Sociology Dissertation Writing Help

After years of university and graduate school, your dissertation will be the last academic paper that you will ever write—unless of course, you decide to pursue other degrees or a career in academia. More of your blood, sweat, and tears will go into writing this dissertation than practically any other effort you have made in your life. The first step is completing the research, which can take anywhere from six months to six years. After this, the writing process is a cross between a novel and a thesis paper.

Ensure that you have encyclopedic knowledge of your subject because at some point in time, you will have to give an oral defense in front of a room of critical academics that may not have had their breakfast!

Developing a Working Thesis and Writing the Rough Draft

Now this is where the true work begins. As with any piece of writing, you must decide upon your main idea, and proving it using existing research. Your dissertation is representative of all the research you have done while in school. In any case, make sure your topic is new, relevant, and groundbreaking—such a paper would be able to set you up for a professorship in academia or a very comfortable job at a government agency. You want to be able to find plenty of information for your project, but you want to avoid treading over the well-worn path. At any rate, your thesis statement is the pinnacle of your paper (the one thing everyone looks to) while the rest must support this metaphorical glimmering statue.

Beware of the digression and the contradiction—no matter how compelling your thesis statement may be, any forays into the wastelands of irrelevance and contradiction will lose you points and if you lose your thread entirely, you may look like a fool during your defense. That is why an outline is extremely important: it will keep you on task, gently reminding you to stick to the point. Make the outline as long as you want, as it is easier to cut out the odd paragraph here and there than it is to add several pages. Once you have a working bibliography, a thesis statement, and an outline you are armed with everything you need to write the rough draft. This process usually takes a month after you have compiled all results.

Revisions and Producing the Final Draft

After you produce a first draft, chances are it would not be good enough to submit. Typically, you will have grammatical errors, sentence structure issues, and a general lack of flow. Of course, that means breaking out the evil red pen and being ruthless with yourself. After a while, you will have trouble finding more mistakes and you will get complacent looking at your own writing. If possible, have a fresh pair of eyes look at the document because, more likely than not, you are too invested in your own work to cut out a brilliant, but useless turn of phrase. Sometimes, you can get a fantastic paper the first time. In the case of a dissertation, your chances of this are about the same as a meteorite crashing into your house within the next 24 hours.

Referencing

This list will be the last page(s) of your paper. For a well-referenced dissertation, you may require hundreds of sources, as the work itself can often be as short as 30 pages or as long as 150 pages. The bibliography section is immense and will take a long to format. However, if you want to take a significant chunk of time off your workload, you may want to download End Note, a program that formats all bibliographies and references in the style that you choose.

All common styles are included as well as the more obscure journalistic styles. In any case, if you eventually want to publish part of your dissertation in a journal, please consult the formatting guidelines of that particular journal. Some prefer American Psychological Association (APA) style, others prefer the ‘footnotes and bibliography’ style (i.e. Chicago/Turabian). If this is for your professor’s eyes only, she will most likely ask that you complete the paper in APA as the author-date citation style is generally more favored by social scientists than the author-work style of MLA. To make sure that all in-text references and the bibliography are properly formatted, consult the latest style-guide, which is available at the local library, bookstore, or Amazon.com.

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