5 Steps To Take Before Writing Your Dissertation

Writing a dissertation can be a daunting task for any student. Here are some tried and true steps you can take to make the writing go easier once it finally begins.

  1. 1. Be Careful With Your Choice of Topic
  2. Everyone used to think that the goal of a dissertation was to pick the most original topic in the world. This is entirely untrue. How are you going to research a document if the topic has never been researched, documented, and discussed before—you cannot. In fact, you simply need an angle on the OLD scholarship that is new. A new way to discuss all the old research. So how do you know what to write about? Get ideas from all the dissertations on your base subject and the books as well for your own project.

  3. 2. Outlines are King
  4. You cannot Simply Sit Down To Write Blindly Out of Nowhere

    You need an outline first and foremost. Get an idea of how chapter one is laid out, for example, and take each chapter one at a time.

  5. 3. You Must Prepare Like An Athlete for a Marathon
  6. With the dissertation, you must prepare to write. For one thing, ask yourself what is a doctoral dissertation. A dissertation is your original thoughts and a survey of the extant scholarship included. This is a heavyily researched project. Heavily. In fact, three fourths of the dissertation runs on quotes, paraphrases—in fact, it is rare to turn the page of a dissertation without seeing a quote. So make sure you know how to cite all of this scholarship—keep a sheet with how to use block quotes nearby—and graphs or charts if you can insert these.

  7. 4. The quote is king—and you’ll need block quotes like crazy!
  8. This can be both reassuring and intimidating. All this research is reassuring because you will not hve to fill all of those pages with your own words. You will be retyping a lot of their words into the sections and chapters that make up your dissertation dissertation.

    You’ll want to become a master of what is called the “signal phrase” – those handy little sentences and half sentences that introduce quotes. For example:

    In his article, “New Theories on William Styron,” Williams notes that “quote” (citation).

  9. 5. Make a Research Outline for Every Chapter.
  10. For every chapter type out all your quotes into a document—and watch your paper emerge.

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