Writing a dissertation requires a deep sense of dedication. Students need to overcome various challenges such as time pressures, learning new skills/techniques, collecting data, researching the topic, and handling dissertation transcription. Your dissertation should contribute to knowledge in the field, demonstrate your research abilities, and show your proficiency in your area of specialization. Here are some tips that can help you succeed in your dissertation project:
- Choose a topic you are passionate about: It’s important that your research is focused on something you are seriously interested in and have personal knowledge about. Choosing the right topic will save time on research. It will help you plan your data collection and research and get on with the actual writing. Write a good dissertation proposal about the problem that you intend to focus on it your research.
- Select a good dissertation advisor: Before starting your dissertation research, you must choose a major advisor who agrees to supervise your work. The advisor should be an expert in the field that you intend to study and must agree with you on the advising arrangement and the dissertation topic. A Marquette University study published in 2011 revealed that with positive dissertation experiences, chairs and students collaborated before the dissertation, worked together well during the dissertation. Students began the dissertation feeling competent and motivated and the research had a positive impact on the participants. On the other hand, the study found that problematic dissertation experiences resulted in difficult relationships between chair and student. It affected students’ research capability and the dissertations negatively affected participants.
- Start your research early: You cannot write a good dissertation in a hurry or when you are under pressure at the end of the term. Once you finalize the topic, make sure you start your research early. Anything done under pressure will lack the desired quality. Consult a bibliography to find reliable sources and assess those sources critically. Record what you researched and archive your discoveries in a folder as it will save you time later.
- Plan well and research thoroughly: Before you start your research, identify the keywords in your dissertation topic. Use these keywords while gathering material and other resources. If you need to conduct interviews as part of the information gathering, audio transcription services are a feasible, time-saving option to get the data documented. The focus should be on collecting material and understanding previous work on the topic and their limitations in comparison with your intended work. However, remember that quality is more important than quantity. You will have to whittle down the material you collect to what you really need for your project.
- Write consistently: Begin writing slowly but consistently. The flow will usually improve over time. Set a time to write when there are no interruptions. If you get stuck at one point due to lack of data, take a break or go to another section for which you have more material. Don’t strive for perfection – write first and revise later. And avoid plagiarism at all costs.
- Take breaks: Taking occasional breaks from work will prevent burnout. It will stop things from getting too tedious and help you unwind. Breaks refresh your mind and body and stimulate innovation.
- Revise and proofread your work: Take time to revise and edit your paper. Review the title to ensure that it suits the content. Review the introduction and conclusion to see that the intended objectives are fulfilled. Sections, paragraphs and sentences should be reviewed separately. Make sure the content conveys what you want to say clearly. Check for errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Proofreading your paper will go a long way in improving its quality.
- Follow university guidelines: Every university has specific guidelines on formatting, presentation and referencing. A recent survey revealed that, in addition to students’ research skills, university supervisors also evaluate students’ ability to adhere to instructions. So make sure you know and follow your institution’s rules on margin and line spacing, font type or font size, omitting specific information on the title page, leaving out sections such as acknowledgements, abstracts, table of contents, etc. Paying attention to these details can improve your score.
Writing a dissertation is hard work and involves many challenges, but worth all the effort. Companies providing academic transcription services understand the time and effort that students put into writing dissertations. They support them by providing timely, accurate and cost-effective transcription solutions for the audio recordings of interviews, seminars, meetings and other activities involved in dissertation projects.