Writing a Dissertation: Directions from 16 Experts

Writing a Dissertation: Directions from 16 Experts

Writing a dissertation is often considered the most difficult aspect of completing a Ph.D.  It's an extensive, original research project written to demonstrate a student's expertise in his or her area of study.  Writing a dissertation typically takes a year or more, depending on the student's field and topic of data collection.  Writing dissertations is very different from writing research papers because a dissertation does not synthesize what other researchers have said on a specific topic, but rather reports on the student's own, original research.  In other words, the answers to the student's research questions are as yet unknown; the process of the report will reveal them.

Because it is such a lengthy and complex undertaking, it is necessary that the writing process be well-planned.  This process begins with the selection of a topic.  Selecting the topic for a dissertation can sometimes take months.  This is because a student must undertake extensive research in his or her area of interest in order to determine what has already been done and what types of information have yet to be contributed.  An overview of the student's research will typically be reported in the section of the report known as the literature review.

Once the topic has been determined, the student should discuss the topic with his or her assignment committee, or select a committee if he or she has not already done so.  A dissertation committee is comprised of several advanced faculty members in the student's area of study.  The committee members should be selected based on their expertise and interest in the student's proposed research.

Once a student has discussed his or her topic with the committee, he or she is ready for the first formal step of the writing process: writing the report.  A proposal is a document that outlines the student's topic, why the topic is relevant, what other researchers have said about the topic, and how the student plans to research the topic in order to add an original and significant insight to knowledge on that topic.  The proposal is essentially a blueprint of the researcher's study.  It is submitted to the student's committee, department, and sometimes graduate school for approval.

Once the report is approved, the student is ready to perform the study itself.  This is an involved process that should be done under the guidance of the student's committee.  Students should keep detailed records of their observations, practices, and procedures in order to present all of this information in the project itself.  The report of this procedure will be presented in the method section.

After performing the study, the next step to writing a university report is analyzing the results of the study.  If the student's dissertation is scientific, this will require statistical analysis.  The results should be reported following the method section.

Following the results section, it should conclude by pointing to the study's impact on the student's field.  This should suggest areas for future study, if appropriate, and ways the study can be used to further the field or topic.

Many students writing disertations will find the process difficult and frustrating.  Therefore, the student should enlist the support of his or her academic community throughout the process.  This goes beyond the report committee to include other students who are writing dissertations and any services offered by the university or department for guidance in the composition process. 

Viewpoint of Author #2

Writing a university report is the most extensive project a student will complete before earning his or her doctoral degree.  A dissertation is a long, in-depth, and original document that often requires months of research and preparation to successfully execute.  It is therefore common for students to spend one year or more on writing a dissertation before presenting it to his or her institution.

Writing dissertations is similar to writing master's theses, which many doctoral students will have had to do before entering into their doctoral studies.  However, a university report is different from a master's thesis in its scope and depth.  A dissertation is often required to be much longer than a master's thesis, and to demonstrate more extensive and original research and knowledge.  

A dissertation is considered a "finished" document and will likely be filed and published in the exact version in which the student submits it.  For this reason, it is important that students writing dissertations carefully consider the formatting and content requirements of their department and discipline.  These guidelines should be followed exactly when writing the document.  

Most dissertations include several different sections, including:

  1. pages of front matter including a title page, copyright page, approval page, abstract, table of contents, list of tables, and list of figures;
  2. the main body of the document broken into specific sections if necessary or mandated by formal requirements;
  3. a comprehensive list of references;
  4. an appendix;
  5. the writer's curriculum vitae.

The information held within the article's main body is largely determined by the student's discipline and whether the thesis is a critical analysis or a research study.  A critical analysis dissertation is typically written in the humanities, and presents an original examination of a text or theory.  The main body of these types of reports can typically take a format of the author's choosing.  A research study dissertation, on the other hand, usually follows a standard, five-chapter dissertation format:

  1. introduction to the research problem and a statement of the study's purpose;
  2. review of existing literature on the topic;
  3. methodology section explaining the study's procedure;
  4. results chapter outlining the study's findings;
  5. discussion chapter that suggests the implications of the results.

When writing dissertations, learners should maintain close relationships with their document committees.  The committee will guide the student on the best way to execute all the steps of writing a dissertation and will also help the student stay on a schedule.

Viewpoint of Author #3

A good dissertation is one that fully and creatively explores an original research topic and reports on its research in a thorough and academic way.  Good dissertations are ones that are approved by institutions and result in the awarding of a degree.  There are distinctions, however, between projects that merely pass and projects that are truly good.  A good dissertation will contribute important knowledge to a field, while a project that merely passes will demonstrate the research competency of the writer.

Good dissertations begin with good dissertation topics.  Often, determining a topic is one of the most difficult aspects of writing a reference project.  This is because dissertations must be on original research topics, and it is quite difficult to determine an original research topic that is compelling enough to research.  Often, the determination of a good dissertation topic will require the student to invest significant time in studying existing research to assess the scope of information available on his or her general area of interest.  The dissertation topic often arises when a student is familiar enough with this body of data collection to determine areas in the field that have yet to be fully explored.  The key to selecting a compelling topic is to pick an area that has not yet been fully explored and that when explored will result in significant advancement of the researcher's topic or field.  

Besides having good topics, good dissertations are professionally executed.  This means that a good dissertation will follow the educational institution's strict guidelines for carrying out professional and accurate research.  Good dissertations will also provide detailed reports of the methods and procedures of their research so that interested parties could easily replicate the report research if so inclined.  

Good dissertations give credit where due.  This means that they accurately cite the work of previous research that has contributed to the development of the researcher's own study, and rely only on valid scholarly sources to make their claims.  All of these sources should be documented in a comprehensive list of references following the report text.  

Good dissertations are easy to read.  This means that the writing is clear and concise and that concepts are thoroughly explained.  A good dissertation will be free of grammar and style mistakes, will be presented in formal, academic language, and will gracefully articulate its ideas and claims.  It will, in other words, guide the reader through its pages so that its concepts are fully understandable.

Viewpoint of Author #4

A dissertation paper is one that a learner will write after the student has completed an extended amount of research on a particular topic.  There are many different types of dissertation papers that may be assigned to a student, depending largely on grade level.  For example, a high school dissertation might be an assignment for high school juniors.  A graduate dissertation (also known as a thesis) might be assigned in order for a learner to complete a graduate school program.  However, this intricate project is most commonly known as the final requirement in earning a doctorate degree from a university's Ph.D. program.  

When a student creates a dissertation paper, the student needs to begin by defining the topic.  In most cases, the learner will select the topic based on his or her specific area of interest within the subject that he or she has been studying.  Many times, this topic will help the student to provide new research and information into his or her field of study.  

If a student is having a hard time developing a topic for a dissertation paper, the student may consult with his or her advisor to get direction.  Advisors help learners to refine their documents so that they are well-written and researched.  After all, dissertation papers often stay in an individual's portfolio for his or her entire career.  

There are also specific sections to dissertation papers.  The first section should be an abstract, which includes a basic overview of the topic and conclusion.  The abstract should be about one paragraph in length.  The student should also include an introduction, which will include background information about the topic, key terms, and concepts.  The introduction will contain the thesis, which is the purpose.  

A major difference between Ph.D. dissertation papers and other types of academic writings is that dissertation papers also contain methodology.  The methodology describes the process that the student plans to take in order to research a particular topic.  Many other reports simply move from the introduction straight into the body of the document without explaining why the student has chosen certain methods for researching the topic.  

A dissertation report should also contain the student's own feedback about his or her research and suggestions for further research, which differentiates most dissertation reports from standard research papers.  When the student provides feedback, the pupil can also explain why certain steps he or she took may have been flawed.  This helps to show that the research was not perfect, but that the student recognized that there are important variables that could have impacted the outcome of the research.

Viewpoint of Author #5

The academic dissertation and thesis are two of the most difficult writing assignments that any student will have to complete during the course of his or her academic career.  Although many learners dread writing their document and thesis, just as many learners look forward to doing so.  Writing dissertations and theses are an exciting point in a student's life for many reasons.  These assignments serve as a signal that a student is ending his or her academic career and is preparing to move forward into the career world.  They also signal an opportunity for the student to prove what he or she has learned during the past several years in college.

Dissertations and theses are complicated writing assignments for a reason.  They are designed to not only test a student's writing ability, but to test what that student has garnered from his or her education and as a measure of that student's preparedness to move into applying his or her education as a full-time career.  To demonstrate that they are finished with their education and ready to move on to a full-time career, students must make sure that they dedicate the right amount of time and effort into the report and thesis assignment.

Even though writing a dissertation or thesis is designed to be a final test for the student, universities and educational institutions are available to provide help to the struggling pupil.  Students are provided with a great deal of written and personal guidance during the course of the project.  Most universities give students dissertation and thesis writing guides to make sure that students have all of the information they need to know how to properly format their project.  Some universities and educational institutions are now providing students with templates that they can use to format their documents and theses so that they can concentrate on the research and the writing rather than the formatting.

Most universities also now provide students with a digital library full of electronic dissertations and projects that students can use to research their own projects and share information with other students, universities, and universities around the world.  Writing a dissertation or thesis is designed to be a test of the student's knowledge, not a mystery assignment.  To that end, universities regularly provide a host of sources for information on topic development, writing, formatting, and presenting dissertations and theses to students to ensure that they have the tools they need to write the best paper possible.

Viewpoint of Author #6

A dissertation report may take on different meanings for different students and academic institutions.  In some cases, a dissertation report is a journal of the writing process.  In other cases, the term "dissertation report" refers specifically to the document.  However, the project itself is much less of a report than it is a lengthy reference project.  Therefore, the term "dissertation report" is used incorrectly when referring to a reference project.

High school students are often required to submit a dissertation report along with their documents.  In many high schools juniors are required to spend an extensive amount of time researching and writing their documents as part of their academic year.  

Often, learners will write the reports as part of an English class, but the report will be worked on as part of all classes.  In such a case, all juniors will work on the report at one time and all teachers will be aware of the requirements on the students during the report research and writing period and may cut back on extra project assignments during that time.

When students work on their document reports, they usually will be required to keep notes about the research and writing process.  These dissertation reports can help teachers to know that students have worked hard on their documents and did not wait until the last minute.  

Often, these high school dissertation reports will be used by the school to help future students with their own dissertations.  In such a case, the reports may be held in a library so that students can review them for ideas and tips when they write their own dissertations.  

If a high school student is required to write a dissertation report, the student should think about his or her audience.  If the report is designed to assure the teacher that the student has been working on the report throughout the semester, then the student may want to keep a daily activity log.  If the report is designed to help future students with their documents, then the student may want to include helpful tips such as, "The public library has a great database for this topic," or "Do not use X Web site for information; it is out-dated."

A dissertation report is different from the project itself.  The dissertation is the actual body of work.  Usually, dissertations take up many pages and have clearly defined sections.  When learners write dissertation reports, they often follow an outline that the teacher provides, which may include a daily activity log, tips for future students, surprises that the student discovered, and information that may be affected by certain variables in the research.  Therefore, learners should not confuse their document reports with the project itself.

Viewpoint of Author #7

A university dissertation is an extensive project completed by a college senior.  It is frequently considered the student's culminating project in his or her degree pursuit, and is required at some institutions for graduation.  A university dissertation is not the same as a doctoral dissertation, which is an extensive project completed by doctoral students as the culminating projects for a Ph.D. University dissertations are written on a much smaller scale.  However, a university dissertation is similar to a doctoral dissertation in that its aim is to demonstrate a student's knowledge and expertise in his or her area of study, and requires significant time and effort in order to do so effectively.

University dissertations are typically completed in the final year or semester of a student's college degree.  The length of time allotted to the completion of a university report should suggest the scope of its requirements.  The university dissertation will require a significant time investment over an extended period.  Students should therefore plan their projects in order to meet their university's deadlines and expectations.  

The process of writing university dissertations begins with the selection of a topic directly related to the student's field of study.  It is not uncommon for a university dissertation to be an in-depth development of a project or paper the student has already completed.  In other cases, the university dissertation is a wholly new project determined by the student's particular interests.  

The student's dissertation committee is an imperative aspect of the university dissertation process.  This committee is a group of advanced professors at the student's institution selected by the student because of the professors' expertise and knowledge in the student's dissertation field.  One of these committee members will be the report advisor—the primary source of guidance for the student, and a close partner throughout the writing process.  The committee is designed to assist a student in all aspects of the university reference project.  

University dissertations require a significant reference component, as the student cannot write an informed dissertation without being aware of the relevant literature existing on his or her assignment topic.  This research will likely take several weeks or even months, and may prove to be the most difficult aspect of the university dissertation process.  Therefore, learners should enlist the assistance of their university reference librarian as well as their committee members for guidance.  

After the research has been completed, a student should create a timeline and a plan for the writing process of the university reference project.  This timeline should include milestones at which the learner will submit drafts to his or her committee.  The timeline should be shared with the student's committee in order for the student to have extra incentive to stick to the timeline's deadlines.  The plan for writing the document should outline week-by-week goals so that the learner will make steady progress towards the completion of the project.  These weekly goals should be manageable but challenging.  

Successfully writing university dissertations will require sophisticated presentation.  Therefore, the student should leave enough time after the completion of the final draft for careful proofreading and reviewing by both the student and outside readers.

Viewpoint of Author #8

Two of the most significant texts in the academic world are the thesis and dissertation.  Thesis and dissertation projects are typically undertaken by master's and doctoral level students as the culminating projects of their degrees.  When composed by a master's student, a thesis may also be known as a master's thesis.  Some undergraduates also write theses, and then they are known as senior theses.  Most commonly, however, when in reference to a long document composed by a student, the term thesis is referring to a master's thesis.  Likewise, though some universities will refer to master's level culminating projects as dissertations, the term dissertation is most commonly used when referencing a culminating project completed by a doctoral pupil.

Thesis and dissertation projects are very different from the other type of writing assignments a student must complete in graduate school.  Like most other writing assignments, theses and dissertations require research, planning, creativity, and innovation.  However, unlike those projects, a thesis and dissertation must investigate or explore an original research question or idea.  This means that the student must think of something wholly new on which to write.  Generating such a topic and then exploring or testing the topic is a huge time and energy investment.  Therefore, theses and dissertations are set apart from other writing assignments and are considered to be exceptionally challenging.

The primary difference between theses and dissertations is in length and level of complexity.  Because a thesis is typically composed by a master's student and a master's degree is of less distinction than a Ph.D., theses are typically shorter that dissertations and are in general less in-depth or complex.  This does not mean that a thesis is easy to do.  Quite the contrary.  Both theses and dissertations require a similar process—a process that typically takes a year or more to complete.

First, a student must establish a topic.  This can take months, as determining a topic that has not already been fully explored requires the student to do extensive research into the general subject area of that topic.  Typically, students go through the topic selection process with the assistance of their article or dissertation advisors or committees so that they have feedback and guidance along the way.  

Once a topic has been selected, the student must determine how he or she will test or explore that topic.  This typically requires the development of a research methodology.  Once the methodology has been developed, the student must submit a formal document to his or her department and committee that details the project topic and methodology.  This document is commonly known as a proposal or prospectus.

Then the report has been approved, the student may begin the execution of the study.  This will likely take several months.  During this time, the student does research, performs the study, and gathers and analyzes the study results.

When the study has been completed, the student is ready to write the thesis or reference project.  This can be an arduous process, as well, as theses and dissertations are both very long documents that must adhere to very specific formatting and documentation requirements.  

When the document has been written, the student must submit it to his or her department and committee and then do a formal defense in which members of the committee and department challenge the writer on his or her methodology and/or results.  When this is complete, the student typically must do another phase of revision before the document will be accepted.  After this, the student is usually finished with the project and is able to take his or her degree.

Viewpoint of Author #9

A dissertation writer is a student who is composing a lengthy document in the area of his or her focus of study as the culminating assignment of his or her degree.  There are two general types of dissertations: university dissertations and doctoral dissertations.  University dissertations are documents composed at the undergraduate level; doctoral dissertations are documents composed at the Ph.D. level.  Writers at both levels will invest significant time in preparing and composing these documents, which often take multiple semesters and—in the case of doctoral dissertations—sometimes years to complete.

Dissertation writers have different responsibilities than writers of other types of academic texts, because a university report is intended to be an original document reporting on original research.  Dissertations require a learner to generate a unique interpretation, analysis, or research study; therefore, a writer must devote extensive time and thought to his or her assignment.

After deciding on a general topic, a writer will need to secure a dissertation committee.  This committee is comprised of advanced professors in the student's field of study who will be able to assist the student in all steps of the composition process.  Once the committee is gathered, the writer begins the composition process with research into the studies and analyses that have already been done in the area in which he or she is interested in writing.  This process is extremely important, as it reveals to the student what scholarly work has already been completed in his or her particular field.  It is important for writers to be aware of scholarly work similar to that which they are interested in performing so that they do not repeat work that has already been done.  This research process is also generative, as it provides the student with new ideas and insight regarding his or her area of interest,

When the preliminary research has been completed, writers should refine their ideas to determine an exact thesis or research plan.  This thesis or plan should be discussed with the report committee before the student begins.  Once approved by the committee, the learner will likely recommence research in order to uncover more detailed information that may assist in developing or executing the student's thesis or research plan.  

Dissertation writers typically write a document in phases, completing chapters at various stages throughout the composition process.  Each of these chapters should be composed under the close advisement of the student's dissertation committee and should be written in the specific style mandated by the student's department and field.

Viewpoint of Author #10

A dissertation is a document that presents an in-depth research study on a narrowly defined topic.  Such documents are original studies that present the researcher's own, educated insight on a specific topic.  This original insight is known as the dissertation thesis.  A thesis is found in every type of academic text.  In short, a thesis is a short summary of what a text is about—its point or argument—and how that point or argument is going to be explained and defended.  A dissertation thesis differs from a thesis found in other types of academic texts in the depth and originality of its argument.  Whereas a thesis statement in an essay or research paper likely assumes a certain position on a topic and then seeks to argue it using existing scholarly research, a dissertation thesis will assert a position and seek to prove it through the researcher's own original studies and ideas.

Whereas theses presented in most texts are clearly identifiable in a group of sentences known as the critical assertion, dissertation theses are more often asserted in a paragraph or set of paragraphs in the introductory chapter of a college report.  This paragraph of group of paragraphs will frequently be a combination of paragraphs found in the "purpose" and "procedure" subsections of the chapter.  The purpose section explains what the thesis is undertaking and why that undertaking is important, and the procedure section explains how the researcher will go about investigating the topic of study.  Because a thesis is a "what" plus a "how," dissertation theses will likely be a combination of points from both of these paragraphs.

Determining a dissertation thesis is often the culminating result of months of data collection.  This is because a dissertation researcher must be aware of all the relevant research existing on his or her topic in order to present a study that adds a new dimension or element to that body of data collection.  Therefore, a dissertation thesis is often decided upon after a researcher selects a specific topic of study and then investigates what other scholars have said on it.  The thesis arises from the writer noting holes in that research or areas where that research could be expanded upon.

Before dissertation theses should be fully accepted or pursued, they should be submitted to a dissertation committee or department for review.  This often happens in a formal piece of writing known as a dissertation proposal, in which the student outlines his or her thesis and planned method of study.  Having the feedback of other scholars will assist the student in refining his or her assignment thesis and determining if it is a valid topic of pursuit.

Viewpoint of Author #11

A dissertation is the most important academic document that a learner will write during the course of his or her academic career.  The completion of a university report is the primary academic requirement of a doctoral degree and must be submitted, reviewed, and accepted before the degree is conferred.  Yet, many learners have no idea how to go about writing a reference project.

Most of the fear that student's have about writing dissertations can be alleviated if they think of the project as simply a large report.  In essence, a university report is just that.  It is a very large, very important report.  The weight of the assignment reflects the amount of effort that a student is expected to invest into the writing.

Dissertations have five primary segments, called chapters, in addition to the abstract which is placed at the beginning of the document, but which many learners write last because it is a sort of summary.  The five dissertation chapters are the introduction, the literature review, the methodology, the discussion, and the conclusion.

The introduction of the document should contain the basic background for the document and should have a solid hypothesis statement.  The thesis statement is what the entire paper will be based on so it is very important.  The thesis statement is essentially a short argument which states the educated opinion of the writer about what results the study, or dissertation, will produce.  The thesis statement does not have to be proven correct for the document to receive a passing grade.

The literature review is often the largest segment of an academic composition, sometimes encompassing 25-30% of the report, or more.  To write a literature review, the student must gather and thoroughly read dozens of reference materials.  A student should never use internet reference materials for a dissertation unless they are highly credible such as government websites or online journal article libraries.  The most credible references are books, peer-reviewed journal articles, and textbooks.

The methodology chapter should contain information and documentation about how the research for the document was performed.  The discussion chapter should contain all of the research findings.  And, the conclusion should pull everything together.  

Some of the best guides for writing dissertations are other university documents.  A student who is unsure how to begin or unsure about how to write or format a report, should take a look at other university documents, especially published ones.  These can help students over the rough spots when writing their own dissertations.

Viewpoint of Author #12

A dissertation is a body of work that a pupil writes to conclude a high-level of study and is most often written as part of a Ph.D. program.  A student uses the report to pose a problem, research the problem, and draw conclusions based on his or her research.  Some dissertations are built around a single question that the student has asked.  Other reports are more general and philosophical.  Dissertation writing, therefore, should be refined to meet the specific needs of the student as he or she addresses is or her research.  

Dissertation writing is similar to writing a book in that the report needs to be planned and organized before the student begins his or her research and writing.  However, many learners choose to approach their document writings in phases that coincide with their research, discoveries, and conclusions.  Therefore, the report does not need to be written all at once.  Rather, many learners write their documents as they go.

As students approach their research and dissertation writings, they need to keep in mind that a university report is often a well-respected body of research that can not only advance a particular idea within their fields of research, but that it often becomes a paramount part of an individual's career.  A well-written and informative dissertation can help a student get a job or gain notoriety after completing his or her higher-level studies.

In order to write a credible and professional dissertation, there are certain sections that need to be included in the body of work.  Dissertation writing takes focus and hard work, but by following an outline and completing each recommended section of the report, students might have an easier time accomplishing such a huge task.  

Dissertation writings need to include the following information in the following order: Title page, acknowledgements (to the advisor, research partners, university, or otherwise), tables of contents, graphs (if needed), introduction, related literature, dissertation methodology, results, summary of the results, appendix, and references.  

The introduction section should include an overview of the problem, the reason for the research, the impact or significance of the study, questions that the researcher has while approaching the research, and a definition of key terms used in the report writings.  The dissertation methodology should include information about the process, expected variables, information about the research sample, statistics, and limitations.  Finally, the summary should contain a discussion of the results, implications (if applicable), recommendations for other researchers or for future research, and a summary of conclusions.  

Dissertation writing is different than essay writing or paper writing because it is not only an extremely significant piece of work that many learners only produce once in a lifetime (if at all), but also because it requires an in-depth analysis that often goes far beyond the requirements of a standard paper or article.  Dissertation writing also often takes years and may take an entire Ph.D program to complete.  Plus, dissertation writings are also often published and kept on file as part of important research related to a particular field.

Viewpoint of Author #13

The most common questions that doctoral students have concerning academic writing involve how to write a reference project.  A dissertation is a very specific and important document that students will need to write in order to complete their PhD programs.  Because so few students actually write dissertations, knowing exactly how to write a dissertation can be challenging and can require learners to perform their own research into writing methods and best practices.

When students have questions about how to write reports, they should know that they are not alone.  In fact, most students have many inquiries about how to write a report, as a university report is a type of assignment that students will be writing for the first time in most cases.  Therefore, many professors and advisors will provide students with hand-outs that include general information about how to write a reference project.

The first thing that students need to know about how to author reports is the nature of a college report.  A dissertation is the final document that a learner will write in order to earn a Ph.D.  The dissertation also can jump-start a student's career, or provide a road block in a student's career.  Furthermore, dissertations will stay with a student for his or her entire professional career.  As such, they are very important documents that students write.  

Next, when students want to know how to author reports effectively, they should know that research is the most critical first step.  A dissertation is based solely on research.  Many academic articles also provide new information in a particular field, making them essential for the advancement of some subjects.  Therefore, students that want to know how to write a dissertation effectively should focus on their research methods and their timeline, as some research takes years to complete.  

Students also need to be aware that if they want to know how to write a project that receives acclaim, they need to take their time outlining and drafting the work.  They should also have several mentors or advisors review the report before they submit it.  Once the thesis is submitted, learners will have to defend it.  

While the steps students will take when they want to know how to author reports are similar to the steps students will take for many other academic works, students need to pay attention to the differences between dissertations and other types of writing.  Such documents are very lengthy articles that are critical for many learners' careers.  Therefore, they are often the most important articles that students will write and should be written and researched carefully.

Viewpoint of Author #14

When it comes time for students to complete their PhD studies, they will often need to write a dissertation as the final assignment before they earn their PhDs.  Not only will they have to write a report, but they will also have to defend it in front of a panel of judges.  Therefore, whenever students want to learn about how to write reports, they should also learn about the importance of the report, how to write dissertation proposals, and how to properly defend their documents.  

The first step that a student must take in order to write an effective project that earns them a PhD is to select the right topic.  The topic should be related to the subject that the student has been studying in his or her PhD program.  Once the topic is selected, the student needs to write a dissertation proposal.  When it comes to how to write dissertation proposals, students may want to look for direction from an advisor.  

The basic purpose of a report proposal is to obtain permission from an institute to write the document.  Sometimes, dissertation proposals will include a financial request from a benefactor, which makes the report proposal similar to a grant proposal.  The steps students will take when they learn how to write dissertation proposals, therefore, may be similar to the steps required for a grant proposal.  

After the student has obtained permission to research a particular topic, the student should begin his or her research.  Often, dissertation research will take several months to several years.  Therefore, learners should dedicate a sufficient amount of time to their research if they want to write an effective project.  Whenever students want to know how to write projects that will earn them recognition, the answer usually resides in the student's ability to research and dedication to being a ground-breaking researcher.  

When it comes to the actual dissertation writing, it is important for students to understand how to author reports according to the proper dissertation format.  Such documents are lengthy research papers, so students must not only provide an introduction, body and conclusion, but they should also include an abstract, methodology, discussion, references, and appendix.  

Students also need to be aware that the steps that they will take to write a dissertation may differ from the steps that students take to write other academic documents.  After all, a university report is a long and very important document.  Therefore, when it comes to how to write dissertation papers, learners should ensure that they have the dedication and know-how to create well-researched and formatted articles that could make or break their careers.

Viewpoint of Author #15

There are some cases in which students will have to write an undergraduate dissertation in order to complete a course or an undergraduate program.  While the term "dissertation" generally refers to the final document that a learner will create in order to graduate from a PhD program, an undergraduate dissertation may be very similar in that dissertations are lengthy articles that focus on one particular area of study.

In most cases, when students have to complete undergraduate dissertations, they are enrolled in special courses of study.  For example, if a student attends James Madison University and is selected to participate in the Media Arts and Design program, the student may have to complete an undergraduate dissertation in order to graduate from the program with a Media Arts and Design degree.  

In other cases, students may be require to write undergraduate dissertations as part of one course.  Often, if the student has to complete the work as part of a course, the professor has simply assigned a lengthy project that he or she wishes to call a "dissertation."

Regardless of the purpose of the undergraduate dissertation or level of study, all reports should follow similar formats: cover page, abstract, acknowledgements, introduction, methodology, body, conclusion, references, and appendix.  Many students will be required to include all of these sections.  However, each professor may have his or her own requirements for what sections need to be included.  

When a student is required to create an undergraduate dissertation, the student needs to take time to decide what subject he or she wishes to write about.  The student should be aware that this subject is one that he or she will need to spend a great deal of time with over the course of the semester.  Therefore, the subject should, ideally, interest the pupil.  

Once the student has decided on a subject, the student should perform as much research as possible about that subject.  Research may include analyzing primary and secondary resources, conduction experiments and interviews, and more.  The student should outline these research steps in a methodology section of the report, in which he or she also states why he or she chose to take those steps.  

After the research has been completed, the pupil can begin work on the undergraduate dissertation by drafting an outline.  Over a period of weeks or months, the learner will fill in the outline with information obtained through his or her prior research.  

Students should be aware that there is a difference between an undergraduate dissertation and a PhD reference project.  Undergraduate dissertations are not likely to stick with a student throughout his or her career.  Undergraduate students also might not perform ground-breaking research.  However, when PhD students create their documents, they are often pioneering research in a particular subject.  In most cases, their documents will be archived in public dissertation databases.  Therefore, PhD dissertations tend to be more involved than undergraduate dissertations.

Viewpoint of Author #16

Students in PhD programs will often have to write dissertation projects in order to graduate from the PhD program.  A dissertation project basically requires that students research a particular topic in depth and then write a very detailed report about their findings through the research.  These dissertation projects often make or break a student's career post-PhD program.  Therefore, students need to be focused as they work on their document projects.  

In order for students to write effective projects, they need to first understand the nature and importance of the report project.  A dissertation is often published for anyone to access and read.  Also, many dissertations have ground-breaking research that not only makes a name for the student, but also adds to the data in a particular field of study.  

The first step in any report project is for students to select their document topics.  In most cases, the topic will not only relate to the subject that a student is studying for his or her PhD program, but it will also directly relate to a student's special area of interest.  

Once a student has a dissertation topic in mind, the student should begin his or her research into the topic.  Often, research for a dissertation project takes many months or many years to complete.  Therefore, learners should develop a research plan in advance.  This plan may evolve as the student uncovers more and more information through his or her research.  

After the student has completed a satisfactory amount of research into his or her topic, the pupil can write an outline for the document.  This outline should provide the basis for the student's report composition.  Therefore, the student should dedicate an ample amount of time to thinking through the outline completely before beginning his or her assignment writing.  

The dissertation writing is the final step in the report project.  However, once the report has been drafted, the student should revise the report several times before completing it.  The final version of the report will be evaluated and judged.  Therefore, it should be accurate, complete, and well-written.  

A dissertation project for a PhD program is unlike any other type of academic writing assignment.  Not only is a dissertation project more comprehensive than most other assignments, it is also the final document that a pupil writes as part of his or her academic studies.  In fact, the outcome of the project can dictate whether or not the student has a successful career.

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