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Dissertation writing tips - how to structure your paper


Anyone who has to tackle a dissertation will know that this is not a five-minute task. Writing a dissertation takes a great deal of time with the actual writing itself. But for some, even more time is taken in preparation. The choice of topic, the research material, the notation of the research material, the selection of relevant parts of that research material and other things will occur before the first paragraph is even written.

Structure is vitally important when writing a dissertation. The better you are at organization, the better you will be at writing. And the better you are at writing the better will be the score mark for your thesis and from that, who knows, the better will be your employment prospects. So think very carefully about how you structure your paper.

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When writing a thesis you will or should spend a great deal of time communicating with your supervisor. If you have a choice in selecting a supervisor, go for someone who has the time to meet with you face to face on a regular basis. They might be a wonderful supervisor but if their time is precious and they are involved in many projects, assistance might be lacking particularly at important times.

So with the regular consultation with your supervisor you will have done the right thing and chosen the right topic. We did talk at length about how important the choice of topic is but the assumption here is that you've made the right one. Now you need to structure your paper.

What will be the thesis statement? Remember that so much of your paper involves responding to your thesis statement. Take your time and get this absolutely spot on. Now the planning stage begins. You need to list the points you will make in a plan or outline of your thesis and you need to check that the resources you intend to refer to are both relevant and specific to the topic. Again, consult with your supervisor on this and every other issue.

Now you are ready to actually begin the writing. You may have spent weeks even months in the preparation and the setting up of the structure of your paper. That is not bad, that is good and in fact essential. With a detailed plan or outline, with the ideal topic and with a knowledge of the structure of many other successful papers to refer to, you are ready to produce a cracking tome.

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