Writing a dissertation or thesis is one of the most challenging assignments in college. You need to dedicate hours to researching your topic, you need to conduct experiments and analyze the results, and you need to present your thoughts coherently and in an impactful manner. Make no mistake about it: you will need lots of willpower to get this assignment done correctly and on time. Writing a dissertation may not be easy, but it doesn't have to be hard. Use these tips so you can write an effective dissertation, one that impresses your professors.
Step 1: Understand What A Dissertation (Thesis) IsWhile this may sound unbelievable, it’s true that many online students don’t do well writing dissertations because they don’t know exactly what these are. In simplest terms, a dissertation, or thesis, is a formal piece of academic research, one that includes the following four elements:
- A specific question (this is your dissertation topic)
- Research from others who’ve written or spoken on the subject
- Collected data and an analysis of this data
- An answer to the question based on specific findings
Step 2: Find A Unique Dissertation TopicA good dissertation can be described using the following adjectives:
- Clear – avoid ambiguity or vagueness
- Unique – ask a question that hasn’t been asked before
- Important – answering the question should be worthwhile for the related industry or society
Step 3: Write A Research ProposalThe primary purpose of the research proposal is to convince your school and advisor that your topic is worth the time and effort you’ll spend researching it. After you’ve read a lot of existing literature that’s relevant to the topic, you need to create a plan for collecting and analyzing data. The more thorough the plan, the more likely it is the committee will approve your topic.
Step 4: Build A Strong Introduction
Once your topic is approved, it’s time to start writing. Begin with the introduction. In this part, you describe the purpose for the research, and you also help the reader understand what you’re researching and why it’s important.
Step 5: Write An In-Depth Literature ReviewHere, you’ll need to dig deep and read existing literature on the topic. Consult journals, published papers, textbook chapters, and other available material. Once you have completed your research, you’ll have to write a comprehensive literature review.
Step 6: Carry Out Your Research
- Design your research strategy – How do you plan to do the research? Remember, you need to answer the “what” and “why” questions presented earlier.
- Execute your research plan – Start collecting and analyzing data.