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How to write a dissertation?

Dissertations are a major part of gaining a degree, and can count for up to fifty percent of your final grade. There are many websites which will offer to help with your writing, but this article aims to provide definitive guide to writing a dissertation which will help you to structure and research the most important piece of work you will complete in your university career.

Choosing your topic

The most important thing to consider when beginning your dissertation is which subject you choose to research. When choosing a topic to research, bear several things in mind: 1) Do you enjoy the subject area you plan to write your dissertation on? Nobody wants to write 10,000 or more words on a subject they are not interested in, and this lack of enthusiasm will be reflected in your final grade. 2) Secondly, has there been previous research in your area of interest? While it is important your dissertation is unique and offers a fresh insight into a topic, it is vital to gain an understanding of what you plan to write from other researchers publications.

Define dissertation

Define your dissertation early in the writing process with a statement or question you wish to answer. This will help focus your reading and give you an idea of what to begin writing. Remember, this is only a preliminary series of thoughts and is open to change as your work evolves.

Begin Research

Begin your research well in advance to the deadline of your project deadline. This step cannot be emphasized enough. Finding resources, research and evidence for your arguments will take up the most amount of time when writing your dissertation. Begin by finding a few key readings, and using these readings as a stepping stones towards other more obscure sources. The best way to accomplish this is to look up the index of each key reading. Remember to make notes of each source you identify.

Starting to write

Beginning to write your dissertation may seem daunting, but the best way to start is by outlining a structure and working one separate stage at a time. Organize yourself so that you have enough time to create each section of your dissertation. As a general rule, literature reviews and discussions take the most amount of time to write, so plan accordingly.

Handing in your dissertation

Aim to conclude your dissertation one week before the final deadline. At this point, put your dissertation away for a minimum of twenty four hours and try not to think about it. Once you feel as though your mind is clear take another look at your work. With this method you are more likely to spot final mistakes, or areas which need rectifying.

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