How to write a doctoral dissertation

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Doctoral dissertation is one of the requirements for obtaining a doctorate degree. It is an important stage in the career growth for any scientist. A key condition for moving to a new professional level is writing and defending a dissertation research.

doctoral dissertationDoctoral dissertation stage of scientific activity

It is important to understand that a doctoral dissertation is a scientific and qualifying workThis means that along with novelty and practical significance, it must comply with formal requirements and norms.
An already established scientist, who must have the title of candidate of sciences, starts work on writing a doctoral dissertationIn addition, he should have already carried out meaningful research, published scientific works. A person can apply for the title of Doctor of Science:
  • Achieved independent results in a specific research area;
  • Having authority in the scientific community;
  • Published on a regular basis in specialized publications with good citation;
  • Formed an experimental, statistical basis for his theoretical developments.
A truly scientist writes a doctoral dissertation even before starting it formally. It is best if it becomes a logical result of many years of searching. Research will base on previously published articles, monographs, patents.

Why write a doctoral dissertation

A scientist who engages in scientific research understands that the results must be formal. First in the form of a Ph.D., then in the form of a doctoral dissertation. What are the reasons pushing the researcher?
  1. The desire to leave a mark in the scientific field, in which the scientist has achieved visible success.
  2. Increased income is for pragmatic but important reasons. Doctors at all times received decent fees.
  3. Career success. A person with an advanced degree is more likely to assign to lead a department or large division.
  4. Opportunity to receive grants and in the future to manage their distribution among candidates.
  5. An opportunity to become an expert in a scientific field. There are not many doctors in science, so the chances are higher.
  6. High assessment of the scientist among colleagues. The title of doctor is prestigious, his achievements serve as the basis for further research.
  7. The right to choose undergraduates and graduate students from among the most successful young researchers.
  8. Reducing advantage. A person who has achieved such high results is unlikely to be among the first to dismiss when optimizing the staff of a university or research center.
  9. High rating on scientific metric sites, including on an international scale. The doctor oblige to make many publications, which over time gain a rating, they are viewed, studied and cited.
  10. Promotion of your own page on the Internet with the ability to earn. Many scientists keep blogs in which they share information, acquire like-minded people, and look for new ways to solve scientific problems.
  11. The degree of Doctor of Science is a kind of “quality mark”, the above reasons once again testify to this.

The main principles and stages of work on a doctoral dissertation

When planning the writing and defense of a doctoral research, it is important to understand that work on it combines three principles:
  • An integrated approach and novelty;
  • Strict planning;
  • Full compliance with formal requirements.
The proper level of novelty is achieved through the study of a large volume of literature, identification, and then filling the existing gap in the information arrayThe applicant must be an active member of the academic community, participate in seminars, conferences, publish in publications that are indexed in scientometric databases.
The planning principle is to follow the phased work on the doctoral dissertation. Here are the key points that stand out:
  • Firstly, search for a scientific consultant;
  • Also, a clear definition of the direction, specialization, topic, which allows you to determine the doctoral advice for protection;
  • Besides, selection of literary sources (their study will justify the scientific contribution);
  • Furthermore, drawing up a plan, developing an experiment;
  • Yet, text formatting in accordance with the requirements.
In parallel, it is necessary to publish articles reflecting the key points of doctoral research. In general, all these stages are given 2–5 years or more, which is quite enough to complete all formalities.

doctoral dissertationPractical advice on text preparation

Even a scientist with some research experience often finds it difficult to decide where to start writing a doctoral dissertation, how to distribute his efforts. Several important guidelines can help here.
  1. Be clear about the topic, the fundamental idea. For several years, while the work on the dissertation is underway, a person actively involved in the process may have many new ideasIt is precisely a strictly limited topic that allows one to discipline oneself, adhere to a single logic of research, and not be scattered over secondary tasks.
  2. Initially form positions of novelty and practical significance. This will allow at the stage of defense to confidently respond to any objections of the commissionIn terms of novelty, it is important to keep abreast of the latest developments. To do this, you need not only to study the sources, but also to closely interact with the consultant-manager, colleagues.
  3. Also, compile bibliography with discipline from the beginning. Today it is not difficult – you just need to create a separate file in which, in a structured manner (by subject, in alphabetical order, by type of text, etc.), write down all used information sources or use special bibliographic managers.
  4. Furthermore, strictly approach the citation process. Often times, useful quotes or data will come across at the most unexpected moment. When writing down or saving them, be sure to indicate next to what source they were taken from (author, title, edition, year of publication, etc.). Here every little thing is important, for example, referring to a certain work, it is advisable to highlight its author or institution where the research was carried outAnd the publication dates will be useful in cases where you need to cite the latest statistical or experimental data. This will also come in handy with tools for organizing work with lists and references.
  5. Moreover, be prepared for new ideas or data to arise. Scientific work is not complete without surprises. It can be a discovery confirming the author’s theory, or, conversely, an annoying refutation.
  6. Besides, pay special attention to the parts of the text that will necessarily be read: a) introduction with the definition of methodology, novelty, practical significance; b) practical or computational and experimental part; c) conclusions to sections and conclusions; d) the author’s abstract.
  7. Also, do not be afraid of approbation. It is necessary to use every opportunity to present your developments to colleagues (at seminars, methodological meetings of a department or department, conferences, symposia)It will be much easier to defend your work if the main provisions submitted for defense have already been tested, which will allow you to roughly understand what questions or objections can be and how they can be answered.
Also, the publication of accompanying articles and monographs cannot be postponed until the last moment. It is best to distribute them evenly over several years.

doctoral dissertationHow to approach the defense of a doctoral degree?

In order not to experience problems with the defense, you really need to devote several years to work on the text of the dissertationHaving the required number of articles published on its topic, you will know the reaction of the scientific community, possible questions that will be asked at the defenseSelf-reliance here entirely depends on the thoroughness of the preliminary study of the dissertation research.
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