Your dissertation is a critical component of your educational experience. Not only will it help cement what you already know, but it will also help you think about your selected topic in a way you haven’t before. Completing your dissertation does not have to be a stressful event. In fact, it can be a fantastic opportunity to delve deeper into an area of interest.
Before you begin the writing process, consider these tips to help you succeed.
1. Outline Your Thoughts
Creating an outline can make a daunting task, such as writing your dissertation, seem much simpler. It serves as a way to organise your thoughts and divides a larger concept into smaller, more manageable subtopics.
Initially, your outline can be basic. Start by identifying topics and a few main points you are going to cover, and use this as a starting point. As you progress, you can always adjust and expand on your outline, allowing it to become a more thorough representation of the contents of your writing. As you finalise your ideas, your outline will likely begin to resemble a table of contents from a textbook instead of the general framework it initially represented.
2. Find Your Key Sources
Research is a major component of any dissertation. Before you even consider beginning the writing process, use your outline as a guide to the kinds of sources your work will require. If your outline contained three main points for exploration, find one reliable reference for each area. While these will likely not be the only sources you will refer to during the writing process; it provides a sound basis for your dissertation as a whole.
3. Work Small
As you begin to develop subtopics for your dissertation, try working small. This means choosing an individual point, subtopic, or idea and concentrating on only that portion of the paper. Not only can this help provide you with an area of focus, but it can also make the task at hand feel less cumbersome.
4. Schedule Your Time
A dissertation is not something that can be left to chance. With that in mind, it is wise to plan the time you intend to dedicate to it. Treat it just as you would a job or class. When the assigned time arrives, go to your study area and give all of your focus to your work. Once the scheduled amount of time has passed, feel free to step away from your work until your next scheduled appointment.
5. Work in Bursts
Just because you are planning your time, that does not mean you have to work for four hours straight. Instead, schedule the time in smaller blocks when appropriate. Consider dedicating 30 minutes to work on one critical area, one subtopic, or one part of the concept. Set a 30-minute timer when you begin working, and focus on that area until the timer signals that the time has passed.
By examining your dissertation in 30-minute blocks, you will learn to select tasks that can be reasonably completed in that amount of time. It simplifies the process by supporting the concept of working small, and can help you expand your outline into refined, individual points.
6. Don’t Be a Slave to the Order
While remaining organised is critical, that does not mean you have to start writing at the beginning and work straight through to the end of your paper. Instead, don’t be afraid to shift throughout the entirety of the work as you move from one study block to the next. If you feel particularly inspired by a point in the middle, then feel free to work on that section. Allowing your motivation to guide your topic selection for each writing session as you will likely produce higher quality work along the way.
7. Consult with Others
Just because it is your dissertation does not mean you cannot reach out for help if you are stuck. Consult with experts in the field you are covering, including any current or former instructors, or other authorities on the subject. Consider reviewing information with your fellow students to see how someone with a less specific knowledge base perceives your work. If you are truly at a loss, dissertation writing services can help in a variety of ways, including to help structure your paper, finalise your topics and subtopics, and even guide you through the writing process.
8. Avoid Perfection
While it seems counterintuitive, fighting for perfection may result in more stress, which may ultimately hurt your final work. Instead, focus on producing high-quality work, but allow yourself room for simple errors. If you are working in small bursts, don’t force yourself to keep going past the allotted time because you don’t feel a particular section is perfect. Allow yourself to walk away, and then come back to it later with fresh eyes. You may find that your work was actually pretty close to perfect as it was, or the necessary changes may become easier to identify.
Writing your dissertation does not have to be an overwhelming experience. By considering the points above, scheduling your time, and putting a focus on organisation, you may find the experience to be enlightening, and even enjoyable. Treat this as an opportunity, and you may be surprised how well it comes out.
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