Step 1 – Planning Your Dissertation

When you are looking at your dissertation research project, whether this is for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, you will need to understand that a dissertation is a rather lengthy process that requires you to put some planning into it. You will need to establish what you want to get out from the whole dissertation research experience, as this type of academic project will mean that you will have to work considerably hard.

You will want to plan the work ahead so that you will know what you will be doing and at what stage. I would continually forget about the different holidays that would occur during the final year of my degree and I would have to kick myself for not thinking that I would have to make sure my dissertation plan was flawless – this is something that you should do. If you feel as though someone else should look over it, then I would advise you to show it to your dissertation supervisor, so that they will be able to pass comment on it and advise you on whether there are points to improve.

Your plan should set out the different parts of your dissertation and also be able to be understood by anyone. Many different students will form their plan in a number of different styles and ways. Some will do a plan on the computer, in word; whereas others will use a large A3 piece of paper and write down what they want to achieve from their dissertation and then plan accordingly.

Also, you shouldn’t think of the dissertation planning stage as one that you can choose to do or not do, as this part will be essential to the rest of your research and the actual dissertation paper that you submit to your university for consideration on your degree course. You should put as much effort into this as you possibly can, as the dissertation planning stage will help you for the different parts of your paper and also help build the foundations of your dissertation research paper.

Not doing this step in the process is seem by some academics as an individual being unaware of the sheer complexity and size of a research project of this size. Many academics will tell you that students who fail to plan their dissertation project accurately and substantially are actually planning to fail it inadvertently.

I believe, from my experience, as both an undergraduate and postgraduate student, that completing a dissertation plan is vital to the stages and steps that you will undertake during the dissertation research and writing process.
You’re going to want to really make sure that you have the right topic you are interested in it and you want to make sure you are going to produce a really great dissertation research paper – this is the key reason why a dissertation plan is needed.

You will need to have some understanding of your dissertation topic at this stage and you should also acknowledge where you will be looking for any sources that can help you with your dissertation research question or hypothesis, which will then be what your research paper will evolve around. This is essentially what your dissertation plan will help you with and direct you towards.

2 thoughts to “Step 1 – Planning Your Dissertation”

  1. Hi, Jane, thank you for your writings, I have read the entire blog and will be coming back for re-reading. I am starting on my dissertation today and have mixed feelings about it. Your pages here have been of great help. It was time somebody said it plainly without trying to sell you a dissertation in the meantime. My university so far has not been extremely helpful and I think I’m alone on this one! Anyway, I hope you get my message, I wish you all the best and hope to speak again in the future.

  2. Thanks so much for good explanation. I was planning to write a dissertation, but i did not not know how to start it now i am aware. Keep it up.

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