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Monday, August 25, 2008

Tips on Writing an Effective Dissertation

Dissertation dos

Dissertation writing is a complex procedure that calls for thorough research, enhanced presentation skills and conviction to the chosen topic. Tips on writing an effective dissertation
CONSIDERED one of, if not the most exhaustive academic written assignment of a student's life,a college dissertation takes an average of 10 to 12 months of extensive research, reporting and analysis before completion.
Devi Singh, director, IIM Lucknow avers, "A dissertation is reflective of a student's seriousness and analytical bent towards his or her academics. It is one of the best indexes to measure your understanding of any course." He further adds, "Dissertations are also an integral part of the acclaimed master's programme and must always be treated seriously and professionally both by students and teachers." Since it is practically impossible to compile the entire research in a single burst of creativity, teachers often suggest that students take a step-wise approach.
The first step in writing the dissertation is to establish priorities. Nishi Pandey, director of UGC, Academic Staff College, Lucknow University suggests, "Remember that your paper will require a significant investment of time that has been previously devoted to some other activities. You need to develop a strategic plan, which should include a time frame for achieving the set goals."
The basic element for completing a dissertation successfully is to adhere directly to the basic subject knowledge, the format and structure requirements. Nishi emphasizes that it is very important for the student to establish a direct connection with the topic at hand, so that the resulting dissertation is clear and crisp, even to another reader.
Carlyle McFarland, Christian College and English Academician, adds, "As a student or researcher, one must remember to focus on the language usage, in that a command over the language and an in-depth understanding of what you mean and what you are writing is a must."
Other elements such as the abstract, introduction, body, conclusion, references and others should be perfectly formatted as well.
The topic chosen should be quite provoking so as to attract plenty of information for depiction."Filtering the right information, classifying it and breaking it up into contents would make a reader/ examiner appreciate the decision making abilities of the writer and his or her professional spirit towards arguments and their illustration," opines Nishi.
A common myth in dissertation writing is that you start writing at chapter one and finish at chapter five. This is seldom the case. The most productive approach in writing the dissertation is to begin by writing those parts that you are most comfortable with. Then move about in your writing by completing various sections as you think of them. At some point you will be able to spread out in front of you all of the sections that you have written. You will then be able to sequence them in the best order and see what is missing.
To ensure that your final dissertation is neat and clear, prepare a list of key words that are important to your research and use this set throughout. There is nothing more frustrating to a reader than a manuscript that keeps using alternate words to mean the same thing. For instance, if you've decided that a key phrase for your research is 'educational workshop', then do not try substituting other phrases such as 'inservice programme','learning workshop','educational institute', or 'educational programme'.
Finally, refrain from plagiarising. Singh warns, "Students need to be careful as institutes are now updated with plagiarism detecting softwares, which are being used prevalently." Thus the days when a copypaste job was acceptable, owing to the lack of resources to check the originality of a dissertation,are long gone.You can be inspired, but directly copying someone else's text is simply not acceptable.
STAGE 1 Thinking about the topic
STAGE 2 Preparing the proposal
STAGE 3 Conducting the dissertation
STAGE 4 Writing the dissertation
STAGE 5 Sharing the outcomes of the dissertation
STAGE 6 Revising the dissertation

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

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