In an earlier post, we discussed some frequently asked questions about dissertation writing. In this post, our focus is on the question how do I write my dissertation or research paper? This question is often in the mind of a university student who are mandated to write their dissertation and fulfill the requirement to graduate from the program.
Every university student is mandated to present a well-researched and written dissertation, undergraduate as well as postgraduate. This large-scale research is often what shows that one finished from a university. So, if it’s your time to write and present this long research (dissertation), this post will put you through on it.
First step we’re taking in this post is that we’ll revisit the meaning of dissertation, the types of research methods and then the features. Lastly, we’ll be exploring the best way to go about writing a good dissertation that will fetch you high mark. Stay here and read thoroughly to learn. When you’re done reading, the how do I write my dissertation or research paper question shouldn’t be too much of a worry for you.
What is a dissertation?
Dissertation is a long research work required of a university student before his or her graduation from the program. Before dissertation was only used in representing research work required of PhD students but now it is used for research work required of university students of any level, undergraduate and postgraduate. Thus, when we use dissertation, it means the research work demanded of all university students before graduation.
What are the steps in doing a research or writing a dissertation?
Doing research or writing a dissertation is not much of a hard task. The process begins with you having the conviction that this long research work and dissertation is what is expected of you. When you have the conviction then you bear it in mind that you’re to deliver an outstanding job to score a very high grade. Then you follow the steps below meticulously:
- Get a research problem/question (also considered as the research topic)
- Evaluate the veracity and possibility of success of the chosen research topic
- Gather data and material (primary or secondary) to help you in the research
- Write down the details of the data and material gotten
- Begin the dissertation writing and know that a dissertation is classified into different parts and would be explained in the next part of this post.
- After writing, you include citations used at the end
- Endeavor to go through the written work to identify and correct errors. You can go through the work and edit more than once and as many times as possible
- You submit to your supervisor for vetting.
- Correct the issues pointed out by your supervisor before you submit the final copy, do the binding and all. Your dissertation is completed.
What are the parts of dissertation and their details?
The point you begin writing dissertation comes only after you’ve realized what you are set to do, collected and recorded your data and weighed all of your options.
Having a good knowledge of the parts to be explored in this part of the post guides you very well on what to do and best answers how do I write my dissertation or research paper?
The dissertation is divided into parts and these parts would be presented and discussed below. You should note that these parts are seen in the dissertation of all fields in the university–the sciences, arts, management, social sciences and more. The parts are:
- Title page: This is usually the front page of your dissertation where you write your topic.
- Preliminary pages: These pages include the dedication, acknowledgement and table of contents pages. These pages aren’t so important but they are necessary. You dedicate the work to whoever you love, acknowledge those who assisted you or helped you in one way or another and then lay out the contents in the work in the table of contents. You write these pages after finishing the main part.
- Abstract: This has its own page and is a summary of what the dissertation does. It usually includes a very brief summary of the research problem (focus), literature review, the methodology, the analysis and the conclusion. Abstract is often contained in a single page, a single non-indented paragraph and not more than 300 words.
- Introduction: This part is usually the first chapter introducing the dissertation. Here gives a background of the study to be carried out in the dissertation. This part includes background of the study, statement of the research problem (focus), objectives of the study, scope of the study and limitations of study. Some disciplines include the research methodology and theoretical framework in this part as well.
- Literature Review: This part of dissertation, in most disciplines, has it separate chapter. It is where related research works to your topic is reviewed. This related works are studied to bring out their relatedness to a topic exploring what they did and what they failed to do.
This is actually a very important part of dissertation as supervisors and graders ensure they go through it to verify that you did a proper research and whether your research topic is unique.
- Theoretical Framework and Methodology of Research: This part also takes up a different chapter in a dissertation. It is the analytical procedure or research method a dissertation adopts, and they are explored in this chapter. There are two major research methods: qualitative and quantitative. There are different theories used in analysis of data in the different academic fields. There are also different types of citations.
This chapter exposes the research method, theory and citation/documentation method you used on the course of writing your dissertation.
- Results, Analysis and Discussion: This is the most important part of your dissertation as it presents the data gotten on the course of carrying out the research, then analyzes and discusses the data. It has a separate chapter and is usually the longest. To score high mark and grade, you should ensure you do an excellent job in this part with your analysis and presentation of facts.
- Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations: This is a chapter on its own and the final chapter. This is where you summarize all that you’ve done in the work, make some concluding points and offer recommendations according to the research problem, data used and analysis of the data of your dissertation.
- Citations (References or Work Cited): There are different types of citations used in any research work or dissertation (in-text and end-text). Before you start writing your dissertation at all, endeavor you write down the details of all the works you borrowed ideas from directly and indirectly. Then when writing include the details in the work and also at the end.
Different academic fields have different citation methods. If you’re to start, you should read up the one used in your field of study and how it is used. For instance, most disciplines in the arts use qualitative research method and MLA citation method while social sciences use qualitative and APA. There is in-text citation used in the main body of the dissertation. There is also end-text citation used at the end.
Other Elements and Features utilized in Dissertation you should know
- Quantitative Research Method: This is a research method that is number-based and features heavy use of number and data analysis. It is highly objective, and thus, restricts itself the data gotten from the field solely.
- Qualitative Research Method: This one is subjective and uses a lot secondary data. What is usually done is a subjective interpretation of an already established data. The outcome of the result and analysis depends on the personal interpretation of the researcher. It is not number-based.
- Survey: This a data collection method where opinions of people are gotten or sampled as primary data. It is used in quantitative method.
- Questionnaire: This is series of questions handed out to people to get their opinion in relation to the research topic.
- Interview: This is where people are selected and interviewed with questions relating to the topic of the dissertation. Their answers are used as part of the primary data.
- Sampling Method: This is a data collection method where there is a selection of few houses or respondents in target location to cover up for the entire location.
- Plagiarism: This is the act of borrowing or using people’s ideas and words without citing or acknowledging them.
How do I score high in my dissertation, essay or research paper? How do I make good grade? What makes a good dissertation writing?
Scoring high should be of great concern to you if you worry about and ask how do I write my dissertation or research paper? You can score only score high or make good grade in your dissertation writing when you work hard to deliver a very good or excellent research work. It is when you put in your best in your research work that score a high mark and a good grade. We are going to list out the features or characteristics your dissertation work should have to make it good for awarding of high mark or good grade below:
- The topic or research problem and question should be uncommon, unique and engaging
- The research process especially gathering of data and material should be thoroughly done
- The research paper should be written in formal, simple and straight-to-the-point language and tone.
- The written work should be devoid of all errors–grammatical, citation, and other academic work errors
- You should have a very strong validation in your argument in support of your topic, and this should show in very strong and reliable in-text and end-text citations
- Most IMPORTANTLY, avoid plagiarism.
- You should also not repeat the ideas or exact phrases and sentences you’ve used before.
Once, your dissertation or research paper meets all these requirements, you’d score high or get good grades in your coursework.
Having read all these and understood them, then the question how do I write my dissertation or research paper should not be much of a problem. Dissertation does not cause too much stress as people presume or either is it a hard nut to crack. You can begin and finish up quickly and score a good grade too if you know what you’re doing.
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