Dissertation is arguably the most important project a college student has to submit, and let’s face it – dissertation writing is tough – especially for the first-timers (referring to bachelor students here), because they don’t have the skill necessary to write a good dissertation. Now, when it comes to improving dissertation writing skills, there are several components that you need to master.
This post will tell you exactly what to focus on if you want to improve your dissertation writing skills. You will learn seven tips that will help you get better at dissertation writing.
These tips are not short-term hacks and are focused on developing your dissertation writing skills, developing skills takes time, so keep that in mind and read along…
1. Read more academic content:
Yes, academic content is boring, far more boring than reading a blog or a novel, but if you want to write better dissertations, you have to train your mind to read boring academic content. Because if you don’t know what the best dissertations look like, you can’t expect yourself to produce one.
Now, it may not be possible for you to get your hands on good-quality dissertations. But there is one thing you can do – you can have to read the research literature which primarily includes books and research journals. You can also get sample dissertations from a renowned dissertation writing service and give them a read. You can learn a lot from them – as those dissertations are written by experts.
2. Learn to paraphrase:
You cannot write a dissertation if you don’t know how to paraphrase. Because then your plagiarism score will be skyrocketing and you won’t have an idea how to get it within the acceptable range. While paraphrasing following tips will help you out:
- Change the sentence structure (from active voice to passive, or vice versa)
- Start the sentence with different words or from a different point overall.
3. Learn to cite:
When you write a dissertation you cannot share your opinions on things. You can only include information that is from authentic sources (such as books and journals).
Now taking information from authentic sources isn’t enough – you also have to cite the source. When it comes to citation, there are several ways you can do that. What citation style you use, depends on the field of study you are writing on. So, if you want to improve your dissertation writing skills, you can’t do that without learning and mastering the citation style that is used in your field of study. Here are a few commonly used citation styles.
- Business studies, psychology, social and behavioral sciences – APA
- Medicine – AMA
- Law – Bluebook
Though it’s better to learn the citation style, if, for some reason, you can’t, you can also use software to generate citations the right way.
4. Develop an understanding of your field:
The better your understanding of your field, the better you will be able to write your dissertation. Not only that, you will also be able to come up with a better and unique research topic and you will have an easier time understanding the research problem. All of this will help you throughout your dissertation writing process and you won’t find yourself struggling to understand the concepts, because you already have that understanding.
All of this sounds good but you might ask, can I develop this understanding overnight, because the time I have for this project is already quite short? The answer is, No. However, what you can do, is choose a research partner who is good with the concepts, because then, (both of) you are going to have an easier time writing your dissertation.
5. Learn to interpret research results.
When you are writing your dissertation you have to include results from other studies as well. You can’t do that if you don’t know how to interpret research results.
In order to get good at making sense of research, you have to develop an understanding of statistics. Well, this is only possible if you are not already assigned to the dissertation. But if you are, then you have to choose a partner who is good with stats, and if you are past that stage as well (you have already selected your partner and he’s as bad at stats as you are), then you have to take help from your supervisor.
6. Learn the rules of academic writing:
Academic writing is fundamentally different from other forms of writing because there are a lot of rules that you have to follow when writing an academic paper. The general rules of academic writing (formal language, etc.) do apply to the dissertation, however, when writing a dissertation, there are some additional rules that you have to follow, that include:
- Citing the sources correctly (tip#3).
- Adhering to university’s guidelines.
- Keep the plagiarism below 20% (or whatever is allowed by your university).
7. Learn to structure and format:
Structure and format is other critical aspect of dissertation writing. And this is what tip #7 is going to be about. You have to learn how to structure and format your dissertation the right way. Well, though it is important, it is not really tough.
All you have to do is understand the rules of academic writing (tip#6), cite properly and follow your university’s guidelines for structuring your dissertation.
It’s true that dissertation writing is tough, but if you apply these seven tips you are going to improve your dissertation writing skills, and when you have better skills, you will not only be able to write better dissertation, but you are also going to have an easier time writing one.
In short, these tips will provide you the help with dissertation you need. However, applying these tips will require some discipline and a little hard work. If you have that, you don’t have to worry about your dissertation.