PhD (dissertation) is a qualifying written work, which is a fullscientific study. It completely reflects the following:
- The theoretical potential of the author
- The ability to expound different concepts and theories
- The capacity to think creatively about the material beinganalyzed
- The level of proficiency in specialized terminology
PhD writing work testifies to the experience of its author inapplying scientific methods and means that are used in appliedand fundamental sciences and in understanding the usage ofpedagogical knowledge in practice. Below, you will find all thenecessary information about this kind of laborious work.
Specifications of a work
Specifications of the PhD dissertation is that it is prepared forpublic defense and, in case of its success, it allows thecandidate to obtain a degree in a particular study. The contentof the work should include unique and original data, not only thedescription of certain facts. The work is characterized by these:
- It should be an accurate and detailed analysis of the facts
- It is the examination of typical situations of the facts’existence using examples
- Examination of all the possible alternatives and the causesfor selecting specific outcomes
The writing of a work doesn’t include a subjective bearing to thefacts studied, while the presence of certain subjective momentsthat can be brought about by the author’s creative individuality,their personal experience, passions, views, as well as theeconomic, historical, and social terms in which the PhD writingwork was prepared.
Below, you will find many useful recommendations on how toprepare a dissertation. It includes practical recommendations,nuances, and characteristics.
Coming up with a topic for your work
Where should you begin when working on your PhD work? Everythingbegins with the choice of the topic, according to which, later,the author will have to conduct a profound scientific study.Choosing a topic for a dissertation, you should take into accountthe following:
- The total length of service in a specific field of knowledge
- The experience of giving speeches at conferences
- The profile of publications in scientific publications
It is crucial to establish the assignment of a narrower scope towork it out as profoundly as possible. To choose the best theme,you need:
- Scrupulously look through the catalogs of the dissertationsthat are already defended.
- Get acquainted with the most recent results of research inthe close areas of science adjacent to your specialization.
- Revise the most famous and bright, historically importantscientific decisions, using new methods, innovative theoreticalpositions, and attracting factors revealed by the dissertatorhimself.
- Get acquainted with the analytical articles and reviews invarious periodicals; discuss and consult with practitioners,during which it is possible to identify issues that have not beenadequately examined by the scientific circles.
The supervisor helps the candidate to access the possibilitiesfor solutions, establishes the direction for his work, but theselection of the best possible solutions is the task of thecandidate himself; only the author is respondent for thereliability of the results he obtained and their actual accuracy.The supervisor should provide his graduate student with detaileddata on how to prepare a dissertation.
Organizing your work
It is very hard to work on a PhD without creating a plan. A planshould be developed, which is like a scheme in accordance withwhich the study will be carried out. This draft will allow you tosketch out the problem under study in various versions, whichwill significantly facilitate the assessment of the overallclassification and composition of the thesis being created. Thedraft will initially give a description of the subject ofresearch, in the future it should be supplemented and improved.The main assignment, which you set for yourself, shouldn’t becorrected.
The work draft can have an arbitrary form, but usually itincludes a list of rubrics that are linked by the common innerlogic of the research. It is desirable to write each column onseparate cards. This will make it possible, after a row ofmechanical rearrangements, to identify the most suitable outlinefor their location for this research.
The following stage is the creation of a prospect-plan, in whichit will be necessary to briefly and consistently state thequestions that, subsequently, will be the base for all the actualmaterial. According to the prospect-plan, it’ll be possible tojudge the provisions of the content of the dissertation, theconstruction of the volumes of its individual parts and theprinciples of displaying of the topic. The prospect-plan is adraft of the research, including the displaying of the content ofits components.
The prospect-plan is necessary to bring it to the final stage ofthe factual outline of the thesis by systematically including newdata into it. In the prospect-plan, the general goal of theresearch is formed, the available reserves are identified and themethods necessary for the fulfillment of the plan are determined.The plan must be of a dynamic character.
Work with the supervisor
The most important quality, without which you cannot successfullybuild your work with a scientific supervisor, is intrusiveness.If you do not bother your supervisor, then you are not good as astudent. You should ask him or her many questions, remind them ofyourself all the time, and do not be shy about it. You have theopportunity to work with a bright and interesting person. Usethis resource to the fullest.
In addition to the work plan, it is absolutely necessary to havea schedule – what and at what stage you will be doing. Deadlineis deadline – you need to strictly follow the schedule to finishyour work on time. You can fall behind, but at least you willknow where you are and won’t have any illusions.
On a given topic, it is necessary to analyze the scientific worksof domestic and foreign authors, which correspond to the theme ofyour dissertation. The analysis takes place with the aim ofidentifying those issues that have not been sufficientlyexplored, and they need further deep consideration.
There are several types of sources:
- Materials published in the world and domestic publications
- Official materials
- Non-published documents – reports on research works, author’sabstracts, deposited manuscripts, and dissertations.
Concept of the work
The development of the concept consists of the maincharacteristics. They include:
- The goals and tasks (already set)
- The object and the subject of research
- Scientific novelty (justification that this issue has not yetbeen solved in scientific circles)
- Scientific positions (they need to be confirmed on defense)
- Practical significance (the benefits of research results forthis field of science).
Here also the contents of the chapters of the study are brieflydescribed. The concept reveals the essence of the problem, thedepth, and expediency of writing the work.
Review of the concept by the supervisor of studies
You need to present your vision of the research to the scientificadviser, and the latter, together with the members of thedepartment, should develop recommendations that allow the properconstruction of the research and exclude a deliberately wrongdecision. After all this, you can finally start writing thedissertation.
Like all kinds of scientific student works, the PhD writingdissertation is written according to standard rules, inprinciple, structurally not different among themselves. But ineach educational institution there can be insignificantdifferences, therefore it is necessary to familiarize with theserules.
The candidate’s dissertation consists of the following components(requirements for design):
- The front page is the first page filled according to strictrules.
- Table of contents – headings with the indication of pages,like a brief content (without full stops at the end, the lastwords of the headers are connected with the page numbers by thepointers, each title starts with a capital letter).
- Introductory chapter where you need to explain why the topicis relevant.
- The main part, broken down into paragraphs, where you needexamine the methods, techniques, and theory of research indetail.
- Conclusion and the final thoughts where you need to provide afinal synthesis of the results of your work.
- The bibliography.
- Applications – usually, this is a part of the text that has areference value.
Internal organization of the work
The work should be built according to the enfilade principle –reading any section of the work it should be possible tounderstand whole work. At each stage of the work, you need tounderstand how what you write is related to your main studyquestion.
The most important part of your dissertation, of course, is theintroduction. This is a base. Often no one reads further. Itdoesn’t sound good, but it’s true. Even if a person reads adissertation to the end, then his or her opinion of the work isbased on the introductory chapter. The introductory chapter canrange from a fifth to a quarter of your work. Precisely not lessthan 15%. It should be the following:
- First of all, this is the rationale for the topic - why doyou write about it at all? What is interesting here, why thetopic deserves attention? Here, the research question isformulated. Your task is to give the explanation of why it isimportant to deal with this issue.
- Next, the question arises – what is already known about thistopic? What answers were given to the question? Which parts ofthis question have already been tried to be answered? You mustdraw the basic positions – this question is illuminated by suchand such authors. It is not necessary to state their positions infull. You retell only what is relevant to your research question,do not retell the whole study. Some topics are very well studied.Then you select a few sources. If the theme is poorly understood,it is desirable to cover everything. And then, after seeing whathas already been done, you understand what you have to do.
- The third mandatory part of your introductory chapter is anexplanation of the structure of your work – how do you break yourmain research question into smaller ones.
- The rest is up to you.
Conclusion and final thoughts
The second significant point of your work is the conclusion. Itshould be shorter than the introduction. You can follow one ofthe two options:
- Summarize – what questions have been asked and what answerswere received
- Show the perspective – if I begin to write a sequel, thenwhat would I write about
Two options are easy to combine.
The PhD writing work is done according to the canons andstandards.
Nietzsche was probably the most insane of the greatestphilosophers. If you look at his doctoral dissertations, you willsee that this is 2,000 pages about the sources of DiogenesLaertius – a boring, conscientious work, a careful study ofancient Greek sources.
The dissertation must be executed according to the standards.Everyone is able to do this. For this, no research or analyticaltalent is needed. This requires a certain amount of time,diligence, accuracy, and interpretation. You just need to write aparticular amount of text within certain timeframes.
The problem of sources. We do not discuss the problem ofplagiarism – the consequences can be the saddest. Although thereis unconscious plagiarism: when the author seems to be writinghis own text, but in fact he is writing the ideas of someoneelse.
Avoid monumental citation. Long citations of other studies can bejustified in several cases:
- If it is so accurately and well-written that under nocircumstances you will write better, and it is important for youthat your work includes not only the content of the statement,but also its verbal texture.
- If you don’t like what you wrote yourself, then it is betterto cite you, so as not to have the impression that you distortedsomeone’s thoughts.
Otherwise, do not abuse quotes. It is better to briefly recountsomeone else’s idea – you isolate the main thing, the process ofyour thinking. The dissertation with many quotations doesn’tproduce a good impression. Attempt to stay away from thereferences to works about which you have nothing to say – leaveit for the list of bibliographies.
Here is the list of important concepts that you will encounterwhen working on your dissertation:
- Relevance. This means that the chosen topic of researchshould be useful to modern science. Relevance in the dissertationshould be justified in writing (1–2 pages of text is enough).
- Definition of the research problem. This means that it isnecessary to identify the contradiction between the facts andtheir interpretation. If the problem is clearly stated – itsresolution is close.
- Description of the degree of development of the topic. Hereis a brief overview of the scientific literature, which, later,will show that this topic has not yet been fully disclosed andneeds further elaboration.
- Indicate the subject and object of research. These twocomponents are related to each other, both the general and theparticular. In the object of research, the segment isdistinguished, which serves as the subject of the author’sscientific analysis. An object is a phenomenon or a process thatgenerates a problem. The object is within the boundaries of theobject and includes the links, elements and their relationshipswithin the object that will be directly studied within thedissertation.
- Formulate the goal of the research. The goal shouldconstructively combine and concentrate to express the mainmeaning of the problem, as well as the final results that will beobtained in the end.
- The research tasks. There is no single algorithm for theformulation of problems. But there are certain guidelines. Thus,as a first task, it is possible to put the totality of thecharacteristics of the subject of research, reveal the nature ofthe problem, and theoretically justify its solution. The secondtask can be aimed at revealing possible solutions to the problemand analyzing the general conditions for their implementation. Inthe end, you can put the third task, which has an applied,recommendatory character. It should offer specific ways ofimplementing the theoretical model (usually it is implemented inthe form of an enumeration). There can be more tasks, but thenarrower the scope, the higher the quality of the work.
- The methodological basis of the research is an integralelement of the introductory part of the dissertation. The methodscan be empirical and theoretical. The former serves as a means ofgathering facts and aimed at describing phenomena. The latterreveals the essence of phenomena, identify the relationships, andpatterns.
- The obligatory thing is the indication of the base of theresearch, i.e. educational institution, in which the dissertationwas created.
- The main stages of the study should also be considered – adescription of the sequence of experimental work with a briefdisclosure of its content for each stage separately.
- The provisions that are put on defense must necessarily beconditioned by the hypothesis, subject, scientific novelty, andtasks of the research.
- It is necessary to specify details about approbation andimplementation of the research results. In this segment of thetext we are talking about the form, place, and time ofimplementation of the results of the dissertation.
- In general, the requirements for writing the dissertation arealmost the same as for the year before. The recommended size ofthe dissertation is 130 pages (although there are norestrictions), at the same time, it is considered that thedoctoral dissertation should consist of at least 300 pages ofprinted text (Times New Roman 14).
Managing your time
It is very important to manage your time. You won’t be able towrite the whole work in two days.
Remember that there is nothing complicated and titanic about thedissertation. All you need to do is to work neatly and onschedule and demand the same from your supervisor.
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