How to write and structure a dissertation? (Part 2)
While choosing a topic for your dissertation, explore the subject areas of your interest and consider the requirements of the institute. Make a list of valid information sources and frame a research problem and title for your dissertation. Construct a timeline depending on whether it is an experimental research or field research. After choosing a topic, write a clear and concise problem statement; this will help you identify the aim and objectives of your project.
What are the steps involved in writing a dissertation?
- Write a proposal: A proposal works as a roadmap and provides the necessary guidance to the authors on how to proceed further. Create an outline and give your dissertation a structure so that the reviewers can assess your work. A proposal contains various elements based on which you can communicate your vision and ideas to the review committee. The basic components of a dissertation proposal are as follows:
Title: Focus on the main topic of your research and the methodology used.
Objectives: Explain why you picked a topic of research and what you expect to achieve.
Literature review: Add a reference for the published papers in your subject area.
Research question: Describe the main ideas of your research and frame a question.
Methodology: Mention the sources, methods, and tools used for data analysis.
Outcome: Explain what you expect to find at the end of your research.
References: Add a list of the sources and references used for data collection and analysis.
- Comprehensive research: An effective research is the right way to start a dissertation without facing any limitations or restrictions. Tips for conducting research:
Timeline: Create a timeline to manage all your tasks related to writing the dissertation. Note the time required to finish each section, which will help you meet the university’s deadline. Make separate categories for each topic and divide your tasks accordingly.
Source: Create a list of sources you have chosen to study the topic. Read the journals, research papers, and thesis written in your subject area. You can also add the names of open access journals to your list.
Organization: Build a strategy to organize each section.
Write: Create an outline for the dissertation and introduce your topic to the readers and convey to them how it will benefit the community. Note the methodology and discuss the research findings and outcomes. You can also provide citations and references.
- Editing and proofreading: Review the content and check it for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Editing your dissertation will make your research more impactful and effective. Follow the formatting guidelines provided by your professor or the university. Remove redundant words and simplify the sentences and include headings for each section and sub-section.
- Take feedback: Ask your friends and colleagues to review your dissertation and provide constructive feedback. This will help you identify areas that need to be re-written or require major re-editing.
Types of dissertation: The type of dissertation you are writing, to a great extent, depends on the subject area. There are basically three types of dissertations written using a combination of a practical and theoretical approaches.
Empirical dissertation: An empirical dissertation is written to study a phenomenon. In this case, quantitative and qualitative data are collected through surveys, questionnaires, interviews, or any other data analytical tool.
Non-empirical dissertation: Focus on the key theory of your research. Invest your time doing research in the library and prepare an abstract and use it as a base for your research.
Narrative dissertation: Describe the various aspects of research that you have come across while conducting an experiment. If your research involves some important laboratory work or field trips, then mention the specifications of research in the form of a dissertation.