If you’re like most students, your dissertation is probably both a blessing and a curse. Chances are you spend more time studying for that one paper than you spend on any other subject. If you’re like most students, your dissertation is probably both a blessing and a curse. Chances are you spend more time studying for that one paper than you spend on any other subject. Dissertations can be hard—but they’re also an opportunity to test yourself and really nail the material if you approach it with the right mindset and a plan of attack. It takes so much more than just putting in the hours to get through college successfully; it takes preparation, planning, and dedication as well. We know because we have been there too—so we have written this guide to help make sure that your dissertation doesn’t end up being a potential black mark on your final year of higher education!
Set yourself up for success
Before you even think about starting your dissertation, you need to make sure you’re in the right place. Make sure you’re signed up for the course you’ll be using your dissertation for. If you’re not, you’re missing out on a lot of helpful resources your professor may have made available to you and your fellow students. Make sure you know what subject you’ll be using your dissertation for as well, so you can start organizing your thoughts and ideas in a way that makes sense to you and you alone. Once you’re all set up, you’re ready to embark on a journey that might be both rewarding and rewarding—but also one you’ll want to approach with caution. You need to make sure you balance your studies with a healthy dose of self-reflection. If you don’t know where you’re going or why you’re headed there, you could end up making mistakes you later regret. So make sure you do your research, pay attention to your classmates, and you let your own insecurities guide you in the right direction. You’ll be glad you did.
Figure out what you’re going to write about and why
The first and most important step when you’re putting together a dissertation is to figure out what you want to write about and why. Even if your professor told you to write about whatever you want, there’s no way you can write an essay that’s worth a darn if you don’t know why you’re doing it. The goal here isn’t to write a dissertation that’s just a bunch of random thoughts jumbled together. You want to be sure you’re focusing on something that actually matters to you. If you can tie your arguments and your thoughts together with an important theme or idea, you’ll show your professor that you’re actually interested in the subject matter and you won’t just be using the opportunity to pad your resume with a bunch of pointless and irrelevant credits. At the same time, you don’t want to just jump into writing without any guidance. If you don’t know what you’re writing about, you’re probably not going to be able to write a dissertation that’s worth much—if you can’t get your thoughts straight, you’ll just be spinning your wheels and wasting time.
Organize your ideas and find sources for your research
Now that you know what you want to write about and why, it’s time to start organizing your ideas and finding sources for your research. When you’re looking for resources, there are a few places you can go to get started. Start with your professor’s office hours. Your professor might be willing to help you find sources, or they might just be willing to answer any questions you have about the material. You can also try looking up the course syllabus and see if there’s a syllabus available online. As you’re reading through your sources, try to keep your ideas organized and your notes as concise and helpful as possible. Try to find ways to organize your thoughts and make your information easier for yourself to access later. If you’re working on a dissertation in a language other than English, try to keep a list of the most important, relevant translated material. You can also keep a list of the resources you’re reading in Arabic, Chinese, French, or any other language you need help with. While you don’t want to keep your notes in a single language, you also don’t want to keep everything in one language.
Get started writing your dissertation draft
Once you’ve found your sources and organized your ideas, it’s time to get started writing your dissertation draft. You’ll want to begin by outlining your key points and organizing your thoughts. A typical outline might look something like this: Introduction: What is the thesis of your dissertation? What are the key points you want to make? What are the main arguments you want to make and how do they relate to each other? What is the thesis of your dissertation? What are the key points you want to make? What are the main arguments you want to make and how do they relate to each other? Body: Write out a detailed, written summary of your thoughts and ideas. Make sure to include examples where necessary and references where possible. The goal here is to not just describe your ideas, but also to explain why you believe they are valid and important. Write out a detailed, written summary of your thoughts and ideas. Make sure to include examples where necessary and references where possible. The goal here is to not just describe your ideas, but also to explain why you believe they are valid and important. Conclusion: Write out a conclusion that summarizes the key points you want to make and the main arguments you want to make. If you’re working in a language other than English, there are certain parts of your dissertation draft where you may want to take a break and use the translation function.
Revise, revise, revise! Don’t be afraid to ditch some of your ideas.
Once you’ve finished your draft, it’s time to start revising. You can go back and make changes to your outline, or you can go through your draft and make changes to each section and section of the paper itself. Whatever you choose to do, you need to make sure you’re not just rewriting your draft; you need to be rewriting it in a way that makes it better. It may sound obvious, but you have to make sure you’re not just rewriting your paper, but also rewriting it in a way that makes sense to you and in a way that is actually helpful to you. You need to make sure that the content actually informs you and gives you the information you need to succeed in your coursework. It’s easy to get caught up in making your paper look pretty, but you also want to make sure you’re actually learning something.
Again, the goal with a dissertation isn’t just to make it through the process without any kind of issues. Successfully completing your dissertation is going to require some level of effort and commitment, but it also means you need to approach it in a way that actually benefits you and helps you learn. Even if you have a great thesis and great ideas, if you don’t actually follow through on them, they’re not going to be worth much. You need to make sure you’re actually putting your effort into your work, and you need to make sure you’re actually learning something while you’re doing it. With that in mind, there’s no better way to succeed in your dissertation than by following the steps outlined in this article.