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Dissertation Writing Guide for Better Writing

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Title: Dissertation Writing Guide for Better Writing


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(No Transcript)
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Why Did We Write This Guide?
  • Writing a dissertation is the final step towards
    earning a PhD degree. It is the culmination of
    years of hard work, research and planning. And
    yet the percentage of successful dissertation
    submission is going down each and every year.
    Several students drop out in the first year of
    their PhD course. Many others procrastinate and
    submit their dissertations much later than
    expected. Yet few others drop the idea in the
    last minute. Following our guide helps to
    complete your dissertation on time. It gives you
    a complete list of dos and donts and the
    hurdles you are likely to encounter while writing
    your dissertation. So read on.

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Who is this guide for?
  • We have written this for all the PhD students
    who need a bit of dissertation help. Our
    dissertation writing experts, however, insist
    that this guide would be suitable for all ages of
    students in higher academia. It can also be
    written for those seeking assignment help, essay
    help or coursework on a particular subject.

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How to use this guide for dissertation writing?
  • This dissertation writing guide is a
    user-friendly manual for all PhD students or the
    students in higher academia. It covers all the
    aspects of dissertation writing research
    question, research concept paper, chapters,
    bibliography and references. Each section relates
    to a particular theme. It tells you what to do
    and how to go about it. It warns you against the
    possible impediments which you can face and how
    to overcome them, should you face one. So read
    on

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What is a Dissertation?
  • Students seeking dissertation writing help is no
    stranger to the concept. However, a brief
    recapitulation might not be out of place.
  • A dissertation is lengthy piece of formal
    writing, written by a student in order to fulfill
    the requirements necessary for a PhD degree.

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Why Is A Dissertation So Important?
  • A dissertation is the most important body of work
    you have to compose in your entire academic
    lifetime. There are many reasons why writing a
    dissertation is paramount and these reasons are
    why universities have made dissertation an
    indispensible part of their syllabus.
  • gtgtThe factors have been discussed in Next Slide..

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  • The factors have been discussed below
  • A dissertation reveals your capacity and skills
    as a researcher
  • This type of assignment adds to your final grades
    and has the power of affecting your CGPA
  • A dissertation helps in demonstrating whether you
    posses certain abilities. It helps display
    whether youre able to identify your own area of
    interest, whether you can carry out extensive
    research on the topic you have chosen, whether
    you can express yourself clearly through your
    write-up and whether you have the skills to
    execute this mammoth task on your own
  • A dissertation helps you to prepare for your
    career, and a well-written dissertation can land
    you a really good job
  • A dissertation is a way of testing your knowledge
    and your grasp of the subject matter
  • Dissertations also have a role to play in the
    pursuing of higher studies and can determine
    whether you will get admission in the university
    of your choice.

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  • 1. Abstract
  • An abstract is a short summary of the entire
    dissertation. It consists of the research
    question along with chapter outlines and the
    conclusion. This is the first thing that a person
    is going to read in your dissertation so write it
    well.

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  • 2. Research question
  • The next important component is the research
    question. It is the fundamental question that
    defines your research and forms the crux of the
    research. This should come in the introduction
    preferably in a separate section. Additionally
    this portion should be written well since people
    would be drawn towards the rest of the
    dissertation by your research question. The
    stronger the question is, the likelier it is to
    evoke curiosity.

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  • 3. Literature review
  • Another equally important part is to give an
    overview of all the existing research work done
    on the subject. This is crucial because it serves
    two purposes firstly, it lets your dissertation
    committee know that you have a good grip on the
    existing literature on the subject and the
    questions you should be asking. Secondly, it
    gives a holistic perspective to the students on
    the topic of your research and helps them to
    place your research within larger area of study.

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  • 4. Chapters
  • Chapters form the main pillars of your
    dissertation. A well written dissertation neatly
    divided into five or more chapters is your best
    bet. Anything less than three is too short and
    anything more than five is bit too lengthy. Five
    chapters seem perfect. Each chapter should
    concentrate on a particular topic and should be
    written in a manner so that it can make for an
    independent reading.

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  • 5. Bibliography
  • Many students think bibliography an unnecessary
    imposition on the student community already
    reeling under the pressure of writing a
    dissertation. A bibliography is a tabular list of
    the names of the authors who have been consulted
    by a student while writing the dissertation. All
    the sources of direct and indirect influences
    should be mentioned. Although it might seem like
    an imposition, it is important that you write
    full length bibliography.
  • Lets guide you on how each component of the
    dissertation should be framed if you are
    composing a 10000-word long dissertation. Here is
    a standard dissertation framework.

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Proposed Title of the Dissertation
  • Let us begin by deconstructing a dissertation.
    What are the main parts of a dissertation? What
    to include and what not to include?
  • A dissertation as we mentioned before is a formal
    piece of writing of considerable length which
    consists of the following parts
  • In Next Slide-gt

Basic components Proposed Distribution of Word () Total Word Count
Abstract    
Chapter1 Introduction Research Aim Research Objectives 10 1000 Words
Chapter 2 LiteratureReview 25 2500 Words
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Proposed Title of the Dissertation
Basic components Chapter 3 ResearchMethodology Research Approach Research Design Data Collection Procedure Data Sources Primary and Secondary Or Both Qualitative Specific ModelThematic and Interview etc. Quantitative Specific modelRegression, ANOVA, T test,Z test,etc  Or Both Population and SampleSampling Techniqueplease specify Sample SizePlease specify Proposed Distribution of Word () 20 Total Word Count 2000 Words
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Proposed Title of the Dissertation
Basic components Proposed Distribution of Word () Total Word Count
Abstract    
Chapter 4Analysis 30 3000 Words
Chapter 5Conclusion References Count and Style Appendix Transcript Data Ethical Form 15 1500 Words
Now let us understand the finer aspects of each
component of the dissertation.
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How to hunt for dissertation topic?
  • The first thing that you will need for writing a
    dissertation is an interesting topic to work
    upon. Students in grad schools spent a large part
    of their PhD coursework flitting from one topic
    to another. Others drop the very idea of doing a
    research. Many change their supervisors midway
    because of the changes done on the dissertation
    topic. All these have dreadful consequences for
    the dissertation project as a whole.
  • gtgtIn Next Slide Read 10 killer tips

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Here are 10 killer tips on how to choose a
dissertation topic
How to stick to that topic and what not to do
while choosing a topic.
  1. Relevance is the key. Whether you are choosing on
    your own or are dependent on the supervisor while
    choosing a topic, it is advised that your topic
    should be relevant. Relevance should be judged in
    terms of the contribution that the research work
    can make to the broader field of study. You
    should be up to date to the current developments
    in your fields. This is particularly true in the
    field of medicine, genetics, microbiology, IT and
    engineering.

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  1. Your research should attract funding. All
    researchers know the pain one has to endure while
    finding financial resources for a research
    project. As such try that the topic of your
    research should be such that it would
    automatically attract funding. Cutting-edge
    research work is likely to attract more funding.
    Projects on cancer research, HIV, genetics and
    stem cell are likely to attract both academic and
    corporate funding.
  2. Your topic should not overlap exactly with your
    peers or any other research works currently being
    undertaken. This devalues the novelty of your
    research work.

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  1. Select your topic in consultation with your
    supervisor. Your supervisor should be well aware
    of the field of research you are undertaking.
    This is due to the fact that selection of the
    supervisor should be based on a large extent on
    the topic chosen.
  2. Your supervisor might help you in finding a
    suitable research topic. Always take his or her
    help. He or she should be well aware of the
    current research trends and might suggest a word
    or two on possible research subjects.

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  1. Alternatively, you can attend seminar, workshops,
    graduate courses, summer schools and internships
    to come up with possible research ideas. In
    higher academia, these are the areas where ideas
    germinate. You would be talking to other
    academicians, learning about their research work
    and getting inspired. Famous astrophysicist
    Steven Hawking got the idea of his dissertation
    from a lecture on Black Holes by the famous
    English Mathematical physicist Roger Penrose.

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  1. Talking to your fiends can help too. You can have
    brainstorming sessions where each one of you can
    come up with an informal presentation on a
    particular research topic. Alternatively, you can
    join a reading circle or a student group which
    can help you to come up with research topic.
  2. You should never choose a topic which is
    outdated, overworked or entirely irrelevant. Your
    committee is not likely to pass it. Further, you
    are unlikely to get any kind of research funding
    for your topic.

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  1. Do not forget to approve your dissertation topic
    by committee and your supervisor formally.
  2. Finally do not delay. One cannot harp this point
    more. The more you spend on searching for a topic
    the lesser time you have for finishing the
    research work. Our advice is to find a topic as
    quickly as possible and get down working.

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How to formulate a research question
  • A research question defines your research. The
    stronger the research question is the better it
    is. It shows that you have quite a hold over the
    existing literature and a good grasp over the
    research questions which have been previously
    asked by the scholars in your field.
  • Here is a list of 5 things that you should keep
    in mind while formulating a research question
  • gtgt Read the List in Next Slide

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  1. A strong research proposal must past the so
    what test. This means how important your
    research is to the larger field of research. How
    relevant it is to the contemporary world and how
    is it going to benefit your research field. So if
    you researching on stem cell therapy, then you
    must justify your research by suggesting how your
    research is going to find a cure for people
    suffering from terminal diseases like cancer and
    HIV/AIDS.

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  1. Think whether your research question is going to
    find you funding or not. This again is related to
    the relevance of your research project. You are
    unlikely to find any funding if your research
    question is irrelevant and outdated.
  2. Keep your research question focused and narrow.
    So if you are researching on substance abuse then
    instead of asking how substance abuse occurs, ask
    what is the relationship between early childhood
    experiences and substance abuse in later years.

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  1. Always think of areas of research which have not
    been touched upon instead of focusing on areas
    which have already been done to death.
  2. Finally, do not forget to mention the scope and
    limitations of your research. It is
    understandable that you would not be able to
    accommodate all the research themes. So try to be
    realistic and set research goals which would be
    easily achievable.

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What are the chief research methodologies?
  • The process used to collect information and data
    for the purpose of writing a dissertation is
    called dissertation research methodology. It
    consists of a number of processes.
  • Here are the 5 top research methods.
  • gtgt Read Methods in Next Slide.

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  • Interviews
  • An interview is a conversation between two
    persons (an interviewer and an interviewee) in
    which questions are asked in order to get
    information for research purposes. It is quite a
    popular method for getting qualitative
    information. It is common in social sciences,
    marketing and psychology. There are many types of
    interviews formal and informal open and close
    ended etc. In formal interviews, the same set of
    questions is asked to everyone. In an informal
    interview, the style is conversational. In an
    open-ended interview, questions are deliberately
    kept broad and open-ended to elicit responses
    that can be analyzed more cogently. On the other
    hand, fixed and closed interviews are based on a
    set of pre-determined question and answers where
    the interviewer has to choose one of the answers
    given.

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  • Historical research
  • This mode of qualitative research is quite
    popular in history. There are four key sources
    for carrying out this kind of information
  • Archival sources or old historical documents
    which are preserved in the archives and the
    museums
  • Secondary sources which include books and journal
    articles
  • Governmental reports like census data etc
  • And literary sources like autobiographies,
    memoirs and recollections.

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  • Survey
  • Among all the methodologies of quantitative
    research, survey is the most important.
    Statistical surveys are undertaken to reveal
    quantitative results about populations. Some
    examples of surveys are census, polls and market
    research analysis.

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  • Case study
  • Being a part of qualitative research methodology,
    a case study is a research methodology where
    theories are applied in real life case scenarios
    in order to examine whether these theories have
    validity or not. It is quite a popular
    methodology in social sciences. However,
    now-a-days, it is majorly used in law and
    business. In law, a student is given a situation
    involving a legal dispute and he is asked to come
    up with a suitable legal outcome of the dispute.
    On the other hand, a business case study involves
    a real or a fictive situation of a business
    enterprise and the student is asked to come up
    with some business strategies which would help
    the company to come out of this situation.

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  • Theoretical analysis
  • This method is quite common for theoretical
    subjects like philosophy, English, comparative
    literature, cultural studies, film studies,
    gender and queer studies etc. Basically, in this
    method, we try to apply high philosophical
    theories to literature, cinema, drama and
    contemporary situations, not just as formulas but
    as critical exercises which would help us to
    question given assumptions about our human
    society.

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How to write chapters for your dissertation?
  • Next, we move on to writing your chapters. They
    form the main pillars of your dissertation. They
    make up the main body of your dissertation and
    you would be judged on the basis of your
    chapters. Do keep in mind the following tips
    while writing your chapters.
  • There should be a minimum of five chapters
    including introduction and conclusion. Anything
    less than five is unacceptable in a dissertation.
    On the other hand, a dissertation which runs into
    several unnecessary chapters is unlikely to
    impress your dissertation committee either.

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  • Next, lets talk about research themes and how to
    organize them. It is possible that you would be
    dealing with multiple themes. Do not cram them
    into one or two chapters. Try to divide it into
    several small chapters, each dedicated to a
    particular research theme. Here is an example
  • Suppose your research theme is the banking
    practices of large global corporations and how
    they affect poor third world nations then try to
    divide this into three separate chapters
  • gtgtRead Chapter in Next Slide.

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  • Chapter 1 Global financial institutions like IMF
    and the World Bank
  • Chapter 2 Financial policies of international
    banks like Citibank, American Express and how
    they try to arm-twist poor countries to give them
    unethical tax-cuts which augment their profit.
  • Chapter 3 Chronic poverty of third world nations
    and how they are forced to accept the terms and
    conditions of the big banks.

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  1. Try to keep the chapters short and compact.
    Inordinate length of chapters might put your
    dissertation committee off.
  2. Finally, your writing style should be simple yet
    effective. Your readers should enjoy what you
    have written.

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How to do citations and bibliography?
  • Both require special skills and technique.
    Citations are acknowledgements of references
    which you have used in the course of writing your
    dissertation. A bibliography is a tabular list of
    the names of the author and their books which you
    have used. Both are necessary for your research.
  • Citations There are four ways to cite your
    sources. They are dictated by various educational
    institutions. They are APA, MLA, Harvard and
    Chicago.

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  • Harvard follows in-text citation which is
    parenthetical in nature. So the name of the
    author and year of publication should come in the
    text within parenthesis. Here is an exampleJohn
    Williams Finance Accounting, New York,
    2001According to Harvard style, it should be
    written like thisJohn Williams, 2001.

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  • Chicago style follows end text citations. They
    are either written as footnotes or as endnotes.
    Here is an examplePorter Stephen, Principles of
    Advanced Accounting, Minnesota, 1989.According
    to Chicago style, it should be written in the
    following mannerPorter Stephen, Principles of
    Advanced Accounting, Minnesota, 1989.

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  • APA referencing is the style followed by American
    Psychological Association. It is followed in
    science subjects and is more or less the same as
    other in-text citation styles.

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  • Finally, MLA referencing is followed in all
    humanities based subjects. It simply states the
    authors name along with page number. So if the
    reference is the followingJohn Hamilton,
    Introduction to Literary Theory, London 1996Then
    simply write, (Hamilton, p. 26)

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Bibliography
  • It is the final step of a dissertation. It lists
    all the references you have used in an
    alphabetical order. To make it neat and clean,
    you can further divide them into books, journals
    and internet resources.
  • gtgtRead the Recapitulation in Next Slide

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Writing a dissertation A recapitulation
  • Topic is supremely important. The more
    interesting your topic is the more likely you are
    to find a supervisor and funding.
  • Try to formulate a strong research question. It
    should show a good grasp over your field of
    study.
  • Your research chapters should be five in number.
  • Each chapter should concentrate on a particular
    research theme.

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  • Writing style should be clear and simple.
  • Do not forget to cite all your references.
  • Do a thorough proofreading and copy-editing to
    make your dissertation error-free.
  • Finally, remember that your dissertation is the
    final step towards getting a PhD degree. Writing
    a successful dissertation would ensure a thriving
    career in the field of higher academia. So write
    it well.

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