What is a dissertation? Dissertation writing help & tips

A dissertation is considered as an important document, which is sometimes recognized as a ‘thesis’. It is generally prepared at the end of a course of study. It is considered as a text after completion of graduation, masters or PhD. It can be researched completely, partly or partly taught.

How do I find a suitable dissertation topic?

Before searching for the dissertation topic it is important to determine the level of interest in the topic in order to sustain the research. The major fact that will help the researcher or writer in making the topic and dissertation attractive is originality. It is the underlying motivation for the writer in the selection of the topic. However, taking about originality does not mean coming up with the innovative idea. Most of the research papers are dependent on originality of approach rather than entirely original topic or subject. There are many subjects such as Arts wherein it is very difficult to find out the different topic. In such a situation, the best way is to search out a forte of uniqueness through research.

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The importance of research in the dissertation

Throwing light on the significance of research in the dissertation, it is just considered as a backbone of the dissertation. Its importance cannot be overestimated. When someone is thinking in regards with its proposed dissertation, the very first thing that strikes is to read widely and deeply about the selected topic from the beginning. In other words, we can say that first the basic texts are being read than he or she will move on to the study that has been undertaken recently on the subject to make sure that anybody else has pre-empted his or her idea. It is quite significant to search first at the basic texts about the subject. Each and every topic has these and he or she will be well-known with them from the earlier work that he or she have done on the topic. All these texts are particularly useful, as one can make use of the bibliographies of these texts in order to expand his or her research study. This thing is acceptable because if we gaze carefully than we will determine that countless of the texts are common to all of them.

Thus, the heart of knowledge is informing them all and it will remain the same. Being a writer, the researcher will add some other thoughts and knowledge into this core and thus, it can be said that it is not wrong to study such materials and resources. Furthermore, the researcher is also required to keep a record of all the materials being searched in a proper format as per their University or College. Through this, the researcher will be able to become aware about the methods of citation and this in turn will help in dissertation. In addition to this, by keeping a record of the material will also help in making the bibliography easier. When a person read various materials, they are just looking for the niche of their own research. Efforts should be made to read more critically than usually, as through this only one can look for spaces where various questions are required to be answered.

What is a dissertation proposal?

Speaking in regards with the dissertation proposal, it is nothing but a document, which is prepared in order to submit to the research committee of student’s academic institution so as to get the their dissertation research accepted. Thus, it can be said that the proposal should be brief but able to comprehend the committee plenty of information being required to create a base for their decision. The main structure of a dissertation proposal is as follows:

  • The very is the title page. This should be only the working title and it can be slightly customized later as long as the elementary research which was being accepted by the committee does not change.
  • The next is the contents page. It should be self explanatory; however consecutive page numbers should be there. Conceivably, from the introduction chapter Roman numerals in lower case should be used.
  • After the content page, the next section is of an abstract. This is considered as a brief summary of the content of the dissertation.
  • The next is the introduction chapter, which will provide introduction in regards with the dissertation topic. It will also give a clear thesis statement and indication about the research methods to be used.
  • Next comes, the summary of each of the chapters. This section is also self explanatory. However, the write needs to ensure the link between each of the chapters.
  • Then comes the conclusion part, which is nothing but the brief summary of all the major points being covered in the whole research study.
  • Finally, a bibliography section comes. With this section, it becomes clear that from where the texts are being taken. The writer at this stage need to be very comprehensive as various other sources are also required to be added as he or she move forward in the research.

The main aim of the dissertation proposal is to persuade the research committee that the particular study is required to be undertaken to add some body of knowledge to the subject or particular area.

Ways of preparing, writing and presenting the dissertation

Just the once, the proposal is being accepted by the committee of the academic institution, a supervisor is being appointed in order to oversee the work throughout its preparation until it is finished. The supervisor will render a supportive hand at each and every stage of the research and thus, the researcher is required to meet him or her on a regular basis. Furthermore, both the researcher and the supervisor need to submit the daily report to the faculty research committee so as to make them aware about the progress of work. The research should be the main informative of researcher's investigation process and he or she should gather evidence in order to use it in their dissertation.

The fundamental format of presenting a dissertation is just the same as research proposal; however it is the expansion of that. The format is as follows:

  • The title page should be definitive at this stage. The researcher is required to include the name as well as degree.
  • A contents page of the dissertation is self explanatory. It will be similar to that in the research proposal i.e. consecutive page numbers should be used but from the introduction Roman numerals should be used in lower case.
  • The abstract is considered as an important page as it includes the summary of what is being contained in the dissertation.
  • The next is the introduction chapter, which will provide introduction in respect of the dissertation topic with a clear thesis statement. It also indicates various research methods and methodology to be used in the study.
  • Next comes, the main body of the dissertation, which spread across numerous chapters as per the length of the overall dissertation. Each and every individual chapters of the main body reflects a different aspect of the dissertation topic. At the same time, all of these chapters never remain too far from the central argument. The researcher is also required to make sure that he or she should offer an adequate evidentiary support.
  • The conclusion chapter offers the synthesis of researcher’s thinking and provides an indication of future research to be undertaken. In other words, this section helps in summarizing the arguments.
  • The second last section is of bibliography. It is just the same of research proposal; however it is more comprehensive here. It includes all the detailed list of all online, journals, articles and various other materials and sources.
  • The last section includes Appendices. This section is always not required, but needed depending upon the nature of the research and their usability. If the researcher has used in the dissertation than it must be logically structured and presented in an adequate manner.

What happens after the completion of the dissertation?

As soon as the dissertation is completed, the students submit it to their respective committee. The research committee is nothing but a group of lecturers being appointed by the academic institution in order to inspect the progress and work of the researchers. The final dissertation is being examined and verified by the internal and external examiner, which is being appointed by the academic board.

After this, the students or the researcher is required to attend an oral examination, popularly being known as a ‘viva’. Here at this stage, the students are being asked to support their dissertation by their examiners. And finally, at this stage, students expect that they will be told that they are successful. As a matter of fact, the examiners can take number of decisions and some of them are as follows:

  • To honor the students absolute degree
  • To grant the degree with reconsideration that is required to be permitted before the degree is finally awarded to the students
  • To honor the students with minor degree
  • To award a candidate lesser degree the acceptance of revisions
  • To fail the students. However, this happens very rare because if the examiner is not satisfied with the content or research study, he or she ask the candidate to re-write or return it back to make certain alternations.

One thing it is very important for everyone to remember that a dissertation is essentially a sequence of extended thought and if the candidate’s research study is more real and well-organized than the success is on their feet.

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