There are many who may not admit it, but will not even attempt to earn their doctoral degree because of the stringent and demanding requirement of the dissertation. A dissertation is a work that is completely unrelated to the overall academics that a person does to receive their doctoral degree. It is above and beyond the coursework
that must be completed. A dissertation is a long involved process that may take as many as years for an individual to complete. It takes long hours of research and writing, but is a paper that will be useful for many for years after it is written.
Many of the things that will be necessary for you to know to write your dissertation you will have learned long before you begin working on it. A dissertation is really just a way for you to investigate thoroughly a subject within your field that is important to you. It is a way of using all of the skills learned up until the point of obtaining your doctoral degree, in one cohesive way, to show not only to the academic institution that you will be obtaining your degree from, but also to the scientific field, that you have something to contribute. The purpose of the dissertation is to introduce the individual to the academic world that they are to enter, paving the way to become an elite member within the field of study that they wish to start their career.
What is the main goal of writing a dissertation?
The goal of having a doctoral candidate write a dissertation
is to teach to them the skills necessary to be a relevant component of the field that they are entering. It is a way to use all the things that they have learned, demonstrating that they have a command of the processes necessary to succeed. The skills that are used to write a dissertation are:
- The ability to generate a hypothesis
- To define problems within the community, or field of study
- Research, read and summarize the current literature
- Use the methods they have learned through their coursework
- Methods of collecting data
- Judging the validity of evidence available
- Discussion of the findings
- Obtaining publishable results
- Write and think critically to finish a cohesive work
Once your dissertation is complete
If you manage to somehow have the commitment and the drive to make it through the requirements to research and to write your dissertation
then you may feel like it is time to give a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, some of the hard work is behind you, but as you already know, it is never ending. Once you complete the writing of your dissertation you need to complete certain steps to have it accepted. There are several procedures that must be followed for you to present your dissertation for approval. Following these steps can make the difference between going back to the drawing board and having it approved.
Each institution will have its own set of guidelines for submitting your dissertation. Following those guidelines are very important. After you have written your dissertation there are steps to take to submit it:
- Go back to the original list of requirements to make sure that you have formatted, cited, and structured it correctly and as outlined by the individual institution
- Make sure that all sources used are credited appropriately under a works cited, or reference page. Not properly acknowledging another source can be devastating to your dissertation and make the difference between acceptance and denial. Anytime you use another source, whether you use information directly, or just consult it, you should claim acknowledgement to it
- Once you have formatted it correctly read the guidelines on how to submit it. Many institutions will allow you to upload your file to the server, knowing the format that it needs to be is important
- Once you submit it you should receive confirmation that it was submitted. From there you will be given further information about whether it has been accepted or rejected and the reasons why
- Once you receive approval you will need to supply that approval to the graduate degree office of the institution. You will also need to supply them with any other documents that are required. The institution you are earning your dissertation from should have all the requirements available for you to view on the internet. Many have further information that you must give like surveys or release forms which allow them to use your dissertation for publishing or other research in the future.
- Since your dissertation will be retained in the library of the institution, if you are using any copyrighted sources in your work, you must obtain a release from that source before it can be submitted
Many universities and colleges will have their own specific guidelines to follow which may be different than these steps outlined. It is important to adhere strictly to their individual policies. When you began the doctoral process you should have received a counselor to help you through the complexity, it may be appropriate before submittal to sit down with them and to review the requirements and make sure they are met before you begin the process to prevent any further delay in acceptance.
Many people will purposely avoid getting their doctoral degree because of the requirement of the dissertation. A dissertation is a huge undertaking for any individual and involves not only many long hours, in some cases, many years, to complete. Once you have completed your dissertation, you want to give it the best chances of being accepted. Therefore, it is very important for you to follow the guidelines outlined by the university you are earning your degree from. It is also important to go through it thoroughly before beginning the process. Once your dissertation has been accepted you will be officially a part of the prestigious field you have studied very hard for. Once it is written don't make the mistake of exhaling until the i's are dotted and the T's crossed.