Dissertation QuestionsSunday, February 8th, 2009
A useful guide for dissertation format.
These dissertation questions aim to help you to your dissertation guide. As you see a dissertation format is different than an essay format.
What are the issues that I need to examine before choosing dissertation topics?
First of all, the topic should suit to your personal interests (scientific, professional, political, philosophical, etc.) It is very helpful if you have a good background in terms of degree courses you have attended and are relevant to the topic.
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How specific should the topic be?
It should be specific enough to start your dissertation with some relative certainty. If the topic is not very specific, then a preliminary study of the literature is needed. You should be able to understand / determine the cognitive area in which the topic belongs to.
What sources should I look to?
Generally, the order of importance of the sources is: a) books, b) scientific journal articles, c) Articles of scientific conferences. Most sources, however, are scientific articles in journals and conferences. These writings are evaluated by scientists before they are published (and are evaluated in an indirect way after they have been published) and thus are safe to use as references but you should always study them with a critical view. Generally, you should not have as a central source of your dissertation other sources such as newspaper articles, personal opinions from people on the internet pages, etc. Do prefer recent sources and make sure that a relatively old source has still certain value and it is not superseded by events before you rely on it.
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What do you mean by critical view?
A critical view requires understanding of the topic and then designs a personal and informed perspective thereon. You should be able to deal with questions and criticism, even about things you consider obvious,in other words you should realize why you have a certain position / argument. Take into consideration that some examiners-readers-listeners may not have deep knowledge on the subject of your dissertation and so they will make your very basic and simple questions – which are typically the most difficult ones to answer. Examiners also use methods like the “lawyer of the devil “in order to test your knowledge on the subject of your dissertation.
What are the key dissertation questions are when defending a dissertation proposal?
You should be able to answer questions like: What is the main problem that your dissertation wants to deal with? Why is it a problem? What methodology / approach do you use to address the problem? What are the basic principles and the inherent problems of the approach selected? What other visual approaches etc-you could have used and why did you not (why did you not use the methodology xyz)? Why using these sources to which you refer (why not refer to XYZ source which addresses the aspect abc)? What are the key findings – results of your dissertation? How did you confirm the reliability / validity of results? What are the limitations of the results of your dissertation? What future work is needed to get to safer – more extensive findings – results?
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This was a small dissertation help. Next time more dissertation ideas for your dissertation proposal will be discussed.