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According to the definition, a dissertation is “a substantial paper that is typically based on original research and that gives evidence of the candidate’s mastery both of her own subject and of scholarly method.” A good dissertation proposal is a firm foundation of a future dissertation. It is basically a plan that contains your research topic, literature, and materials you are going to use. In order to write a good dissertation proposal, follow these steps:
- Conduct a profound research before deciding on a topic. If you choose the topic that is not interesting to you, you will struggle writing this paper. So, pay attention to topics that you find motivating to research. Make sure there is something left to research – some issues are so over-researched that it leaves to doubt whether you will have something left to contribute. Treat the opportunity to choose the topic by yourself as a great plus of writing a dissertation.
- Identify the focus of research, i.e. some particular aspect you will concentrate on. Do not forget about the research question: it has to be concise clear and, at the same time, such that allows you to conduct a multi-point discussion of the issue.
- Now, you will have to explain what tools and materials you will use to answer this question. Properly chosen research methodology is a halfway to success.
- Finally, identify the sources, how and where you will look for them and how they will help you in answering your research question.
Considering the importance of properly written research proposal for dissertation it is essential to make sure there is enough time to do it. That is why the research proposal has to be submitted as early as possible so that your professor checked it and left comments. After the proposal is approved, you are ready to start an actual research.
Starting a Research
As a rule, a standard-sized dissertation is 30-40 pages, however, it can be bigger or smaller, depending on the requirements of your professor. Dissertations are written in accordance with a generally accepted structure and formatting rules. You should have these 5 main elements in your dissertation:
- Literature Review
- Research Methodology
Let’s address each of these separately.
Introduction. A good introduction decides whether the reader will be interested in reading your paper further. It does not mean you have to come up with catchy stories or anything like that. The dissertation is a serious academic work and everyone who will read it knows there will be no jokes. However, your task is to persuade the reader that your research topic is worthy of attention. You will doubtfully receive a good feedback on your paper if your introduction does not express certainty about the importance of the issue, which also does not show your interest in the conducted work.
Literature Review. If you have never written a literature review before, it might be something complicated to you but it is not, in fact. First of all, you need to cite the sources you will use in your paper. Make sure they are recent (published 5-7 years ago or later) and credible. Credible sources include publications from respected journals, newspapers, books, or peer-reviewed research papers of other writers. Below each source cited in accordance with the chosen citation style, write a short description of the source. It may include information about the author (mention the academic degree), paper’s findings, what parts of it you used in your paper, or how author’s ideas led you to your own thoughts on the matter.
Research Methodology. In this part, you need to share what you had to go through to make this paper happen. Was it an interview (or interviews with many people), a survey, or a publication research, or everything at once, write about that. Point out what were the obstacles to conducting a research using each method and identify limitations.
Findings. Present what you managed to find out about the issue or topic you researched. Do not underestimate your efforts, even though the results appeared to be not as bright as you expected. Probably, what you figured out will become the next step for other researchers in the field to achieve bigger results. Identify what is still missing and needs to be researched.
References. No serious academic work can survive without proper referencing. Even though it seems like a final step, which is not that important, students manage to receive much lower grades for their dissertations just because they did not get the referencing right. Simply follow the referencing rules of the citation style you use, and you won’t regret it.
The Importance of Dissertations
While it seems that in today’s world everything has been written and talked over, there are still so many things left without attention. No matter what is your major, any field of any science has many unanswered or not sufficiently researched questions. For example, if you study sociology, you will not be out of choice. Modern society is so complex that it is impossible to spend a day without hearing about conflicts and misunderstandings between people. With your dissertation, you can shed light on the particular issue, and attract general attention to it.
Writing a dissertation can also help you develop your research and writing skills. When working on such an extensive piece of writing as a dissertation, you learn to find useful information, synthesize, and analyze it. You then do your best to present it in a clear and orderly manner. Without even noticing it, you become truly knowledgeable about your chosen topic. Such kind of tasks teaches you to think deeper about the problem, which is why writing a dissertation is better than just a passive reading.
How to Write an A+ Dissertation
Very often, students get lost in thoughts when it comes to writing big papers. They have read a lot of information and do not know how to present it in the right order. That is why the paper may look messy. In order for you to keep the track of your ideas, follow these simple rules.
- Interesting topic. Choose the topic that many people you know, you and your professor in the first place, would find interesting.
- One piece of information at a time. You should have each paragraph begin with a sentence that kind of lines up what this sentence will talk about. Make sure you do not go off this topic before you start a new sentence. This rule is difficult to follow since there are dozens or even hundreds of paragraphs in an average-size dissertation. However, if you do so, your paper will be free of passages that carry no sense or are out of topic.
- Use the best sources you can find. The professor has to see that not only have you completed the research, you completed it well. Sources that kinda-sorta match to your paper’s topic does not count. Present only the ones with groundbreaking information that led you to interesting thoughts or solutions in your paper.
- A well-formatted paper is an aesthetic pleasure to your professor. They can identify formatting issues from the first glance, so take this into consideration.
- Submit on time. No matter how good your paper is, late delivery decreases its value by half, no kidding. So, make sure you have enough time to complete it.
Get Help with Dissertation Proposal
If you are not sure about the topic, where to find sources or about the process in general, you can always reach out for help. Writing services allow students to get excellent marks just by assisting them on their dissertation writing path. With professional help your dissertation is:
- Properly structured and organized. The presentation of ideas is in a logical and orderly manner, with headings, and subheadings.
- Plagiarism-free. Many students do not know much about plagiarism. They think if they paraphrase someone’s ideas instead of copy-pasting it, this is not plagiarism. However, inserting in-text citations where necessary is crucial to avoid indirect plagiarism in your paper.
- Proofread. Even the best proofreading tools cannot grant the paper is complete without grammar mistakes and typos. Academic writing professionals will help you paper shine with proper spelling, punctuation, grammar, and vocabulary.
- Strong argument. Answering a research question is not just answering but making a strong statement that is traced throughout the whole paper. A strong argument is what will make your paper worthy of attention.
There is no sense in writing a dissertation if there are no findings to present. If your topic is too difficult, or there is not too much information about it on the internet, think about changing it before you start writing. If you do not think about this from the very beginning, you may face the dead end. Remember that a good dissertation starts with a good dissertation proposal, which will set the direction of your ideas. Thus, do not procrastinate with submitting your research proposal or reaching out for help if you need any. The more time you have left for writing, the more well-thought out and rich your dissertation will be.
Will is the Executive Managing Editor at Feedster. Will and his team from Full Epic Lead Generation work with venture capital, marketing co-ops, and companies to attract and gain qualified leads.
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