If you still need help on your way, you may contact the custom dissertation writing services. These services can offer you various examples of the successful dissertations, give you useful recommendations, and provide the overall help with your work quickly and professionally.


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