Additionally, Alexandra recommends that you work with your supervisor to agree a clear focus or research question, benefitting from their understanding of the research area, appropriate methods, and what might be achievable within your time frame. Once you've summarised your findings, think about how they link back to your justification of why this is an important question or topic. Christie Pritchard, learning developer at Plymouth University, recommends that you familiarise yourself with your faculty's ethics protocols, module handbooks and referencing style guides to prevent any silly, costly mistakes.
Before you begin to plan, make sure you understand what's expected of you. You should endeavour to find out:. Alexandra advises students to ask questions of other dissertations or academic writing in their chosen discipline, including:. Finally, Alexandra points out that you can consider developing a shared understanding of what a dissertation is, through discussion with your supervisor.
Christie suggests that once you've settled on your topic, you're then ready to write a dissertation proposal. By demonstrating how your research area is relevant, your introduction, literature review and methodology will become easier to tackle.
Sticking closely to a plan will help you remain focused without getting too overambitious with your research, which increases your chances of developing a strong and coherent argument. Knowing where your ideas are headed will ensure that you remain on track and only relevant points are made.
If the direction does shift somewhat, there's no problem with adjusting your plan - but your title, headings and content will have to be revised accordingly. Talking through your revised dissertation plan or structure with your supervisor can help you stay focused on the research, and determine if it's logical. As you consider what needs to be achieved by the submission deadline, Christie recommends that you factor in time for:.
This careful approach can be rewarded by the end result, suggests Alexandra, who also recommends Gantt charts as a useful tool for planning the research and writing process for some writers. When you are ready to begin writing, aim for a suitable target, for example 1, words each week, as this can be both motivating and productive. Start writing straight away, and use the writing process as a tool to help you better understand the topic.
Check that you've addressed everything you want to cover once a section is complete. Each should serve its own particular function, linking well with the rest of the content. Editing can be the beginning, not the endpoint of your writing,' says Alexandra.
You should frequently back up, make research notes and maintain a comprehensive list of your sources. Alexandra's colleague, Marta Ulanicka, also a learning development adviser at Leicester, stresses the importance of maintaining a questioning and critical mindset throughout the dissertation process - both in relation to your own work and findings, as well as those of others.
You will also need to explain your reasoning to the reader. An assessor cannot give you the credit for forming a strong argument unless you provide evidence of how you reached a particular conclusion. As well as ensuring your bibliography contains plenty of references, make sure you've paid attention to the correct spelling of names and theories. A thorough editing process is vital to ensuring that you produce a well-structured, coherent and polished piece of work.
Leave yourself sufficient time to engage with your writing at a number of levels - from reassessing the logic of the whole piece, to proofreading, to checking that you have paid attention to aspects such as the correct spelling of names and theories and the required referencing format. As well as ensuring your main argument is supported by relevant citations, make it clear to the reader that you are aware of the contributions of the most influential theories and research within your topic.
This is because not doing so might make a writer appear ill-informed. If you've used your time efficiently and adhered to a plan, even if things don't go exactly how you envisaged, there's no need to panic. Remember, you've chosen your dissertation topic after careful consideration, so ignore any irrational thoughts about possibly starting again from scratch.
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Luckily for me, my D-Day (dissertation hand-in day) has already been and gone. But I remember it well. The 10,word spiral-bound paper squatted on my desk in various forms of completion was my Allied forces; the history department in-tray was my Normandy.
In the sticky, sweltering heat of late summer, I wrote a little post called “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dissertation,” which translated my writing struggles into a therapeutic list of writing tips.
Dissertation writing is the most difficult challenge we observe in our academic career. Therefore writers need to be very hardworking and persistent at this stage. 5 Dissertation Tricks and Tips to Help You Graduate (at least) 6 months Sooner 1) Get in the driver’s seat. You are in charge of your dissertation, not your thesis supervisor. Don’t get me wrong.
The Dissertation: “Tips” Students in doctoral programs must demonstrate evidence of a high degree of scholarship, competence in scholarly exposition and ability to select, organize and apply knowledge through a dissertation. Tips for Surviving Your Dissertation: Dissertation Help July 14, by Dissertation Genius Leave a Comment As most doctoral students know firsthand, keeping up with your dissertation, let alone completing it, is a major challenge.