Dissertation Writing

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A dissertation is a document presenting the author’s research and findings on a subject matter that is submitted for the candidature of an undergraduate degree or doctoral studies.

Importance of a dissertation

  • It is an opportune time for learners to prove their intellectual capabilities: A dissertation being independent research, the learners can research and read with a sense of purpose. The topic is of your own choice, hence building on the foundation of independence and critic as a reader. As you read you are aware of the main themes and represent the arguments conveyed.
  • The learner develops empirical research skills as they are required to research extensively on the subject matter. Good research skills ensure the word count is attained and inevitably the arguments are conveyed more subtly. The analysis and interpretation of a wide range of information are precisely done.

A dissertation requires the learner to:

  • Undertake extensive reading and research.
  • Demonstrate intellectual independence by choosing your topic.
  • Engage in a comprehensive analysis of data and logically convey arguments.
  • The results must be presented coherently and argued compellingly.
  • Think of a specific area of research that you can form a hypothesis.
  • Evaluate your sources on the subject matter and settle on particular hypotheses.
  • Prepare a dissertation proposal that will highlight the importance of your work.
  • When the dissertation committee approves the proposal, you move on to outline the chapters in the dissertation.
  • Develop a toolset for all research methods to be used in information collection.
  • Write your dissertation carefully, assessing the literature review and integrating it into the practical aspect of your research.
  • Ensure you take note of the supervisor’s’ corrections as you move on to the conclusion.
  • Proofread your work keenly and present a flawless dissertation.

Topic selection is vital in writing a dissertation. Choose a topic that you are knowledgeable about and passionate. This ensures that you are interested and motivated throughout the dissertation writing process. It is important to choose a topic based on your capabilities as you will work on a strict timeframe. In choosing a topic to formulate three questions that enable you to settle on a topic.

Dissertation Structure

Dissertations vary in format and style; all learners must familiarize themselves with their institution’s’ requirements.

The general structure comprises:

  • Title page: It contains the author’s name, title, course, and
  • Table of contents.

·       List of tables.

  • List of abbreviations and definitions (if any): they must be in alphabetical
  • Introduction: Highlights the overview of the research question. State the importance of the topic. The introduction must contain hypotheses or thesis statement. An introduction must be comprehensible to any reader hence, use simple language.
  • Literature review: Literature reviews seek to analyze how the research topic fits in with existing work done on the topic. A literature review aims to communicate to the reader the knowledge and main ideas about a specific topic. Writing a review can be burdening to the student as the research takes up a lot of time.
  • Methodology: Methods used in obtaining information are assessed and the reason as to why they were preferred highlighted. The strengths and weaknesses of the preferred methods to generate knowledge are analyzed.
  • Findings: The writer presents and discusses their own data analysis on the research topic. Evidence from the sources must back findings.
  • Discussion: Brings together all your arguments on the topic. A good discussion should link the literature review, methodology, and
  • Conclusions: Highlights the main points in the dissertation paper. Recommendations for future research are stated in this section. In a dissertation conclusion, no new information is added.
  • Bibliography: All sources used must be listed in this section.
  • Appendices: Must be clearly labeled and includes interview transcripts and questionnaires.

Common Mistakes in a Dissertation

  • Depending wholly on one source of research in the literature review: A dissertation aims to analyze a vast sea of information, therefore using one source in your discussion is a show of poor research skills.
  • Lack of continuity in the dissertation: One chapter should link to the other comprehensively to ensure your dissertation is structurally fit.
  • Lack of adherence to the format required: Students must keenly adhere to the word count and the number of sources required. 
  • Presenting your results in charts when the sample population is below 30 participants. It is incorrect to draw percentages from a population less than 100 people.