Preparing a Good Research DissertationFriday, November 19th, 2010
Tips for succeeding with research dissertations
If you are finishing your academic studies, it is time to think about your research dissertation. You should know by now that a dissertation (or a thesis writing) is the most important academic work you’ll ever be going to handle. And writing a dissertation is a process that sometimes feels way too long and even pointless! Nevertheless, don’t give up before you start. You will triumph if you manage to organize yourself, find an interesting dissertation topic and focus on the big picture. After all, isn’t it all about getting your degree? Besides, preparing your research dissertation is hard but also rewarding.
Make sure you know what you have to do
Writing a research dissertation is a quite common assignment in college. However, “common” does not mean “easy”. Quite on the contrary, many students have difficulties when they have to write such a work. And that is because not everyone knows the basic facts for facing an appropriate research. Note that the concept of research is not as simple as it seems: at first, the student believes all they have to do is choose a topic, do some research on it (that means, read what others have written before) and then, write their dissertation based on such a research. Bad news: it is not simple at all.
Your dissertation is supposed to be a unique work that is not constrained to repeating what other authors have said before. In fact, with this work you are supposed to add some new knowledge to your discipline. So make sure you are developing plenty of though of your own, even if research is necessary.
Common mistakes in research dissertations
If you are about to present your dissertation, you may want to proofread it in order to find out if you are making one of the most common mistakes, since so many students receive this kind of comments from their tutors, are then forced to rewrite part of (or even all) their work and, therefore, find themselves very disappointed.
– No research hypothesis: you should not only choose a topic but part from a hypothesis as well. Think about it as a question you are trying to answer.
– Too general: if you happen to choose an research topic such as “Rise and fall of the USSR” and then try to synthesize it in just 50 pages.
– Inadequate bibliography: when you quote from text books, summaries or articles not suitable for your topic.
– Plagiarism: if you copy textual phrases, whether from bibliography or from dissertation samples, without quoting the source properly.
Remember that markers are always looking for a clearly-written dissertation, with well organized information. But, when it comes to research dissertations, the best marks go to an original thesis that is shown through research and a solid academic writing style.
After facing your research, you are ready to prepare a dissertation outline. Then, you will feel half of the work is done. Come on, you can do it!