Creating an original doctoral dissertation

This is a very interesting topic and, no pun intended, hopefully this article is original when writing about creating an original doctoral dissertation. We need to begin by being sure we understand what is required by a dissertation being original.

Obviously it is not something which is completely unique. That is, it will probably have words and phrases and probably even sentences which have appeared elsewhere. It will certainly have quotations and references which have appeared elsewhere and because they have been properly cited as a reference there will be no academic problem with same.

But one way of defining a dissertation as being original is that it is the result of someone who has spent a number of years, say three or more years, studying a particular theme which is the basis of the dissertation. Now anyone with any academic background will know that if you read widely and carry out extensive research over a period of years, then the work you produce in written form will reflect those years of preparation. That is one good way of describing a dissertation as being original. It's the work of many years of research and writing.

But there are other facts to consider

One of the best ways to ensure that you are creating an original doctoral dissertation is to constantly keep in touch with your supervisor. Having regular meetings where you discuss the progress of your dissertation is an excellent way to keep on track. By discussing your ideas and then by showing your supervisor what you have written having discussed those ideas, you keep the various parts of your dissertation separate. It is easy then to see whether or not that small part is in fact original. And if it is, then the sum of the parts will add up to an original dissertation.

Obtaining feedback, the right type of feedback, and acting upon all its vital ingredients helps in creating an original dissertation. You need to obtain feedback on a regular basis. You need to act upon it sensibly and you need to ensure that the type of feedback you are receiving is relevant and appropriate. So even before you begin the research and the writing of your dissertation, find yourself some people from different backgrounds who are able and willing to give you feedback. It's pointless getting somebody who is not able to be constructive in their criticism. Find the right people and keep in touch with them on a regular basis.

It is possible to get lost in creating your dissertation. It is possible to simply regurgitate information or ideas which other academics have provided before you. But to ensure that your doctoral dissertation is original, keep in touch with your supervisor and find yourself some really good feedback people.

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