Thinking about how to start the whole dissertation process can be overwhelming. A dissertation will not only teach you how to fish deep for information, but it will also challenge you to no end. Be prepared to take on the biggest and most gratifying challenge of your life.
The dissertation is probably one of the greatest challenge you will ever face in your educational life. You will understand this process more after finishing your dissertation. Dr. Bessie and I want to give you tips on how to meet the big expectations of writing your dissertation.
Breathe and let go
We want to say first inhale and exhale big before you get started. Let go of everything that is holding you back. Trust the process. It is easy to get caught up in the whole dissertation process and become overwhelmed.
Trusting the process, wholly, and completely is not needing to know everything. But it is simply being here in the present moment, taking it one day at a time or as Dr. Bessie says baby steps.
What’s the question?
The first challenge of dissertation process consists of choosing a topic and finding a problem to solve. Once you have chosen a topic, you have officially begun the process. Keep in mind that you will live and breathe your topic.
So it is wise to select something that you are passion about. If you are not passionate about your topic, then you probably will get burned out.
Once you find your topic then you need to figure a problem to investigate. It is important to establish a research problem at the start of your project to ensure you keep going in the right direction. You will continue to revise your research problem as you find out more about your topic.
The more you learn about your topic and problem, it will help you to create good solid research question. The problem statement and research questions are the foundations of your study.
Heart and soul: The Proposal
When you have your topic, problem and questions then you can start to create your proposal. The topic is what you will study. The questions are what you want to find out about the problem. You will also want to address the significance of your study or what purpose will the research serve.
You must also choose primary resources which are the theories on your topic. Also, secondary sources which are additional types of data as well as what method is feasible for your study. Methods are qualitative, quantitative or a mixed study.
Finally, you need to justify why the method is appropriate to find the best answers to the research problem. Creating a well-written proposal requires that you put your heart and soul into what you have chosen to tackle.
It is also a reason why we say you need to love your topic. A good proposal shows that you have taken ownership of your dissertation and it is something that you believe in.
By the time, you have creating the first part of your proposal, you have already seen what makes up your dissertations. It is not crafted overnight. The process is very daunting.
But once you finish, you will see how your hard work and perseverance paid off, but you must learn to trust the process and not stress about it, if you want to finish.
Believe us when we say that you will love/hate relationship with your dissertation topic. This is very common during your journey. You may even experience literature confusion fog. It occurs when the topic is being researched in the literature and the topic becomes confusing.
These roadblocks and more will happen and you will begin to hate your dissertation. We have been there. When this happens, it is a good time to a step back, regroup, and remember why you chose this journey.
Often Dr. Bessie and I were close to giving up completely on our dissertation and now we are glad we didn’t.
Learn to persevere
When you desire to quit, it is time to step back and evaluate why you started this journey in the first place. If you are honest with yourself, you must admit that you are learning a great deal about endurance and perseverance as you write your dissertation.
The skills and strengths you are honing is molding you to be a scholar in your field of study. What you learn now will help you long after you graduate. You cannot change the process. So why not change the way you look at it?
Trust the process and yourself. You will be glad you did on graduation day.
The best expeditions come from unfamiliar routes. ~~~Dr. Patricia Mason~~~