Writing a dissertation is inarguably one of the most important elements of completing a university degree. For this reason, many students find the idea of writing their dissertation to be a daunting task ahead of them and worry about how they will complete it. However, with a clear understanding of what exactly the dissertation is, and advice on the best approaches for writing, the task becomes a lot easier. This short guide will put those fears to rest by taking you through the most important things to know in order to write a strong dissertation. This ranges from gauging what is expected of your writing to identifying the best methods for researching and writing.
What is a dissertation?
A dissertation is a name given to a large assignment that is generally completed at the final stage of a university degree. In some countries, the name of the assignment is also synonymous with the word “thesis”, so you may hear it referred to as both. A thesis is a research-driven assignment that sees students delve deep into an academic topic in order to answer a carefully posed question or problem that they themselves have crafted.
The purpose of this assignment is to display the academic skills that the student has acquired throughout their study and how capable they are of implementing these skills into valuable research. Students will typically perform this research on a topic that they have been particularly focused on throughout their degree. In this sense, the dissertation is the culmination of the years of learning and academic skills that have gone into a given college degree.
Where to begin?
Many students can feel overwhelmed by the size of the assignment when they reach the time of their dissertation writing phase. Luckily for these students asking themselves how to write my dissertation, the process of writing a thesis is becoming ever-more manageable thanks to the new resources constantly becoming available for students.
Scholars can now access online forums where they can share and discuss ideas, as well as their personal experiences of writing a dissertation, making it a lot easier to overcome pesky periods of writers’ block. What’s more, students can find a free service online where writing experts lend their skills to ensure that the next generation of scholars has all the dissertation help they need. Students looking for help with further online resources can also take advantage of the wealth of study materials and free libraries that exist online.
Types of dissertation
Before getting started in the writing phase, students should make sure to focus themselves on their field and understand exactly what it is they should be writing. There are two major approaches to writing a thesis and the kind of research that either demands.
- An empirical dissertation is one that involves the collection and presentation of data. This will often include the performance of laboratory or social experiments, as well as long-term observation in order to collect statistical evidence. It’s crucial for scholars to get to grips with the many practical and ethical guidelines to consider when performing this kind of research. This kind of thesis is generally of a more scientific nature and, for that reason, is often done by students of majors such as chemistry, biology, physics, and psychology.
- Non-empirical dissertations are more reflective in nature, generally looking at the work of previous scholars and producing new conclusions based on their work. This type of research replaces the laboratory hours of an empirical dissertation with a lot of reading and is typically found more in degrees such as the arts, history, political science, and the general field of the Humanities.
Conducting effective research
The first stage of the dissertation is to perform deep research. This means that before ever picking up a pen, or sitting at a keyboard, students should have spent a considerable length of time reading and exploring the field that they will eventually be writing in, to understand what contributions have already been made, and how they themselves can use this to contribute research that is still new and relevant. There are many writing services that might be helpful. When you doing your research part don’t forget about Edubirdie. This research writing service will help you to choose the right strategy. Also you can use free plagiarism checker to make your work completely unique.
Creating a neatly organised inventory of relevant sources and methodically making your way through them is a good way to ensure that there’s nothing important being missed. Students often use tables, grids, and organisers to compile and arrange the findings of their research, making it a lot easier to quickly and easily draw upon during the writing phase.
Designing your writing
Once students are comfortable with the depth and scope of research that they have performed, it’s time to move from the reading/experimenting phase to the writing phase. In order to write a strong dissertation, students need to design a research question that is precise and well-structured, and will ultimately guide their dissertation through the research that they find most relevant.
The structure of the dissertation generally looks something like this:
- Introduction (the research question should be explained here)
- Literature review
- Demonstration of research
- New findings
Once students have designed their research question and read all their materials, they can make their way through these different steps, and will find that the process of writing flows more smoothly than they imagined!
Things to keep in mind
While the writing process of a university dissertation doesn’t have to be such a stress for students, there are some important things that, if kept in mind, can make the whole experience just that much easier!
- Time management is crucial for writing a strong dissertation, as the whole process needs to be methodical and focused. No student wants to hand in a dissertation that they’ve thrown together in a few weeks of panicking!
- Multiple drafts are common practice when it comes to writing a dissertation. This gives students the chance to read and reread their research, making sure everything is up to a high standard, and that nothing has been missed. Finding mistakes and shortcomings in your own work is one of the most valuable ways that students grow during their education!
- Referencing the sources that have been used throughout a piece of research is central to the purpose of writing a dissertation. The dissertation is intended to show that a student is able to read, understand, and reference the work of other scholars, so creating a well-organised and comprehensive list of citations is an absolute must. Students who fail to cite their sources properly will face penalisation in the grading system, and possibly even accusations of plagiarism!
With these basic principles of what is expected of those looking to write a strong university dissertation, the steps towards an effective writing process become much clearer, and so too does that prized college degree!