What is a dissertation? Is it the same as a thesis?
A dissertation is a research document that students are required to accomplish as part of their PhD degrees. On the other hand, a thesis is the culmination of a bachelor’s or master’s degree program. The two are often confused because they are both written at the end of a program. However, a thesis and a dissertation have stark differences.
A thesis seeks to demonstrate the spectrum of knowledge you have acquired during your early academic years, a dissertation aims to contribute new knowledge to the field of study for you to earn a doctorate degree. The point of a dissertation is to develop a unique concept in the field, develop it, defend its validity, and stack that piece of knowledge for the academic and professional community. A dissertation is the most important piece of academic writing for post-graduate students.
Both a dissertation and a thesis require rigorous research, however, what distinguishes a dissertation from an undergraduate thesis is its complexity and specificity. It requires extensive planning; and the Master’s or PhD student is expected to offer something original that will significantly contribute to the current literature of their respective field, for the benefit of future researchers. Basically, as a Master’s and PhD student, you are no longer a learner; you are already a contributor to the professional field you belong with.
Where to start with your dissertation
Dissertation writing is comprised mainly of research and data gathering. Writing, which produces the final document of your dissertation, usually takes a backseat until the latter stage of the dissertation process. Yet it is not something that can be neglected.
The easiest way to start with your dissertation is by mapping out the contents of each chapter. Once you have mapped out your ideas, proceed with writing the Literature Review. Go down the contents page and write the Introduction and the Abstract last.
Usually, Master's and PhD students are already exhausted from data gathering and other steps of the research process that they don’t have the energy to write a dissertation that sounds formal and professional. It doesn’t help that PhD students are often required to juggle dissertation writing with their profession because they need to pay for their post-graduate degree, and so they have to manage their time wisely. You can get help from a dissertation writing service to write your dissertation after you have done the appropriate research to ensure that it is written professionally.
How do I choose my doctoral dissertation topic?
The first and most gruelling step in dissertation writing is the topic selection and topic proposal. Depending on your post-graduate program, it can take one to two years to work on your dissertation. The scope of your dissertation should reflect this.
This step is crucial as your chosen dissertation topic could be, ideally, the field of study you will focus on for the rest of your professional life. So, your dissertation topic should be something that you find interesting and worthy of your time. We have examples of marketing dissertation topics you can look at to start your research process. It would also help if you consider these various angles to coming up with a dissertation topic. You can consider topics that are:
- Entirely new
- Relatively new, but needs further proof
- Research gap filler
- Recommendation continuation
Data-gathering for your dissertation
Regardless of the type of research you will do, you also need to decide the type of data collection method you need. What are the two data collection methods?
Primary data collection method
In primary data collection, the researcher is responsible for collecting data that will eventually answer their research question. You will need to design the method for data-gathering, and it needs to be suitable for your research question.
Secondary data collection method
Secondary data is data that has been collected and processed by another researcher or organization. This type of data is accessible in journals, government resources, and reports. So, secondary data collection methods often involve going through various documents. There are lots of resources nowadays, so as a researcher you need to be thorough and methodical in selecting relevant research for your dissertation. Not sure how to accomplish data collection efficiently? That's what our affordable dissertation writing service is here for.
Writing the dissertation
Actual writing constitutes only a small segment of the dissertation writing process all in all. That is why there is a tendency for post-graduate students to underestimate the weight of writing to the dissertation writing process. Majority of a Master’s or PhD student’s time will likely be devoted to reading, data gathering, and even consultation with your dissertation adviser. However, writing also takes time, and it will produce the final document that will be read by your thesis adviser, dissertation committee, potentially your future employers, and future researchers. How you write directly affects other researchers’ and professionals’ impression and understanding of your research. Your dissertation’s writing and formatting needs to be perfect, hence, you need to refresh your mind with the following:
- APA Referencing and Formatting Guide
- MLA Academic Writing Style
- Chicago Referencing Guide
- Harvard Referencing and Formatting Guide
How do you structure a dissertation?
Dissertations have specific structures that need to be followed. After all, it will be published for your field to see. Your dissertation needs to follow academic and journal standards, especially if you want to get published in an academic journal.
- Title page
- Contents page
- Materials and methods or Literature review
- Results or Sources and methods
- Discussion or Findings
These are the main chapters of your dissertation. However, each chapter will require headings and sub-headings that make the content organized and easy to understand. There is no one way to do this. Often, this depends on the writer’s instinct as each dissertation is organized based on its contents. For dilemmas like this, having an expert writer within reach make a lot of difference.
The early bird gets the worm!
It takes a long time to write a custom dissertation. The key to succeeding in a PhD program is managing your time and expectations. Plan out what you need to do and how much realistic time each task needs. If you are out of your depth, contact CustomEssayMeister right away. Our writers’ expertise is as diverse as the PhD programs around the world.