If you are in graduate school for the first and are working towards either a master’s degree or PhD degree, you might not have a complete idea of what a capstone project is. It is basically a project you do near the end of your time in graduate school as a requirement to earn your degree. The dissertation paper is the most common type of project at this level. So what is a dissertation paper you might ask? It’s a long written project that requires several months of in-depth research on a focused topic. If you’ve chose this as your capstone project, then the following short guide will show you everything you need to know to complete one:
Start with a Good Dissertation Proposal
Before starting your project you need to get approval from your advisor by submitting a dissertation proposal. You should address your topic, a review of the literature available, and how you plan to conduct your study. Make sure you keep your project manageable but original.
Conduct Preliminary Project Research
Next, define dissertation paper goals and start your preliminary project research. This will give you a better idea of the resources you have at your disposal. Request any sources you need from other libraries and institutions and start organizing your notes into related discussion topics.
Develop a Dissertation Project Outline
The answer to “How long is a dissertation paper?” depends heavily on your chosen topic. Usually, a dissertation can be anywhere from 75 – 100 pages, but some have been known to go longer as a result of the amount of research that was conducted.
Allow Your Ideas to Flow Thru Naturally
One of the biggest reasons a student will hesitate when writing is that he or she doesn’t feel confident enough about how ideas are being expressed on an initial draft. You need to allow your ideas flow naturally from your mind to the page on the screen. Don’t let writer’s block get in the way of a good draft.
Revise the Material of the First Draft
After setting your draft aside for a few days, you should be ready to start making revisions. Use a dissertation paper sample for reference, taking note at how a good argument should be structured. Rethink what it is you want to say and always look for stronger more efficient ways of saying them.
Edit and Proofread Carefully, Completely
Again, set your latest draft aside for a couple of days before starting the next one. When editing and proofreading you’re doing more than just checking for errors; you are ensuring that the work is properly formatted. Get a hold of a well-written APA dissertation sample paper to use as a guide.
Get Feedback and Make Finishing Touches
With only a couple of weeks left before your due date you should start asking colleagues, friends, and your advisor to provide some feedback. Put in all the finishing touches you need (e.g., page numbers, consistent margins, etc. to make an excellent final version. If you need to, buy a dissertation paper to compare against your final version.
There are plenty of resources you can use to help you throughout the process. Online sources can provide you with dissertation paper examples on any topic. You can also turn to library guides and personal tutors. The most important thing is that you should always look towards getting help from wherever possible.
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