You might have heard of the word, dissertation, from your university lecturer or supervisor. Or from a student that has stress written all over their face.
But what exactly is a dissertation? A dissertation is an original piece of work written by a student at either the undergraduate or postgraduate level, usually as a requirement for completing the degree program. It aims at showing the depth of the student’s knowledge of the area or subject written.
Making it the most important and challenging assignment a student faces while completing their program.
A dissertation has five chapters: introduction, literature review, methodology, data analysis, and findings, conclusion, and recommendation. Most universities and colleges, however, have specific guidelines on how to draft a dissertation.
These instructions are usually gotten from a supervisor. Additionally, you should reference following the style of referencing in use by the university. Otherwise, it would lead to a loss of marks as a few universities allocate marks to referencing.
Being a difficult task, it is not far-fetched one will face challenges while writing. But the good news is, the sooner you know about them, the easier it gets when you are about to start writing.
It might sound unusual but selecting the right topic for your dissertation is much harder than it looks. When choosing a topic, you must ensure that it is not broad and should be narrowed down to a specific area of your topic.
It should also be a topic you are passionate about. For example, choosing to write a dissertation on the topic, “forensic accounting” will increase your scope.
There are several areas in forensic accounting. It would be difficult to write everything about forensic accounting in just the limited number of words or pages given, due to the specifics which a dissertation requires. Choosing a specific area in forensic accounting narrows down the scope – easing the writing process.
Another challenge a student might face is time management. Before choosing your topic, you must organize and develop a plan for writing. A schedule shows clearly, what should be done and when. It also ensures nothing is left out while meeting the deadline for submission. This is a very important aspect, which a lot of students fail to do.
It might seem like a non-essential part, but in the long run, it helps not only in being prepared for submission but also in cultivating planning skills. Therefore, a student must prepare a schedule for writing.
You have completed the dissertation. What happens next? Thorough proofreading and editing should follow, which is another crucial aspect while writing.
A dissertation being the most significant piece of work a student might write must be void of punctuation and grammatical errors. A proofreading and editing process reduces these errors to the minimum level.
Hereby, making the dissertation easier to read and understand. This aspect can be outsourced because a student can miss errors while proofreading his dissertation. To avoid such instances, the work can be given to a qualified proofreader or editor.
It can also be challenging to write a dissertation without the guidance of a supervisor. Depending on the university, a supervisor is usually assigned to each student for the purpose of guidance. Any question from the student can be easily directed to the supervisor.
However, there are cases where a student is not assigned to a supervisor. Or the supervisor is busy with other activities. Here, the student is left with no choice but to complete the dissertation alone.
This causes a lot of problems for the student as it becomes difficult to know where to begin and how their questions would be answered along the line. In such cases, the student can get help from the internet or improve communication with their supervisor.
These challenges can be easily subdued by learning and tackling them. They also apply to all levels which a student is in: undergraduate or postgraduate.
Students should have it at the back of their minds that though a dissertation is a challenging piece of work, it would also be the most rewarding of all. As the focus is on this goal, writing your dissertation becomes easy and interesting.