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The Ph.D. Dissertation – It’s a Monumental Undertaking

June 22, 2015 - Posted to Dissertation and its parts

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If you are in a doctoral program in any academic discipline, you are no doubt in the initial planning stages for your dissertation, beginning the project, or somewhere in the middle of it all. You know that it involves a number of steps, from identifying your research question, to writing your proposal, to preparing each chapter, according to your department specifications, submitting the finished product, and then preparing for your oral defense. This project will take well over a year, and you should be prepared for many challenges and frustrations along the way. Here are a few tips that might assist you as you embark upon a project the likes of which you will never see again.


The Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal

Once you have determined your research question and have had that approved by your advisor, you will embark upon the first step – writing that proposal which must then go to your committee for approval, before you may begin anything in earnest. Up to this point, in order to clarify your research question, you have conducted some initial research, and that will become important to your proposal.

The proposal should be about 10 pages long and must include the following:

  1. A concise statement of your research question
  2. A statement that justifies the importance of your study to your field
  3. A brief summary of your initial research which demonstrates that you understand the topic field and that you have read some important literature that has lead you to your question.
  4. You will need to state your research objectives and briefly describe your methodology
  5. You will need to provide a timeline for completion of each chapter and final submission.


You may struggle with the proposal somewhat because committees will scrutinize every bit of it and may send you back for re-writes. When that happens, you might want to check with TrustedDissertations.com and get a Ph.D. consultant in your field who can assist you with that proposal.


The Literature Review – Chapter Two

This is probably the least exciting part of your project – it just takes lots of time. You have to identify the research studies that most directly relate to your research question and summarize all of that research into a coherent piece of writing. Consider this a small research paper, because the Ph.D. dissertation format for citations is essentially the same as it is for any paper, and it must be according to the style required by your department.


The Methodology – Chapter Three

Here you provide a detailed explanation of the research you conducted, along with the instruments that you used to gather your data.


Results – Chapter Four

This chapter presents all of the data gathered from your study, in both prose and graphical form. Many students seek assistance with this chapter, because it requires keen organization skills as well as graphic design prowess. TurstedDissertation.com has both types of experts to assist you.


Discussion/Conclusion – Chapter Five

Here is where you present your statistical analysis, draw your conclusions from that analysis, answer your research question, and make recommendations of further research. The biggest issue may be the math involved, but we have statisticians on staff to perform those functions.


The Dissertation Introduction – Chapter One

This chapter is wisely left until the end, because you have all that you need to introduce your research question properly, without disclosing the results of your study.


The Ph.D. Defense

You know that you will have to give an oral defense after the final product has been submitted to your committee and all members have had the opportunity to review it and prepare the questions they want to ask. Some of those questions will be quite probing, and you will need to be prepared. Part of that preparation can come from a TrustedDissertations.com consultant – a Ph.D. in your specialty – who can read your dissertation and anticipate the questions that are likely to come up. You will then be presented with that list and have the opportunity to prepare for your oral defense properly.

The dissertation is a massive project, to be sure, and most students do not complete it without getting some help from credible field experts. Do not hesitate to see advice, counsel, and actual assistance with preparation when and if you need it!

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