Entering college or university students wonder why Ph.D. students receive literally months for the completion of the dissertation. But, when they approach the date of the thesis defense it becomes clear that even more time might not go amiss. Dissertation may become a real nightmare even to the most knowledgeable student as the process of writing involves not just writing but organizational and analytical skills also. And that’s where the dissertation outline hits the stage. This article about outline was prepared by our experts to give you the wides picture of what a real outline is.
What is This Outline?
If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail, they say. And this utterance works with the dissertation writing to the extreme. This time-sapping project consists of so many stages so it is very easy to get lost.Your dissertation outline will serve as a guiding light leaving no margin for error.
To put crudely, it is a plan of action to streamline the whole dissertation writing process and make every hour spent on your dissertation efficient to the max. It won’t allow you to wander from the point, or make unnecessary research, or search for irrelevant data. In addition, it boosts the level of the scientific in-depth of your text: it defines the most appropriate method of data analysis and helps to structure the paper.
A dissertation outline consists of the sketch and to-do list. Teachers often ask students to show their dissertation outline sketches before actually writing the thesis to make sure the student will create scientifically in-depth and solid paper. And the quality of the dissertation outline defines the chance of the teacher’s approval.
If you do not know how to make such a sketch, there is no need to worry: here we will show you the dissertation outline template you may apply to your case.
Dissertation Outline Example
- Introduction and rationale: ‘Why am I writing this dissertation?’ ‘What drew me to this topic?’
- Research question: Your terms must be clearly outlined here in this section.
- Outline of the literature: Make sure to include who the key thinkers are, what the primary texts being referenced are, and what the underlying theory or idea of the whole work is. Choose the 4 or the 5 heading.
- Research methodologies:
- Advantages and disadvantages of the different methods used in researching (observation, interview, etc.)
- Present your data clearly
- Analyze and discuss the data you’ve discovered
- Primary theorists and supporters:
- Opposing arguments and supporters
- Your personal take on the argument (and supporting theorists)
- Conclusions and suggestions for further research: What have you learned with regards to the research question and what ideas do you have for further developments.
- Appendices and bibliography: All the references and materials used.
How to Write a Sketch?
Sketch depicts all the ideas expressed in each dissertation chapter. Mind mapping and linear planning are the two possible ways of structuring your thoughts, both with pros and cons. But, once you have chosen the method, stick to it: it makes your paper more consistent and smooth.
Usually, students prefer to use linear planning, as it is easier to write and it is more clear and logical. However, it is less flexible and it is trickier to make changes there while mind mapping allows easy adjustment of the plan of your dissertation.
Dissertation Outline Template
Here is a sample sketch that may come in handy when you have no clue how to organize the chapters of your work:
- background of the subject matter
- goals and purposes
- the importance of the investigation
- Literature review (usually is written when the whole text is completed already)
- The most prominent figures in this sphere
- The key texts to cover the theory of your idea
- Research methodology
- The description of the methods used for collecting and analyzing data
- The explanation of why this method was chosen
- Analysis of the collected data and presenting the results
- Discussion of the findings
- Suggestions for further research of the theme
- Appendices and bibliography
- Additional materials
- The list of references
Making a To-Do List
Why is it necessary?
- You can clearly see the progress of your work
- You have a clear vision of what to do next, so no chances for procrastination
- You break up one huge task into a set of small easily achievable tasks – a great psychological tactic
Of course, custom outline to-do lists differ from one another depending on the field of study and theme of the paper. Still, there are some common features in the writing process of any thesis:
- Browse through some dissertations that were highly evaluated at the defense
- Define your research question
- Receive a confirmation of your topic from your supervisor
- Look through the scientific magazines, articles, and manuscripts dedicated to your subject matter
- Take notes while reading
- Choose the type of academic work: empirical or non-empirical
- Look through the methodologies and select the one that is the most appropriate for your case
- Define the scientific publications you will work with and develop your literature review
- Write a sketch
- Show the sketch to the supervisor
- Come up with the main arguments for the research
- If your work is empirical then carry out the work recapping all the challenges
- If your work is non-empirical then make sure that you have included all the key figures in your field
- Jot down all findings and thoughts
- Knock out the conclusion and intro part of the text
- Make a rough draft of the whole paper and show it to the supervisor
- Write the final version of the paper
- Edit and proofread it
And here is a chance to protect yourself from frustration: professional writers of our service can lend you a helping hand with the arrangement of a dissertation outline. Customized approach to every case ensures that you will receive the most appropriate plan.
They will guide you through all the steps of the dissertation writing and show you how to improve the weak points and highlight the strong points of your outline and text in general. Experienced editors may polish your dissertation to perfection and make sure that your paper covers the chosen topic completely.