Dissertation Research Tips

Dissertation Research Tips

The type of the research needed for a dissertation depends on the question you intend to answer. Usually you need to conduct an examination of latest literature on the subject to get your familiar with what has been done to date. This way you get information for your own study and decide what interpretations you will use. 

There are two kinds of researches of a dissertation. You might be required to conduct one of them or even both: 
  • Primary research (carrying out your research and studies in order to get new information) 
  • Secondary research (combining existing knowledge gained by others to create a new synthesis). 

Primary research

It is strongly recommended that you start your primary research as soon as possible. No matter if you conduct qualitative or quantitative study, collecting of necessary information can take a lot of time. It is not always possible to find enough people that are willing to take part in your research and fill out your questionnaires. As a result, you might be behind deadlines. It is very unwanted situation in this case. Here are tips for this research: 

  • Prepare methods for gathering data. Be sure that your coordinator approves them and they are appropriate for methodology you use. 
  • Be sure to know about all ethical issues regarding gathering the information. 
  • Your questionnaire might not be perfect. That’s why prepare a test run. Compose a test questionnaire which will help you to make corrections in the main one. 
  • Have your control and size groups ready and described clearly. 
  • Expect that many people won’t be willing to participate in your study. Have a contingency plan ready. 
  • Do not throw out any information you gathered which you might think is not relevant. It might be useful later. 

Secondary research 

Maintaining control over secondary research is the most important thing to do in order to succeed. Read these tips to know more: 

  • Begin writing a small piece of text and then add information to it. 
  • As soon as you are done with your interviews, make sure you generate sub-questions that help to provide better answers for dissertation questions. 
  • Conduct a thorough research of these sub-questions and find answers. 
  • Make sure you analyze how the information might be important to your work as you go on with your research. 
  • Be very selective regarding the literature for research. You do not have all the time in the world for reading.
  • If you have problems with finding literature, refer to librarian or professor. They might give you some good you could not think of. 

Working with your coordinator 

  • Make sure you have asked your coordinator about how you can narrow your topic. Also get information about correctness of your interpretations. 
  • Bring your drafts and proposals to every meeting with your coordinator. Select the parts where you like to get a feedback on. Do not ask to read everything.The coordinator might not have time. But if it is possible, bring everything and ask questions.