Writing a Masters dissertation is not an easy feat that can be accomplished in a few days. It takes months, if not years, of preparation, writing, and revising to craft the perfect postgraduate research paper.
That doesn’t mean that it’s the toughest thing in the world. With a proper mindset, good organization, and constant work, it’s very much possible to present a good masters dissertation.
In this article, we’ll offer some proven methodologies and useful tips that you can utilize for your postgraduate paper writing.
How PG Dissertation Is Different From UG Dissertation
If you have already written a dissertation or thesis at the UG level means you are somewhat familiar with this type of writing. However, a Master’s research paper is different than the one you had just completed. The methodology, the structuring, and the type of effort required can be dissimilar depending on your academic subject area.
The main difference that you’ll encounter is the length of your research paper. Since the dissertation project’s job is to prepare you for more in-depth research work in Ph.D. programs, you are expected to write thoroughly, touching upon most, if not all, related areas of the topic you have chosen.
This is somewhat different than a UG dissertation where you are required to write specifically on a given topic without much deviation. The research paper will involve writing of about between 15,000 and 20,000 words, but it varies between courses.
In your PG dissertation, you’ll investigate the topic in greater detail, providing arguments wherever necessary and organizing them in a readable format. You will also have to abide by suitable research methodologies that are required for writing such papers. So, in a way, you’ll have to be a critical voice in your domain who is adept with the thoroughness of the topic.
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How to Conduct Research
Researching mainly deals with the “what” component of your paper writing. In other words, finding the topic you are going to base your research paper on. In fact, it is among the greatest cause of anxiety for many Master’s aspirants.
The academic field is so large and vast that it’s difficult to select a topic without getting your supervisor’s help. Conducting research is a part of the planning process. So, how do you conduct research in your subject area?
The first thing that you need to take care of is choosing a topic that’s not too narrow so that you don’t run out of ideas (remember you need to cover at least 15000 words), nor too broad as it will make you look amateur.
Also, take into account the area you are comfortable in. Supervisors are always influential. They will generalize things for you and suggest a few topics for you. This will make the whole process easier.
Once you’ve chosen a topic, you need to conduct research involving books, research papers, and websites. Gather as many resources as you can and go through everything. This will help you prepare The Research Proposal, which in the coming months, will get transformed into your dissertation.
Master’s Dissertation Structure
After you have chosen a topic and conducted proper research, it’s time to structure the Masters dissertation paper. There are several key components that you need to include. Here’s a structure to help you with writing your project:
This section summarizes your entire dissertation paper in roughly 300 words. It covers the questions you are answering through your paper, the arguments you are making, and the conclusion. Anyone who reads your paper should get a clear idea of what to expect after going through the Abstract section.
This section provides context for the rest of the paper. It also sets out your aim and the scope for what you want to present. This is also where you will include chapters that follow.
This section will briefly examine the scientific works that have already been published and your paper is based on. You present various arguments and counter-arguments to the paper. You also have to situate the research you have conducted within the context and how it will contribute to the existing work.
If you are using a particular method for researching the subject, then you need to include them in this section. It will be scrutinized when you present your findings. Please note that not all dissertations will require you to include this section. Dissertations in science stream, usually, need this section. Talk with your supervisor on this.
If surveys or experiments are part of your dissertation, then the results will go under this section. How to present the information varies from subject to subject. So, use the appropriate form.
This section, in most cases, is going to be the longest in your project. You’ll have to further divide this section into chapters and sub-chapters. It should be done in such a manner that the progression from one chapter to another is arraged orderly and logically.
The conclusion should contain your final remarks and how you expect your work to be tying into the threads of the previous discussion. You can proclaim the significance of your findings and give some path to future researchers who will want to extend your work.
Inherently, you need to keep a record of all the sources you are taking inspiration and ideas from. If you are using works done by other researchers, then they need to be credited too. All of the links and references should go in this section.
If you want to include some supplementary materials that support your work, then include them under the Appendices section. Interviews, transcripts, or Q&As are some examples.
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The Wrap Up
In conclusion, it’s worth advising that you should use your own structuring for presenting your paper from the introduction to appendices. After all, the main motive of the Masters Dissertation research is to make an argument and present it in a readable format. If you are successful in doing so, the roads for higher studies will be automatically open for you.
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