A Concise Guide to Planning a Successful Dissertation

Kaley Spenser
August 16, 2019

What can be more responsible than writing a dissertation? It takes months and even years to find appropriate sources, draft, and put your dissertation together. Though there is no universal solution to writing a successful dissertation, except for ordering one from a dissertation writing service by PapersOwl, you can take advantage of our concise guide that will assist you in every step of the planning process.

Write a Proposal

Of course, you know that the first step in writing your dissertation is a proposal where you seek for peers’ approval of your topic, as well as the methodology of your research. Crafting an appealing proposal is a time-consuming process. Moreover, it requires a good deal of mental and physical exertion. You need to review and analyze tons of literature before you can finally come up with an impressive and worthwhile proposal. Factor in selecting your committee members and chair, which also demands much time and effort.

Make sure to focus and define your topic in the proposal. Should you have any difficulty outlining your main objectives, you may want to narrow your subject matter a little bit more. We also recommend that you try grasping the broader picture of what you’re going o discuss in your doctoral thesis. Start jotting down the ideas you intend to mention in your introduction. In the process of writing, you may want to reconsider some points or reframe your special emphasis.

If you’re still beating your brain out trying to figure out what direction your research will take you, consider creating an outline if your proposal. You’ll be able to present it to your committee members and thus help them form an idea of what you’re going to discuss.

If you’re working on a serious academic paper, it doesn’t mean that your writing shouldn’t be interesting. Make your proposal engaging and catchy. Spice it up with quotes from recognized people to make it look more appealing and impressive.

Do Research and Collect Data

Collecting data is undoubtedly a crux of your dissertation. Therefore, you need to do your best to gather high quality, reliable, and up-to-date sources to support your ideas and substantiate your claims. If you don’t know where to start, start with your school library that is called to serve students’ needs. You can borrow the necessary books and use all available resources to their full advantage. Be ready to sift through Myriads of books, articles, and anthologies to find exactly what you’re looking for. To make this task less burdensome, start with general research. You can even check out such popular websites as Sage, Google Scholar, PubMed, and JSTOR. Once you’re done with the random search, you may start looking for some specific articles your secondary sources may refer to.

Keep in mind that those sources that are considered appropriate for a capstone project may be deemed improper for a dissertation. A good idea is to use as many primary sources as possible when creating your dissertation. Focus on studies and documents with first-hand evidence about events, people, ideas, or phenomena, since exactly such sources are considered suitable to be cited in dissertations. Gather the information, analyze the results, and draw your conclusions.

Lots of doctoral candidates rely on questionnaires as research instruments. Though it’s a good idea to use questionnaires as supplementary tools, they’re often not enough to be used as standalone instruments. Therefore, make sure to include at least one more instrument along with you questionnaire. A survey and an interview are worthwhile options to consider.

Check, Proofread, Polish

It so happens that students often disregard such an important aspect as editing and proofreading drafts of their dissertation. Don’t make the same mistake and revisit your draft several times. Also, it’s a good idea to read it out loud. This seemingly simple trick with help you identify potentially weak places in your writing and correct your mistakes. We want to spare you a lengthy lecture about the necessity to check your draft for errors and irrelevant information. Just keep in mind that the rules of standard English grammar and syntax must apply to everything you write in your dissertation. If you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to cope with proofreading yourself, you may want to consider availing yourself of professional writing services’ help.

With that in mind, embark on an emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually demanding journey towards your doctoral degree. Per aspera ad astra!

About the Author

Share this article