Writing a dissertation is a part and parcel of a post graduation course. However, almost always it is done at the very last moment by the student. Here are a few tips and tricks, so that you can plan and finish your dissertation on time without a last minute hurry.
The dissertation planning starts right from topic selection. Choose a topic that is feasible with the infrastructure and manpower that you have at your institute. For clinical courses, decide the study sample based on your hospital’s patient load.
Feasibility has to be checked for
- Feasible timeline
- Feasible sample size
- Feasible data collection period
- Feasible manpower
- Feasibility with your guide and co-guides
Once all these feasibility boxes get checked, the topic can be taken up and completed with ease. Hence, choose a feasible topic for your dissertation.
- Start writing protocol as a part of your dissertation writing
The proposal that you need to submit to your institute’s scientific committee and ethical committees requires a well written introduction and methodology.
Write in such a way that the same can be used for your dissertation. Have a detailed discussion with your guide and decide on every step of methodology and finalise. So that the same can be used for your dissertation writing and once approved you can start your data collection process. Write the background, introduction, justification of the study, need of the study in your proposal after careful literature review. Avoid plagiarism. Now you have your introduction, objectives, methodology, need and justification of the conduct of your study ready. Which means, you have completed your dissertation writing to 25%.
- Literature review
Next, to achieve 50% of dissertation writing do an in depth literature review. Start collecting articles similar to your study. Start writing the ROL and get it periodically reviewed by your peers. The whole ROL part of the dissertation can be completed even before starting data collection.
- Data collection and entry
Start data collection early. Don’t wait till you enter the last year of post graduation to collect data. Start from early second year. There are various data entry tools available. One such tool is coGuide ( link for video on data entry using coGuide). Use such tools to do real time data entry. So that you don’t lose data and real time data analysis also occurs. By using coGuide, you don’t need any help from a statistician. After entering data, just press data analysis option, you will get all tables and figures for your dissertation in a matter of sections. So this completes your 75% of dissertation with introduction, objectives, ROL, methodology, statistical analysis and results.
- Time management
All you need to do now is sit back and write discussion, conclusion and recommendations of your study. Manage your time in such a way that you spend at least an hour every day working on your dissertation. There is no need for any hurry at the last minute.
- Guide and coguides review
Most of the time the delay occurs in the review process by the guide and coguide. So, don’t take the dissertation at the end to them. As and when you write a segment, get it approved by them. So by the end of third year they would have already approved most parts of your dissertation and at last give the whole compiled version for final review. This way the external delays are also avoided. Periodically have a review process in your department, present your dissertation results and get approval.
- Plagiarism check
Every institution or university follows a specific software for plagiarism checkers. Which will be available only prior to the submission date. Hence, don’t wait for its access. There are many online free plagiarism tools available which can be utilised during your process of writing. So that the final document has very minimal plagiarism.
After the whole writing is over, format according to your university guidelines. Add appropriate front pages containing the list of content, tables, figure, the various deceleration certifications. Add annexures at the end containing informed consent form, case report form, patient information sheet, ethical committee clearance certificate, complete mastersheet. That’s all you are ready for submission!!!!
Follow these tricks and manage your time properly so that you can submit your dissertation without any hurry.