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  • Dr S Loretti 4:09 am on April 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    What you should not do to your dissertation prospectus 

    The sooner you meet the eligibility criteria and win the candidacy examination for the doctoral degree, the more important it becomes to prepare a well-defined dissertation prospectus for getting started. Dissertation prospectus is the defined outline of your proposed research and dissertation. It would consist all the relevant details regarding the innovative research you would like to conduct during your PhD. Because your doctoral chair permits you to proceed with the PhD research by examining the prospectus, it becomes a must to write it in a descriptive yet precise manner.

    A deficient prospectus that lacks the conscision and necessary details of your research gets easily rejected by the chair. The rejection at very first step may demotivate you to work further with the research. As per the recent studies, it has been found that the number of candidates who complete their doctoral degree is very less in comparison to the number of people enrolling for it. The drop in the number is majorly because of the rejection of the prospectus and lack of motivation to rectify and submit it again.

    As a rookie, you must have read multiple articles if discussed with your seniors, friends, and colleagues on how to develop your prospectus and what to include in which section of it. But have you got a clear picture of what is required and what is not in your PhD dissertation prospectus? If not, then here’s what you should not do to your dissertation prospectus for gaining instant approval :

    • The first page of your document which your supervisor or the committee sees, covers the title of your research. The title should not be fancy. You are not doing a school project that your title should be tricky for your teacher, rather it should be as clear and concise as it could be. The title has to be to give a clear idea of the prospectus to the committee to look further into the document whereas a complex title would drop the supervisor’s interest in your formal document.
    • Next comes the central question of your research paper. The central question should not exceed more than a paragraph. The paragraph should succinctly address the central question on which your research will be based on. Your prospectus has to end within a maximum number of 10 pages and so the introduction, should not be of more than a page or two. A lengthy central question can not hold the grip of the reader’s interest. It should not lead or dictate the complications of the research or divert it from the topic.
    • The literature review of your prospectus should not be irrelevant and contain unnecessary criticism or pointless new ideas of the previously researched papers. It should highlight the relationship between your proposed research and the literature you reviewed indicating a relation between the history and recent issue. You may also cite examples from the current situation, building the interest of your reader. Irrelevant history of the research will not define your reason to work on this topic and unnecessary criticism will not be considered healthy for your prospectus to be approved.
    • While writing the methodology, you should be clear with the research method (qualitative or quantitative) you are going to use to carry the research forward. You should not be suspicious with the way you are going to collect the data. The methodology should define the study you are going to make progress with. You should be apparent with the plan you have in your mind with the required tools and feasibility to research. Not mentioning the tools, fees, and timeline to complete the research shows that the candidate is less studied for the chosen topic.
    • Your prospectus should never miss the bibliography. A bibliography is a list of references used to collect the material written in the document. The list of references is as important as the title of the prospectus. Your bibliography cites the primary and secondary sources you used to develop the prospectus. You may also include additional readings with it mentioning the papers, articles, or journals you read for the study of the research.
    • Your prospectus should be appealing as well as simple for the committee to read the whole and approve. It should not be messy and complex as it would confuse the reader and your supervisor could reject it as he reviews your academic document.

    Your dissertation prospectus is the final binding for the committee to approve and your chance to prove that this research will bring growth in your academic field. you should finish the process of editing and proofreading before submitting it to your committee.


  • jamie16917 9:57 am on December 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    How to sift through the online available sources? 

    I am a PHd student in the field of comparative literature. My Thesis includes a comparative study of the personal diaries of a prominent Urdu Historian and poet Altaf Hussain Hali with the two collection (divan) of his poems, in order to reconstruct the political and literary debate of the time, which seems shed light on an alternative perception of reality that was being perceived and experienced. I am not fluent in the language in which Hali wrote, therefore most of my reading has been in translation, there seems to be a number of translations available of the same. These many translations have put me in a dilemma because each of it tends to posit a slightly different or altogether different stance. What could be the best way to select or reject the translated texts, particularly when they deal with history?

    • Alisa Craig 10:28 am on December 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Name:Alisa Craig Email: Craigcoolqueen@gmail.com
      Hi, your research sounds very interesting, and this a common problem that any scholar dealing with a translated texts has to face. I suggest you could focus on the translation intent of every translator which would give you a fair understanding of the stance and intention of the translator thereby explaining the omission or additions you must have encountered, and you could also chronologically align the publishing dates that would also allow you to come to an understanding of the changes that have occurred over time. This way you could make an informed decision.

    • Aaron Wilson 10:30 am on December 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Name:Aaron Wilson Email: Wislon.aaron2014@gmail.com

      Hello, This is a valid anxiety, since translation is a nuanced phenomenon it tends to differ from the other translations sometimes. I suggest you could consider a number of them even if they differ from each other, and then you can elaborately refute or laud these translations and try to build a discourse out of it, that will allow you a better scope of comparison and analysis. Then you could try and work your way out of this confusion.

  • shellynand 6:21 am on October 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    How to avoid penalty fee and submit Dissertation on time? 

    Hi all! I am a postgraduate student pursuing my PhD in Financial Forensics and topic of my research is, the financial analysis of audit report obtained from the crime related security research analysis. I am done with my research and data collection, but i am still left with the major part i.e structuring my dissertation into contents, review of literature, discussion, references etc. I have this feeling that i will not be able to complete my dissertation on time. My guide tells me if I don’t submit it on time, i will have to submit a penalty/ late submission fee. I don’t have that much amount of budget. Can anyone please suggest me a way out by which i can surpass this stage? Thank you in advance.

    • Jason Madgridz 6:41 am on September 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      For avoiding the late submissions, you need to begin with the writing part as early as you can. You can chart out a writing plan like what time suits you best for writing. If you are a morning person, writing one chapter is no big deal for you. Or if writing at home on a desk bores you or gives you stress, you can go outside- may be a park or coffee house wherever you feel comfortable to write. See, your advisor would scare you so because he wants you to complete your dissertation on time. But don’t be stressed for completing it due to deadlines because then you obviously cannot write your dissertation as you should be.

    • Deepshika Hazari 6:47 am on September 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Here is a good blog post written. These tips are practical and can work for you because you are about to get started with writing http://equip.sbts.edu/article/20-tips-to-help-you-finish-your-dissertation/ . If you can work out these tips, completing dissertation won’t bog you down.

  • leatriceamar 7:59 am on August 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Advice for meeting PhD deadlines 

    Never knew that time management can be an issue, until now when I am most definitely unable to meet my deadlines. My poor capabilities have led to:

    1. A pissed supervisor. He is so pissed at me right now, where he is sure I can never complete my thesis in time.

    2. A room of tensions. I cannot organise my work and there is too much to do, which is simply piling up.

    3. Sleepless nights. Not that I try, but all those research-related-tensions have left me with insomnia. It’s so bad now that I can’t concentrate on my work.

    I am in serious need of some help and advice with which I can complete my work on time and meet deadlines.

    • sharonbaneey1 11:42 am on August 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      What you lack here is planning, majorly so. I suggest that you maintain a schedule for that, like a time table, where you allot a minimum of 2 hours to your research. The following blog will give you some great tips regarding that. Hope you’ll find it useful.


    • alexoliphaant 4:33 am on September 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Procrastination is the only reason for not meeting the deadlines and the best way to stop stalling is ‘motivation’ and ‘determination’. In my case, I was too lazy to do anything and only started doing something when I was on verge of meeting a deadline. You can imagine how it must have meant. I joined the ‘art of living course’ just for the sake of going out and I must say that it did wonders for me. I actually feel motivated and active to do my job now, you know. So be a little active, go for exercises, or start some creative course. That’ll keep you at your best. It’s important to do other activities as well.

  • sharonbaneey1 4:48 am on March 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Dissertation Discussion- How do I start this chapter? 

    Hello guys. I have been quite active on this site, but never posted any query. So, I am kind of a first-timer-thread-initiator!

    I have finished my analysis and I am just starting to write my discussion chapter. According to the universities guidelines, I need to write 8000 words of discussion. So, what does it entail? Where do I begin from?

    • sophiaw740 9:51 am on March 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hey, 8000 words is too much, does it include conclusion? I am currently writing my discussion chapter but I only gotta write 2000 words. I am in the middle of it and so far, so good.

      Discussion is basically a method to show how your research is in alignment or contradictory to the previous researches. It’s almost like a comparison. Like, some researcher said “swine flu spreads through birds” and another said that “swine flu spreads through a particular type of bird. Now, your research can either support the two of them, or one of them or no one. So, that’s pretty much. I don’t really know that why do we have to write it. I mean, we have already written the literature review and the findings. This chapter just merges them.

    • alexoliphaant 5:39 am on March 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I am currently writing my literature review, which is taking a lot of time. All I know about discussion is that you need to show your results backing up with literature. @Sophiaw740 Can you refer any book or some resource?

    • sophiaw740 12:44 pm on April 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I found this PPT on a website regarding discussion chapter. It describes what this chapter entails and how to write conclusion too. I have shared the link below, hope it’s of some use.


    • sharonbaneey1 10:40 am on April 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      @Sophiaw740 I went through the PPT and it has given me quite an idea about the discussion chapter. Thanks.

    • sharonbaneey1 9:31 am on May 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hey guys, I have another doubt regarding the same issue. As I have started this chapter, I am understanding the meaning behind it. And I wanted to know that do I just have to agree or disagree with other researchers?

    • dolliejgandy 10:49 am on June 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Your question is rather confusing. How about you read this post on how to deal with a discussion chapter:


      And if still you don’t understand, then you can converse with a tutor from the same, above site. A subject expert will be more useful for that matter.

    • terrywellch 12:06 pm on June 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Discussion basically elaborates on the analysis section of a study, with a relevant connection to the literature, you know, like a back-up type. You gotta show that your research has some value to the literature. A discussion is a way to do exactly that.

  • Dr S Loretti 8:00 am on February 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    What is a “bad” thesis? 

    If you thesis has any of these elements, its probably a bad one and you are most likely to face rejection.

    1. A repetition of previously presented work.

    2. Inadequate or vague theoretical framework.

    3. A conclusion inconsistent with the introduction or vice-verse.

    4. Largely descriptive implying only a mere data collection exercise.

    5. A confused methodology.

    6. Absence of confidence and assurance in writing.

    7. A clumsy presentation.

    Absolutely avoid all of these to save yourself from rejection!



    • Cindy 5:30 am on February 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      My supervisor keeps telling me i lack expression in writing. How do i improve my writing? please help. I do not want my thesis to be rejected!

  • Michael 4:55 am on September 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    How to write the Abstract? 

    Since an abstract is a summary of the whole research, it is important to cover all the details about it.
    Paragraph 1. What is the problem?
    Not more then 3-4 lines should be written about the problem to tell the readers about it clearly.

    Paragraph 2. Why is the problem hard?
    – What has eluded us solving it?
    – What does the literature says about it?
    – What are the obstacles/challenges?

    Paragraph 3 What is your approach to solve it?
    – How come you solved it?
    – Write about the claims that your thesis plans to improve or demonstrate.

    Paragraph 4. What is the consequence of your approach?

    – Tell them about the impacts.
    – What does your approach/result enable?

  • morry1 4:25 am on September 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Tips on writing a good proposal 

    Below are some tips which can help you get your thesis proposal selected in the first go-
    1. Always remember that the main purpose of writing a proposal is to convince your guide.
    2. Your proposal should look like that you have done enough research about the topic and really want to start with the next step. Though you need not mention each and everything you found in the proposal.
    3. You must mention the outcomes and shortcomings of the previous research and also why do you want to start with this topic
    4. It should convince the reader that you’ll be able to formulate a testable hypothesis and test it in a planned manner.

    • kelly 12:17 pm on November 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Morry
      Thanks for this post. I am really confused as to what all should i mention in the proposal. Do i need to include a detailed literature review? because if i don’t, will the research gap be justified? Also, my guide says i must mention the research methodology in the proposal. What if i am not able to gather the targeted data from the primary sources? Is it okay to modify the methodology once it is approved?

  • Rosaline 4:53 am on September 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    What is a great PhD Dissertation? 

    First thing which should be kept in mind while opting for research is that the area and the topic you’ll choose should vast and it should open doors for future research.
    It should always leave an impact on the readers and the evaluators. They should get a question in their minds that, “When will somebody else will pick this topic of research?”
    It should also give an impact that the research has really changed a few things or the problem you chose, really need to be solved. Try to end your research with a question mark so the people look forward to more.
    In case your topic is too technical then you should try to make it a little accessible and understandable to others.. Keeping in mind all these points will surely help you get a great dissertation.

  • Lucy Watson 9:56 am on September 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    How to write a Dissertation Proposal 

    Dissertation proposal writing is the second step after topic selection. If you are lucky enough that your guide approved the topic of your choice in the first go, then you really need to work hard on preparing a very impressive proposal to get it also approved so that you can start with the research work.. A good proposal shoul answer the following questions –

    • What is the problem issue you are going to work on?
    • Why do you thik it is a problem?
    • Why is it improtant to address it?
    • Why do you want to look for answers and solutions?
    • Why did you choose that problem?

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