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How To Plan A Full Dissertation

How to Plan a Full Dissertation

Writing a dissertation is a huge commitment and will take plenty of efforts and hard work to complete it successfully. The fact that your dissertation will take so long is all the more reason for you to plan this exercise meticulously and, more importantly, stick to the plan.

This article will give you a basic idea of how to plan a full dissertation. There are many steps to planning a full dissertation and some of them are given below:

Knowing the difference between a good dissertation and a mediocre dissertation

When you know the above difference, you can plan better and avoid the mistakes that otherwise could result in a bad dissertation.

Features of a good dissertation include the following:

  • It will contain a clear objective reflected in its well-articulated research question or thesis statement

  • It will be well-researched and well-planned

  • It will reflect the depth of knowledge and interpretative skills that the student has in the subject under discussion based on the reading materials

  • It will include discussions, analysis, and critical evaluation instead of a simple and straightforward descriptive essay

  • It will have accurate and consistent referencing

  • The teacher is left in no doubt that the student has learned a lot about the topic

Features of a mediocre dissertation include the following:

  • It will have an ambiguous or general objective

  • It is not well-planned and is not widely researched

  • It relies only on source materials and has nothing to say about the student's interpretative skills

  • It is more descriptive and less analytical or critical in approach

  • It has no referencing or has inaccurate referencing

  • It has an improper structure and could have some plagiarized content

  • It does not convince the teacher that the student has learned anything at all about the topic

Choosing your topic

Begin thinking quite early about what you want to write in your dissertation. Talk to your supervisor sooner than later and ask him or her about the scope of your dissertation. You must remember that a dissertation will not be on something as simple as "Computers in primary school."

It would be more specific and should ideally solve or at least find reasons for a present problem. So, your dissertation title could read like: "Impact of computers on the primary school students: are they being deprived of using their own imagination?" As you read up more, you will find yourself refining this title!

Planning and research

Work out a timetable; no excuses for last minute delays will be entertained; there are bound to be ample challenges along the way; you will find it difficult to get materials, books, and credible sources of information. You will have to take into consideration the delays that will take place because of not receiving replies and responses to your questionnaires and/or surveys.

Hardware problems such as printer, computers breaking down, loss of saved data and much more seemingly insurmountable problems will keep flying at you throughout your dissertation writing exercise! You must include all these problems into your planning schedule as no excuse will be entertained by your teachers.

Speak and consult with your teachers and make a list of reading materials making sure that the range is wide, up-to-date, and relevant. Read all the materials keeping in mind your research question; this way, you can avoid reading data that do not have any relation to your dissertation.

If your dissertation is going to be an empirical study, then ensure you have a wide target range so that you get back at least the minimum number of responses that you need to complete your dissertation. Remember people, companies, and organizations are swamped by these requests and many do not take the trouble to complete all the questionnaires received.

Dissertation Proposal

After you have planned your dissertation study and arrived at the specific topic for your research; after you have read loads of information and have more or less decided how your dissertation will look like, then write your dissertation proposal.

This is usually a 1000-word essay clearly spelling out what your research will contain, what methods you will use, which sources are you going to present, what possible outcome you expect to get and more. This proposal has to be submitted to your supervisor who will approve it if he or she is satisfied with the general direction your research is taking.

Once you get your proposal approved, then you can start planning on how to get the full dissertation ready.

Structure of your dissertation

It is most prudent to refer to your supervisor on the required structure to be followed. However, the following is the basic framework that most colleges will want in terms of the structure of a dissertation:

Title Page – this should contain the dissertation title, the student's name, the name of the course, the date, and the supervisor's name

Abstract – This should be a very brief (usually not more than 200-300 words) summary of the entire dissertation

Acknowledgments – As the name suggests, this segment should include the names of the people you want to thank for their assistance in completing your dissertation.

Table of contents – This should contain the names of the chapters (and sub-chapters, if any) along with page numbers

Table of figures – This will contain data tables (if your dissertation was an empirical study)

Introduction – Here, you should give a background of your work and the thesis statement or research question that your dissertation will hope to answer by the end.

The main body – This segment should contain the discussions, the critical analyses, the supporting evidence, answers to expected counter-arguments etc

Conclusion or findings – This should be the place where you tie everything up together and clearly and unequivocally answer your research question. If appropriate, you can also give suggestions and recommendations including any further study that could be possible.

Bibliography/Referencing – This segment should contain the list of all credible sources used in your dissertation. It should be formatted accurately and uniformly as per the format required by your college. The absence of referencing reflects very poorly on the dissertation and your grades will be negatively affected.

Content and Style

A dissertation paper should be written like an academic document giving a sense of intellectual achievement to the reader. Your descriptions have to be in detail. Avoid simple descriptions. Do not use personal language such as "I", "my," "our," "his," "her," etc. Avoid colloquialism though you need not use overly-formal vocabulary.

Punctuations, grammar, and spelling have to be perfect and for this proofreading and editing is an absolute must.

Final Notes

Writing a dissertation is the ultimate test in college and if you pass this with flying colors, your confidence will get a huge boost and nothing like confidence to improve your chances of landing a good job. After all, one of the primary objectives of all college students is landing a great and well-paying job.

We, at Prescott Papers, understand and empathize with your sense of anxiety and panic when it comes to writing your dissertation. Our qualified and experienced experts will happily help and guide you through this difficult process.

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