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Dissertation Definition

You have completed all the required classes and you’ve passed the qualifying exam. Now you are faced with the task of making your dissertation.  You ask—What is a dissertation anyway?  Simply put, a dissertation is a lengthy written discourse on a subject area, usually in fulfilment of a requirement for graduate studies particularly for a doctorate degree. But as just mentioned, this is a simple dissertation definition.  Try asking anybody who has worked on one and you’ll get the idea.

Thesis writing is a source of torment for many doctoral candidates, especially for those who made a bad start.  Many of them suffer because they failed to understand the definition in the context of their own university.

Universities usually differ in their definition for thesis requirements and expectations on what a good paper should look like.  This is why it is important that you check on the description of your very own university first.  This is a precaution.  Case in point, a doctoral candidate in Math can present a short but perfect equation and he or she gets the degree; so much for being lengthy.  And there are some universities that opt for shorter and more concise dissertations (remember that a good thesis narrows down on a specific topic).  This is actually a growing trend. 

A paper no matter how lengthy, does not deserve to be called a thesis if it is not publishable.  So for a better definition, we need to look into what constitutes a publishable paper.  A thesis is subject to the approval of a dissertation committee.  This committee evaluates, provides check-ups, gives recommendations for improvements and decides whether the paper is ready for publication or not.   You might as well work on publishing your paper online.  This offers many benefits, like increased accessibility, more citations and downloads—all amounting to a greater scientific impact.

Knowing the right description is vital for every doctoral candidate, much as a candidate in some beauty pageant must know the criteria for judging if they are to succeed.  As thus, a detailed dissertation definition requires a detailed discussion on the criteria for a thesis deemed publishable.  I don’t want to begin on this one though as I don’t want to indoctrinate you. As I have mentioned earlier, detailed requirements differ in every university.

I suggest you look into the dissertations that were already allowed publication by your university.  Learn from them.  Also, do not hesitate to ask for opinions and suggestions from your advisor.  They aren’t called advisors for nothing.  And I have to remind you to choose the right members to make up your thesis defence committee.  After all this is your privilege, better yet make good use of it.
After you get a dissertation definition and good picture of what your university wants, you can start working on your paper.  First, get as many useful literature related to your topic as you can.  This way you get a good idea on which area to focus on.

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