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How to Write a Dissertation: 5 Step By Step Guide

The importance of dissertation writing in the academic word is beyond compare. Writing a good thesis can take several months of research projects.

Since you have been given the task of drafting a dissertation, it is clear that you are almost completing a significant stage of your education.

The purpose of a dissertation is to show your competence and capacity to conduct research in your particular field and others innovatively and uniquely for it to be proven and scientifically respected.

Difference between a Dissertation and a Thesis

Before we go any further, it is essential to note that a dissertation and a thesis are not the same things. The two might have some comparisons, but they are not the same.

The main difference is when they are completed. A thesis is a project that specifies the end of a master’s program or degree while a dissertation occurs during a higher degree study.

It doesn’t matter whether you are dealing with an undergraduate or higher degree dissertation: the structure of the paper is very significant. Some vital elements of the dissertation paper include the title and the reference list.

Dissertation Writing Process

Phase 1: Write a dissertation proposal

This is the first step towards writing your dissertation paper. The proposal must be unique and set the stage for your research. It should make a perfect design for your final project.

The dissertation proposal must entail the research problem you want to study and in what manner you plan to accomplish the study. The following are some key aspects to consider when writing a dissertation proposal:

  1. Pick a topic, problem, and title
  2. What issues will you approach in your dissertation?
  3. What are the parts of your subject?
  4. Why is it essential to address the problem and get an answer?
  5. How do you want to look for answers?

To write a fascinating dissertation proposal, you must have a clear and straightforward structure. Dissertation proposals vary depending on the topic, methods, and the preferences of the supervisor. However, most of them share some elements like:

  1. The introduction
  2. Research question
  3. Literature review
  4. The research method
  5. Prospective research findings
  6. Schedule for completion
  7. Bibliography

Phase 2: Conduct a Research

The research phase aims to establish the overall development of the paper. When dealing with the research phase, you need to be efficient and well-organized, because examining inappropriate materials will be a complete waste of time. How will you go about conducting your dissertation research?

i. Create a Calendar for Your Research Phases

It is essential to find adequate resources to comprehend the phenomenon you are focusing on entirely, but at one point or another, you will need to take a break or stop. You need to reflect upon the time that you can afford to assign to the dissertation research. Create a calendar to follow.

ii. Search for Information in the Appropriate Places

An excellent place to start with your research is the internet. However, you probably have realized that not everything on the internet is correct.

Make sure that you use reliable resources to get information. You can consider Google Scholar to find trustworthy academic sources.

Additionally, you can turn to librarians for help. Go to the actual library and ask the librarian to give you some motivating publications that might be helpful to your subject.

iii. Manage Your Materials

It is vital to take notes: otherwise, you will end up tangled and won’t be able to find the exact argument that you intended to use on your topic.

Phase 3: Write Down Your Dissertation

The dissertation is a lengthy section of academic writing centered on innovative research and presented as a fraction of your undergraduate or postgraduate degree.

The dissertation structure is utterly reliant on the field. Still, it is usually separated into various sections, including the introduction and conclusion.

Standard dissertation outlines in social sciences and science include:

  1. The introduction to your topic
  2. A literature review that surveys the significant sources
  3. Methodology
  4. Results of your research
  5. Discussion of the results as well as their implications
  6. A conclusion

The first step of writing a dissertation is determining the structure you will use. Theses do not have a standard format given the diversity in discipline, site, subject, and method. For instance, papers in the field of humanities are usually structured like an extended essay.

1. Title page

This is the first chapter of your document and should contain the title of your dissertation, your identity, field, a center of learning, degree program, and the date of submission.

In some cases, you might include your student number, the supervisor’s number, and the university logo. The title page is usually used as the cover of the dissertation.

2. Introduction

The introduction chapter must include the background of the problem as well as a statement of the issue. The introduction makes the ground for the main body of the dissertation.

When writing the introduction, provide an idea of the themes and the methods you are using. Feel free to hint at the results and the conclusion, but you don’t have to spell them out in detail, be very brief.

This is the chapter where you will explain your basis for the choices you have made. Everything in your introduction should be clear and significant to your research. More so, it should be engaging. When writing the introduction, state the aims and objectives of your topic.

3. Literature Review

A dissertation literature review offers a critical valuation of the literature or the source you collected and read about your subject area.

 It also recognizes the gap in that source that you will try to address through your research. Many people or rather students misinterpret the meaning of a literature review and its contents.

Writing this chapter entails finding relevant literature publications, scrutinize them critically, and clearly explaining what you saw and draw the relations between them. A literature review can be simply described as the analysis and blend of published sources.

When writing the literature review section of a dissertation, you just don’t recap the published sources. Instead, develop a logically organized and argument that points to a perfect foundation or explanation of your research. By writing a literature review for your dissertation, you get the chance to:

  • Develop a theoretical outline and methodology for your research
  • Show your knowledge of the subject and the academic context
  • Place yourself in connection to other theorist and researchers
  • Demonstrate how your research fills a literature gap

4. The Dissertation Methodology

This section must appear after the literature review section in your dissertation and should flow naturally from it. Until now, you should have defined your research question and done a comprehensive review of what other researchers in the filed have to say about your subject.

Your dissertation methodology will explain how you will address your dissertation and why you decided to select the decision to approach it the way you have.

The methodology section of your dissertation needs to evidently show the connection between your research question, the literature review, and the means you will use to come up with your conclusion. Irrespective of the filed or the topic you are working on, the dissertation methodology section will include the following elements:

  1. A summary of your research question
  2. An explanation of your design or method
  3. A basis or rationale of your selected method
  4. An evaluation of your method choice, a statement, and its limitations

The outline of your methodology section will look similar irrespective of your discipline. Still, the details differ depending on the theme area you are researching.

5. Results

This is essentially the most crucial chapter of the dissertation writing because it displays your academic capacity. This is where you will restate the study question and explore the results you came across. Avoid findings that are irrelevant to your objective and the research question.

In some fields, the results chapter of the dissertation is strictly detached from the argument and combined as the results/discussion chapter in others. For instance, if you are using qualitative approaches like interviews, you are supposed to present the data together with the discussion and the analysis.

On the other hand, when using the quantitative approach, you should present the research results separately, even before discussing their meaning or interpreting them. It is always good to check with your supervisors and explore examples of dissertations to learn the best outline whenever you feel like you are not sure of which to use.

It can be useful to include visual presentations in the results section of the dissertation. Be careful about how you present your data: avoid including tables and figures that reiterate whatever you have already written.

The visual presentation should only help you deliver additional information or visualize the results in a manner that adds significance to your texts.

6. Discussion

This is also another significant section of your dissertation paper. The part will be about how you have addressed the research question and how you placed yourself in the vast field of research.

The outline of your discussion section will entirely depend on how you structured your results part. If you structured your results by subjects, then it would be best if you continued with the same in the discussions chapter.

The discussion chapter should clearly point out how you have addressed your study. Make the job easier for the reader by structuring the discussion that lays out every question clearly.

Concentrate on evaluating and explaining your findings. Show how it relates to your literature review and the research question, and making a brilliant argument in support of your general conclusion.

Below is a guide to writing the discussions section:

  1. Summarize your major findings
  2. Give you interpretations
  3. Discuss the implications
  4. Recognize the limitations
  5. Give your recommendations

Always discuss any unpredicted results and give an explanation as to why that occurred. Also, consider different accounts of your statistics and address every limitation that might affect your findings.

7. Conclusion

This is the final chapter of your dissertation: it should briefly answer the focal research question and give the reader a clear comprehension of the fundamental argument. Explain how your results will add to current literature, or, how it will make a difference in the academic community. The conclusion is where you wind-up your dissertation, give a reflection of anything you did, and exactly how you did it; include a recommendation for study or training.

8. Reference list

When referencing your work, always use the citation style recommended by your supervisor. Some common citation styles include the APA and the MLA. Make sure that you cite all the resources you used when doing your research and the writing stages.

Phase 4: Editing and Proofreading

Your dissertation is the outcome of many hours of reading, research, and writing. By now, you must have finished writing the content, conducted your research, or done relevant reading, presented your data logically and clearly, and have a remarkable argument based on these bases. The last thing you would want is for your reader to be confused with the many grammatical errors and other formatting mistakes in your dissertation.

The following are some tips to make sure that your dissertation is as excellent and perfect as possible:

  1. Ensure that you have enough time
  2. Make sure that there is a logical progression of the general structure
  3. Check your headers to make sure they are all styled in the same way
  4. Be consistent when using capitals and hyphenation
  5. Proofread to check for grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors
  6. When using acronyms, make sure you write them out in full at their first use and use abbreviations later
  7. Make sure that your dissertation is plagiarism-free. Plagiarizing someone else’s work is taken very seriously and can be a disciplinary crime.

Final Word

Writing a dissertation paper can be an enormous challenge for many students. Keep in mind that you are almost at the end of your education, so there is no turning back. Deal with the project systematically, and you will complete the most crucial paper in your entire educational journey.

If you are looking forward to having an excellent dissertation paper, don’t be afraid to ask for help from dissertation writing writers. Just place an order on our website and see the possibility of earning your degree, becoming a reality.

How to write a dissertation step by step

Phase 1: Write a dissertation proposal, which entail the research problem you want to study and in what manner you plan to accomplish the study
Phase 2: Conduct a Research to establish the overall development of the paper. Be efficient and well-organized, because examining inappropriate materials will be a complete waste of time. How will you go about conducting your dissertation research?
Phase 3: Write Down Your Dissertation by determining the structure you will use, like the title page, introduction, literature review, research methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, and references.

What are the 5 chapters of a dissertation?

Chapter I: Introduction, which must include the background of the problem and statement of the issue.
Chapter II: Literature Review offers a critical valuation of the literature or the source you collected and read about your subject area.
Chapter III: Research Methodology will explain how you will address your dissertation and why you decided to select the decision to approach it the way you have
Chapter IV: Research Results where you will restate the study question and explore the results you came across.
Chapter V: Discussion, Summary, Implications, and Conclusions should clearly point out how you have addressed your study. Make the job easier for the reader by structuring the discussion that lays out every question clearly.

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