PhD (dissertation) is a qualifying written work, which is a full scientific 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 being analyzed
- The level of proficiency in specialized terminology
PhD writing work testifies to the experience of its author in applying scientific methods and means that are used in applied and fundamental sciences and in understanding the usage of pedagogical knowledge in practice. Below, you will find all the necessary information about this kind of laborious work.
Specifications of a work
Specifications of the PhD dissertation is that it is prepared for public defense and, in case of its success, it allows the candidate to obtain a degree in a particular study. The content of the work should include unique and original data, not only the description 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 causes for selecting specific outcomes
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The writing of a work doesn’t include a subjective bearing to the facts studied, while the presence of certain subjective moments that can be brought about by the author’s creative individuality, their personal experience, passions, views, as well as the economic, historical, and social terms in which the PhD writing work was prepared.
Below, you will find many useful recommendations on how to prepare 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? Everything begins 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 account the 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 to work it out as profoundly as possible. To choose the best theme, you need:
- Scrupulously look through the catalogs of the dissertations that are already defended.
- Get acquainted with the most recent results of research in the close areas of science adjacent to your specialization.
- Revise the most famous and bright, historically important scientific decisions, using new methods, innovative theoretical positions, and attracting factors revealed by the dissertator himself.
- Get acquainted with the analytical articles and reviews in various periodicals; discuss and consult with practitioners, during which it is possible to identify issues that have not been adequately examined by the scientific circles.
The supervisor helps the candidate to access the possibilities for solutions, establishes the direction for his work, but the selection of the best possible solutions is the task of the candidate himself; only the author is respondent for the reliability of the results he obtained and their actual accuracy. The supervisor should provide his graduate student with detailed data on how to prepare a dissertation.
Organizing your work
It is very hard to work on a PhD without creating a plan. A plan should be developed, which is like a scheme in accordance with which the study will be carried out. This draft will allow you to sketch out the problem under study in various versions, which will significantly facilitate the assessment of the overall classification and composition of the thesis being created. The draft will initially give a description of the subject of research, in the future it should be supplemented and improved. The main assignment, which you set for yourself, shouldn’t be corrected.
The work draft can have an arbitrary form, but usually it includes a list of rubrics that are linked by the common inner logic of the research. It is desirable to write each column on separate cards. This will make it possible, after a row of mechanical rearrangements, to identify the most suitable outline for their location for this research.
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The following stage is the creation of a prospect-plan, in which it will be necessary to briefly and consistently state the questions that, subsequently, will be the base for all the actual material. According to the prospect-plan, it’ll be possible to judge the provisions of the content of the dissertation, the construction of the volumes of its individual parts and the principles of displaying of the topic. The prospect-plan is a draft of the research, including the displaying of the content of its components.
The prospect-plan is necessary to bring it to the final stage of the factual outline of the thesis by systematically including new data into it. In the prospect-plan, the general goal of the research is formed, the available reserves are identified and the methods 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 successfully build your work with a scientific supervisor, is intrusiveness. If you do not bother your supervisor, then you are not good as a student. You should ask him or her many questions, remind them of yourself all the time, and do not be shy about it. You have the opportunity to work with a bright and interesting person. Use this resource to the fullest.
In addition to the work plan, it is absolutely necessary to have a schedule – what and at what stage you will be doing. Deadline is deadline – you need to strictly follow the schedule to finish your work on time. You can fall behind, but at least you will know where you are and won’t have any illusions.
On a given topic, it is necessary to analyze the scientific works of domestic and foreign authors, which correspond to the theme of your dissertation. The analysis takes place with the aim of identifying those issues that have not been sufficiently explored, 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’s abstracts, deposited manuscripts, and dissertations.
Concept of the work
The development of the concept consists of the main characteristics. They include:
- The goals and tasks (already set)
- The object and the subject of research
- Scientific novelty (justification that this issue has not yet been solved in scientific circles)
- Scientific positions (they need to be confirmed on defense)
- Practical significance (the benefits of research results for this field of science).
Here also the contents of the chapters of the study are briefly described. The concept reveals the essence of the problem, the depth, 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 scientific adviser, and the latter, together with the members of the department, should develop recommendations that allow the proper construction of the research and exclude a deliberately wrong decision. After all this, you can finally start writing the dissertation.
Like all kinds of scientific student works, the PhD writing dissertation is written according to standard rules, in principle, structurally not different among themselves. But in each educational institution there can be insignificant differences, therefore it is necessary to familiarize with these rules.
The candidate’s dissertation consists of the following components (requirements for design):
- The front page is the first page filled according to strict rules.
- Table of contents – headings with the indication of pages, like a brief content (without full stops at the end, the last words of the headers are connected with the page numbers by the pointers, each title starts with a capital letter).
- Introductory chapter where you need to explain why the topic is relevant.
- The main part, broken down into paragraphs, where you need examine the methods, techniques, and theory of research in detail.
- Conclusion and the final thoughts where you need to provide a final synthesis of the results of your work.
- The bibliography.
- Applications – usually, this is a part of the text that has a reference 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 to understand whole work. At each stage of the work, you need to understand how what you write is related to your main study question.
The most important part of your dissertation, of course, is the introduction. This is a base. Often no one reads further. It doesn’t sound good, but it’s true. Even if a person reads a dissertation to the end, then his or her opinion of the work is based on the introductory chapter. The introductory chapter can range from a fifth to a quarter of your work. Precisely not less than 15%. It should be the following:
- First of all, this is the rationale for the topic - why do you write about it at all? What is interesting here, why the topic deserves attention? Here, the research question is formulated. Your task is to give the explanation of why it is important to deal with this issue.
- Next, the question arises – what is already known about this topic? What answers were given to the question? Which parts of this question have already been tried to be answered? You must draw the basic positions – this question is illuminated by such and such authors. It is not necessary to state their positions in full. 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 what has already been done, you understand what you have to do.
- The third mandatory part of your introductory chapter is an explanation of the structure of your work – how do you break your main 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. It should be shorter than the introduction. You can follow one of the two options:
- Summarize – what questions have been asked and what answers were received
- Show the perspective – if I begin to write a sequel, then what would I write about
Two options are easy to combine.
The PhD writing work is done according to the canons and standards.
Nietzsche was probably the most insane of the greatest philosophers. If you look at his doctoral dissertations, you will see that this is 2,000 pages about the sources of Diogenes Laertius – a boring, conscientious work, a careful study of ancient Greek sources.
The dissertation must be executed according to the standards. Everyone is able to do this. For this, no research or analytical talent is needed. This requires a certain amount of time, diligence, accuracy, and interpretation. You just need to write a particular amount of text within certain timeframes.
The problem of sources. We do not discuss the problem of plagiarism – the consequences can be the saddest. Although there is unconscious plagiarism: when the author seems to be writing his own text, but in fact he is writing the ideas of someone else.
Avoid monumental citation. Long citations of other studies can be justified in several cases:
- If it is so accurately and well-written that under no circumstances you will write better, and it is important for you that 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 better to cite you, so as not to have the impression that you distorted someone’s thoughts.
Otherwise, do not abuse quotes. It is better to briefly recount someone else’s idea – you isolate the main thing, the process of your thinking. The dissertation with many quotations doesn’t produce a good impression. Attempt to stay away from the references to works about which you have nothing to say – leave it for the list of bibliographies.
Here is the list of important concepts that you will encounter when working on your dissertation:
- Relevance. This means that the chosen topic of research should be useful to modern science. Relevance in the dissertation should be justified in writing (1–2 pages of text is enough).
- Definition of the research problem. This means that it is necessary to identify the contradiction between the facts and their interpretation. If the problem is clearly stated – its resolution is close.
- Description of the degree of development of the topic. Here is a brief overview of the scientific literature, which, later, will show that this topic has not yet been fully disclosed and needs further elaboration.
- Indicate the subject and object of research. These two components are related to each other, both the general and the particular. In the object of research, the segment is distinguished, which serves as the subject of the author’s scientific analysis. An object is a phenomenon or a process that generates a problem. The object is within the boundaries of the object and includes the links, elements and their relationships within the object that will be directly studied within the dissertation.
- Formulate the goal of the research. The goal should constructively combine and concentrate to express the main meaning of the problem, as well as the final results that will be obtained in the end.
- The research tasks. There is no single algorithm for the formulation of problems. But there are certain guidelines. Thus, as a first task, it is possible to put the totality of the characteristics of the subject of research, reveal the nature of the problem, and theoretically justify its solution. The second task can be aimed at revealing possible solutions to the problem and analyzing the general conditions for their implementation. In the end, you can put the third task, which has an applied, recommendatory character. It should offer specific ways of implementing the theoretical model (usually it is implemented in the form of an enumeration). There can be more tasks, but the narrower the scope, the higher the quality of the work.
- The methodological basis of the research is an integral element of the introductory part of the dissertation. The methods can be empirical and theoretical. The former serves as a means of gathering facts and aimed at describing phenomena. The latter reveals the essence of phenomena, identify the relationships, and patterns.
- The obligatory thing is the indication of the base of the research, i.e. educational institution, in which the dissertation was created.
- The main stages of the study should also be considered – a description of the sequence of experimental work with a brief disclosure of its content for each stage separately.
- The provisions that are put on defense must necessarily be conditioned by the hypothesis, subject, scientific novelty, and tasks of the research.
- It is necessary to specify details about approbation and implementation of the research results. In this segment of the text we are talking about the form, place, and time of implementation of the results of the dissertation.
- In general, the requirements for writing the dissertation are almost the same as for the year before. The recommended size of the dissertation is 130 pages (although there are no restrictions), at the same time, it is considered that the doctoral dissertation should consist of at least 300 pages of printed text (Times New Roman 14).
Managing your time
It is very important to manage your time. You won’t be able to write the whole work in two days.
Remember that there is nothing complicated and titanic about the dissertation. All you need to do is to work neatly and on schedule and demand the same from your supervisor.
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