Writing a dissertation or a thesis paper is a daunting challenge for many students and it is a kind of an academic project that most PhD, Master’s, and even Bachelor’s candidates dread. Despite the experience gained at college or university and years of practice, organizing and defending such a substantial written work is a huge job. Actually, thesis defense is one of the most intimidating things in life of every student.
Luckily, you are not the first one to write and defend the paper. Many people have already worked on their research and provided some findings that you can use as a benefit to your academic paper. As such, this article will provide brief information about the main tips that might help you write a dissertation paper. So, let us start.
How to Write a Terrific Thesis or a Dissertation?
1. Brainstorm Your Chosen Concept
The ideas that form the cornerstone of the whole writing project comprise a fundamental and the most significant part of writing a thesis or dissertation. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to provide a solid theoretical background for the dissertation project before starting working on it. Follow the principle of choosing your ideas wisely.
Ideally, you should bear some general ideas in mind about what your thesis or dissertation will be like some months or even years before writing it. Take some time to collect as many ideas as possible regarding thoughts, concepts, ideas, structure of your future project. You may as well arrange this plan in a mind map to make the linkages be easier to explore.
Before writing a thesis, some people even create flashcards with their ideas or develop an online bank of ideas, where they can have constant access to different articles, concepts, and ideas that they have saved. Such techniques are great as they help you to find the necessary information.
To further develop your ideas, make sure you regularly communicate with your professors, academic supervisors, and colleagues. Discuss the piece of work you already have, ask them for an honest feedback and afterwards get ready to revise some ideas and make some alterations in your paper.
2. Write a Proposal
The next step in preparing your thesis or dissertation paper is writing a proposal, which is a document detailing your dissertation plan that you will submit to your academic advisor. Actually, there are two main goals of the proposal:
It allows your academic supervisor to critically analyze your project and provide feedback regarding each section and its constituents;
It provides a framework to your thesis as it helps you plan each section and think analytically about your academic paper.
When writing a proposal, make sure you provide a strong line of reasoning so that your work is logically linked to the research field in general. However, be realistic about the scope of research, as you will need to extend the existing idea regarding the area of research and develop a new one. Mostly, people are not going to investigate brand-new material in their dissertations but concentrate on small achievements and research advancements instead.
If you are experiencing difficulties when writing your proposal, it is advisable to take one step back and pay more attention to outlining and brainstorming. Besides, it will also be a good idea to look through some proposals made by other researchers in your area of research. Thus, you will get more ideas and insights on what to write.
3. Outline Your Argument
Though always thought of as an unnecessary step of thesis preparation, providing an outline or a plan for your paper helps you organize your research and writing process. The plan will help you to explain concepts that might otherwise be overlooked.
4. Collect Notes and Sources
It is strongly recommended to search as many scholarly databases as possible in order to gather facts and information that could be used as supporting evidence for your research. In particular, you may create a spreadsheet of all your sources with their corresponding bibliographical details. In a separate spreadsheet tab, you may create a table where you will put each important fact in one column and a source it came from in the other column. Such structure will help you easier re-organize the gathered facts and create an outline based on the information you have gathered.
5. Start Writing
As soon as you prepare the sources that you are consulting in your research, move on to the next step: writing. Although many people think that it’s proper to write the dissertation section by section, actually, the best option is to start with sections that are the easiest or the most interesting to you or for which you have already plenty of materials. Sometimes, it may even be OK to start with a conclusion rather than introduction if you clearly see the research outcomes and can easily narrate about them.
The most important advice is to write in a clear and comprehensible manner (even if it is your first draft). In academic writing, clarity and logical coherence is valued more than flowery language. You are not writing fiction, are you? Besides, keep in mind that your proposal is not your final paper yet. Therefore, if you have some new ideas, put them into practice.
The tips provided here will surely not write your thesis or dissertation for you, but they will definitely assist you in this challenging process and ease it. Now it is only your main step to get started. Good luck!