A dissertation is a long piece of academic writing based on original research, typically done as a requirement for a doctorate. Dissertations usually consist of five chapters: an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, and discussion. Dissertations are usually written by students in their final year of study.
The primary aim of a dissertation is not only to demonstrate the student’s own abilities and knowledge but also to contribute to the field’s current body of knowledge. Students may propose a new theory or hypothesis in their area, as well as research that debunks a previous idea. They may also tackle a new perspective on the existing study, taking it in an unexpected direction.
What is a Dissertation?
Definition: A dissertation is a lengthy, formal written research project, especially one written by a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Dissertation comes from the Latin word dissert?ti?, meaning “discussion.” A dissertation is also a formal document that argues in defense of a particular thesis.
Dissertations are typically composed of five chapters: an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, and discussion. Dissertations are usually required of students pursuing a doctoral degree (Ph.D.). It is used to assess a student’s ability to conduct original research and contribute new knowledge in their field.
Meaning of dissertation
A dissertation is a research project undertaken as part of a bachelor’s degree program. Dissertations are typically expected to be original research, and they must be defended in front of a committee of faculty members before they can be approved.
Existing research is an important part of a dissertation, as it provides context and background for the student’s own research. Dissertations must be based on significant and original research, and they must make a contribution to the field of study in which they are written.
The doctoral dissertation is the final step in the process of earning a doctorate. It is a written document that presents the candidate’s research and findings. A dissertation is usually required for most Ph.D. programs and some professional doctorates.
Doctoral programs and committee members at universities usually culminate in the completion of a dissertation. Faculty members and other scholars in the student’s research field supervise the research and writing process of the Dissertation.
Types of Dissertation
There are two main types of dissertations
1. Emprical Dissertation
An empirical dissertation is a study that uses primary data. This means that the researcher has collected first-hand data through surveys, interviews, experiments, or observation. This type of dissertation involves conducting your own research and writing up your findings.
2. Non-empirical Dissertation
A non-empirical dissertation is based on existing data and literature. This type of dissertation involves finding secondary sources (i.e. books, journal articles) and synthesizing the information to write your own dissertation. This type of dissertation is often used in the humanities and social sciences.
Skills you need to show in your Dissertation
Some of the skills that you need to show in your dissertation are
1. Research skills
The ability to formulate a good research question, collect data, analyze and interpret it, and draw appropriate conclusions from it.
2. Critical thinking
The ability to think reflectively and independently, to weigh up evidence and arguments, and make reasoned judgments.
3. Time management
The ability to plan and organize your time, and meet deadlines.
4. Writing skills:
The ability to communicate your ideas clearly and concisely in writing.
5. Presentation skills
The ability to present your ideas coherently when speaking, and to use visual aids effectively.
6. IT skills
The ability to use computer applications, such as word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software.
The ability to work effectively with others in a team.
8. Interpersonal skills
The ability to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds and cultures.
A dissertation process is a doctoral program that all faculty members must complete in order to earn their doctorate degree. No one Dissertation structure is suitable for all disciplines.
The following are some general guidelines for what you might include in each section of your Dissertation-
1. Title Page
The title page is the first page of your Dissertation. It should include the title of your Dissertation, your name, and the names of your supervisors.
The acknowledgment section is where you thank all the people who have helped you during your project. This might include your supervisor, family, and friends, or anyone else who has contributed to your project.
The abstract is a brief summary of your Dissertation, typically ranging from 150-350 words. It should include an overview of your research question, methods, results, and conclusions.
4. Table of Contents
The table of contents is a list of all the chapters and sections in your Dissertation. It should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.), and each chapter or section should be listed with its corresponding page number.
5. List of Figures and Tables
The list of figures and tables is a list of all the illustrations and data in your Dissertation. It should be numbered consecutively with Roman numerals (I, II, III, etc.), and each figure or table should be listed with its corresponding page number.
6. List of Abbreviations
The list of abbreviations is a list of all the abbreviations used in your Dissertation. It should be numbered consecutively with an alphabetized list of abbreviations, and each abbreviation should be listed with its full meaning.
The glossary is a list of all the terms used in your Dissertation. It should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.), and each term should be defined.
The introduction is the first chapter of your Dissertation. It should introduce the topic of your research, and explain why it is important. It should also state your research question, and describe how you will answer it.
9. Literature Review/Theoretical Framework
The literature review is the second chapter of your Dissertation. It should review the existing literature on your topic, and critically evaluate it. It should also identify any gaps in the literature, and explain how your research will fill these gaps.
The methodology is the third chapter of your Dissertation. It should describe the methods you used to collect and analyze data for your research.
The results are the fourth chapter of your Dissertation. They should present your findings, and discuss their implications.
The discussion is the fifth chapter of your Dissertation. It should interpret your results, and relate them back to your research question. It should also discuss any limitations of your research, and make suggestions for future research.
The conclusion is the sixth and final chapter of your Dissertation. It should summarise your findings, and discuss their implications.
14. Reference List
The reference list is a list of all the sources you used in your Dissertation. It should be formatted according to the style guide specified by your university.
The appendices are additional materials that are not essential to the Dissertation, but which might be helpful for the reader. Examples of appendices include questionnaires, data sets, and sample calculations.
16. Editing and Proofreading
Once you have finished writing your Dissertation, it is important to edit and proofread it to ensure that it is free of errors. The editing and proofreading process can be time-consuming, but it is essential to produce a high-quality Dissertation.
17. Dissertation Formatting
After you have edited and proofread your Dissertation, you need to format it according to the style guide specified by your university. This includes ensuring that your Dissertation has a consistent layout and that all of your citations and references are formatted correctly.
18. Dissertation Printing and Binding
Once you have formatted your Dissertation, you need to print it and bind it according to the specifications of your university. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process, but it is essential to produce a high-quality Dissertation.
19. Dissertation Submission
Once you have printed and bound your Dissertation, you need to submit it to your university. This usually involves filling out a Dissertation submission form and paying a submission fee. After your Dissertation has been accepted by your university, it will be sent to your supervisor for marking.
20. Dissertation Defense
Once your Dissertation has been marked by your supervisor, you may be required to defend it in an oral examination. This is an opportunity for you to discuss your research with your supervisor and other experts in your field.
21. Dissertation Publication
Once your Dissertation has been defended, you may choose to publish it in a peer-reviewed journal. This is an opportunity to share your research with the wider academic community.
How long can be a dissertation?
A Dissertation can be up to 100,000 words in length. However, the exact word limit will vary depending on your university’s requirements. For the undergraduate level, it can be 10,000-12,000 words while at the master’s level, it can be 15,000-25,000 words. For the Ph.D. level, the length of a dissertation can be 50,000 words or more.
Dissertation vs Thesis
A dissertation is done at the master’s level while a thesis is done at the Ph.D. level. A dissertation is a more extensive and thorough process than a thesis.
A dissertation is done under the supervision of a faculty member while a thesis is done under the supervision of an advisor. A dissertation requires original research while a thesis can be based on either original research or a compilation of existing literature.
A dissertation is longer and more detailed than a thesis. A thesis is usually required for a master’s degree while a dissertation is usually required for a Ph.D. Undergraduate thesis, graduate thesis, and doctorate thesis are some of the common types of thesis.
Master’s thesis research is a vital component of a student’s degree program. It allows them to explore an area of interest in greater depth and to apply their knowledge in a real-world context.
Dissertation vs Dissertation Proposal
A dissertation proposal is a document that outlines the research question, methodology, and goals of a Dissertation. A Dissertation Proposal should be approved by your supervisor before you begin writing your Dissertation. Dissertation proposals are usually 20-30 pages in length. Dissertation proposals are typically shorter and more focused than Dissertations.
Dissertation vs Essay
A Dissertation is a more extensive and thorough process than an essay. A dissertation is done at the master’s level while an essay can be done at any level.
The dissertation requires original research while an essay can be based on either original research or a compilation of existing literature. A dissertation is longer and more detailed than an essay.
A dissertation is typically written in Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins while an essay can be written in any font and spacing. The dissertation has a table of contents, a list of figures, and a list of tables while an essay does not typically have these.
Dissertation vs Research Paper
A Dissertation is a more extensive and thorough process than a research paper. A dissertation is done at the master’s level while a research paper can be done at any level.
A dissertation requires original research while a research paper can be based on either original research or a compilation of existing literature. A dissertation is longer and more detailed than a research paper. Some of the other grounds upon which research papers are different from dissertations are-
A dissertation is done under the supervision of a faculty member while a research paper can be done under the supervision of an advisor.
Dissertations are required for Ph.D. students while research papers are not necessarily required. Dissertations typically have a table of contents, a list of figures, and a list of tables while research papers do not typically have these.
Tips for Successful Dissertation Writing
1. Start early
Dissertations can take months to write, so it’s important to start early.
2. Choose a topic you’re passionate about
Dissertations are long and detailed, so you need to be interested in your topic to stay motivated.
3. Do your research
Dissertations require extensive research, so make sure you’re familiar with the literature in your field.
4. Collecting data
Writing a dissertation begins with collecting data from the existing research and conducting your own research to support your thesis statement.
5. Create a schedule
Dissertations can take months to write, so it’s important to create a schedule and stick to it.
6. Get feedback
Dissertations are usually long and detailed, so it’s important to get feedback from your supervisor and peers.
7. Take breaks
Dissertations can be stressful, so make sure to take breaks and relax.
On the concluding note, it is clear that the dissertation is a more extensive and thorough process than the thesis, research paper, and essay.
It requires original research and is usually required for a Ph.D. So, if you are working on your Dissertation, keep these things in mind!
What are your thoughts about the key elements of effective dissertation writing? Let us know in the comments below!