A dissertation is an academic paper which is required of students working toward a PhD or doctoral degree. It is a student’s development, presentation, and subsequent conclusions regarding a topic relevant to their particular field of study.
In academic circles a dissertation is also commonly referred to as a thesis. This lengthy and comprehensive paper is a requirement of all students as a precursor to earning their PhD or doctoral degree. It is the considered the ‘final’ paper a student must write; serving as evidence to a dissertation committee that a student has not only achieved mastery, but can make an impressionable contribution in their chosen field of study.
A dissertation generally follows a specific structure, if the dissertation is science based it will include the following components: title page, abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology chapter, results/discussion and conclusion. The length and style of a dissertation will typically depend on the area of study it is written, along with any requirements from the professor or instructor.
Understandably, because of the dissertation process it can be a rather lengthy and time consuming paper to write. One of the most important aspects to writing a dissertation will be the formulation of a prospectus. The primary purpose of a prospectus will be to provide a proposal or ‘blueprint’ for your paper – the main idea, the argument for your paper, the anticipated methodology, along with some of the more pertinent literature, data/statistics regarding the exploration of your topic. Finally, a prospectus will also include what you expect to accomplish, why it is significant, and the potential contribution you intend to make in your field of study.
The dissertation committee – a dissertation committee is an important component to writing a dissertation and is formed with the purpose of assisting a student during the entire process. A dissertation committee is generally comprised of a student’s advisor and 3 to 4 qualified committee members whose function is to read, make recommendations and suggest changes, and edit a student’s dissertation.
Approving the dissertation- Following the completion of the prospectus and the formation of the dissertation committee comes the approval process. A dissertation must be approved unanimously by the committee members before a student can move forward with writing their dissertation. Upon receiving approval a student must pass the ‘thesis defense’- this is where a student orally defends the intent of his dissertation in front of committee members who act as a sort of jury inquiring about the findings, results, and conclusions a student has achieved.
Upon winning approval- Winning dissertation approval will mean a student can move forward with the entire process- this process typically involves the following steps:
- Clearly indentifying and explaining what you are expecting to accomplish.
- To specify and describe in detail your research topic of choice.
- Organize and incorporate all of your information, data, findings etc….so it allows you to effectively communicate your ultimate objective.
- Interpret all your information in a clear and concise manner- which is essential to your purpose and interesting to read.
- Upon competition of the above steps you are now ready to present your dissertation in its entirety.
Writing an important academic paper as a dissertation requires time, patience, and creativity on the part of the writer. If you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of writing your dissertation, read our reviews.
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