Premium dissertation writing tips and tricks 2023: The methodology chapter or section describes how you conducted your research, allowing your reader to assess its validity. You should generally include: The overall approach and type of research (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, experimental, ethnographic); Your methods of collecting data (e.g. interviews, surveys, archives); Details of where, when, and with whom the research took place; Your methods of analysing data (e.g. statistical analysis, discourse analysis); Tools and materials you used (e.g. computer programs, lab equipment); A discussion of any obstacles you faced in conducting the research and how you overcame them; An evaluation or justification of your methods. Your aim in the methodology is to accurately report what you did, as well as convincing the reader that this was the best approach to answering your research questions or objectives.
Just Start Writing: Now that you’ve planned out your writing, it’s time to get typing. It’s not going to get any easier the longer you wait! While you can undoubtedly come up with a million reasons to delay (“I need to do more research/readings/experiments”) you won’t know if this is true or not until you begin to write. The best way to work on your argument is to actually work your argument out in writing. The First Draft is Not the Final Draft: When taking on a project of this magnitude it’s important to remember that your first draft is not your final draft. The sentences don’t have to be perfect or the argument airtight on the first try. Rewriting and revising are crucial parts of the writing process. Just start writing and refine your work in the subsequent draft. Discover more details at https://dissertation-zone.com/.
Strive for excellence but remember that this is not your magnum opus. A dissertation needs to be of publishable quality and it will need to past the muster of your supervisor and committee. But it is also a graduation requirement. Do the research. Make a contribution. Finish the project. And plan to write your five-volume theology when you have 30-40 more years of study, reflection, and teaching under your belt. Take careful notes. Taking careful notes is essential for two reasons. First, keeping a meticulous record of the knowledge you glean from your research will save you time: there will be no need to later revisit your resources and chase bibliographic information, and you will find yourself less prone to the dreaded, “Where did I read that?” Second, and most importantly, you will avoid plagiarism. If you fail to take good notes and are not careful to accurately copy direct quotes and make proper citations, you will be liable to reproducing material in your dissertation that is not original with you. Pleading that your plagiarism was inadvertent will not help your cause. It is your responsibility to take careful notes and attribute all credit to whom it is due through proper citation.
But remember that reading about writing a dissertation isn’t the same as actually writing it. It’s easy to feel like you’re doing work when you read a book about dissertation writing, but reading GradHacker won’t code your data, compile your sources, or write your literature review. Celebrate accomplishments as you go. Take time to appreciate all of the little accomplishments as you write. Working solely for the “reward” of defending or graduating is overwhelming, so find little places to celebrate as you go along. Finish a page? Have a cookie! Finish a chapter? Go get a beer! Work through data you were struggling with? Take the rest of the night off! Find places to feel good about what you’re doing.
Write sooner. The dissertation writing process can quickly become paralyzing because of its size and importance. It is a project that will be reviewed rigorously by your advisor and your committee, and your graduation depends on your successful completion and defense. Facing these realities can be daunting and tempt you to wait until you can determine that you’ve researched or thought enough about the topic. Yet, the longer you delay writing, the more difficult it will be to actually start the process. The answer to your paralysis is to start writing. Are you unsure of your argument or not fully convinced you have done the requisite research? You may be right: your argument may not be airtight, and you may need to do more reading; but you will be able to determine to what degree these problems need attention when you start writing. Productivity begets productivity, and you will be amazed at how arguments take shape and the direction of your research is forged as you write.
Set deadlines early on in the process. Having a goal to work towards is incredibly important for sustaining motivation over a long period of time. As someone who needs the pressure of a deadline to get anything done, I found that a list of due dates was essential for keeping me on track. But make sure those goals are flexible. That said, I pretty much immediately blew past my deadlines and had to keep adjusting them back. Life unexpectedly happens often over a year-long period (or more!), and knowing that your deadlines will likely change will help to prevent you feeling guilty about that. If you’ve set early deadlines, you should be able to move things around without throwing off your schedule.
Set deadlines. Depending on your project, you may have built in deadlines that force you to produce material at a steady clip. If you do not have built in deadlines, you must impose them on yourself. Deadlines produce results, and results lead to completed writing projects. Set realistic deadlines and stick to them. You will find that you are able to accomplish much more than you anticipated if you set and stick to deadlines. Take productive breaks. Instead of turning to aimless entertainment to fill your break times, try doing something that will indirectly serve your writing process. We need breaks: they refresh us and help us stay on task. In fact, studies have shown that overall productivity diminishes if employees are not allowed to take regular, brief pauses from their work during the day. What is not often mentioned, however, is that a break does not necessarily have to be unrelated to our work in order to be refreshing; it needs only to be different from what we were just doing. So, for example, if you have been writing for 90 minutes, instead of turning on YouTube to watch another mountain biking video, you could get up, stretch, and pull that book off the shelf you’ve been wanting to read, or that article that has been sitting in Pocket for the past six weeks. Maybe reorganizing your desk or taking a walk (see above) around the library with your capture journal would be helpful. Whatever you choose, try to make your breaks productive.