How Do I Write A Dissertation Research Productively?

Proper research of a dissertation is indispensable in writing and defending it later on. There are three stages of doing dissertation research: finding the starting point, determining the direction research will go in, and actually answering the question or problems research seeks to illuminate. All three stages are interconnected and doing a poor job in one stage usually reflects negatively on other stages a while later—when it's too late to actually correct the mistake.

Collective brainstorming

Finding the starting point means that you need to have a clear and concise idea about what the topic of the dissertation is going to be. Starting dissertation research before you've distilled the idea sufficiently may mean that you will end up having multiple ideas. However, this can cause unnecessary confusion and anxiety. The best way to proceed is to engage in a discussion with your fellow students. An idea might seem valid until it's spoken out loud, thus it's crucial that you find an environment where you can discuss your ideas freely. Don't be afraid of criticism; in fact, demand that it be given as much as possible, since you want your dissertation to be of the highest possible quality.

The research direction

Determining the research direction of a dissertation will require you to have a general outline of the way you will collect, examine and process the data you gather. For example, will you repeat a study that's already been done? If so, will you simply replicate the conditions? Will you choose a previously unexplored field of study? Having all these questions answered before you start the actual research will give you much needed efficiency and clarity.

Real world experimenting

Doing the research itself may prove to be quite a shock, as the disconnect between academic theory and reality can sometimes be quite surprising. Still, you always have to be realistic and think about the practical implications of the research.

  • How much money will your research cost?
  • Will you have enough time and equipment to do it as planned?
  • Are the participants willing to help you?

There may be unexpected circumstances at some point in your research that will force you to choose between dropping all the research data you've gathered up to that point, and rethinking the research question entirely. Both choices are deceptively easy, but are fundamentally wrong.

If you did a proper job at the direction planning stage, this should not happen. Ideally, you will leave enough maneuvering space for yourself as to not be constrained by any arising problems in the research whatsoever.