At the heart of any dissertation research, there is a literature review. It means that such work takes significant effort and time to collect and process large data samples. While a usual university essay may only require a strong thesis statement leading to argumentative or reflective paragraphs, the dissertation asks for obligatory extensive research. It must start at the very beginning while there is still time to discuss preferred ideas with a supervisor to ensure that there is no misunderstanding or missed points.
Effective Dissertation Research Planning Rules
Find a good topic that suits your personal preferences and can be narrowed down, so it does not appear as too broad. Since most undergraduate or Master’s level students are free to pursue an idea, choose a unique subject that will increase the significance of a study.
Write a research proposal by including enough credible information, so major flaws are eliminated before any work begins.
Create a dissertation proposal by following an accessible, logical structure. If there are several possible study approaches, compare and brainstorm them for the one that may allow more freedom in the future as relevant literature is explored.
Always follow an existing outline to keep study problems within explored data samples. If something is not mentioned in headings or subheadings, do not include anything extra as it will make a thesis and structure vague. Now all that has been included in the dissertation proposal must be followed without any deviations unless there are approved justifications.
Keep on the topic between section paragraphs because successful structure should maintain the same idea all the way through. Although it is not obligatory when writing an essay, a dissertation has to include study problems and questions in each section.
5 Tips for Successful Research
- Talk to your supervisor. Discuss every concern without any delay, providing proposal drafts and a list of sources that will be used in the future. Once stuck with chapter rules or sample volume limitations, consider asking for help.
- Consult similar research works. Before any work has been started, spend time reviewing various papers on related topics. It will provide greater scientific insight regarding the subject’s problematic, explaining the significance of a study.
- Choose only credible sources. As the research project approaches the literature review stage, use only those sources that have been approved by the supervisor. Avoid unclear references that do not connect to the initial idea. Use the course textbook to add more relevant examples, if allowed.
- Collect and sort data. Most British students get stuck once they are done looking through the available data. Start collecting acquired information chapter by chapter, based on the dissertation outline, so any references that are not necessary will be avoided.
- Use concept mapping. If it becomes challenging to see an overall picture, draw a concept map where the main problem is shown in the middle with each section being added like a new branch. Thanks to its visual effect, it gets much easier to switch between dissertation chapters.
Dissertation Research Proposal Example
A general rule is to avoid referring to yourself in the first person and exclude the identification of a person. In most cases, the following dissertation template is required:
- Statement of Purpose
It contains a background introduction regarding the study’s purpose.
- Problem Description
Identify the problem both from a theoretical and practical background. Add details when necessary with the brief references to similar research.
- Literature Review
In this chapter, there should be no less than 2-3 peer-reviewed sources related to specified problems and a reason that motivates the research. Provide description and relevancy of each reference, explaining how it relates to a particular study. If applicable, mention specific ideas that will be taken from another work and how they might be incorporated into one’s own dissertation. In certain cases, British universities allow using class textbooks or lecture materials as supplementary sources. An amount allocated for this chapter should not exceed 30% of the total size.
- Project Description
Information should be based upon data acquired from the aforementioned literature review. Proceed with an action plan, including basic subheadings within the lines of:
- Primary dissertation research questions
- Study setting or sample
- Participants (qualitative method)
- Time frame
- Data Collection
It is advisable to rephrase the research question word by word, describing what qualitative or quantitative data methods will be used for the determination of the project’s impact. In several cases, both methods can be applied. Proceed by telling how certain data will be collected, describe planned tools like surveys, interviews or comparisons. If there are already existing materials, attach them as the appendix.
- Data Analysis
This section should explain how data analysis will be implemented. Supervisors usually recommend turning to comparison and contrast methods, especially when there are groups and sub-groups mentioned. Once research dissertation methodology is explained, provide a brief description of your research problem by telling why certain analysis approach has been chosen.
Ensure that all literature references mentioned are cited in the paper’s body, meeting required format rules.
In case of any concerns or questions, always refer to an initial outline that has been approved by your academic advisor. Regardless of what dissertation research methods are preferred, it is crucial to plan everything in advance to avoid unclear ideas or arguments that do not relate to the main problem stated.