What Are the Steps in Writing a Dissertation?
In this page, we will outline the 10 steps in writing a dissertation without losing concentration of missing important steps along the way. If you’re just starting the dissertation writing process, this page is a priceless resource for you.
The 10 Steps in Writing a Dissertation
A dissertation is a research document submitted to obtain a PhD certificate. A dissertation is typically written in the final year of university education. Writing a dissertation is a rigorous process that may require time and energy to complete.
A dissertation also necessitates extensive research from other relevant sources. For many students, writing a dissertation paper can be a difficult task. Understanding the big picture strategy of writing a dissertation, on the other hand, may make your research journey easier.
Short on time? Here are the 10 steps in writing a dissertation:
- Clearly understand what a dissertation is,
- Find a unique and valuable research topic,
- Write a convincing research proposal,
- Create a strong introduction chapter,
- Carry out a rigorous literature review,
- Conduct an in-depth research,
- Present your findings,
- Conclude and discuss the implications,
- List your sources or references,
- Prepare your defense presentation.
- Clearly understand what a dissertation is
Understanding what a dissertation is may not matter to many students, but it is a booster towards getting a smooth process of writing a dissertation. Most students turn to us for help in writing their dissertation, and it becomes evident that they don’t fully understand what a dissertation is. Therefore, a dissertation is a well-formatted formal piece of research work with a well-articulated research topic or questions and bases its research on the findings of other researchers. A dissertation also includes a student’s argument on the subject of study and provides answers to the original research questions.
2. Find a unique and valuable research topic
The second step in writing a dissertation is ensuring that your research topic asks a specific question or set of questions. Many students think that a research question must be broad or that finding a research topic is as easy as finding questions. A research topic should be clear, concise, and significant.
- Clear: A research topic should clearly state your research plan when we say clear. In addition, your topic should not contain ambiguity or vagueness in expressing your research content.
- Unique: When choosing a dissertation topic, your research question must ask unique questions. A unique research question allows you to broaden your research and focus on a specific research set, making your work original.
- Significant: Having a research question or topic that is clear and unique is not enough to make your research question stand out. A research question needs to have value, and answering them successfully should have a significant impact on the field of your research industry.
- Write a convincing research proposal
Once you are good to go with your research topic, the next step is to convince your faculty panel that your research is worth the work. Getting a good topic is not the end of the road, as your topic still needs to be approved to allow you to move forward with your research. Getting a good research proposal should include all the factors that will convince the University to let you get on with your research. A research proposal should have a well-articulated, unique, and an important research topic with existing literature to support your analysis. It should also include a provisional plan regarding how your data will be collected and analysed.
- Create a strong introduction chapter
After your proposal has been approved, you can proceed to write your main dissertation. Moreover, suppose you put your time and energy into creating a good proposal. The first three chapters could be used to craft your dissertation as a proposal can be used as a basis for writing a dissertation paper. Your introduction should be able to create an overview of what your research is about to get a reader to get a glimpse of what you will be researching and the significance of your research. Your introduction should consist of a briefly discussed background study, a problem statement explaining the issue at hand and its current state f research, a research question that forms the main basis of your research, and the significance of your study.
- Carry out a rigorous literature review
Your dissertation needs to have other sources to support your research. Going back to step three, we mentioned that you have to consult existing literature to support your argument to writing a good research proposal. However, that is just more of crafting the surface of your dissertation. A dissertation needs an in-depth literature review with meticulous ideas to make your research paper interesting and educative. To understand other sources in-depth, you need to ensure that you have covered all literature relevant to your topic of study and create a well-integrated and comprehensive form of that literature. This part of your dissertation requires time and commitment; therefore, make sure you allocate a good amount of time for literature review while planning out your research.
- Carry out your research
It’s time to develop your research. After fully understanding the arguments in existing research, you can build your research specifically to answer your research questions. This section of your dissertation describes the “how” of your research. This section of your dissertation consists of two steps.
- Designing your research strategy
Designing your research strategy requires that you make firm decisions about research design. Your study philosophy, general approach, data collection methods, and data analysis methods are all factors to consider while deciding on your research design.
- Data collection and data analysis
This section involves putting your ideas and arguments into action. It includes data collection, which may use data collection methods such as interviews, questionnaires, and observation, among many others. It also includes data preparation which mainly involves transcribing audio data into text. Finally, after you’ve prepared your data, you’ll analyse it using the methods you specified in your approach. Data analysis methods may include qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods approaches depending on your research concerns.
- Present your findings
After you have completed your data analysis, you can create a good in-depth interpretation of your result findings. These findings are often presented in two chapters; the results chapter and the discussion chapter.
- Result chapter
This chapter presents your processed data findings clearly and neatly without interpretation. In simple terms, this section presents your results in a statistical form.
- Discussion chapter
A discussion chapter interprets the data in words as though it explains a story. The discussion chapter will explain what the numbers and the graphs or diagrams mean concerning your research question.
- Conclude and discuss the implications
This is the last section of your dissertation, and it involves a summary of your key findings and the implications of these findings. In this section, you should ensure that your key findings directly relate to your original research question. On the other hand, the impacts of your research findings should demonstrate the significance of these key findings to your area or the industry.
9. List your sources or references
Compile and list all the sources that you used in the dissertation according to the requirements of the style in which you are writing the dissertation.
10. Prepare your defense presentation
Usually, presentations are structured in a Power Point presentation. Prepare adequately for the day of defense by ensuring that you have all sections of your dissertation at your fingertips. Be ready to answer all the questions your supervisors might have.