Writing a dissertation is definitely the most difficult of all academic writing tasks. Not only is it the longest in terms of forms and word count, but it’s also the most complex. How so? Well, your dissertation paper should showcase not only your writing skills and your ability to perform research, but it should also represent an original piece of writing that makes a contribution to the academic and scientific community. In other words, your topic should be completely unique.
It is quite a challenge, especially if you are going after your PhD, as dissertations can reach up to 50,000 words at that level. However, when you break it down into smaller tasks, it will start to seem a lot less frightening. We will show you, so keep on reading to find out more.
Find a Unique and Valuable Topic
Apart from actual writing, this is a step where nearly all graduate students need dissertation writing help. Your research topic should be clear and specific. In addition to being clear, your topic should be researched within a particular context. For example, if you want to do research on how to optimize certain industrial processes, you also need to provide a specific industry or use case in order to make your topic unique and original. Even more importantly, your topic should create value.
Curiosity is necessary, but in this case, you also need to ask a question for a reason. Is it solving a particular problem? Is it a brand new method that can significantly change a specific process? If the answer is yes, then you have yourself an original topic.
Perform Extensive Research
This is yet another aspect in which dissertations are different from essays and other academic papers. The amount of research that needs to be done is a lot more extensive, which is why it might be a good idea to put a time limit on it. For most topics, there will be previously written papers and dissertations. Reading all of them would take up a lot of your time, so focus only on those which are relevant to your own research. The idea is to understand previous research, but also to understand that it’s limited, which is why you want to expand upon it.
As for where you should look, places like Google Scholar are always a good option, and while Wikipedia might not be a credible source, the list of references at the bottom of each article is. Keep in mind that not all publications and papers are online, so paying a visit to your campus library might also produce valuable research data.
Write the First Draft of Your Dissertation
You should begin by writing an outline for your dissertation. Every outline begins with an introduction, in which you will state your topic, and the reason why you are researching it. You should also discuss the methodology which you use to implement the results. This will differ depending on the type of dissertation you are writing. Then, you will need to share your findings by restating the research question and explaining the results which you have gathered. Writing the conclusion should provide a summary of your dissertation, as well as a short overview of the results.
Edit and Proofread Your Work
Once you have completed the first draft of your dissertation, most of the heavy lifting will be done. However, that is not the end of the dissertation completion process, because editing and proofreading are necessary steps regardless of the type of dissertation. Editing focuses on the essence of your paper, such as the accuracy of your research and data, as well as the logical connection between your arguments. Proofreading should help you eliminate all of the spelling, grammar, punctuation, and stylistic errors in your writing. It’s best if you can step away from your first draft for a few days, and go over everything with a fresh pair of eyes.
Get Someone Else to Look at It
By this, we mean someone that is qualified to examine your work. The easiest way to go about it would be to ask a colleague or a friend of yours that happens to be in the same discipline as you are. More importantly, you need to make sure this person is trustworthy, because you don’t want to share your work with someone that is going to pass it off as their own. Then, you should take your work to your mentor and ask them about their suggestions and opinions. All those instructions will help you reach the final version of your dissertation.
As you can see, writing a dissertation is quite a challenge, but it’s a small step compared to the entirety of your academic journey. We hope that this guide will help make it a bit easier. Good luck!