Writing a dissertation can be the most daunting task of a young researcher’s life. The pressure can cause researchers to become discouraged and question why they’re even writing this. Staying organized may seem impossible when writing a dissertation, but don’t worry, eContent Pro International® is here to provide dissertation writing tips to keep the researcher calm and create an organized process that will make writing a dissertation much smoother.
Determine Thesis and Methodology
Anyone considering writing a dissertation must have in mind thesis options as well as potential methodologies of how to collect data and prove their point. Determining the thesis is the main focus and can guide the entire dissertation, relieving stress of figuring it out while researching. After the thesis is determined, it’s important to ponder the methodology of gathering research. Will it be through interviews? Observations? Or something simple like questionnaires or surveys? Determining the thesis and methodology early in the process will keep the dissertation organized.
Outline Argument and Chapters
Staying organized is one of the biggest keys to completing a dissertation while also keeping your sanity. Once the thesis and methodology are determined, creating an outline argument along with chapters is another helpful step. This will give the dissertation a skeleton look that allows the researcher to fill in the chapters and sections while keeping a pointed direction. A clear direction and outline helps the writing and research flow.
Create a Schedule
There’s a common theme among these tips . . . staying organized. Researchers should create a flexible schedule that allots time throughout the semester for them to properly write and research, while also foreseeing roadblocks. Throughout the process, obstacles will arise (and should be expected), so that’s why it’s important for researchers to create flexibility in the schedule so they can adapt and still stay on track. Researchers can benefit from creating soft deadlines for themselves to track their progress.
Start the Writing Process Early
Writing a dissertation is a winding process, and the longer a researcher waits to start writing, the more unlikely it is that they will finish on time and/or produce quality work. Starting the writing process as early as possible will help to reduce stress and provide ample time for the work to be edited and benefit from multiple rounds of revision. Also, carving out increments of time each day to dedicate to the writing process will greatly support the process.
Record Research Notes
Recording research notes is an essential step in writing a dissertation. This tip will save researchers tons of time when looking for the needed information. Researchers should keep these notes organized by session and date to quickly be able to find what they’re looking for. This tip also helps researchers avoid plagiarism as it will cite all sources of information. Keeping research notes, and more importantly, keeping them organized, will keep the researcher organized and prepared.
Proofreading is an important tip for any paper ranging from a high school English paper to a dissertation. Researchers should proofread their own work to reassure clarity in their writing and to make sure they’re accurately representing their research. Writing a dissertation will be exhausting and finding minor or sometimes major errors is common. Proofreading can minimize any glaring writing errors before the dissertation reaches submission.
Use a Reference Manager
Researchers will have dozens of references when writing a dissertation. Organizing and keeping track of all references can be a challenge, especially on top of all the responsibilities someone has when writing a dissertation. Using a reference manager can ease the burden while keeping the references organized and in one central place. A reference manager will also make citing while writing easy as it allows bibliographies and citations to be added in-text.
Write to Rewrite
A first draft shouldn’t be the final draft. Throughout the process, the writing should be examined for rewriting. This can clarify research as well as improve the writing. Researchers can benefit from having their dissertation professionally copy edited prior to submission to clean up any grammatical errors and to assure proper formatting. This will also save time and stress as researchers won’t want to re-read their dissertation and check for errors for the millionth time.
Researchers should seek feedback on their dissertation periodically throughout their process. Feedback from classmates or advisors can help guide researchers in the right direction. It’s always good to get someone’s viewpoint on extensive research as required in dissertations. Receiving feedback shouldn’t create stress as it is healthy for the overall writing and research of the dissertation.
When following these tips, researchers will find themselves organized and in charge of their dissertation. Time management is a huge part of making sure everything from the writing to the research to the citations are completed on time, and staying organized by following these tips can aid this process. If a researcher needs their dissertation reviewed for copy editing, eContent Pro International® can help with fast and highly affordable professional editorial services.