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Writing your dissertation introduction

May 16, 2018

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How to Write Your Best Dissertation: Step-by-Step Guide

How to Write Your Best Dissertation: Step-by-Step Guide

When you get to the point of writing a dissertation, you're clearly near the end of an important stage of your educational journey. The point of this paper is to showcase your skills and capacity to conduct research in your chosen discipline, and present the results through an original piece of content that will provide value for the academic and scientific community.

Before we get any further, let's clarify one main thing: what is a dissertation?

This term is usually used to present the final result of independent work and research for an undergraduate program. A thesis, on the other hand, is crafted for the completion of a Master's degree.

Dissertation - the final project that PhD candidates present before gaining their doctoral degree.

However, the term dissertation is also used for the final project that PhD candidates present before gaining their doctoral degree. It doesn't matter whether we are talking about an undergraduate or PhD dissertation; the form of the assignment is very similar, although the PhD project is much more serious.

This guide will be useful both for undergraduate and PhD students, who are working on their dissertation projects, as well as for students developing theses for MA programs.

It's not easy to write the best dissertation.

Most candidates usually start with great enthusiasm, but this intimidating project can throw them to despair. The process of planning, research, and writing will be the longest and most complex challenge you've ever committed to. The end result will be very rewarding, but you might go through several obstacles to get to that point. These are some of the most common problems students have when writing their dissertations:

Although the challenge seems overwhelming, the important thing is to start from the beginning and complete each stage step by step. We have a guide that will show you the right direction.

Step 1: Write a winning dissertation proposal

We already explained what a dissertation paper is, but what is a dissertation proposal?

As the term itself suggests, this is a proposal for the final dissertation project, which should persuade the committee members that you're going to commit to a valuable, interesting, and complex questions. This is a shorter paper than the final dissertation, but it's equally as important because this is the point when you'll think of a significant question and you'll set up a plan for assembling information and writing the paper. Even if the proposal is not mandatory in your university, you should still write it and discuss the points with your mentor.

These are the main points to pay attention to when wondering how to write a dissertation proposal:

Choose the theme, question, and title

- What problem is your dissertation going to tackle?

- Why is it a problem for the research, academic, and scientific community you'll belong to?

- Why is it important for you to find a solution?

- How are you going to search for the answers?

Do you want to find out more about choosing your dissertation topic? Check out our article.

All these questions are important for making the final commitment. Make sure to brainstorm and choose a theme that will be valuable, unique, and reasonable. You don't want to end up with a too complex question that would trick you in a dead end. The question you choose should lead you to a testable hypothesis that you can prove with strong arguments.

Discuss few alternatives of the dissertation title with your mentor before you start writing the proposal.

Structure of the dissertation proposal

If you want to make the proposal convincing, its format has to be clean and easy to follow. Here are the points you should include in the proposal:

Step 2: Conduct an effective research

The dissertation research stage is going to determine the overall development of your project. It has to be methodical and effective, since you don't want to waste your time reading and analyzing irrelevant resources. Here are a few tips that will help you go through it:

The point of the research stage is to show you have read around the topic and you understand the previous research that has been conducted, but you've also understood its limitations.

Step 3: Write a mind-blowing dissertation

Now, you're left with the most important stage of the dissertation writing process: composing the actual project, which will be the final product of all your efforts.

It's surprising to see that many students have some level of confidence during the previous two stages of the process, but they crack when they realize they don't really know how to write a dissertation. Remember: you already did a great job up to this point, so you have to proceed. Everything is easier when you have a plan.

Findings stage is the most important in the whole process of dissertation writing, since it showcases your intellectual capacity.

Step 4: Edit and Proofread the Dissertation like a Pro

Now that you've completed the first draft of the paper, you can relax. Don't even think about dissertation editing as soon as you finish writing the last sentence. You need to take some time away from the project, so make sure to leave space of at least few days between the writing and editing stage. When you come back to it, you'll be able to notice most of its flaws.

Editing is focused on the essence, and proofreading is focused on the form of the paper.

Step 5: Get feedback

Before you can submit the dissertation project to the committee, you need to get some feedback.

Start with a friend or colleague who has knowledge in this discipline. You need to trust this person, since the dissertation is your unique intellectual property. Ask about their opinions and suggestions for improvement.

Then, discuss the project with your mentor. He/she will point out any possible weak points, and you'll get instructions on how to finalize the process before getting ready for the presentation.

The dissertation writing process is a great challenge, which not all students are capable to cope with. You need to keep in mind that you've come this far in your studies, so there is no other way to go but forward. Tackle the project stage by stage, and you'll soon complete the most important paper in your whole educational journey.

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How to write your dissertation

Writing your introduction

when you've finished this page you will be able to...

It's important to make a good first impression by giving your dissertation or project a strong introduction. The job of the introduction is to set the scene and help your readers to navigate through your work.

Top tip...

It's a good idea to start drafting your introduction at an early stage, as it provides a statement of your objectives for your dissertation and it'll be useful to get these down on paper.

Your introduction may include a review of the existing research in your area in the form of a literature review, or the literature review may be in a separate section. You should seek guidance on this from your supervisor.

Activity: A strong introduction - 20 minutes

This activity gives you a list of questions you should try to answer in your introduction to ensure that you have the vital ingredients for a strong introduction.

1. As you draft the introduction to your dissertation or project, make sure you can answer the following questions:

If you've already written your introduction, check that you have answered all of the questions above.

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