A dissertation or thesis is an extended and narrowly focussed piece of academic writing required for graduating from college or university both in the UK or abroad. Importantly, it demonstrates the author’s ability to work with field-related academic literature but also to formulate hypotheses and original ideas, correctly apply research methodology, derive conclusions, obtain results, perform relevant analysis on them, etc. Knowing what is dissertation helps to approach this task systematically.
Step-by-Step Dissertation Writing Process
Creating a thesis statement/hypothesis. Although thesis statements or hypotheses are typically just one or a couple phrases long, they encompass the very essence of investigative projects, hence, they must be very precisely formulated and well-targeted. One can’t write a thesis unless there is a clear understanding of what the research should be about. Importantly, while progressing through a project, one might need to reformulate a thesis for adjusting it to new discoveries or understandings. Most importantly, it should be in close agreement with all subsequent content.
Writing a research proposal. A research proposal outlines the proposed investigation project, highlighting key information, such as the project’s importance, key goals, objectives, methods, strategies, expected results, their impact, etc. Essentially, it is advertising this project in front of other experts including regulatory bodies, so that they can evaluate how realistic it is, how innovative, how justified considering the anticipated impact, financial or time costs.
Conducting effective research. Obviously, depending on the discipline, the research is very different and involves laboratory experiments in controlled conditions, real-life observation, data integration/analysis, surveys, theoretical modeling. But regardless of this, all research should be performed following a clearly defined logic and high academic standards for help with dissertation. For instance, it is sound practice to reject original hypotheses for which poor statistical significance was obtained following multiple testing. Instead of engaging in p-hacking or changing original hypotheses AFTER these tests are run.
Creating a structure/outline. Once one dives into research and starts collecting results, a structure starts to emerge and how to write a dissertation is not a scary question anymore. It is particularly true for sections like Results or Discussion for sections like Literature review or Methods, an approximate structure could be predicted in advance, but this structure may evolve too.
Writing of the dissertation. Note that it could be easier to start writing the Methods or Results sections first, followed by Discussion and to end with Literature Review. This is because one doesn’t know in advance where the results and consequently, the discussion would lead – it might happen that the Literature Review would need adjustments later to initialize readers into certain content covered in the Results or Discussion sections. As for citing bibliographic sources, every piece of evidence should be referenced immediately for greater productivity.
Editing and formatting. A dissertation is no place for grammar mistakes, wordiness, vague formulations, colloquialisms, etc. The language should be correct, precise, and concise, matching the rigor of academic writing without sacrificing readability or content. Formatting is also essential – authors need to be keenly aware of the citation styles requested or expected in their discipline and to closely abide by these styles but also by other formatting requirements. Note that apart from writing a thesis from scratch, a typical dissertation writing service also offers editing or proofreading services, so language issues should never be limiting, even for those who haven’t grown up in the UK.
Dissertation Do’s & Don’ts
Work in close collaboration with your supervisor – it will ensure not only that you benefit and learn from his/her expertise but also that you don’t deviate from set expectations so that your thesis wouldn’t have to be rewritten or your experiments to be redone
Allocate plenty of time for this task and work systematically – the only sustained effort will allow producing a polished and valuable piece of work
Backup your drafts using cloud storage services or other methods. Take it seriously – it would be devastating and stupid to lose months or years of effort due to a hard drive failure.
Don’t go off-topic – it is a frequent mistake concerning especially the Literature Review section. Remember, this section should “serve” other sections – it introduces the context within which your project unfolds, your results are compared and analyzed, and implications are formulated.
Don’t exaggerate the contribution/ expected impact of your research – be realistic and objective
Don’t leave bibliography editing for the last minute – virtually everybody underestimates how much time it consumes, especially if not using a citation manager
Although dissertations are likely to be the most complex projects students encounter as part of their education, these can be mastered with enough properly targeted effort and with a clear understanding of these tasks. Also note that if you are stuck at any research, data analysis, or writing stage, it is also an option to get dissertation help from specialized services.