How to write a doctoral dissertation: easy steps to follow
The doctoral dissertation is a great milestone and even greater achievement. But it takes a lot of patience and hard work to reach that milestone and complete that achievement. In order to create a stunning dissertation, you need to take the right measures in preparation. This means conducting the right research and having a complete outline that is followed during the writing process.
One of the best techniques for integrating planning with your research is to jot down notes as you read. But having fixed notes on random sheets of paper can cause your paper to get out of hand, stray from the path, and cause a great deal of confusion when it comes time to write. So how can you fix this?
- Use index cards
- Use your computer
Index cards offer great flexibility when it comes to researching for a dissertation. Index cards let you write down every quote, fact, idea, or paraphrase on a separate card so that you can shuffle them and re-shuffle them later until you find the best possible order for the dissertation. Once you have shuffled the cards around enough to find an order that suits your goals, you have your outline and can transcribe it to paper with ease.
It is good to alternate between colored index cards and white index cards. While researching, if you think of a point that might work as a main argument, write it on a colored card. Put each of the supporting notes and evidence for that colored card on a white card stacked below. When you are ready, you can arrange your colored cards until you find a workable outline. Not all of the points will fit into the final product which is why you can leave out the card or modify it. You might also need to create a few extra cards to fill in the gaps. Remember to shuffle your supporting material too by placing the white cards behind the point (colored card) that it best supports.
If you do not want to tangibly work with note cards during the research part of your project you can use your computer. You can collect points in a consecutive manner on a computer document the same way you would outline on a sheet of paper. This method is perfect for those who want to keep planning high tech and computer oriented.