In order to write a successful dissertation it is important that the writer first chooses a researchable topic. This means more than merely identifying an area of research. The topic must be stated in terms that narrows the research issues. If the research topic is too broad, the writer can become unnecessarily inundated with far too much information. A narrow topic will give the dissertation greater direction and structure. It will also help the writer to formulate research questions that can provide greater guidance and structure.
Once a research topic is chosen, the writer will be required to identify an applicable and appropriate hypothesis. This will generally be accomplished by a review of literature on the chosen topic. Always choose a hypothesis that can be tested and can produce observable results that can fill gaps in the literature. Therefore, as the writer reviews literature, the writer will look for gaps in the literature that can be filled by hypotheses testing. Once the writer identifies an appropriate hypothesis, the writer will be required to identify the best research methodology for testing the hypothesis. This can be accomplished by either a quantitative or qualitative research methodology or by a mixed methodology. Choosing the appropriate methodology will also go a long way to writing a successful dissertation. For example, if the chosen topic requires collecting data from remote locations, it may be difficult to conduct a quantitative research methodology as this requires the collection of data from large populations usually in the form of questionnaires or surveys. The writer may be in a better position to collect in-depth and detailed data from a smaller sample by virtue of interviews using the qualitative research method.
Regardless of whether or not the writer chooses a quantitative or qualitative approach, the writer will need to design data collection methods. For example if the writer is going to use questionnaires or interviews, a list of questions will be drafted. These questions should be informed by the aims and objectives of the dissertation and the research questions. It is therefore important that the writer prepares research questions that are consistent with the aims and objectives of the research and the topic.
Aside from planning, researching and gathering and analyzing data, the writer will be required to manage time and resources skillfully. It is therefore important for the writer to establish a timeframe for completing each task and for coordinating dates and times. For example, once the writer has some ideas of the topic he or she would like to research, the writer should immediately set aside a timeframe for conducting preliminary research of the literature. Notes should be taken. Once the writer settles on a research topic a more involved and directed review of literature should be undertaken. At this point, a draft review of literature will be prepared.
Once the draft review of literature is completed the researcher should prepare a timetable for completing each step of the dissertation. For example, it will be necessary to know just how many respondents will be participating in the study and how long participation will be. All of the necessary preparations will also need to be accounted for. For instance, for ethical reasons, each of the participantís consent will need to be obtained before the interviews and/or questionnaires can be completed by the participants. In other words, a writing a successful dissertation takes time, preparation, hard work and attention to detail. In this regard, it is necessary to ensure that the topic chosen is narrow enough to contemplate all of the time and resources required for investigating and answering the research topic and the research questions that naturally follow from the question.