Perfect Your Dissertation: 17 Tips from Dissertation Editor
A dissertation is the culmination of your learning process and the most complex academic paper you will have to produce on your way to MA or PhD degree. It is meant to show your capabilities as an independent researcher, subject matter expertise and academic writing skills.
However, the writing process rarely runs smoothly. Like many of your peers, you are likely to procrastinate, feel stressed and lost throughout the writing process. And it’s completely normal, given the complexity and significance of this project.
The experts of our professional editing services have collected valuable advice for organizing your dissertation writing, overcoming writer’s block, and editing the completed paper. For your convenience, we have divided the tips into two blocks.
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Part 1. Organizing your writing process
- Choose a dissertation topic you care about
Picking the topic which is of interest for you or is relevant for your future career is halfway for success. Why? If you care about the subject, you will be naturally motivated to investigate it and to stay on track with your writing. You won’t need to force yourself to do something. If you have little control over the dissertation topic, try talking to your supervisor to correct the focus of your research so that it is more meaningful for you.
- Start writing early and write every day
Students often postpone the day they are going to actually start writing. They think “I need to complete this capstone first” or “I’ll start writing as soon as I prepare a monthly report for my boss”. Needless to remind that it leads to sleepless nights, poor writing and missed deadlines.
Don’t wait for the moment you feel motivated and inspired – just start writing. Experts recommend that you write a certain amount of words or pages every day. Composing a dissertation might look daunting, but writing 300 words per day is quite an easy task, isn’t it?
- Understand the expectations in advance
To make sure your dissertation meets all of the requirements and avoid costly mistakes, study the dissertation requirements, module handbooks and other guidelines beforehand. Consult your supervisor if something isn’t clear to make sure you’re on the same page. Deep, comprehensive understanding of what the committee expects from you is a must if you want a high grade for your dissertation.
- Set deadlines for yourself
It takes planning to submit the dissertation on time. Set the entire writing process into certain milestones and set deadlines for each. For example, you might set the dates by which each chapter should be complete, and then figure out how many words per day you need to write to keep up with this schedule. Don’t forget to reward yourself for each milestone completed.
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- Take the literature review stage carefully
The literature review is the process of analyzing what other writers and researchers in your area had to say. The more quality sources you process during this stage the better research you eventually will come up with. So, don’t rely solely on the internet – you might want to visit the university library or read the dissertations of other students in your field.
Also, when writing your literature review chapter, don’t just summarize the ideas of others. Find similarities, compare and contrast the ideas of others to come up with a deep, comprehensive analysis of theoretical sources.
- Request feedback regularly
The university will assign you an advisor or supervisor, and to make the writing process effective, ask for their feedback early on and do it regularly. They will help you correct the way your dissertation writing is going. So, if there is an issue with your writer, you’ll be able to revise it early on and won’t have to rewrite the entire chapter later. By the way, talking to a dissertation consultant can also help you overcome the writer’s block.
- Create a schedule and follow it
Developing writing routines helps to stay productive and motivated throughout the dissertation writing period. Choose the time of the day when you are most productive and devote these hours to working on a dissertation. Sticking to a writing schedule will help you stay productive every day and get more done. To keep your energy levels high, opt for healthy nutrition, exercise regularly and give yourself enough sleep.
- Ask professional dissertation service for help when you need it
You might find yourself in a situation when you cannot submit that dissertation on time. You might be overwhelmed by other assignments, your work or other commitments. You might lack the needed resources or time to complete the project. Whatever your reason is, if you have issues with submitting a dissertation on time, consider using the help of best dissertation writers. The academic writing professionals can help you with the creation of your dissertation from scratch, staying in touch throughout the process. If you are German or French student who has issues with usage of modal verbs in English, your writer will help you submit the dissertation in flawless English, right on time.
- Write the introduction last
Writing introductions is confusing for many. If you are feeling stuck at this stage, just skip your introduction and start writing the body of the dissertation. You’ll write the introduction easier when you already have a written dissertation content. You will have research results at hand and will be able to introduce them effectively.
Successful dissertation writing is all about deep research and organizing the process. By working at your pace and writing a bit every day, you’ll get closer to a final goal faster.
Step 2. Doing the PhD dissertations edit
- Don’t try to edit the entire dissertation in one sitting
Since your dissertation may exceed a hundred pages, it’s impossible to edit it thoroughly in one sitting. If you work in a rush, you’ll omit dozens of mistakes. So, give yourself up to a week for editing and edit by chapters or, let’s say, 15 pages a day.
- Review the dissertation by paragraphs
Each paragraph in your writing should convey one main idea. Make sure the first sentence introduces the main point, and the rest of the paragraph supports or explains it. Avoid rambling on the subject – if the paragraph adds nothing to what you’ve previously said, remove it. Use introductory, comparing and contrasting phrases to clarify the relationships between the paragraphs.
- Edit sentence by sentence
Now that you’ve made sure that each paragraph makes sense, it’s time to edit on the sentence level. Ideally, each sentence should be no longer than 3 lines. To evaluate your writing style and avoid awkward phrases, read it aloud. Check the word usage – can the same idea be formulated in fewer words and using more concise language? Then, check the sentences for typos and punctuation. You might find these spelling and grammar tips helpful.
- Use an online spell checker
You shouldn’t rely on spell checker as it cannot spot all kinds of mistakes. Still, these checkers are effective when it comes to fixing grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Running your writing through an online tool such as Grammarly.com or Grammarcheck.net can ease your editing process.
- Have a second set of eyes to proofread it
Finding someone else to copyedit your writing is another proving method when it comes to correcting an important academic paper. Ask a friend, a significant other or a roommate to review your chapters to ensure you haven’t missed anything.
- Follow your supervisor’s comments
If your dissertation supervisor revised your writing, use their comments as a primary guide for editing. Their suggestions can include comments to strengthen your arguments, use other research methods as well as work on the writing style.
- Consult the style guide manual
Most likely, you’ll be required to format your dissertation in APA, MLA or another citation style. Before submitting the dissertation, familiarize yourself with the relevant style guide to cite sources and format the paper in strict accordance with it. Universities usually don’t tolerate the mistakes in referencing. If you seek advice on formatting your dissertation in APA, check out our brief guide: http://getessayeditor.com/blog/apa-proofreading-for-students-10-tips.
- Consider hiring an English editor
A professional editor can fix the common mistakes, make your writing clearer and format according to the required citation style, allowing you to submit a perfect dissertation. Indeed, your dissertation is a way too important to leave its quality to a chance. Moreover, hiring a pro to get your dissertation corrected will release your stress and give you some free time to prepare for defense.
Don’t neglect the editing stage as the quality of the paper you’ll submit will depend solely on it. The dissertation requirements are stricter than those for a general research paper. Feeling too exhausted to edit on your own? Entrust this task to professional editors with an academic background.
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