6 Tips for Writing Your Dissertation

hi I’m Tamra with servicescape dot-com and in this video I’ll be discussing some simple strategies you can use in writing your dissertation that will take some of the stress out of this project the goal of this instructional video is to help you to avoid common mistakes writers experienced during the dissertation writing process and hopefully to help you to create a dissertation that you will be proud of for the rest of your career let’s face it writing a dissertation can be difficult and overwhelming some universities make the process less complex than others most programs are very in the expectations that they have for the end result of your dissertation prep but regardless of the university or program all dissertation writing requires two essential skills that you’ll need to improve and refine the first scale is research without good research skills you can’t be a good writer this is because all writing is based on the authors observations and research this applies just as much to writing dissertations as it does to writing in any genre without the right amount of observations and research your thesis statement will be confusing your dissertation will be uninformed and illogical and the writing will be the same way no matter how skilled a writer you are so let’s say you’ve completed all of your research you’ve chosen a topic that interests you and it’s time to start putting words on paper when you get to this point remember that this is the same feeling novelists get when they start to write a novel the next skill that is necessary for a great dissertation is good writing so where do you begin you begin at the same place a novelist does you just start writing and this is where our first tip comes into play start somewhere anywhere it doesn’t have to be at the beginning in fact it probably won’t be with more than 150 pages of writing to do it’s easy to feel overwhelmed but remember that writing is like exercising sometimes getting started is half the battle once you get going it gets so much easier to continue in exercise adrenaline starts pumping in the writing process the creativity starts flowing but first you have to get started so get started with writing on the topic you’ve chosen for your dissertation and don’t worry about organization structure or how correctly you’ve written it the important part is for you to write as much as you can on what you know about the topic which brings us to our second tip separate the writing and the editing processes when you sit down in the early stages to write your dissertation don’t stop to make corrections and don’t expect perfection think of this as a very rough draft don’t stop to read each paragraph you just wrote to find all of its flaws don’t worry about things like transitions flow organization or spelling and grammar mistakes just right allow your writing to flow naturally in a stream of consciousness style if necessary but don’t stop this process is starting with what you already know will get the ball rolling and will overcome any dreaded writer’s block that you might be feeling at the beginning now let’s focus more closely on how to develop this first draft that you have just started you obviously have strong feelings about this dissertation topic after many semesters of research and preparation you probably have a lot of personal opinions about it and that’s a good thing that personal investment will pay off in the writing process if you let it this is where our third tip comes in handy don’t try to make your writing at this stage sound academic rather just write from the heart during this first stage of the dissertation writing process and without your research notes take the time to write down everything that you know by heart about your topic use this opportunity to write out questions that you will explore in your research as well as your gut responses to these questions even if these questions go slightly off-topic write them all out the first stage of writing can later be used to form your hypothesis developing them with a more academic approach and language but for now just write from the heart and from your personal knowledge of your chosen topic now let’s talk about tip number four write in chunks and out of order while it may seem counterproductive writing in chunks and out of order will actually help you to get your dissertation written faster and to get a better grip on the scope of your research one good way to do this is to carry a notebook with you daily and right chunks of your dissertation throughout the day even if it is just a paragraph here and there or a question you want to explore in your research write it all down and don’t worry about where that chunk of writing will be inserted into the final product many first-time dissertation writers will try to start with the introduction or worse with the abstract this is a quick way to become overwhelmed because experienced researchers know that the abstract is the last thing you write once you are able to see the scope and extent of your research also don’t feel like you should have your review of literature written before you start exploring your methodologies or why you’ve chosen one methodology over another although the review of literature does come before the methodology section in your final draft this certainly doesn’t have to be the order in which you write them unless your dissertation committee specifically requests that you do so or maybe you just read an article that is relevant to your research and it is still fresh in your mind go ahead and write about the information you learned from the article and then write out the full citation of the article on a note card which brings us to the fifth tip organize your citations on note cards or the digital equivalent from the very beginning most of your dissertation will consist of other people’s words and ideas you will remain a step ahead in your writing process if you organize this content from the beginning this is especially true in your literature review which will cover all of the scholarly articles books dissertations conference proceedings and other resources that are relevant to your research having this information arranged on note cards with your citations already written in whatever documentation style is required puts you a step ahead when it comes time to writing the literature review and the bibliography finally let’s discuss tip number six which is write as early in the day as possible and set a goal for writing at least one page per day even if you consider yourself to be a night person find the time each morning to write your dissertation setting a goal to write at least one page per day five or six days a week is a good place to start science shows that even if we are most active during the night we are usually at our mental peak during the morning hours before the events of the day affect our concentration some writers find that their productivity in the morning hours allows them to do twice the work in half the time depending on your natural abilities and skills such as concentration and avoiding distractions this might mean that you focus on writing before you’ve read the morning news check your Facebook or Twitter feed or returned texts that were written to you the night before all of these digital distractions seriously limit your writing output during these peak mental hours in the morning if you are the type of person who was easily distracted by social media and let’s face it most of us are try putting that off until you’ve written your page goal for the day you’ll find that you have plenty of time afterwards to enjoy social media or other distractions thank you for watching I hope this tutorial will help make the process of writing your dissertation as painless as possible be sure to subscribe to our channel to get updates on new videos and check out servicescape com for your freelance editing and writing needs