Dissertation Writing Process: basic Rules

There is no one right way to writing a dissertation and several things factor in to how your dissertation writing process should go. But there are some basic rules that can help you to get started, to focus your thesis and to complete your dissertation successfully.

Rule number one to writing your dissertation is managing your time. The best thing you can do to assure that you maximize the time that you have to complete your work is to begin thinking about your thesis from the moment you are given the assignment.

That means, even though your dissertation is not due until the end of the semester, from the first day of the first class in your last year of you major or graduate program, you should begin thinking about what area of your specialization you will focus on in your dissertation.

That doesn’t mean that your thesis or even your topic won’t change from that first day. In fact, it should change as the year goes on. You will be learning and exploring new things. So keep your thesis fluid and be willing to reevaluate your topic.

Rule number two is keeping your work organized. The best way to stay organized as you work is to make a rough outline of your paper. It is easy to get disorganized considering all of the research, notes, books, papers, etc. that you will collect as you are formulating your dissertation.

If you are one of those students that end up with notes everywhere, try this; organize your notes in an accordion folder. Label the pockets so that your statistical analysis and methodological research is kept in one pocket, your literature research is in another, your interview notes are in another.

Along those same lines, make sure one of those pockets in that folder includes your bibliography notes. Annotating your citations is easily done when you’re on your computer. But to make sure that you are not missing any references when you’re jotting down notes in the library, keep a document handy as you work, either hand written or typed, that lists the bibliographical information that you will need for future reference.

Rule number three: Now that you have your thesis, you need to plot out the type of methodology you’ll use, the type of dissertation (theoretical or empirical) you will write, how you will complete your analysis (interviews, surveys, phone calls) and make a final decision. Depending on your discipline, you may need quantitative original analysis to support your theory or on the other hand, you may need qualitative research from multiple sources. Either way, you will need to pick your angle and stick to it.

Now you are on your way!

Dissertation writing

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