Doctoral Dissertation Definition - Understanding the Writing Process
Anyone who has decided to tackle a doctoral dissertation will know that this is a major undertaking. This is the pinnacle of their educational career. This is the toughest task they will have to face as a student. Fortunately they have had many years of solid education beforehand all of which will stand them in good stead once they make a start on their dissertation.
And as experienced at writing essays and theses as they are, the extraordinarily tough and lengthy task of creating a doctoral dissertation will require all the best that they can offer.
What do we mean by understanding the writing process?
We mean the same thing when we talk about writing a 1500 word essay. The only difference being of course, and what a difference it is, that the doctoral dissertation is a mammoth assignment. Not only do you need to understand the topic, research extensively and write especially well, the doctoral student needs to come to grips with the physical aspect of the task. This is what we mean by understanding the writing process.
- It is a process. It is a time consuming, a physical and mental test of your ability to start with nothing and produce something both substantial and meaningful. The writing process involves a number of basic practical steps which, if recognized and adhered to, will almost guarantee success for the PhD student.
- Planning is everything. The actual writing of the dissertation is almost a minor matter. Of course that's not really true but the quality of the writing and thus the quality of the dissertation is a direct consequence of the quality of the preparation. You cannot rush the research and planning. You cannot work alone.
- Obviously you have a supervisor but that in itself is not enough. You must keep in regular contact with your supervisor, tell them if you ever have a concern or any question and run all your decisions past your supervisor seeking their reaction to even minor matters.
Completing your doctoral dissertation is comparable to achieving a major undertaking such as running a marathon, climbing a mountain or taking part in some major taxing event. You need plenty of rehearsal or preparation time. You need plenty of planning and make use of experts. And you need a timetable to keep yourself on track. All of these things are part of the writing process.