A dissertation, also referred to as a thesis describes a final project that undergraduate or postgraduate students present before getting their degree or doctoral degree. A dissertation is written nearly at the end of one’s academic journey. How To Write A Dissertation PaperThe paper aims to showcase the student’s skills to carry out research in a particular discipline and present results clearly and originally that will add value to the academic community. Unlike other academic research papers that have already been published, the student needs to make the thesis interesting. We all know that writing academic papers is not a walk in the park, but with the right guidelines, the writing process will be easier.  This article has outlined a step-by-step guide on how to write and structure a great dissertation.

 

Why People Find It Hard to Write A Dissertation

Before we dwell into the details of writing a dissertation, it is important to understand why writing a dissertation is hard for some students. The paper involves lots of planning, research, and writing; a process that is overwhelming and difficult for most people. You will encounter several obstacles before you write a quality thesis. Here are some of the problems that you might experience when writing dissertations;
  • Since they think there is still plenty of time, students keep pushing forward the starting point of the project. When the deadline approaches, they find themselves under a lot of pressure to work on the entire project within the shortest time possible.Why People Find It Hard to Write A Dissertation
  • Lack of proper research. Some candidates do not have enough experience writing academic papers. They do not know that one has to find relevant sources and materials, analyze them thoroughly, and discuss the results in the paper.
  • Lack of writing skills. Dissertation papers need to be written with the correct format, language, and grammar. You should also follow the right referencing guidelines. However, some individuals do not follow these strict rules of writing.
Although a thesis may seem hard, reading through these tips will make it seem like an easy job. When you follow this step-by-step guide, you will slowly fall on the right path. Dissertations have different structures depending on the discipline. For social sciences, the structure includes an introduction to the topic, a literature review, an explanation of the methodology, an overview of the research results, a discussion of the results, and a conclusion that shows the contribution of the research. Other critical elements in the thesis are an abstract, a reference list, and a title page. If you have doubts about how to structure your dissertation, it would be best if you checked with the guidelines required by your department. Now let’s look at the most important elements of a dissertation.
  • Introduction: This chapter should state the problem and give its background. Ensure everything in this part has relevance to your research and that the information is clear and engaging. The reader should be able to answer the what, why, and how questions by the end of the introduction. The following should be brought out in your introduction chapter;
    • The research topic and its background information to help contextualize your project.
    • A definition of the scope of the research.
    • The state of existing studies on the topic and the relevance of your work to the problem.
    • General and specific objectives, research questions, and how you intend to answer them.
    • An overview of the thesis structure.
  • Literature review: The literature review outlines the existing studies done on your topic. You need to conduct a literature review to gain in-depth knowledge of academic work that exists on your topic before you start the research. It is important to collect resources such as journal articles and books and select the most relevant ones, critically evaluate and analyze the sources, and draw connections like conflicts, themes, and gaps between them. The literature review should summarize the existing research on the topic and develop an argument that will justify the need for your research. Furthermore, it should also show how your thesis addresses a gap in the existing literature, proposes a better solution to an unresolved issue, utilizes a new methodological approach, and builds on the existing knowledge with new information.
  • Methodology: This section shows readers how you did your research and allows them to assess the research’s validity. The main aim of this chapter is to convince the reader that the approach you used to answer your research questions and fulfill your objectives was the best. The methodology section should include the type of research you are doing, methods of data collection, and details of how, when, and where the research was done. Aside from that, it should also include methods you used to analyze data, tools, and materials used during the research, a discussion of the obstacles you encountered while carrying out research and how you dealt with them, and an evaluation of your methods.
  • Results: This is the most crucial chapter in the dissertation writing process. The section should restate your research questions and answer them. You should only discuss results that are relevant to your research questions and objectives. There are some disciplines where the results section and the discussion will be combined, while in others they will be separated. It would be helpful to include charts, tables, and graphs in the results section for better presentation. However, the graphics should not repeat information that you have already written down; instead, they should offer additional information to add value to your thesis. In your discussion, you should offer a detailed explanation of the results of your research questions. You should explain whether the results meet your expectations and the scope you have built throughout the paper. If they were unexpected, you should explain why that happened. It is also recommended to discuss the limitations you had while conducting the research that influenced the outcome of the results and give suggestions for future research.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion should answer the primary research question to enable the reader to understand the dissertation’s central argument. It should have a reflection of everything you did during the research and how you did it. Wrap up this section by showing how your findings contribute to the existing knowledge in the area and why it matters.

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