Researching For A Dissertation
"Unless a person has trained himself for his chance, the chance will only make him ridiculous. A great occasion is worth to man exactly what his preparation enables him to make of it," stated J. B. Matthews. When it comes to writing a dissertation, this statement is certainly true. It takes time to research. Often students are confused about how to begin the research process for the dissertation and how to apply the research to a literature review. Often graduate students are so busy working, attending classes, taking care of a family, church responsibilities, and other activities. It is difficult to set aside a few hours for research. However, research is a vital part of the dissertation. In fact, research is the key to writing dissertations. Reading is a vital part of creating the dissertation. Knowing how to research, read the research, understand the research, and apply it to a topic is vital to completing the dissertation.
Most students begin by sharing their ideas with fellow students and instructors. Sometimes it is difficult to choose a topic. Sometimes a student knows the topic they want to discuss, but the topic is so broad that it is difficult to choose a sub-topic. The first step in choosing a topic is to choose one that is worthy of research. Why do you want to choose this topic? Ask yourself if you understand the problem presented. Why is this topic important?
The best way to keep track of information and ideas is to keep a journal. Write down any problems that may arise during the research process. A lot of time will be devoted to reading. This is a necessary part of doing the dissertation, but keeping a journal helps direct the way the research will go. Another place to begin is to discuss ideas and topics with instructors. Often they will have information on where to find the best information on the topic. They may have books or journal articles about the topic.
Ask your advisor or other instructors if they have any copies of dissertations that have been accepted. Ask for dissertations that have been accepted by the educational department. When looking these over, look to see what format is used. Do they use APA or MLA? Does the university have specifics when it comes to creating dissertations? Always ask the advisor what he/she expects as far as length of the dissertation, the style of writing, and any other requirements.
When it comes to writing a dissertation or Phd thesis, reading is essential. A graduate student must be willing to read. The graduate student must not only read research, but also must analyze what he/she is reading.
Often the best place to begin research is to choose scholarly journals. Scan these journal articles for their titles and sub-titles. What does the abstract reveal about the topic you have chosen? How does it relate to your topic? As you read you will learn different buzz words that are related to the topic. These words will help you in your research process.
Continue the research process by looking for different books, journal articles, dissertations, and any conferences on the topic. It is beneficial to know your thesis statement before doing a lot of research. However, it is important to remember that the thesis statement you choose is not set in stone and can be changed. If you do make changes, discuss these with the advisor.
The best way to get scholarly journals and books is to learn the key words or buzz words of your topic. Use these to research different programs the library has to find journal articles. Search the Internet for articles from scholarly articles. The best step a graduate student can make when writing his/her dissertation is to become close friends with the librarian who knows different research programs. Bring a candy bar or some fruit to the librarian. This is not bribing them, but showing them appreciation for their time.
Another friend to make when researching is different instructors who may know where to find different types of information on the topic. Always let them know you appreciate their time.
Research requires time and energy. Make a schedule of your classes, study times, activities, and time to research. Try to stick to your schedule. Allow at least 30 minutes to an hour for research each day. Make little goals of how much research you want to finish by a specific date. Research requires commitment to the process.
Dissertation research begins with deciding on the topic and then breaking it down to main headings. An important part of research is to make friends with the librarian and instructors who know the topic or know how to get information on the topic. Research requires lots of reading. Creating a dissertation requires commitment. Are you committed?
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