Meticulous planning of the dissertation means you have almost covered fifty per cent of your journey towards successfully completing your dissertation. Planning helps you with your dissertation in more than one way. Firstly it gets your focus on actual expectations from your dissertation. Secondly, it helps to give a definite structure to your dissertation. Thirdly it guides you to populate the structure of your dissertation. Fourthly helps you to devise a timeline to work with thus ensure that there is no last-minute rush. Last but not the least by following the dissertation plan your work will be well prepared, well written, and well presented.
As soon as you get a dissertation you must give yourself enough time to prepare a plan. Remember some other assignments and commitments need your time therefore starting early can help you to avoid the stress. Here are the steps that you should follow while planning your dissertation.
- Analyze your research question
The first step involves deciding what you want to find out this then becomes your research topic. What you want to find out should be something that you can answer by doing research.
- Confirm exact date of submission and word count
The next step involves getting confirmation on the exact date of submission and word count. Word count should be considered chapter wise. This is important as usually, students spend a lot of time finding a lot of information that you may feel important but due to limited word count cannot be included. So for example if the dissertation is of 10000 words and chapter 1 has 800 to 1000 words then the exact information required should be collected. Therefore offering the reference of 10 to 12 research should be sufficient. Finding out and reading 30 to 40 research papers are not required and only papers related to your research will be consulted.
- Make notes of key dates when a specific chapter needs to be submitted.
Based on the final submission date and key dates of submission of a specific chapter you should make a plan. Ensure that you keep at least 2 days of the buffer. For example, you have to show a literature review on 24th October then while planning 22nd October should be your date of completion. The same rule is applicable for final submission as well.
- Make note of how the dissertation will be presented
Then make sure that the document is properly formatted. Ensure that you have defined the criteria for font size, specific, and alignment. Ensure that you also have clearly defined margins and formatting of headings and subheadings. These things should be simultaneously done and should not be left for last-minute as this impacts presentation of the dissertation.
- Define timeline
Usually, in the proposal stage, Gantt charts are presented to display the flow of work and timelines. You should further elaborate on this chart. Therefore instead of writing just a literature review, you write reading 7 journals by week 1. Followed by writing chapter introduction of chapter 2 and clarification of concepts and definitions by week two. For example, you have got 9 months then divided the time and activities into weeks and then try to present in detail every activity week wise. Rather than just embarking on writing a dissertation planning dissertation will help you to give a clear picture of available time and help you to be on track with your dissertation.