What is dissertation? – Dissertation Structure & Best Writing Practices

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What is dissertation and why it’s important

When my professors mentioned that we were supposed to submit a dissertation at the end of my 4th semester during my post-graduation, many questions popped up in my head – What is a dissertation? How long should a dissertation be? How can I get dissertation writing help?

I’m sure it’s a usual thing with college students and early career researchers.

In an attempt to simplify things for college students and with the intention to offer dissertation writing help, I’m here to answer the abovementioned questions and explain how to write your dissertation effectively, what its structure should be like, and what best practices to adopt to create a complete and impressive dissertation without panicking as the deadline approaches.

Let’s first understand what a dissertation is. It is a form of academic manuscript, longer than an essay or an article and shorter than a PhD thesis and a research paper. It is usually required for the completion/award a master’s or a PhD degree and sometimes a bachelor’s degree at all major universities worldwide. It is usually 100–300 pages long, and the word count varies between 10,000 and 20,000 words.

Now you may wonder what the importance of a dissertation in research is. A dissertation gives early career researchers and students an opportunity to refine their research abilities and showcase their knowledge, thus improving chances for higher education and career advancement in research.

Structure of a dissertation

  1. Title page: Like the beginning of any other document, a dissertation must begin with an opening page, which includes the title/topic of the research and all the other necessary details such as the name of the university and the supervisor.
  2. Abstract: A summarized form of what the dissertation is about—how the research was conducted and what the key findings are.
  3. Contents: All your chapters and figures should be listed here along with the page numbers for easy reference.
  4. Chapters: The number of chapters may vary per university requirements. However, you must ensure that you cover all these aspects in each chapter: a background of your project and what led you to pursue it, a summary of the literature you’ve referred to for this project, methodology and data analysis techniques you’ve used to answer your research question, followed by a discussion section of the main findings.
  5. Bibliography: What is a dissertation without a bibliography! All the work you’ve referred to and quoted in your work must be properly listed. You must ensure that you follow the format prescribed by your university for citing your sources.
  6. Appendices: Any additional material you’ve used for your project must be mentioned in this section.

Listed below are some of the best practices to write your dissertation:

Plan Ahead

It’s a good practice to start writing your dissertation as early as possible. First, it gives you enough time to write, re-write, and structure your paper well. When you write an academic paper, it’s natural to read it multiple times before submission. Writing and finishing it within a good time frame allows you to sharpen the blunt edges and helps you avoid any last-minute rush. Second, it ensures you don’t miss any deadlines.

Proofread Carefully

How embarrassing would it be to submit a dissertation with glaring grammatical errors! Ensure correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Take care of typos, incomplete sentences, redundant or incorrect words, and other common writing mistakes. Authors with English as second language may seek advice from native English speakers or professional dissertation writing help from Editage.

Format Dilligently

There are standard conventions how to structure and format a dissertation, refer to the figures in your paper, quote another published work, and cite your sources. And the guidelines for how to format your dissertation varies from university to university and from subject to subject.

Plagiarism Check

Plagiarism is a common problem. It is considered highly unethical and can invite strict disciplinary measures. Sometimes, authors don’t realize they’ve picked text from another published work without properly acknowledging it in their bibliography. Ensure that you have covered all such instances in your bibliography. It’s good to use quotation marks in your academic papers but use them wisely. Paraphrase text from other sources adequately and ethically to reduce chances of plagiarism in your dissertation. If you’re looking for dissertation writing help, turn to Editage’s Advanced Editing Service, designed to offer expert language assistance to researchers. With this service, you get two rounds of comprehensive editing by native English speaking editors, PhDs holders and above, who are highly experienced in your subject area. They enhance the language of your paper and improve its readability. They eliminate all grammar errors, fix all terminological inconsistencies, improve the sentence construction, and format your paper per guidelines you share so that you may submit your dissertation confidently.

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