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Help Me Write a Better Thesis or Dissertation
Your thesis is a pinnacle of academic achievement, so you want to give it the attention it deserves. Read on for some helpful hints on how to improve the readability of your thesis or dissertation.
1) Organization is Essential
It's virtually impossible to complete a project of this magnitude without careful planning. Before you start writing, collect all of your research and thoughts and sit down for this simple, step-by-step planning session:
a) Write down the overarching idea you want to write about.
b) Brainstorm the arguments you'd like to make in favor of and/or against your idea.
c) Peruse your research for evidence that supports your arguments.
d) Decide on the sequence of your arguments.
Once you've completed these steps, you'll be on your way to writing a coherent, easy-to-follow thesis or dissertation. Without this planning, you may have a hard time organizing your thoughts in a way that makes sense to your readers. Spend this time now and you'll likely save time in the long run.
2) Incorporate Your Research
Even if your arguments are compelling, your thesis or dissertation will seem unconvincing without well-integrated research to support your findings. To keep your audience from second-guessing you, always include your supporting research after every argument, claim, or report you make.
To get the most out of your research, go through it and make a note of which parts will work to support the arguments you are making. Try labeling your arguments (i.e. argument A, argument B, etc.) and then put the appropriate label next to the corresponding part of your research. You'll have an easier time finding helpful data when you need it.
3) Always Proofread!
Proofreading is a critical step in the writing of your thesis or dissertation. It may seem exhausting to you after the months you spent putting it all together, but it is nevertheless necessary. Proofreading helps you eliminate every last error from your document. It also gives you the opportunity to reword any sentences you don't like the second time around.
Virtually all word processors now come with spelling and grammar checkers, which you will find very helpful. However, these alone are not enough. You must physically proofread your thesis or dissertation yourself usually more than once to catch all of the typos and other errors that happened along the way.
Sometimes, the sheer volume of your work can make it hard for you to catch all of the errors. A fresh pair of eyes will certainly help you find more mistakes. If you can, enlist the help of a trusted friend or colleague to proofread your thesis or dissertation for you. They can help find errors and suggest alternate wording for places where your writing is a bit awkward. If you've got a little extra money, you can also hire a professional to do this job for you.
Remember that your thesis or dissertation is the culmination of years of academic effort. Take the time to show your readership that you are an educated professional who writes flawlessly and persuasively. You'll be rewarded with a more polished and convincing finished product of which you can be very proud.