Skip Nav

How to Write Your Best Dissertation: Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Write a winning dissertation proposal

❶These are the main points to pay attention to when wondering how to write a dissertation proposal:. Propagation of solitary waves through blood School of Sociology and Social Policy This dissertation achieved a mark of

Related links

How to Write Your Best Dissertation: Step-by-Step Guide
BA dissertation topics
BA Dissertation proposal

However you decide to divide up your chapters and sections, certain essential ingredients need to be present in some form. You will also be able to draw upon other experience, for example in the analysis and presentation of findings that you may have covered on methodology modules. You are probably aware of where your academic strengths and weaknesses lie.

If you have never really thought about this it would be worth devoting some time to doing so. In setting up your project you will want to play to your strengths. If you are concerned about your study or communication skills you may find support is available in your institution — seek it out. The Essential Guide for Success. A Comprehensive Guide to Content and Process. A short article which describes the difference between a dissertation and an essay.

Guide to undergraduate dissertations in the social sciences. Content About this site. Introduction Why does my degree programme include a dissertation? Definitions How is your dissertation module organised? What is it that is special about a dissertation Use your experience and strengths Summary Key questions Further reading Web resources.

How to start your dissertation Help with finding literature and research Formulating the research question Methodologies Responsibility in the research process Research Ethics Supervision of the Dissertation Writing the Dissertation Developing Your Academic Style of Writing Plagiarism.

Resources Further reading Research papers. What is a Dissertation? So this part of site provides you with a better understanding of the following: What a dissertation is Why you are required to do a dissertation What your dissertation may look like How to set about your initial reading and writing Watch What is a dissertation? This is because the process of producing this type of assessment enables you to: Identify your own area of interest. Explore an area in depth.

Define your own question. Experience the process of producing knowledge. Manage a project from beginning to end. Consolidate your communication, information-seeking and intellectual skills. Definitions For many undergraduate degree students, a significant element of final year study is an independent learning project. First, the learner determines the focus and direction of their work. Second, this work is carried out on an individual basis — although usually with some tutor support and direction provided.

Finally, learners will have a more prolonged engagement with the chosen subject than is the case with 'standard' coursework assignments such as essays or reports, with the work consequently expected to be more 'in-depth'. How is your dissertation module organised? The following checklist will start you on the dissertation journey, start planning and also clarify what is expected of you Checklist Question Answer How many credit points or module equivalents is the dissertation worth?

What is the submission date for the final piece? Are there any lectures, seminars or workshops associated with the module? Will you have a dissertation supervisor? How are supervisors allocated? How often are you allowed to meet with your supervisor?

You become actively involved with research which could mean empirical research or a library-based project. It is an opportunity for originality and intellectual independence.

Your first course essays were usually though not always written to titles prescribed by your tutor. As you progressed through your course, you may have been given the opportunity to make up your own titles.

In this way, your independence, as a reader and critic, developed. The dissertation builds on this foundation; it grows out of your own particular interest, both in terms of the material you choose to write about and the topic that provides the focus of your study.

So when you read books and papers on your chosen topic, you become aware that you are reading with a different sense of purpose - to understand and re-present the arguments - yes, but you then start to make sense of what particularly interested you in the books, journal articles or media sources and what particular critical questions you wanted to ask about them. A longer word count of the dissertation allows you to sustain your analysis and interpretation over a greater range of material and almost inevitably involves you in more careful and subtle argument.

The preparation and writing of the dissertation makes you take responsibility, with the support of a tutor, for your own learning, for the whole process of personal, independent study, time management, and the clear and methodical presentation of the results of your research.

In summary, the dissertation requires you to: Undertake an extensive programme of reading and research. Demonstrate intellectual independence and originality by choosing your own subject of study and defining its nature and scope. Engage in sustained analysis, interpretation and comparison of a substantial body of data. Present the results of your research in a clearly written, academically cogently argued, logically structured and properly referenced form. Todd, Bannister and Clegg, , pp What does a dissertation look like?

Most formats would include: Introduction Literature Review Methodology Findings either a certain number of chapters or an extended essay which has clearly identified sections Discussion Conclusions and if appropriate recommendations Bibliography a list of all the books, journal articles, web sites, newspapers and other sources that you have used in your dissertation Appendices e.

Literature Review — Similar in form and length to a longish essay entitled 'how I have set up my research topic and how it fits in with existing work in the area'.

Methodology — Another essay-sized section entitled 'why I chose the methods I chose to answer my particular question, the strengths and weaknesses of that approach as a tool for generating knowledge, and how I actually did it'. Now, you're left with the most important stage of the dissertation writing process: It's surprising to see that many students have some level of confidence during the previous two stages of the process, but they crack when they realize they don't really know how to write a dissertation.

Everything is easier when you have a plan. You already have the dissertation proposal, which is a preliminary outline for the actual dissertation. However, you still need a more detailed outline for the large project. Did the research stage lead you in an unexpected direction? Make sure to include the new points in your outline. The first chapter should include a background of the problem, and a statement of the issue. Then, you'll clarify the purpose of the study, as well as the research question.

Next, you'll need to provide clear definitions of the terms related to the project. You will also expose your assumptions and expectations of the final results. In this chapter of the dissertation, you will review the research process and the most important acknowledgements you've come down to.

This part of the dissertation is focused on the way you located the resources and the methods of implementation of the results. If you're writing a qualitative dissertation, you will expose the research questions, setting, participants, data collection, and data analysis processes. If, on the other hand, you're writing a quantitative dissertation, you will focus this chapter on the research questions and hypotheses, information about the population and sample, instrumentation, collection of data, and analysis of data.

This is the most important stage in the whole process of dissertation writing, since it showcases your intellectual capacity. At this point, you'll restate the research questions and you will discuss the results you found, explaining the direction they led you to. In other words, you'll answer those questions. In the final chapter of the dissertation, you will summarize the study and you'll briefly report the results.

Don't forget that you have to explain how your findings make a difference in the academic community and how they are implied in practice.

Explain why you suggest this research and what form it should take. Use the recommended citation style for your field of study, and make sure to include all sources you used during the research and writing stages. You'll need another timeline, but this one will be focused on the writing process.

Plan how to complete your dissertation chapter by chapter. When you have attainable goals, it will be easier for you to write the project without getting overwhelmed by its length and complexity.

There is no life-changing advice to give at this point. You just need to stay away from distractions, stick to your timeline, follow the outline, and complete the first draft. You already have what it takes; now you're ready to do the real work.

Now that you've completed the first draft of the paper, you can relax. Don't even think about dissertation editing as soon as you finish writing the last sentence. You need to take some time away from the project, so make sure to leave space of at least few days between the writing and editing stage.

When you come back to it, you'll be able to notice most of its flaws. There is a substantial difference between editing and proofreading: You need to deal with the essence first, since it would be silly to proofread the dissertation to perfection and then start getting rid of unnecessary parts and adding more details. Pay attention to the logical connection between each argument. Are there any gaps in information? Fill them in with more details you collected through the research stage.

Maybe you got carried away with the explanations at some point? Make sure to reduce the volume of those parts and clarify them as much as possible. The point is not in quantity; it's in quality and clarity. Finally, it's time to do the final few readings and catch all spelling, grammar, and style errors you made. Read word by word, sentence by sentence, and consult a dictionary or thesaurus if you have any doubts.

If you notice that you're struggling through the stages of editing and proofreading, you should know you're not the only one with such problem. You are too attached to this project and it's difficult for you to see the flaws in it.

That's why it's recommended for students to use an editing service that will bring their projects to perfection. This is a smart investment that will save you from embarrassment after all that effort and stress you went through.

Start with a friend or colleague who has knowledge in this discipline. You need to trust this person, since the dissertation is your unique intellectual property. Ask about their opinions and suggestions for improvement.

Then, discuss the project with your mentor. The dissertation writing process is a great challenge, which not all students are capable to cope with.


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

BA Dissertation Help through Free BA Dissertations Topics Consultation and BA Dissertation Proposal Guidelines with BA Dissertation Structure.

Privacy FAQs

What is a Dissertation?1 Introduction. A dissertation or final year project, as a form of assessment differs from other module assessments.

About Our Ads

People anticipate grandeur in history dissertation topics – war, genocide, the formation of modern society. They don't think much of researching an obscure piece of s disability legislation. But they're not the ones marking it. Dissertation title Objectives - Aim for up to three objectives. If you're too extensive at this point, it will seem like your plan doesn't have a focus, so you'll need to narrow it down.

Cookie Info

This was my dissertation on the efficiency of the capital markets in developing countries compared to those in developed countries. The results came conclusive. A comprehensive database of dissertation examples for you to use as inspiration for your own work and as a guide to your own dissertation.