Must Reads for Writing a Dissertation

Dissertations are an integral part of the academic curriculum, as it is a comprehensive way to evaluate the students’ understanding and knowledge. Students are expected to undertake a research, analyze the findings support it by relevant theories and concepts and conclude it by making appropriate recommendations. In order to produce a good dissertation, students need to do extensive reading throughout the semester. Following tips will guide you on what should be included in your reading list before you start writing your dissertation.

Visit Library for Classic Books

There are classic books in every field of study, which have existed for decades in the library and are considered as the bible of the subject. Every student should read these books and develop an in-depth understanding of the concepts. Take input from your professor or refer your syllabus for the recommendations of such books.

Read the Journal and Recent Research Publication

After you have developed a fair understanding of the concept, you need to know what are the current topics in which research is happening. Follow the leading journals for such articles and books being published to up-to-date your knowledge. These articles will help you choose an appropriate research topic and relate your article with the current developments in your field.

Refer Books and Text on Research Methodology

A quick glance through the books on research methods and methodologies will guide on the various methods of research, data collection, data filtration and analysis, how to make questionnaire and carry out statistical calculations.

Refer Other Primary Literature Sources

Apart from these books refer social theory which are relevant to your dissertation topic and other online sources of literature like e books, e-journals as well as you can join the community to get more information on the recent trends in your field.

Lengthy Dissertation for you? Do not Panic

Learn about the ideal word-count that can be maintained while writing your dissertation. If you think that your dissertation is getting lengthy crossing over 100-200 pages, then it can be well counted as a paperback novel. You might not be scared of the challenge of preparing a well-researched and fact-laid dissertation, but you might be intimidated by its length. Do not panic since a few determining factors can help you with handling the word count.

The foremost thing for you to understand is that the length of your study depends upon the subject that you choose. If you are doing Masters in Medicine then your approach towards writing the dissertation and planning its outline will be different from those majoring in Psychology. The guidelines are different for both and therefore the length is impacted by the subject matter.

If you are sure about choosing the right subject then it can lead to more discoveries that you can incorporate. Select a topic you feel interested in and you intent to discover and learn more about it. The process will ensure that you attain a perfect dissertation and will not be scared even if the word count crosses 200 pages.

Once you choose an interesting and engaging topic, dedicate your mind and soul to it. Stay committed and do not give up in the mid-way. Remember, the task is feasible in every possible way and is going to earn you a degree. Nevertheless, the increasing the word count will not bother you at all.

One of the best ways to avoid panic is to stop assuming the word count. If your mind keeps thinking that the count has crossed 40000 words, whereas, the actual count is 10000; you won’t be able to concentrate. Pour your heart and stay focused on the content instead of worrying about the word count at all.

Make Your Dissertation an Enjoyable Read

Everyone knows how much effort you have put into making your dissertation a successful venture. However, when the semester comes to an end, you would need to relax a bit and after that, continue with your dissertation. You must, however, be pondering what can make your dissertation a really enjoyable read. Here is how you can achieve it.

Consider Your Audience

If you would like to make your dissertation enjoyable to read, then you should consider your audience. The people for whom you have written your dissertation should be able to understand what you have written without which it can be difficult to judge how you have written it. No task should be considered as a challenge. If you do so, you would not be able to enjoy writing your dissertation. If you do not enjoy writing, then how can your audience enjoy reading your work?

Look for Resources Online

If you are not able to find the resources you need offline, then you should consider looking for them online. You would be able to easily find some. If you choose to, you can always take the help of your friends to find you some resources. Alternatively, you can always approach a dissertation writing company for some help with finding you the right materials and even writing the dissertation for you.

Take Help from the Others

If you are not sure what to write in your dissertation to make it sound simple and enjoyable, then you should take help from the others. If you are unable to find help immediately, then take the help of a dissertation writing company. The dissertation writers, who work for the company, will be able to help you out. Not only would they be able to write a professional looking piece but they would also be able to make your research work look interesting.

Getting Over Writer’s Block While Writing Your Dissertation

Most students, who are writing their doctoral dissertation, experience writer’s block. Moreover, they feel like they are unable to cope with the problem and wait for hours on end for an idea to come to them. Writer’s block is experienced by the students mostly when they are either about to begin a new section or when they are writing the dissertation. Here are a few tips to get over a writer’s block.

Blocks Faced While Writing a Section

Sometimes, students face blocks while they are about to begin a new section. It may be easier to say “simply get started.” However, there is more to it than that. If you want to overcome your writer’s block, you would need to strengthen the foundation of your dissertation. You will be easily able to write if you are able to decide what needs to go in your table of contents and your other sections. You would need to remember that your university may or may not provide you with the titles for your dissertation sections.

Blocks Faced While Writing Your Dissertation

The blocks that you face while writing your dissertation are mostly caused by insecurities. At times, these internal insecurities are not valid at all. Start by finding out as to whether it is true or not. Are you aware of the information needed to complete all the sections in your dissertation? If you feel that you need more information in order to get started, then visit your local library and research some more. You could also ask yourself as to why you are feeling blocked. If you are able to understand what the barriers to your writing are, you could easily resolve them. If not, you would need to approach a professional writer for help with writing the different sections in your dissertation.

How to Write a Good Dissertation Introduction?

An introduction is the face of a master’s or doctorate dissertation, which has to be very striking and anchoring too. Usually a dissertation introduction should be strong enough about the rationale of writing a dissertation and about its expected and accomplished findings. Also, a master or PhD scholar should be aware of the fact that an introduction should include the impact of research and its studies in the social order and upcoming batch. Overall, the word “introduction” sounds simple and straight forward yet it is the most crucial and important expect of any written work and if the stipulation is for higher studies, the matter becomes more sensitive. Hence, here come some tips which describe the ways of writing a good dissertation introduction –

  • Why a dissertation is written? – Aim of writing the dissertation and the outcomes expected and actually found has to be written here. Also, how writing a dissertation and its findings can help our subordinates or other academic aspirants are an important fact to be mentioned here.
  • What is there in the dissertation? – This portion includes the description of dissertation topic in detail, its proceedings in the form of abstract and different chapters and their subsections. Problems dealt with the research work and mentioned in the dissertation is also an imperative point to be mentioned. “What”, section may also include the justification about the genuineness of the work.
  • How the dissertation is completed? – Types and modes of conducting research by the means of different research methodologies are described here.
  • Introduction should express the point that, does your dissertation also have some restrictions or constraints that have led some impact on the result of the dissertation?
  • A good introduction should cover up a series of questions asked in the dissertation in order to solve out the issues generated or dispute raised should also be covered in a section of the introduction.

Thus, in a nutshell, it can be described as “a good dissertation introduction should be a summarized form of entire dissertation”.

Part Time PhD Programme: Am I on the Track?

Are you a part time PhD scholar, who is sailing in more than one boat at a time? Yes? In retrospect, when you see what you have accomplished in your programme so far, how do you feel? Do you compare your PhD accomplishment with the accomplishments of your co scholars who started around the same time as you? If they are on a full time programme, unlike you, do not do injustice with yourself by comparing. Know that your timelines are different and it doesn’t work similar as a part timer as it works for a full time scholar. Having done her Master’s programme as full time student and now on a part time PhD programme, Anna knows there isn’t any wisdom in doing comparisons. They could be poles apart like chalk and cheese. It was her deliberate, well thought over decision to get into a part time programme. Being there at two places, a full time job and a research scholar, the balance is hard to strike. It has its own set of challenges. There could be various tips to deal with this, but the most important key is to be fair in your expectations from self and accept before you begin that you would take longer than others and it is a choice you have made for yourself.

By now, we have understood that being a part time scholar isn’t easy. But if you are one of those, then just realisation of this may not help the purpose. To successfully accomplish your herculean task of a part time doctoral along with other personal or professional commitments, you need to use the skills you may have developed in your professional life or develop those skills, if you lack them. You need to learn to work around:

1. Setting deadlines
2. Being more focused and task oriented
3. Organised in your work habits
4. Multitasker
5. Scanner or as we called a skim reader

You have all these above mentioned skills. You are a seasoned and mature part timer who knows how to balance and multi task efficiently. If it is in your agenda to enrol into a part time programme, remember to go through this checklist and evaluate your key strengths so as to foresee whether it is a wise move for you or you need to first, like I said, work around your skill set.

Choosing the Right Research Methodology for Your Dissertation

Remember that your entire dissertation and its success is dependent on the kind of research you conduct. Therefore, the right research methodology can make all the difference in your dissertation outcome.

Choosing between quantitative and qualitative methods:

Many students prefer taking the quantitative route simple because they find it easier to deal with numbers and statistics than going the qualitative way. However, many times, numbers cannot do justice in understanding behavior or experiences, which need a strong qualitative method to analyze.

Using both methods together:

This is a common trend that is used quite often by many students and researchers. This helps you collect data in both ways and you can back up one set of findings by the other which is conducted through a different method. You can use a questionnaire to get the quantitative data and conduct interviews for your qualitative data collection.

Things to remember while asking interviews:

  1. Identify the right sample
  2. Keep a set of questions ready that will help you gain the information you are looking for
  3. Try the questions with a friend or a colleague before you take it on the field
  4. Keep notes of the interview
  5. Don’t ask questions that might lead to predefined answers

Things to remember while formulating a questionnaire:

  1. Ensure that the questions are in a logical order and they are easy to understand
  2. Gain permission from the respondents to use the information as your sample
  3. Ensure that the questions are not confusing or leading to expected answers
  4. Code the questionnaire so you can analyze it easily afterwards
  5. Use the right statistical tools to analyze the data

Think about the advantages and problems associated with different research methodologies and then pick one that suits your study perfectly.

Screening of information sources for dissertation

Have you ever been to a movie without first reading reviews or asking your friends about it? Or, do you dine at a new place without being sanguine about the quality of food? Obviously no! Then how can you prepare your dissertation without confirming the reliability and relevance of the resources? Hence, one of the first steps of research process is carefully selecting the information sources that you are going to use. This applies to both primary and secondary sources. When selecting your primary sources, judge whether the participants are interested in the study and providing genuine information. You also have to qualify them to ensure that they are capable of answering your questions.

The secondary sources commonly used for research include journals, books, magazines, web sources, census reports, conference papers, etc. It is wrong to pick such references just to boost the number of entries in your bibliography, without a thorough consideration of their quality. You have to screen them on the basis of the following criteria:

• Relevance of matter: it is not sufficient for your references to be vaguely related to the subject that you are studying. They must be pertinent to the topic of research and provide some ideas or facts that are worth mentioning in the dissertation. They can either support your theory or refute it, but the logic or argument must be strong enough to be considered for research.

• Authenticity: check whether the author and publisher are completely authentic or not. The reference sources must not have any trace of plagiarism. Also ensure that the facts and figures given in the sources are 100% accurate. For this, you can double check them from any other source or talk to the author. Sometimes, the source of funding for publication also needs to be checked to ensure that the material is genuine and unbiased.

• Updated: ensure that the information provided in your references is up to date. Out dated facts and figures must not be made a part of the dissertation. Look for recent editions of books and journals.

Scrupulous scrutiny of references will take some time, but it will provide you a strong foundation for a valuable dissertation that is worthy of publication.

How to Write a Case Study?

A case study is a particular type of research paper. A case can be a person, group, event or situation. Case studies are used as a learning tool in most fields including medicine, management and law. In order to write a case study, it is first of all important to understand the purpose of the study, whether the study is being made to report occurrences of certain phenomenon and their causes or whether the study is being made to identify existing challenges and seek their solutions. In the former type the focus is on analysis while the latter type the focus is on problem solving, a case study may be written keeping both the approaches in mind. In order to write a case study both secondary and primary research is required, some cases may be written purely on secondary information.

A case study generally has following parts:

Abstract: here the writer should specify the subject of study, its purpose and importance and methods used for conducting the study.

Observations: this part should clearly mention what the researcher has found out by his/her observations.

Interpretation: the researcher uses his/her knowledge to explain the observed phenomenon; if the study is analytical researcher can use causal methods to establish cause effect relationships. Researcher may also explain problems and their context in several dimensions.

Suggestions: in this section the researcher can suggest the solutions to the identified problems or relate the observed phenomenon with factors, the researcher may also give details regarding the method of applying the solutions so as to get the correct result.

Conclusion: in this section the researcher needs to summarize the main findings, suggest generalizations and scope for future study or applications.

References: in this section researcher needs to list down all the cited or quoted works in prescribed style.

Appendix: this section contains tables, graphs, charts etc., which could not be included in the main text so as to maintain its sequence or flow and avoid diversion.

Dissertation topics and the relevance of contemporary news

There are many students who have to do a project in finance. When they have to think of a topic, they find that most of the best topics have been chosen and trying to do something original is quite hard. But one of the advantages of finance is that something or the other is happening every day. There is always plenty of news in either the financial markets or in corporate mergers or in the commodities markets. Since the dark days of the 2008 Recession, the banking industry has been getting a lot of attention. It is hard to open the newspaper on any given day and not see at least a snippet of the trouble that investment banks are getting into. In some Western countries, whole economies have been troubled by the financial activities that their largest banks have indulged in.

That is why this is as good a time as any to do a project on the banking sector and the consequences it is having on people around the world. Since there are new developments taking place every day, it is always possible to generate an idea that looks at matters from a different angle. Reviewing committees love to read research on contemporary issues, simply because of the relevance it has to modern day living. It is also a good way for a student to make a name, and get his work noticed by those who matter. Many famous economists have made their name by working on a burning contemporary topic. That is why the students should get into the habit of reading the newspapers very closely because that could be the source of their big dissertation idea. They could also examine an old theory and relate it to contemporary times.