Writing a high-quality dissertation is the final phase of your PhD doctorate degree and represents the final conclusion of your long and exhaustive research work in the academic field of your choice.
Irrespective of the complexity of your research, the steps involved in dissertation writing remain the same and should be followed earnestly in order to avoid the stress and chaos involved in this task. In addition, PhD students face common problems including the tendency to procrastinate, their lack of researching skills, and inadequate academic writing skills to name a few.
The following 7-step guide can help you to complete your dissertation to the best of your ability:
- Choose the right research topic.
This is a crucial step for starting on a right track. Choose a research topic from your field of study and ensure that it is suitable for your final dissertation. Decide on the end result of your research topic, on whether you want to publish it in any scientific journal, or will be of practical benefit to any industry? Discuss the viability and importance of your research topic with your supervisor and only if it is approved, finalize on the suggested research topic.
- Review the available research material.
After choosing your research topic, review the background and previous research done on the topic. Ensure that there is sufficient (and updated) research material available for carrying forward the research. Prepare a literature review with all the referenced material that will contribute to your study. Consult with your project supervisor of your course of action, research methodology, and the objective and argument of your research.
- Write and submit your dissertation proposal.
A dissertation proposal is a brief summary of your final dissertation, and should educate the review committee on the problem that you propose to solve through your research. The proposal is around 20 pages in length and should include an introduction, the literature review, research question, and research methodology. Getting it approved from your supervisor and review committee ensures that all the parties are clear of the scope of your research, before you get started with it.
- Complete a high-quality research.
This step hones and develops your researching skills, and must be methodical and conducted keeping the research objective in perspective. Create a timeline for your research and conduct it with the latest data collection and data analysis tools. Include the study of relevant research material and sources to acquire a deeper understanding of the problem you are tackling. Through this stage, you must not only have a clear understanding of the research work, but also identify the limitations of the project.
- Write a detailed dissertation.
After completing your research work, get started with your dissertation writing. Prepare an outline of your dissertation, and get it approved. Chapters that must be included in your dissertation are introduction to the research topic, literature review, research methodology, the analysis of the collected data, research findings, and conclusion.
- Editing your dissertation.
When writing your dissertation, do not concern yourself with the language skills and spelling errors. This can be done during the editing stage. Edit your dissertation yourself (or through a professional editor) to check if the language flow is conveying the overall objective and essence of your research. After editing, get your dissertation proof-read to ensure that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Ask your supervisor or peer student their opinion of your dissertation and how you can improve on its readability and quality.
- Defend your dissertation.
This is the final stage, where you are required to present and defend your research work and dissertation in front of a review committee. Put forth your thoughts in a clear and concreate way, so as to emphasize the importance of this research in solving crucial issues. Prepare for questions from the review committee in advance, and answer them with all the knowledge that you have gained when completing the above 6 steps. Remember that you have gained more insight into your research problems, all due to the exhaustive study that you have put in over the last few years of academic work.