Dissertation — Research and Writing Stages

The most comprehensive and challenging task a student can face during their study period is a dissertation. That is what a thesis is called sometimes. There is a big difference between this type of work and everything you've had to accomplish before. This fact only may cause a lot of worries to a PhD student. The task requires a lot of mental efforts and time, and it is not the type of work that can be done in a day. When working on the completion of a dissertation, a student may spend weeks examining numerous works and writing down tens of pages with notes which then need to be arranged into a well-structured text.

As a company involved in academic writing for many years, we want to help you get an idea of what you are going to do and how to make a dissertation process well-organized. Now, let's start with the definition of the very term.

What Is a Dissertation?

If you are a to-be PhD graduate and are assigned a work that involves conducting academic research on one of the topics and ending up with scientifically valuable results, this is called a dissertation. It is the most common type of final work for students getting a degree in the social sciences and humanities.

Since the purpose of every PhD program is to transform a graduate student into an academic researcher, the dissertation aims at showing good researching and analytical skills the candidate is expected to have developed during his or her studies. Indeed, a dissertation may be considered the culmination of a student's doctoral studies at the university.

Regardless of the program, a student's research work is a large component of the whole dissertation writing process. During the research, you may contribute a piece of totally new knowledge to the field. At the same time, you may expand or deepen previous studies.

Now, let's see what stages every PhD candidate is to pass when writing a dissertation.

The Stages of a Dissertation Process

When writing a dissertation, you are to divide your work into logical stages that will help you make your research work structured and easier to proceed with.

Step 1. Doctoral coursework

First, you have to come up with the topic of your research work. It undoubtedly should evoke interest in you and make you feel enthusiastic about the research process. Then, when you come up with the first ideas, you need to compose initial coursework. It will help narrow down the theme of investigation. When the work is done, you will be ready for formal research.

Step 2. Proposal

The goal of the proposal is defining a methodology for future research and the plan of work. When choosing a methodology, you can select the empirical research method or decide to make a library-based project. After defining these details, you should get the approval of your mentor and the committee.

Step 3. Research

This is the main thing in the whole dissertation as its goal is to convert you from an average college-goer to a full-blown scholar. That means that the form of investigation here will differ from everything you had dealt with before in your studies. You need to collect data from credible sources that are related to the chosen field of study. Those can be primary or secondary, depending on the methodology you've chosen. This will help you come up with your research questions. Remember that the paper should include as many key facts and different points of view as necessary to uncover the research issues. Also, make notes within the examination process to make it easier to return to the sources when you need them in the writing phase.

Step 4. Writing

Now, when you collected a lot of data to base your paper on, you may start the writing stage. Keep in mind that you have to not only present the original result of your research on the topic but also do it in a clear, academically cogent, and logically structured manner. Such work more than any other academic task requires proper referencing and adhering to all academic standards concerning length, language, and style.

The paper should include at least 5 independent chapters and eventually should look like a book. All the chapters should go in a logical order and develop a theory and explain a research problem in detail. The final chapter is for you to outline the value of your independent study.

The general structure of a dissertation includes a few "meat" parts.

  • Introduction
    In this section of a paper, you need to introduce the topic to the reader and assure them of the significance of your custom research. You need not overload the reader with lots of details but make sure you've listed the goals of your work here.
  • Main body
    This is where you have to present all the theoretical info you collected at the previous stage and arguments supporting your ideas.
  • Conclusion
    This section is designed to give a summary of the main points of your paper. Also, it is the right place to discuss the outcomes of your investigation and their significance to the scholar community. As well as that, here you need to propose a course for future investigation of your theme.

Step 5. Abstract

Here, briefly and succinctly describe your work. The allowed amount of words may be different for students of various programs. To anticipate it, consult your supervisor and ask them about this detail.

Step 6. Proofreading and formatting

At the final stage, you have to re-read your completed paper. This is a crucial stage for eliminating all the mistakes and making sure your ideas are clear to the reader. Rewrite your weak parts and check if the required chapters work well together.

Also, ask your supervisor about the formatting requirements for your paper. Check the formatting of the title page, reference list, and the whole work in general.

If everything is done right, your dissertation will serve as the proof of your great intellectual, study, research, and presentation skills you've developed throughout your studies. Consequently, an oral defense in front of the examiners will be an easy task for you. That way, you won't fall into a stupor after being asked a series of tricky questions.

As a result, you will reach your ultimate goal — become a part of the scholar community with your scholarly work and be able to contribute to the development of new knowledge in your area of interest.

But if this all sounds too complicated for you, better rely on professionals in academic writing. Luckily, we are the ones who will help you with all the tedious researching and writing stuff whenever you need a Master's thesis or dissertation. Just tell us the details of your project and what your doctoral dissertation should be like. Then, get the exact result you deserve!