Dissertation outlines: do’s and don’tsFriday, September 24th, 2010
How to prepare a dissertation outline
We all know that the dissertation is the most important academic work of a student’s career. When preparing your dissertation, there are many things to consider. Does the idea of writing a dissertation intimidate you because you think you can’t write thousands of words, or hundreds of pages? You will probably feel much better once you have prepared your dissertation outline! One of the things that make students worried is the dissertation length. You’ll see it’s not as terrible as you thought.
However, pay attention and avoid some common dissertation outlines mistakes. Here we will tell you what to do and what not to do. After all, dissertation outlines are the entrance to the rest of the work, so you want yours to be right!
– Use the outline as a timeline: You will probably spend several months (even a year) working on your dissertation, so you must find a way to organize all dissertation steps. That is why you need an outline: then, you’ll be able to make a schedule for the rest of your work. The outline structure will help you organize your work and make it reasonable.
– The outline must link every part of the dissertation: The dissertation outline provides you the “general map”, helping you to connect the items of the dissertation in a logical way. Otherwise, all your tasks will seem unconnected and vain.
– Check the outline with your tutor: Once you have the outline done, make at least three copies: you keep one for yourself, the others are for the tutor and for the committee. Check the outline with your tutor, who will later give you the green light to move on with your writing. Then, according to this outline, you can continue the research.
– Include the following: The dissertation topic and your main statement, as well as the purposes and the dissertation issues. All dissertation outlines should also comprise the references and the literary review. Refer to the data and major figures. It is a good idea to divide the outline into chapters, as you will do with your complete dissertation. And close the outline with a conclusion.
– Don’t consider the outline a waste of time: You may think at first it is extra work. Actually, it is part of your dissertation writing.
– Don’t begin to write your introduction before the outline: When preparing your dissertation, there are many things to consider. The dissertation outline is one of the first things you need to do, and that is because your final work should be clear and organized. You’ll be wasting your time if you begin writing your introduction without an idea of what the complete thesis will look like. In fact, the introduction goes first in the text, but you should write it last.
In case you are lost, remember that although writing a dissertation is a long, hard process, you can find examples, such as an online dissertation, that will help you understand what you have to do. They can help you write better since they act as a guide for your own dissertation writing.