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How to Organize a Dissertation

What Is Dissertation Writing?

The dissertation writing is one of the very important tasks you will do as a Ph.D. student throughout your academic career. In addition to allowing you to display your knowledge, it will highlight your contributions to your field of study. This activity will help you develop essential employment skills like project management, data analysis, communication, organization, and leadership, among others. You may first feel motivated. Possibly, you picture yourself as a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, a master detective ready to find innovative information to solve critical issues.

Students are upset by the dissertation writing process due to the labour-intensive nature of research and writing. Many students need to comprehend the research and writing processes and know how to locate and evaluate pertinent content. Consequently, tension, fatigue, and anxiety permeate the dissertation process.

Organizing a Dissertation

Dissertation organization depends on several things, such as your field, research question/topic, and methodology. Dissertations in the humanities often take the form of an extended essay, with chapters organized around related topics or providing specific examples to back up the author’s main argument.

1.     The Title

On the first page of your work, provide the title of your dissertation, your name, department, institution, degree program, and submission date. It may also include your student number, the name of your supervisor, and the university’s logo. Numerous academic institutions have stringent formatting requirements for the dissertation title page.

Typically, when printing and binding a dissertation, the title page serves as the cover.

2.     Acknowledgments

The acknowledgments section, which is generally optional, enables you to express gratitude to everyone who helped you write your dissertation. This may include your bosses, research participants, and supportive friends or family.

3.     Abstract

The abstract is a concise, often 150-300-word summary of your dissertation. It should be written in the conclusion once the remainder of the dissertation has been completed. Ensure that the following are included in your abstract:

  • Key topic and objectives of your study
  • Describe the methods you employed
  • Summarize the significant results
  • Conclusion

Even though the abstract is brief, it is the piece of your dissertation that will be read; therefore, you must get it right.

4.     Table of Contents

The table of contents includes all of your chapters and subheadings, along with their page numbers. The dissertation table of contents overviews your organization and facilitates document navigation.

Include appendices in the table of contents for your dissertation. You may automatically generate a table of contents in Microsoft Word.

5.     List of Abbreviations

If you used many abbreviations in your dissertation, provide them alphabetically so the reader can easily find them.

6.     Glossary

If you have used several highly specialized terms that your reader is unfamiliar with, it may be advisable to provide a glossary. In alphabetical order, offer a summary or definition for each term.

7.     Introduction

In the introduction of your dissertation writing, you describe your dissertation’s topic, purpose, and importance, and you tell the reader what to expect from the next chapters. The introduction must contain the following:

  • Introduce your research topic and provide relevant information to contextualize your work.
  • Limit your focus and choose the scope of your inquiry.
  • Discuss the present state of research on the topic, highlighting the relevance of your work to a bigger issue or argument.
  • Define your objectives, study questions, and intended responses with precision.
  • Provide a summary of your dissertation’s structure.

Everything in the introduction should be brief, engaging, and relevant to your research whereas in conclusion, the reader should understand your study’s what, why, and how.

8.     Literature Review / Theoretical Framework

Before beginning your research, you should do a literature review to understand the previous academic work on your topic comprehensively. That is, collecting relevant resources and selecting the most relevant ones by:

  • Meticulously evaluating and analysing each source
  • Connecting them to establish a bigger point

In the literature review section of the dissertation writing, you should not just summarise current works but rather provide a logical framework and argument that leads to a clear basis or explanation for your study. It may, for example, strive to explain how your research:

  • It fills a gap in the literature and presents a fresh theoretical or methodological approach to the topic
  • Provides a solution to an unresolved problem
  • Contributes to a debate of theory
  • New information enhances and expands current knowledge.

Frequently, the literature evaluation serves as the basis for a theoretical framework, in which you identify and analyze the fundamental ideas, concepts, and models that form the basis of your research. Describe the connections between various concepts or variables in this field in response to descriptive research questions.

9.     Methodology

The methodology section or chapter describes how you conducted your study, allowing the reader to assess its validity. Typically, you should include the following:

  • The overall study plan and methodology
  • Your data-collecting tactics
  • When, where, and by whom was the research conducted?
  • Your statistical approaches
  • You utilized the following equipment and supplies
  • Discuss any obstacles encountered throughout the research and how they were overcome.
  • A justification or evaluation of your strategy.

The purpose of the methodology section is to accurately summarise what you did while also convincing the reader that this was the optimal technique for answering your research questions or achieving your research objectives.

10. Results

The results of your research are subsequently reported. This section may be structured according to sub-questions, hypotheses, or topics. Only reveal results that are relevant to your objectives and research queries. Some disciplines separate the results section from the discussion, while others combine the two.

In qualitative methodologies such as in-depth interviews, data presentation and discussion and analysis are typically intertwined. However, in quantitative and experimental research, results should be presented independently before debating their importance. Consult your supervisor and review sample dissertations to identify the appropriate framework for your research if you are still determining.

Tables, graphs, and charts are typically advantageous in the results section. Consider carefully how to show your data, and avoid including tables or figures that repeat what you have written; instead, they should provide extra information or effectively visualize the results to enhance your writing.

You can send full copies of your data as an appendix such as interview transcripts.

11. Discussion

In the discussion of your dissertation, you will examine the importance and implications of your results concerning your research questions. In this section, you should thoroughly evaluate the outcomes, analyzing whether they met your expectations and how well they fit within the framework you developed in earlier chapters. If any results were surprising, explain why this was the case. Consider alternative interpretations of the data and investigate any limitations that may have affected the results.

References to other scholarly publications should be included in the commentary to explain how your results relate to existing knowledge. Additionally, you can contribute recommendations for future research or action.

12. Conclusion

The conclusion of your dissertation should provide a concise answer to the primary research question, allowing the reader to comprehend your main point. Complete your dissertation by commenting on your accomplishments and methods. Frequently, the conclusion contains recommendations for future research or practice.

In this section, it is essential to demonstrate how your findings contribute to field knowledge and why your study is important and what new information have you added to the existing body of knowledge.

13. List of Citations

In a reference list, you must provide comprehensive information about each source you cite sometimes called works cited list or bibliography. It is essential to use a consistent citation style. Each citation style has stringent and specific formatting requirements for the reference list.

Harvard and Vancouver are the most commonly used referencing styles in UK institutions. Typically, your department will advise you which referencing style to use; for instance, psychology students typically use APA, humanities students frequently use MHRA, and law students always use OSCOLA. Check the requirements, and consult your supervisor if you have any questions.

14. Appendices

Your dissertation writing should only contain facts directly connected to addressing your research question. Appendices can be used for papers that do not belong in the dissertation’s main body.

Tips for Writing a Dissertation

·        Create a Timetable

Determine how many pages you must write daily to achieve your chapter and segment completion targets. Then, attempt to establish a writing regimen for yourself. Choose work hours that match the times you feel most productive. If you are a morning person, start writing your dissertation in the early hours of the day. Similarly, if you are most productive in the evening, adjust your schedule so that most of your writing is completed.

·        Start writing

Now that you have planned your research, you should begin writing. The more you wait, the more difficult it becomes! You won’t know whether this is true until you begin writing, even if you have many excuses for putting it off. Working on your argument in the paper is the most effective approach to strengthen it.

·        Make a Draft

Remember that your initial draft is still being determined when beginning a project of this scope. The language can be flawless, and the argument can be first-rate. Rewriting and editing are crucial processes in the writing process. Begin writing and refine your work in successive drafts.

·        Be Adaptable

Everyone has writer’s block, which may lead you to miss a deadline. If you miss a deadline, adjust your timetable and continue to write. Set all your deadlines a little sooner than required to provide yourself some wiggle room if any need to be extended.

·        Don’t Write the Introductions First

Avoid the beginning, which is easily misunderstood. Create the chapter’s body first. You will comprehend what you’re saying and be able to organize your thoughts upon completion. This recommendation also applies to the dissertation’s introduction, given that it will evolve throughout your study.

·        Get Yourself Moving

Similarly, if you become stuck on a particular piece of a chapter, continue reading and return to it later. If you have specified your chapter’s thesis and methodology, you may skip a tough part and spend your time writing a straightforward one. After making progress on a “simple” portion, your confidence will increase when you return to the challenging ones.

·        Obtain Early Response

This proposal is partially dependent on the preferences of your supervisor. Share your efforts with them as early and regularly as possible. They can alert you to issues sooner and assist you in navigating potentially hazardous areas. Making little adjustments along the way can also prevent you from having to redo a whole chapter around the due date.

·        Attend to Yourself

You should not disregard your health when writing a dissertation. When you are in good physical and mental health, writing is easy. Remember to maintain a healthy diet, adequate rest, and an active lifestyle. A simple stroll around the neighbourhood can elevate the heart rate and cleanse the mind.

·        Take Time for Relaxation

While working on your dissertation, writing will be your full-time occupation, but you can still write. If you consistently work above your normal hours, you will grow weary and will take as many breaks as necessary. Conversely, if necessary, be bold and accept social invitations. Your friends will understand if you skip a few social events, particularly if you are too stressed to enjoy them.

The Bottom Line

Maintain your concentration on the result you want to achieve during the writing of your dissertation, and you will be pleased with the results. Moreover, your dissertation will ultimately be counted among your greatest successes. Sometimes you feel like giving up, but if you push through and finish your dissertation, you will be proud of yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best dissertation writing service?

Numerous graduate student reviews agree that PaperHelp is the best dissertation writing service currently available online. It has been around for than a decade, making it the trusted resource for students of all levels and disciplines.

  • Why is writing a dissertation so hard?

Writing a thesis or dissertation is a challenging endeavour for many graduate students. There are still many chapters to write, requiring sustained effort and dedication.