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Quality Writing Lessons

Lesson 1. What Is A Dissertation

A dissertation is a major writing project that requires students to conduct research, formulate an argument, and present it in a highly organized paper. This project is usually assigned in the final year of school, usually with students who are seeking advanced degrees. However, there are some schools that require a major writing project at the end of a bachelor degree program. This type of paper can be overwhelming if you do not know what to do. Here are some ideas to help you accomplish the paper:

Pick a Topic

The student determines the direction of the paper. With a dissertation, you get to choose the topic and the argument, as long as it is appropriate to your field of study. This whole idea of the paper is for students to be able to deeply research a topic that is of interest to them. The paper gives them the opportunity to dive deeply into the topic and create an argument that is useful for them and their future career. Your paper could focus on a topic with a positive argument or a negative argument - it is all up to you.

Find Appropriate Help

Students who are successful on the paper find someone to help them along the way. Whether you work with a tutor or you find a sample paper to use as a template, any help you can get will be beneficial. You might even want to find someone who can help you by editing your paper before you submit it for review. You could also find someone who can help you with research or with organization so you are not left to your own devices. Even students who claim to work on their own will use websites or style guides to help them get the work done correctly.

Find Sufficient Research

You will need to conduct serious amounts of research. This is one of the lengthiest parts of the project, so do not worry if it feels like you are spending hours in the library or online. While Internet research is perfectly acceptable, it is in your best interest to investigate the databases that your school offers to students so you can use professional resources like journals and well-researched articles. You should also investigate the academic resources that are available in your library or online. You want resources that have been researched instead of resources that are just opinions in blogs or social media.

Conduct Your Own

The best research to use is the first-hand type, so you might even have to conduct your own. This means that you might have to make observations or create surveys so you can find answers to your own questions.

Investigate Resources Thoroughly

Your dissertation will require more investigation and in-depth reporting than a typical research paper or essay. You will need to do serious reading and note-taking so you can fully analyze the information that is available to you. This can be exhausting work and you could spend months on the project, especially if you are looking to prove an idea that no one has ever proved before you.

Format Everything Correctly

Another important consideration is the formatting that you do. Each dissertation requires the use of a style guide, like MLA or APA. Your reviewers will want to see that you properly formatted your paper by including the necessary sections and bibliography entries. You should use a style guide to help you and it is also useful to use online bibliography apps. Without proper citations and bibliography entries, you could be accused of plagiarism.

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