The doctoral dissertation bears a lot of weight on your academic success. A properly written dissertation allows you to quickly graduate from your program without many challenges in your doctoral dissertation defense and also to establish your mastery of a topic.
Conversely, a poorly written dissertation limits your ability to express ideas in your paper, dooming you to multiple issues with the dissertation defense and repetitions to meet the standards accepted by your faculty.
Unfortunately, poor mastery of writing a doctoral dissertation often brings about various issues for students. This article will tackle a vast range of tips to guide you in writing a quality doctoral dissertation without getting lost in all the confusing attributes that students encounter as they write a doctoral dissertation.
What is a doctoral dissertation?
A doctoral dissertation is a paper written as part of your Ph.D. This paper often tackles a unique problem in your field, allowing you to apply the concepts you have encountered to solve a problem in your niche, therefore, bringing about new information in your field.
Unlike a thesis, a doctoral dissertation is based on unique research and not existing work from other scholars.
Doctoral capstone vs dissertation
The doctoral capstone and dissertation are all papers that could be required toward the end of your program to show your readiness for the professional field. Like the dissertation, a capstone required a strong foundation in research and critical thinking to analyze and solve a problem within one’s field of study.
However, the capstone differs from the dissertation in that the dissertation comprises five chapters whereas the capstone is written in two parts: the deliverable and the final presentation. Also, a dissertation is based on original research to evoke new information within a field while a capstone extends or applies existing research to deliver a solution to an issue within the real-world setting.
The doctoral capstone highlights the creation of a deliverable and often applies within technical disciplines.
How long is a doctoral dissertation?
A doctoral dissertation may range between fifty pages and 150 pages depending on the complexity of the problem under study. A dissertation that employs complex methodologies to address multiple research questions may fall on the upper end of the word count spectrum whereas a dissertation with fewer words falls on the lower end of the spectrum.
However, it is worth noting that there isn’t any ideal doctoral dissertation length. If you are confused about the preferred length of the dissertation, consult your faculty guidelines and look at various doctoral dissertation examples from your institution to approximate the range that is considered satisfactory by your defense panel.
How to write a doctoral dissertation
- Select your topic
Choosing a topic is arguably the most important part of writing a dissertation. For this, you should read the guidelines to figure out the research question.
Try to come up with as many thoughts as you can about the subject, and then do some preliminary investigation to see if there is any information available. Choose a subject that has plenty of research available so that you can easily back up your assertions.
- Conduct thorough research
After choosing your subject, frame your problem and consider the numerous angles from which it might be viewed. Avoid issues that have been the subject of frequent analysis when doing this.
Also, highlight various gaps within your topic of interest to use them as research questions within your study.
- Creating a paper outline
A research paper outline is a crucial planning tool. In this document, you can organize your thoughts to guarantee a logical line of reasoning and the accuracy of your research.
- Editing and drafting
After creating your outline, write your first draft, then set aside time to edit it. If you can, proofread your paper for one kind of error at a time to catch a larger range of errors.