Everyone who is in a collegiate position or who is thinking about going to college has more than likely heard of dissertations. You may know that it generally takes a lot of time to write a dissertation and you may also know that some students struggle with this.
You may have heard stories about people who have written at least one dissertation, but is that all you've heard and all you know about it? Do you know what a dissertation really is? Do you know what the purpose or the structure of a dissertation is, what functions a dissertation has? If you don't, you will know all of the answers after reading this article.
What Is a Dissertation?
A dissertation is a project that is submitted during your final year of graduate school that will lead to a doctoral degree. The dissertation is submitted to the program you choose in a doctoral degree program; you submit this document as a form of support along with other work that will show if you are someone who will be allowed into the program in which you are applying for.
Generally speaking, dissertations are written when one is in search of an academic degree, but there are some instances where you may have to write a dissertation for qualification on a professional level as well. When writing a dissertation you are gathering research and information on your dissertation topic; once you have gathered all of your information you present your findings within your dissertation.
The purpose of a dissertation is to research a topic and write about your findings of an academic exploration. Once you have done this research you have the beginning of what the basis is for your academic resume. This will also show how proficient you are in terms of the professional arena and it will give insight to the area of specialization that you choose to go into once you have completed your graduate educational experience.
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Each dissertation functions in three ways:
- it functions as a communication
- it functions as a plan
- it functions as a contrac
The dissertation serves to communicate one's research plans to those who are in charge of consultation, giving consent or disbursing funds. You want the dissertation to be well received so you want the communication that it gives off to be clear and direct; you also want it to be thorough in every aspect. The plan that the dissertation sets forth is a plan of action. In doing your research for your dissertation, you want to make sure that you are careful, systematic and have all observations planned beforehand. When one can read your dissertation and understand the plan you have adequately given the basis for those who will read your dissertation to judge you on.
The plan is extremely important. You want to make sure that what you have in your plan is understood clearly, for this is what your readers will look at in terms of the research and your intended outcome.
A dissertation is also looked at as a contract. You've done your research and let the readers know what you plan on doing with the research that you've found. Once that is accomplished you will get a yay or nay on your dissertation. If you get a yay on what was read in your dissertation, you will ultimately receive a contract from the readers to go ahead with the research that you want to conduct. In most cases, the contract ends with a funding source for you to conduct the research that is needed. Once the contract has been extended you should do your best to stick to the approved work that has been set forth in your dissertation. You don't want it to appear that you set forth to do one thing and ended up doing following through with the plan that was agreed upon in the acceptance of the contract.
Now you know the way in which a dissertation functions. The next important step is to recognize how to properly structure your dissertation. It isn't like any other essay or composition you've had before. You can't simply put it in the format of Introduction, Body, and Conclusion.
There are specific things that should be found in each dissertation that is done. Just about all dissertations will follow the same basic structure. This structure is conducted of the following five parts:
- Methods and Discussion
An abstract is one page in length; it summarizes the dissertation. Although it's only one page, the abstract does have a structure pattern: a problem, what you found and why there is a solution needed; your objectives, what you want to achieve and how you chose to discourse the problem; your methodology, what you have done to solve the problem; and the achievements, what you were able to achieve and how it relates to your objectives.
The introduction of your dissertation should give a rationale for it. Once someone has read your introduction they should be able to know what you are trying to answer and the importance of the research. Also within the introduction, one should be able to see how the research you will perform will add to the understanding of the topic that you are researching.
The methods and discussion portion of your dissertation will let the reader know what your research findings may mean. It will also show how valuable your findings are and why they are valuable.
The conclusion portion of your dissertation should not be treated as a general conclusion. It should bring the reader to a new perception of your topic. It should bring together your introduction and discussion sections. It should also give answers to any questions that were brought up in the previous sections. Any limitations that you may have met in your research should be highlighted in the conclusion, and there should be direction found not just for your research but for any future research that may take place.
The references should cite any reference that you have used in your research for your dissertation. It should follow a particular style, generally the MLA style.
How to Write a Dissertation?
Although much has been covered thus far, there is one last thing that should be discussed: the writing procedure. There isn't one particular procedure everyone has to follow, but there are some things that can be found helpful to everyone who is writing their dissertation. If you follow these steps you may find it a bit easier:
- Choose your topic, make sure it's in your field of study
- Begin your review: make sure to have a literary review and a background review
- Write your proposal
- Begin your dissertation: remember the sections you should have
- Prepare a timeline: once you have your information see when your dissertation is to be completed and go through making a timeline to ensure you give yourself enough time to complete it
We know writing a dissertation can be a daunting task. It is a very important mission and you don't want to make any mistakes. No matter what stage you're in if you need assistance, we're here for you. It doesn't matter if it is with writing your dissertation, having an extra set of eyes to proofread or edit it… if you need any help, contact us!
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