Frequently Asked Questions
What is a
A dissertation is a lengthy academic writing or research project that students complete as part of their degree program, especially a postgraduate or Ph.D. degree. A dissertation allows students to present their original research findings on a proposition or topic they choose or are of interest to them.
Whereas a dissertation describes a long piece of academic writing based on a student’s original research findings before completion of a PhD program, a thesis is a relatively long piece of academic research that students submit as a final stage for their master’s degree program. A dissertation also differs from a thesis in terms of structure and time required to complete. A dissertation usually takes longer and has a more complex structure than a thesis. In addition, a typical dissertation is usually between 150 and 350 pages long, while a typical thesis is between 45 and 80 pages long.
How is a dissertation different from a thesis?
How long does it take to complete a Dissertation?
A dissertation’s duration is usually subject to the level of study or even country. However, a typical doctoral degree dissertation can take between 1 and 2 years to complete. Depending on the level of study, a dissertation at an undergraduate level is usually between 10500 and 12500 words, 15500-25500 words at the master’s level, and up to about 50500 words or more at a PhD level.
Choosing a dissertation topic can be a challenge for most students. First, select a topic of interest and one that is related to your future career. In line with this, you should consider a unique topic that allows you to research and establish your original conclusions. Secondly, when choosing a dissertation topic, you should refrain from vagueness or coming up with narrow topics. Broad topics will provide you with more content or help you make proper conclusions about your subject matter. Narrow dissertation topics often translate to you needing help to expand on your arguments and assert well-informed conclusions or recommendations.
How do I choose a Dissertation topic?
What is the structure of a Dissertation?
A dissertation’s structure usually depends on several factors, ranging from a student’s topic of choice, approach, or discipline. On approach, some dissertations, for example, on humanities, often take a format of a long essay, with their overall argument based on a central thesis. On the other hand, social or hard science dissertations have a literature review, methodology and analysis sections, and a presentation of the results at the end. Generally, the structure of a typical dissertation should include; a title page, preface or acknowledgments, abstract, table of contents, list of abbreviations (optional), introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, reference list, and appendices (optional).
Conducting research is the cornerstone of dissertation writing. Research work usually comes after you have chosen a dissertation topic and should factor in time and other resources. Also, consider the various research methodologies, and narrow down to the one suitable to your dissertation topic. Topics on humanities may require a different approach or methodology from science-related topics. Usually, at this point, an advisor proves vital to guide you on the appropriate format and plan for dissertation research.
How do I conduct research for my Dissertation?
What is the role of an advisor in the Dissertation process?
Usually, an advisor or supervisor is integral in guiding students in writing or completing a dissertation. Also, an advisor acts as a guide throughout the dissertation writing process, and therefore, they help the student with any question regarding their research topic or project. They can as well offer recommendations on a need basis.
Originality in dissertation writing does not necessarily mean inventing new theories but presenting an independent work or an ‘individual argument.’ Therefore, you can achieve originality while completing a dissertation through several strategies, such as making comparisons of different critical standpoints or viewpoints or taking ideas and assertions from secondary sources and further building on them. Also, you should consider establishing relationships between contexts and texts.
How do I ensure the originality of my Dissertation?
How should I approach the Dissertation writing process?
A dissertation is one of the lengthiest pieces of academic work you will ever undertake. It is, therefore, critical to follow some writing guidance or guidelines to avoid getting lost in the whole process. A typical dissertation may take up to 50000 words or more. The approach to writing a dissertation is subject to the nature of the study. The best way to get started is to read relevant books and journals that support your topic and then create the first draft for the literature review section. Also, you should consider the methodology section of the dissertation, as well as the appropriate primary and secondary sources you may have at your disposal.
Time management is central to the completion of a dissertation. It is therefore recommended to consider creating timelines for your dissertation, structuring regular times for research, and writing a dissertation. Splitting the dissertation into sections and allocating time for each would also be critical in time management. Prioritizing tasks in the dissertation process is equally important in time and resource management.