How To Complete Your Dissertation And Format It Properly?
Congratulate you with your last stage of the dissertation writing! You have passed all the most complicated stages of choosing the topic, searching for the information, organizing your work etc. Now all you need is just to finish everything right. We are talking about final touches that will make your dissertation look good and readable.
We will talk about traditional paper-based black and white printed dissertation. In case you work on the electronic papers, there might be some difference in the requirements, so you need to check up the ones that are related to the particular technology. This may include special formatting of the table, converting to PDF, adding hyperlinks and creating the interactive passages.
Correct formatting of the paper
The list of requirements for the dissertation formatting usually varies depending on university or even its departments. Usually, students are informed of what main requirements exist for the particular type of writing in their department.
Usually, every dissertation has in its structure the abstract, acknowledgments, and the Table of Contents that are placed in the beginning. Additionally can be added lists with abbreviations, special tables and other content required for better understanding of the dissertation.
You need to make sure that pages that are mentioned in your table of content are correct and refer to the right pages in the dissertation. This is the moment you will need to make sure that every chapter begins on the page you have specified and with the same heading. You will need to make sure that headings and subheadings are not placed at the bottom of the page. You will need to check the formatting for bibliography pages according to the chosen standard and many more.
This is important as you have done so much work on this paper, do not neglect the simplest but sometimes crucial part of dissertation estimation.
Proofread your dissertation
Ask someone to proofread your paper as this can be really helpful in making it great. When we work on the paper for a long time and focus on many things at the same time, there is a risk we skip some mistakes. But the side person will have a fresh view on your paper and may notice some mistakes we made.
Even if English is your native language you will likely make some mistakes that even computer will pass. For non-English speaking students, proofreading is the most important part of completing the paper though.
This is not the same as feedback. When you ask someone to proofread your paper, you count the person will find and fix your spelling, grammar, and contextual mistakes, that you could not notice for various reasons.
Ask your tutor for feedback
Your supervisor is one of the most significant side participants in your paper writing. If you got lucky to get the opportunity your tutor wants to revise your dissertation, you need to jump into it. Having feedback from the person who definitely knows more than you and understands the concepts better is a great chance to improve your dissertation. But do your best to make your tutor to provide the feedback during the whole writing process, not only after the final revision before the presentation. Check the chapter after chapter to correct your direction.
Also, you must understand that your tutor is also a human being with own priorities and abilities. You cannot ask a person to revise more than 200 pages in a few days and provide deep feedback on it. In this way, you risk only to make your tutor cranky. But if you will provide enough time or will ask for feedback gradually for each chapter, you will likely receive quality comments. Make sure your supervisor has enough time and access to your paper.
The next thing you should keep in mind is that you are the expert as well. And there is no need to change your paper in order to make it fit the way of your supervisor’s thoughts. The thing is that their comments usually are suggestions and it is up to you whether to apply them or not. This is your work and only you can decide whether the particular change will fit the general course of your paper or not. So you also should check whether the supervisor’s comments are in accordance with your own general view of the topic.
Ask your peers for feedback
In case your supervisor does not have time to revise your dissertation at the moment, you can ask your mates for help. You do not have to waste time and it is better to look for opportunities to get feedback from someone who also can estimate your work.
Usually, your peers are on the same level as you so you cannot count for sure on their expertise. The final word should be from your supervisor, of course. But still, you can get some minor suggestions that may help you to fix some minor aspects. And by the moment your tutor will have time you will be able to fix some flaws.
Keep in mind that your peers could be as busy as you are and they will not have much time for quality revision of your paper. Moreover, they are likely not aware of the topic you are disclosing so it could be hard for them to get the idea. This could be an obstacle for providing valuable comments. But you can take advantage of this situation and use it as an opportunity to improve your work for “outsiders”. In case your peer will have difficulties in understanding the base concepts, this could be a reason to add some explanations or to simplify some passages.
But you need to check university guidelines considering peer collaboration first. In some universities, there are rules that do not let peers collaborate during working on academic writing as this may be considered as collusion between students.
Anyway, you will need the feedback from your tutor for sure. Usually, this is the main and the most significant source of comments to your paper that you can use for its improvement. Your supervisor, as a rule, is well aware of the topic you are disclosing as well as of the subject itself.
Sometimes students need more than one feedback, especially when one feedback from your tutor is not enough. This may be caused by your own poor time management, when you could not meet checking deadlines or because of other reasons connected with the tutor’s circumstances. Anyway, having extra feedback from the external source could be useful as well.
This type of feedback can serve you a great deal. You need to find a reputable source of feedback in order to get qualified recommendations. They could help you to improve your paper in general or get ready to possible tricky questions from the professors during your dissertation presentation. But before discussing more details about it, let’s pay attention to the importance of finding a dependable source.
Despite the fact that every feedback for the dissertation is aimed at its improving, you are the author of the paper and this is your task to choose whether to implement them or not. It is like with peer feedback when you can either get benefits of it or not. But using the side feedback require more attention as you will likely pay for this so you need to make sure that your investment will bring you good recommendations.
The first thing that you need to check is the reputation of the company you are about to address your request. You need to make sure that you will be provided with an expert in the field you working in and the expertise level of this person will be higher than yours. The checker should have deep knowledge in the field and be aware of the main formatting and structuring principles of the dissertation writing.
Secondly, you need to make your request as detailed as possible. You need to specify what aspects of your dissertation you are not sure in and where you think might be the week parts. This is needed to point out what parts you want to be revised more closely and for what aspects you want to get more detailed feedback. This will help you to improve your dissertation in the parts that really need to be improved, without wasting time on the for sure good parts. Make sure you have guided the reviewer in the right direction. This will provide you with guarantees that the company will give you the feedback relevant to your issues. And you should be interested in getting as many comments as possible.
You can get two types of feedback: basic and detailed. The first one will point out the general aspects of your dissertation you need to fix, like formatting. The second one will include recommendations for improvement. For instance, you can get feedback like: “The first part of the chapter is not clear enough. Try to make sentences simpler and more understandable to the regular reader.” Or you can get comments like: “The first two sentences of the chapter are too complicated. You can divide them into smaller sentences and we suggest you replace the words [examples] with alternatives like [examples].” Sometimes you also will be provided with examples of how you can fix the problem.
Both of these types of feedback are good and aimed at improving your dissertation look and content. But this is not a limit as you can get even more detailed paid feedback. It will be aimed at an estimation of your dissertation as a whole. This can be useful for preparing for your presentation as you will have some versions of how people may react to your work.
Anyway, you need to have the fullest information on how you can improve your dissertation. Sure thing, there might be some general aspects that are referred to the typical mistakes. But having personalized feedback also will help you to adjust your thoughts and presentation to the dissertation specifications. Also, the reviewer might point out the week parts of your paper that you have missed. This is due to the fact that working on the paper for a long time you simply cannot fond all the flaws.
However, this is not an obligatory option as not every student needs to address to the side help. Sometimes the feedback from your tutor is more than enough.
But if you decide that this type of help can be useful in your situation, be careful in choosing the service that you will not regret to pay for assistance. If you choose a dependable company, you will be sure that your paper will be reviewed by the academics who can provide really priceless comments and recommendations.
Appendixes are the parts of your dissertation added to the end of it. The need to be arranged in a logical sequence in the order you use them in your paper.
As a rule, universities provide requirements for appendix formatting as well. Usually, you will be asked to number them with regular numeration like 1, 2, 3… Or you will be able to use letters for this purpose (A, B, C) and it will correspond to the title in the Table of Content. In case you need to include graphics and figures in your appendix section, make sure that they are formatted properly in order to stay on one page. Make the font consistent to the rest of the paper as well. This will help your reader easily scan your dissertation’s appendixes and find the required info.
Do not make the common mistake and do not add a table, figures, graphics etc. to your dissertation if they are not used in the main part. Appendix section should contain only the items that are needed for the paper.
Sure, completing your dissertation and making all the fixings may require much more time then you expected. Usually, students spend the last pieces of their energy on this task and by the end of the work they are exhausted completely.
But the main task here for you will be not to give up as this is the last stage and you cannot fall down near the finishing line. This is when you can make a difference between simply completing your paper or for real impress your marker and get extra points.
Of course, you would like to make your paper easy-readable to provide the estimator with the ability to get the idea and to navigate your dissertation easily. And you have numerous tools to reach this goal. Take time for proofreading. Benefit from feedback, external as well as internal. Check the compatibility of your paper to the requirements defined by your university and other formatting standards. Paying attention to all these aspects will give you an advantage and more chance to present your dissertation at its best.