Choose the Topic for Your Research Carefully
When you have a research project to complete it is very important that you choose a topic that is meaningful and engaging. Maybe you should consider choosing something that is aligned to your career plans and/or long-term aspirations and one that is beneficial to the much wider scholarly community. Or at least this is the advice you are likely to get from professors and various university experts.
These same experts are likely to tell you that a dissertation is a unique opportunity for you to showcase your ideas and thought process. It is also a chance to research a subject area that interests you in considerable depth with a view to consolidating existing knowledge on that subject. The fact is that you have a better chance of staying motivated if you choose a topic that is of genuine interest to you.
In the event you are finding it difficult to come up with ideas, you should considering looking through scholarly journals, various course materials from your college or university, at newspapers, or in other places where you are likely to get ideas about current problems or issues relating to your particular field of study. So, essentially, there are several ways of getting inspiration for material to write about in a dissertation.
As well as this, the experts at PrimeEssays.com recommend you collaborate with your course supervisor to decide on a research problem or question and to agree the best way to focus your research. Moreover, consulting a course supervisor will enable you to a) benefit from their knowledge of the topic you have chosen, b) get advice on the most suitable research methods, and c) to establish what is achievable in the allocated timeframe.
Our experts say it is important you think about why it is critical to investigate your chosen topic. When you have assembled your findings and summarized these, you need to consider how they relate to your reasons or justification for thinking this topic or question is an important one and worthy of investigation.
Make Sure You Know What Your Assignment Requires of You
The expert dissertation writers at PrimeEssays.com also recommend that you become acquainted with the ethics of your faculty as well as any referencing manuals, style guides, or module notes or handbooks that pertain to your course. Familiarity with these can prevent you making a variety of avoidable and expensive mistakes. Prior to planning your dissertation, make absolutely sure you know what you are expected to do. In other words, you need to establish the following:
- What your discipline expects in terms of academic writing i.e. what completed papers should look like;
- Where your dissertation is to be submitted to and when it is to be submitted;
- The number of words you are allowed.
We advise all students to check previous dissertations and other types of academic writing for their discipline and to seek answers to the following questions:
- How are dissertations structured?
- What sources are commonly used, e.g., type, number, etc.?
- How does your discipline use sources once these are identified?
- What types of data analyses are considered appropriate?
Lastly, we recommend that, by discussing your project with your course supervisor, you both develop a shared view or understanding of what this paper is and what is required from it.
Set a clearly-defined goal and develop the structure
Once your choice of topic has been decided on, we suggest you are ready to start writing the proposal for your dissertation project. In showing the relevance of the research work, you intend to do, the introductory, review of literature, and methodology chapters should be easier to complete. A dissertation proposal sets out the purpose of the research work you intend to do and the way you plan to do it.
Adhering to a sensible plan is a way of staying focused and preventing you from becoming overly-ambitions with your intended research. All of this improves the likelihood that your final argument will be highly coherent and very strong. Understanding where you are going with your thoughts and ideas will help you stay on course and focused on only those points that are relevant.
In the event there is any shift in direction from what you had originally planned, you should not have a problem adjusting your dissertation plan accordingly, which possibly means revising your paper’s title, main headings and sub-headings, and the content. You are likely to be better able to remain focused on your research and know whether or not it is logical if you continue discussing your revised plan and proposed structure with your course supervisor as you go along.
In considering what you need to achieve by the final deadline you have been given, we recommend that you allow sufficient time for the following:
- Reading relevant material and researching your chosen topic;
- Collecting data and analyzing the same;
- Structuring your paper and doing any restructuring that is necessary;
- Drafting your paper and, quite likely, redrafting it;
- Editing and proofreading;
- Printing your final paper and getting the binding done.
It is likely you will reap the rewards of taking a meticulous approach such as the one outlined above when you see the final result. We recommend the use of Gantt charts for planning all research and writing activities since a lot of writers find these tools useful.
Keep Your Writing Moving Along
Once you feel ready to start writing, try and set an achievable target e.g. a weekly target of 1,000 or 1,500 words. Targets like these are often both productive and motivating. Perhaps it is possible to use meetings with your course supervisor as markers for meeting word count targets.
Begin writing immediately and use this as a way to learn more about your chosen topic. As you complete each section, make sure you have covered every item you wanted to address. Each individual section should have a specific function and each one should link neatly to the other parts of your paper.
A lot of dissertation experts are of the opinion that writing is a great way of helping to make more sense of a topic. This is because the nature of your emphasis, analysis, and interpretation can change as you start to understand everything better and start developing your paper’s narrative. You may even want to consider editing as the start rather than the end of the writing process.
It is vital to make frequent back-ups, make notes while you research, and keep a detailed list of sources. Our experts believe that you can save hours of hard work later if you keep track of the materials you have read and where these have come from. Remembering where you got ideas can be very difficult, especially in cases where you are steeped in piles of books and have folders packed full with articles from various journals.
Keep Asking Questions
Our experts also stress that mindset is important throughout the process of writing a dissertation. This means you should keep asking questions and looking at everything – including the written work you have done yourself, what you have found, and the works of others - through a critical lens.
Keep asking yourself if you remain convinced by a particular interpretation or explanation, how strong your conviction is, why, and if there could possibly be any other viable options.
Your own reasoning is also something you will have to explain to readers. Having authored the paper yourself, it may seem to you that a certain point, and the justification for it, is very obvious. However, this might not be true for a reader who is reading something new or trying to understand a new concept. Evaluators will not be able to credit you for building a sound argument if you do not provide supporting evidence or show how you arrived at a certain conclusion.
In addition to making sure the bibliography section of your dissertation has sufficient references, you need to ensure you have spelt the names of theories and people correctly.
The Editing Process Should Not Be Underestimated
It is essential to edit each written piece in a meticulous manner to ensure it is coherent, properly structured, and highly polished. Allow enough time to check your written work at several different levels – from re-evaluating the sense and logic in the entire piece and proofreading it to making sure you have devoted sufficient attention to other important aspects. The latter includes checking that the names of theories and people are spelt properly and that you have used the correct formatting and citation style. You will find other guides on editing on the Internet – some provided by leading universities – where you will get additional information on what is involved in the different stages of the process.
In addition to making sure your central argument is well supported with relevant source materials and correct citations, it needs to be made clear to readers that you understand and acknowledge how important theories and previous research has contributed to your chosen topic. If you fail to do this, you may come across as being ill informed and/or careless.
Enjoy Your Considerable Achievement
If it is the case you have made efficient use of the time available to you and have stuck to a clear plan, there should be no reason for panic even when some things have not gone exactly as you imagined. Remind yourself that you selected the topic for your dissertation carefully so you can put any irrational fears of having to start from afresh again to one side.
PrimeEssays.com has a number of dissertation experts and they would like to remind you that dissertation writing is an excellent opportunity to thoroughly research a topic, enhance knowledge, and tackle a crucial issue in your field of study. Therefore, you should keep your main objective in focus and feel satisfied with the effort you have made.
The dissertation project you have just completed will ultimately become of one of your most important achievements. While you may encounter difficulties with it from time to time, you should enjoy the moment and take great pride when you look back on it.