This article will help you to write a dissertation or thesis at Undergraduate or Postgraduate level. It is an unviable task for any student but by following this structure and writing guide, you should be able to create a successful dissertation.
Before you start the dissertation
Getting the title right is a crucial part. If you are too vague, your dissertation could run the risk of lacking focus or cohesion. Construct a specific question and concentrate on this. Create proposal examples of your writing for your teacher to approve.
Because of the length of a dissertation, you will need to plan your time accordingly. Make a note of the amount of time that is needed for each part. Allow more time than you think will be necessary as this will give you ‘margins for errors’ in your work. Time management is an important part of your dissertation and should be carefully worked on.
In order to prepare a literature review and also for further research for your chosen topic, you will need to spend time in libraries finding appropriate and relevant material. You may also need to conduct experiments or studies which could involve questionnaires.
The purpose of this review is to summarise what has already been written about your topic. This should be done before you start your dissertation as it will help to give you a basis for your writing and let you develop new ideas for your study.
During and after it is completed
Reference List and Bibliography
A reference list is a list of works from which you have quoted or referred to within the dissertation. A bibliography is a list of works that you may have read or part-read during the preparation for the dissertation. You should work on both of these as you go through the different parts of the dissertation. This means that you don't have to do it a later date. Asking your teacher's help on what to include in these is advised. Abstract This short summary of the contents of the dissertation is usually required. Although it is included at the front of the dissertation, it should actually be written last as then you can ensure that the contents of the abstract match the actual contents of the dissertation. Proofing and Editing It is essential that this is done carefully. Proofing includes checking for errors, spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax. Editing is correcting and improving the style and ensuring that there are no factual errors in the work.