Recently, I came across an engaging and informative article on time management and dissertation writing. Prof. Marcus Lawrence from the University of Salford is of the opinion that one must structure dissertation plans in accordance with the deadline and other academic guidelines, as specified by the instructor.
Based on what’s mentioned in the article and what I have learned so far during my days of research and analysis, I bring to you some of the most useful steps to plan your dissertation on time.
Here’s everything you should know.
Carry out some initial investigations based on the subject matter
No matter how common or overly complicated the Ph.D. dissertation subject matter is, you got to carry out initial investigations to accumulate enough information about the subject matter. Take note of the following tips for fruitful results.
- Focus on the research question.
- Look for an ideal platform that can allow you to accumulate all data seamlessly.
- Do not believe in everything published on the internet. Read more books and journals.
- Pay heed to real-life examples, academic case studies and verified literature.
Implement linear planning for your PhD Dissertation
The linear planning of dissertation allows you to list all task in the order of doing them. Here are a few tips you may choose to consider for a brilliant dissertation based on linear formatting.
- Use the chapter headings, as recommended by your supervisor.
- Create a concept map prior to drafting the dissertation plan.
- Explain all the terms mentioned in the research question so that they are clear right from the very beginning.
- Analyse the outline of the dissertation; what are the key texts? Who are the key thinkers? What is the underlying idea based on theories and other derivations?
- Talk about the different pros and cons of the different research methodologies associated with the assigned subject matter.
Once you are aware of the answers to each of the questions mentioned above, coming up with the perfect PhD dissertation plan will be much easier.
Prioritise concept mapping for the perfect dissertation plan
A conceptual mind map will suit you better if you are looking for a more visually appealing approach to outlining the dissertation plan. You can modify your listed set of tasks as you continue with the structure without having to reframe the concept map each time.
The idea is to frame the perfect structure of your dissertation based on constructive mapping, so that the procedure of referencing back to a particular context of discussion doesn’t appear to be intricate by any means.
Create a To-Do List for your PhD Dissertation
There’s no substitute to an organised approach when it comes to drafting the perfect dissertation plan. A comprehensive to-do list will contribute to the organised approach of handling PhD dissertations successfully.
Here’s what you must follow in order to bring perfection to the work.
- Identify the problem areas in your dissertation subject matter and organise all actionable points accordingly.
- Provide a clear record of your progress and keep updating the column as you go along.
- Create separate to-do lists and tick off each of the areas on successful completion of the same.
- Create your to-do list based on the type of dissertation you would draft; empirical or non-empirical.
- Invest some time in organising how you are going to keep accumulated notes in order.
- Keep taking notes of the literature and include all takeaway points in the to-do list as you proceed.
- Plan an overall structure of your PhD dissertation and create outlines for each of the chapters.
Once you know about your job as highlighted in the To-Do list, the entire process of drafting the research paper will become much easier.
Start listing all the relevant sources for your dissertation
Prior to initiating the task of dissertation writing, it is important for you to list out all relevant sources. Consider including the full name of the books and page numbers and state the sources of references list them out in numerical order.
This will allow you to retrieve information quickly as you would continue writing the draft. Most importantly, make sure that the references you are planning to include in the final draft are extracted from reliable sources, verified journals and government websites.
Define a clear approach and an ideal title for your PhD dissertation
The title of the dissertation is the first thing your readers will get to see. Choose an appropriate title to go with the flow and nature of the dissertation methodology. Here are the necessary tips you must follow to choose an ideal title for your dissertation.
- Look for subject matters of your interest and discover interesting perspectives to talk about.
- The title should at once grab the readers’ attention, thus giving them enough reasons to continue reading the entire text.
- A strong dissertation title is supposed to do a lot of things in a small space. So, you must consider making an approach that allows you to keep titles crisp yet interesting.
- Find a working title that allows you to be flexible in your research.
Create an outline that allows you to organise the paper constructively
Creating the perfect dissertation plan is no rocket science, provided you are aware of the crucial components to be included or talked about in the paper.
Here’s a brilliant dissertation outlining idea for you:
- Break down the Introduction, Main Body and Conclusion in three separate sections.
- Provide answers to what are you examining and how you choose to conduct the analysis in the “Introduction”.
- Break down the body into Definitions, anticipated problems, areas of research, primary theme or argument and alternative theme or argument.
- Make sure the conclusion includes the summary of your research findings, solutions, what remains unresolved, and scopes for further research.
Work on your listening and social skills
Coming up with the perfect plan for your PhD dissertation is not only based on a handful of theoretical insights. At times, you need to work on a few of the most essential practical skills. This is where listening and socialising come into play.
Work with your supervisors, listen to them, utilise creative inputs, stay moderately active on the internet, visit interactive academic platforms and extract all latest information and case studies associated with the dissertation.
Refrain from using too many argumentative points and sources
Even though there’s no exact count of sources one must consider maintaining while drafting a dissertation, overusing them will only make the paper look monotonous.
Quite similarly, if you end up overstuffing the dissertation paper with too many argumentative slants, then the readers might get confused regarding the origin of the argument and the potential reasons behind the same. Thus, the idea is to maintain a balance by inserting argumentative points and supportive sources in moderation.
Never submit your dissertation plan with revising the document
Last but not the least, never send across the dissertation plan for approval without revising the entire document.
Here’s what can help:
- Solicit reviews from trusted sources.
- Draft a reverse outline for your dissertation.
- Reconsider the entire idea behind composing the dissertation.
- Revise your opening statement and the concluding section.
- Make sure the dissertation plan has been drafted according to the specified academic convention.
With the useful tips shared above, I hope you will be able to compose technically flawless PhD dissertations on time by organising all ideas accordingly. So, put your best foot forward to produce the best PHD research paper of your life.
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