Stages of the dissertation writing process
A dissertation is a long essay that has to be written for getting a doctorate degree like PhD. It is perhaps the most advanced forms of essay writing where extensive research and analysis is required.
The various stages of the writing process are:
- Choosing the topic:
- Planning the Research:
- Forming a hypothesis:
- Collecting data and evidence:
- Analyzing the data:
- Presenting the Findings:
The first and foremost thing that one must do is choose an original and relevant topic. It should obviously be according to the course and line of interest. It should be highly precise; there is no room for vagueness in a dissertation. Choosing a good topic might take a while as the student brainstorms and looks for ideas. The important thing is staying focused on what is required.
After choosing the topic, the student should carefully plan out the path he or she will take to research for the paper. A scientific approach has to be taken when planning the research as being methodic and organized in THIS stage will help in the later stages. In the planning process, the student should list the sources he or she will use, the approaches of the research and whether the topic will yield enough practical evidence or not.
After planning out the type of research the student will be doing, the real work will start. And that is forming a hypothesis (thesis). This will take a great deal of thought and research and the student should make sure to take the guidance of the instructor and advisor before starting.
Whenever a hypothesis comes into play, it either has to be proved wrong or right. And that is the next stage of writing a dissertation. Sufficient data should be collected that will efficiently prove the hypothesis formed by the student as true (or in rare cases, false). This work is usually known as ‘fieldwork’ and is the most energy consuming. The evidence selected can be from any source but should be CORRECT and practically possible. Multiple sources should be used.
The data collected should then be analyzed critically. Different types of analysis come under this heading, like structural analysis (morphological), interpretation, statistical analysis, critical discourse analysis and comparative analysis.
The research then has to be explained and the conclusion should be drawn from it. Conclusion should be well supported.
This involves going through the entire dissertation again and again, to make sure that nothing is incoherent and unclear. Proof reading and correcting grammar and punctuation mistakes is very important in this stage.
Students should remember to take help from their committee, advisors and instructors and start the work well before the deadline so as to complete it on time.