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5 Tips for Writing Dissertations

word dissertation typed on old typewriter

Some students need to create a dissertation on a topic of their choice to complete their degrees. After conducting research, you’ll create a piece of writing of around 10,000 to 20,000 words. Although this may sound intimidating, it’s actually quite manageable if you break it down into the different elements.

1. Choose the Right Topic

Your dissertation is your chance to consolidate what you’ve learned throughout your time at university into one big research project. You should choose a topic that reflects what you’ve studied and is relevant to the career you want to pursue. It should be something you find interesting to ensure you enjoy the process — plus, it will be obvious in your writing that you’re passionate about the topic.

2. Know Your Limitations

The topic for your dissertation must be narrow enough that you’re able to answer your research question fully and draw a conclusion. The good thing about being restrictive is this makes it easier to do something unique. Although you’ll be building on the research of others, the objective of your dissertation and the question you seek to answer should be original.

3. Answer Key Questions in Your Research Proposal

Once you’ve come up with an idea for your dissertation, you’ll need to present a research proposal. Your research proposal should express what you intend to achieve, the methodology you’ll use, and why your project will matter. You also need to reference the work of other researchers who have already contributed to the topic, along with their conclusions.

4. Gather Data

How you collect data will depend on your research question. You may collect your own data through experiments, surveys, interviews, or observations. Alternatively, you may use archives or databases to gather information you cannot generate first hand. Whatever method you use, it’s crucial to ensure the data is high quality, which may mean you need to record how you obtained it, check for anomalies, and ensure you use reliable sources.

5. Proofread and Receive Feedback

After you’ve finished writing your dissertation, read it through several times. It can help to read it aloud and to ask a friend to take a look to ensure there are no errors you’ve overlooked. In addition, utilize all the resources available to you at university. Professors, librarians, and staff at the campus writing center can all provide you with guidance.

You’ll be dedicating a large part of your final year at university to working on your dissertation. To ensure this is your best work, you’ll need somewhere you can write in peace. You won’t find this with a dorm room on campus, but you will be able to study at home without facing constant distractions if you search for apartments for rent. Waterloo students should look no further than King Street Towers. As well as using the desk in your fully-furnished bedroom, you can take advantage of our WiFi study spaces. Plus, when you need a break, just head to the fitness and yoga studio, rooftop fire pit, or theater. Apply now to secure a unit with extra features, like an en suite bathroom and private balcony.

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