How to turn your idea into a proper structure of dissertation

It can be very difficult to start writing one of the most important pieces of work that you will ever write. You need to make sure that you follow a proper dissertation structure template that will enable you to get a logical flow of your dissertation chapter.
Remember that your dissertation will stay part of your life for a long time, partly through the writing process and partly as it will be a measure of your academic interests and abilities when you apply for jobs.

  • Start by:
    • Familiarising yourself with the process. Make sure that you are familiar with the instructions that your school needs you to work towards. Details should include referencing; word count for each chapter and submission dates.
    • Part of the process is deciding your topic and the stance that you are going to take on that topic area. Do you already have a focus? Are you going to replicate work done on another paper?
    • If you are not sure, then talk over some of your ideas with your professor. Take on board the comments and suggestions that they make. Keep your ideas practical and realistic.
  • Now you can:
    • Once you have a topic idea that you are comfortable with you can now brainstorm your ideas. Focus on areas of what you what you already know and what you need to find out. Make lists.
    • Now is the time to start refining your hypothesis. It is very rare that anyone can get the exact phrases correct at the start. As you start working on your paper the terminology that you use will become more succinct.
    • It is never too early to start a project diary. This will be your go-to book where all of your ideas and searches for the projects will be jotted down. Time spend adding to the project diary will save time later.
  • You also need to:
    • Look at dissertation samples. You can find these online, but make sure that you look for free samples otherwise it can get expensive. Check out work that is deemed as average, poor and outstanding.
    • Work out a time frame for completing your work. Writing a dissertation can take longer than you think. Make time for other activities, that way you can have a break and return to your work refreshed.
    • Do not rely wholly on the spell checker, or websites that offer grammar checks as they are not 100% accurate.
    • Employ a proofreader, as it will be money well spent.

Perhaps the best piece of advice is to make sure that you have the right piece of information in the right chapter. Just like any other form of writing make sure that your work follows a logical progression of ideas. Your reader will appreciate that.

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