Dissertation paper is the research paper that is composed during dissertation writing. It can be in different forms, i.e. it can be a thesis paper in some countries and in some universities. Dissertation papers in various disciplines may vary slightly but they usually contain same major sections such as introduction, literature review, methods, results and discussion section etc.
General Dissertation Structure
Literature Review (15-25%)
Research Questions (20-30%)
Hypothesis / Null Hypothesis (10-15%)
Conclusion or Recommendations for Future Research (5-10%).
Steps to Write a Dissertation Paper
1- Brainstorm your topic. Before starting to write, brainstorm on your topic carefully. Try to think about its main aspects and sub-aspects. Also make sure that you are familiar with other related topics in order not to miss any important aspect of your chosen subject.
2- Select the method / approach for writing. When you come up with specific ideas about your chosen topic, select one suitable method or approach that will be used throughout the whole research paper. For instance, if you are planning on using surveys or interviews as part of your project, then select appropriate methods based on your selected research approach. Also, you need to make sure that your method will fit with your research questions.
3- Create an outline. In this step you should create a guide for writing the paper. Your outline needs to include all sections of the paper and main ideas that will be discussed in each section. The best way to create a good outline is brainstorming on your topic using keywords and then organizing these keywords into categories based on relationships between them. For instance , if your dissertation paper contains four sections such as “literature review”, “methods”, “results” and discussion section”; you can arrange related key words from different sections into groups or clusters so it becomes easy to write about them later on during the actual writing process.
4- Write an introduction. This is the section of your dissertation in which you should answer the question “why”?. For instance, when writing a literature review paper, you should include an explanation for why this particular area needs to be reviewed in the first place. Also in this section you need to identify overall goals and objectives of your research project, select specific approach used for conducting your study (e.g., descriptive vs . analytic) and make reference to all related studies conducted previously on similar topics.
5- Write each section (methods, results, discussion). Each of these sections will require more effort during writing process than the other sections do. So write about methods section last after completing other sections mentioned above.
6- Write references. It is very important that you follow some rules for writing references. You can find more details about referencing on the Internet by searching “how to write references” or “references examples“.
Tips of writing a dissertation paper
1- You need to select a topic that interests you
2- Avoid using informal language in your paper. It is okay to use “I” for academic purposes only
3- Select the most important aspects of your topic and investigate them in details
4- Do not write directly about methods or results section, instead summarize them in the discussion section
5- Organize information logically so it becomes easy for readers to understand what you are discussing about each aspect of your chosen topic.
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