Different methods of planning a doctoral dissertation

When the beginning stages of your dissertation approach, you will find that writing becomes a lot easier if you have a well thought out and comprehensive plan to follow. There are some helpful methods of planning that will assist in the managing of your work. Certain methods work better for some than they do for others. The following is a general look at incorporating different methods that will set you well on your way.

The project manager

When you plan a doctoral dissertation, you are in essence taking on the role of a project manager. Your content and paper sections are being arranged in a coherent order so that a ‘big picture’ perspective is reached.

Do yourself a favour and spend a lot of time planning this long paper. The planning will make the transitioning writing process that much easier. Jot down the order of paragraphs, the theories and methods you’ll be employing, and the key points that will be implemented in each section.

Concentrated content

Another part of planning is the density of your information. You’ve already got key words, now write key sentences and phrases. You can surround these with text later, but if you put some flesh on the skeleton, the skin can come later.

Your dissertation can actually get away with being shorter if it’s rich in informative content. Get working on real substance and don’t just try to fill a page with words that don’t hold any weight.

Breaking down the breakdown

Taking your main idea and breaking it down is only the first step. You want to take each broken down idea and break it down even further. Then do it again. You’ll be surprised how much relevant information can be derived from each broken down point.

In conclusion, let’s take a look at a small example of this: If your topic is about dog nutrition then your main statement might be something like this.

  • Prove that dogs should be brought back to a natural diet the way nature intended.
  • Now break it up:
    • The dangers of commercial dog food
      • Symptoms of a commercial diet
        • Bad smelling breath
        • Gingivitis
        • Body odour
      • Shorter life expectancy
        • Cancer risks
    • Natural food that dogs were meant to eat
    • Results of case studies comparing commercial versus

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