Dissertations- a vital component of any higher education program and a tool to evaluate & train one’s research skills. Dissertations help professors evaluate a student’s myriad skills and gauge their scope of subject-specific knowledge. Given their importance and intricacies, theses and dissertation writing require substantial preparation and a well-laid out study plan.
Whether you are working on a given research question or are brainstormingone on your own, the research question’s feasibility is a significant factor that dictates the underlying research design and the roadmap of the dissertation. Determining the feasibility of the research and availability of necessary resources is essential to formulating an appropriate study and research plan. Time is a precious commodity and even more so while dealing with submission deadlines. The right beginning and proper planning are essential to the success of a thesis/dissertation.
So, before we get down to the formulating a decisive dissertation plan, let’s find out how to get a proper head-start.
Table of Contents
The Right Beginning
A master’s or doctorate dissertation is a valuable piece of work and a feather in any researcher’s cap. They certify an individual’s research &analysis skills and showcase their depth & breadth of subject-specific knowledge. Exceptional effort, the excellence of execution and a practical work routine should remain the focus of every dissertation writer.
The essentialities for getting a good start for your dissertation are:
- A clear understanding of the purpose and objectives of the concerned research work.
- Clear, accurate and comprehensive knowledge about appropriate research methods and the necessary resources
- An in-depth and adequately structured plan of action
- Proper technical skills for implementing plans and bringing things to fruition.
One key thing to note is that influence of technology on the dissertation study plan. Electronic devices and the World Wide Web offer numerous benefits, which can augment & accelerate a researcher’s endeavours. From information gathering and statistical analyses to citations and references, computers and software applications act as a blessing for today’s students.
Despite their differences, dissertations at every level of higher education emphasize particular vital objectives, namely, identifying & investigating research problems, gathering and researching data, relating them to existing concepts & ideas, and presenting discussions & observations in a clear & informative manner.
In that light, here are the preliminary steps necessary for crafting and implementing an accurate dissertation study plan properly.
Determining objectives, choosing methodologies and assessing resources
A researcher must go through instructions and guidelines to understand the objectives, choose appropriate investigative methods and scope out feasible information resources. Discussions and consultations with peers, seniors & faculties can help writers decide upon their dissertation plans’ framework. Proper clarification means fewer disruptions and difficulties later on.
Scoping out the resources necessary for research and locating useful information sources in advance can give a massive head-start to any dissertation study plan.
- Developing a proper timeline
Devising a realistic timeline for completing all the work involved is vital. It will help a writer manage & keep track of the progress of every underlying task, keeps the whole project on course and encourages a disciplined usage of time. Using well-projected timelines improves the effectiveness and efficiency of the dissertation study help AND writing phases.
Breaking down the whole work into sub-tasks and estimating tentative completion times of every individual task can keep writers motivated and keep them aware of the actuality of the real-time calendar.
- Taking advantage of technology
The benefits offered by electronic and information technology can never be emphasized enough. Different software applications, information databases, and tools exist on the World Wide Web that can drastically streamline a dissertation study and writing plan.
- Incorporating the right research methodologies
The choice of research methodologies often depends on the research subject & question, individual approach, and relevant data nature. Whether qualitative or quantitative or a combination of both, diligent and systematic investigation is crucial for gaining useful research insights.
Carefully following the above points can offer a good head-start in the right direction.
Next up are the critical attributes of an effective and focused dissertation study plan, which uses the above pointers as a launching pad.
Essentials Of A Decisive Dissertation Study Plan
- A Disciplined Approach
Formulating a perfect dissertation study plan is futile without disciplined implementation. You can have an excellent work breakdown structure, efficient timeline and a detailed study plan; yet, all will be for naught if you do not follow it with a single-minded dedication.
Recording all progress, checking, updating and scheduling new tasks, with a proper WBS/timeline, should be an integral part of a dissertation study plan.
- Self-Management And Organization
Given the complicates, extensive and critical nature of dissertations, researchers should manage all the different tasks and the varied information in an organized fashion. Formulating a plan with a clear set of objectives is vital for managing dissertation writing. Along with careful use of time, self-direction and acute management must guide the writer to their goals.
Technology allows individuals to manage data better and speed up the completion of tasks. Using different applications of electronic integrated circuits and information technology can save researchers lotsof trouble. In this digital age, researchers are bound to interact with one kind of electronic device or the other; they should try to make the best use of them.
- Systematic Data Recording
The quality and nature of data are critical to a dissertation’s success. Assessing valid and required data sources, pre-emptively offer several benefits. Nevertheless, here are some key things to keep in mind while gathering data.
Physical libraries and online data archives are excellent sources of research-related information. The Center for Research Libraries, EBSCO, the Internet Public Library are some great data sources.
Doing a focused and broad search for relevant information sources is necessary for gathering data and developing a critical literature review.
- Seniors, librarians and archivists can be powerful allies for a dissertation writer. A university’s dedicated research department can also offer excellent advice on research design, recording and proper statistical analysis techniques.
- Contrary to what some might say, it is very much possible to find substantial, valid information if one knows where to look for them. Many novice researchers make the mistake of generating data that already exists, thereby wasting precious time.
- Proper note-taking, filing & categorizing methods, annotated bibliographies are vital for appropriate data gathering, management and citations. Computers offer numerous ways to carry out systematic data gathering and recording.
- Computer-Aided Research & Analysis
Data collection and storage, literature searches, analysis, and presentation are central aspects of any dissertation study plan. Computers & IT can help one do all these with outstanding accuracy & efficiency.
Thousands of online databases act as massive information repositories for research. From primary and secondary sources to literature review & dissertation writing guides, it is possible to find numerous research aids and resources on the World Wide Web.
- Manu reputed universities offer online writing aids and guides to help researchers at every phase of research. Searchable databases of peer-reviewed digital dissertations, doctoral dissertation databases from various schools and universities, the US-based National Science Foundation’s publishing systems, the US Library of Congress are some examples of useful electronic research resources.
- There are numerous data analysis software applications in the market today. Multipurpose tools such as SPSS, R, Nvivo, Qlik Sense, QDA Miner, SPSS, etc. offer features for data acquisition, analysis and visualization on a single platform.
A quick search on the massive web of information, the Internet, can reveal several handbooks and guides on data gathering and analyses. The Data Analysis Briefbook and the Survey Documentation and Analysis websites are two great places to brush up and acquire proper analytical skills.
Simulating & Pretesting Analytical Procedures
Estimating the research results using probable outcomes and simulated data can help researchers determine the efficacy of chosen research methods, the accuracy of data gathering instruments, and aid in the actual writing.
Pretesting can help eliminate errors, bring to light any deviations, discrepancies & challenges and show the best way to address the research hypotheses or questions. Faulty pretest results can mean improper data, wrong hypothesis, or incorrect data analyses.
Well, that wraps up this guide to crafting a creative and successful study plan for a dissertation. Use this guide as per your convenience and develop dissertations that educate & enlighten!