What is a PhD Dissertation?

PhD Dissertation

PhD dissertation is an extensive academic paper that enables you to obtain the doctoral degree. It is always hard to bridge the gap between your coursework and post-graduate research because the requirements for this type of work are incomparably higher than for any other paper you have written previously. You are expected to present a mature and independent research paper to somehow contribute in your field of studies. PhD dissertation calls for broad empirical and theoretical research that has significant implications and scientific value.

Dissertation Structure 

A typical dissertation will have the following structure:

  • Introduction: broad overview of your research problem and conceptual framework.
  • Literature Review: profound analysis of related sources and their boundaries.
  • Methodology: description of all the procedures and methods that you use.
  • Results: presentation of your findings in tables and graphs.
  • Discussion: interpretation of your results in the context of similar studies.
  • Conclusions (often merged with the Discussion): description of the major implications of your work and recommendations for further research in this field.
  • References: list of all the cited sources in the alphabetical order.
  • Appendices: tables, diagrams and other supplementary data.

PhD Dissertation Writing Tips

Take your topic selection very seriously. Start thinking about it as early as possible. It is typical for grad students to charge their mind a few times before they take the final decision. Browsing through literature and brainstorming are absolutely indispensable for picking a good topic.

  1. Be specific. Don't venture on ambitious and excessively broad topics.
  2. Make bibliographical records as you read. This will save you loads of time in the end when you are totally squeezed with the writing process. Your bibliography will almost ready.
  3. Create a timetable for your writing process with realistic deadlines. Break up your objectives into smaller tasks and tackle them one by one.
  4. It's not obligatory to start from the beginning. Start from where you feel more confident. Then gradually you will gain momentum to complete the other parts.
  5. Write a small portion every day. Procrastination is truly dangerous when it comes to PhD dissertation. Even if you are extremely unwilling to write it right now, make up some incentive for yourself and write at least a paragraph.

When you face difficulties, don't hesitate to consult your advisor. If he is the last person to help (which happens sometimes), it is helpful to talk through your ideas with your friends to get a fresh look on your research problem. It is also advisable to read chunks of your text aloud to check whether your ideas are consistent.

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