A dissertation refers to a research project that a student is required to complete as part of their undergraduate or postgraduate degree. Even though the words thesis and dissertation are used interchangeably, there are differences between a thesis and dissertation A dissertation lets students present their results pertaining to a proposition or question that they select themselves. The primary aim of a dissertation is to analyze the research skills that students have gained during their tenure at university, and the assessment determines their final grade. Even though students generally receive some guidance from teachers and professors, the dissertation project is for the most part independent. A dissertation reflects your skills and ability as a budding researcher and is also a method of examining your knowledge of a particular subject. Most often than not, a research proposal is prepared that contains the outline to the dissertation. It is critical that one understands the importance of dissertation prior to writing it.
There are two types of dissertation. They are empirical dissertations and non-empirical dissertations.
The length of a dissertation tends to vary between countries and is also dependant on study level. It is usually between 10,000-12,000 words at undergraduate level, 15,000-25,000 words at master’s level and up to 50,000 words or more at PhD level.
Oral examinations or vivas
For Masters and PhD degrees you will have to give an oral examination, also known as viva, which is short for viva voce, which in Latin means ‘live voices.’ At times, the viva begins with you giving a short presentation of your dissertation to your professors, and is then followed by some questioning/answering.
If the required elements are not catered in the writing well, it may lead to failing the dissertation. In general, the structure of dissertation includes the following:
A dissertation consists of the following parts:
One should keep the following points in mind while choosing dissertation topic.
Research Methodologies refers to the various processes that are used to gather data and information in order to write a dissertation. It comprises of a plethora of processes. Listed below are some of the most popular research methods.
Interviews are a popular means of acquiring qualitative information. There are several kinds of interviews such as formal interviews, informal interviews, open ended interviews, close ended interviews etc. In formal interviews, the same questions are asked to everyone. An informal interview has a conversational style. In an open-ended interview, the questions are purposely open-ended while closed interviews have pre-determined question and answers where the interviewee has to select one of the answers provided.
There are four key sources for carrying out this qualitative research.
Surveys are undertaken to divulge quantitative results about populations. Examples of surveys include census, market research analysis, polls etc.
A case study is an example of qualitative methodology wherein various theories are applied to real life scenarios in order to determine if these theories are effective or not.
This method entails the use of theories and is used for subjects like Philosophy, English, Comparative literature, gender studies etc.
The final dissertation should be presented in an attractive and neat manner. It is important that the fonts of heading as well as the writing is well adjusted so as to give a good look to the dissertation file. It is therefore equally important to get effective binding and printing done so that the final dissertation looks professional. The language in the dissertation should be used to suit the various sections and the tense tendencies must be taken care of. Before printing the dissertation, it is important that formatting of the dissertation is double checked so as to give the paper a clean look. To be able to present an impressive dissertation, it is important to keep in mind the do’s and dont’s of writing a dissertation.
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