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How to Make a Thesis

Fred Holt

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Less Painful and More Satisfying

First, a dissertation is supposed to demonstrate that you can take a project and bring it to a genuine conclusion – very different from the usual undergraduate term paper that is not revised after the teacher sees it and that is usually done during the last week before it is due. A dissertation provides, then, a new kind of work and frequently a new kind of skill.

Pick a topic that will help you professionally. Employers will sometimes ask about your dissertation or even want to see it – especially if you go into some branch of education. Your choice of dissertation can help you get a job or hold one.

Pick a topic that you are happy to talk about at a cocktail party. People will often ask you, in making conversation, “What is your dissertation about?” A good test of your wisdom in picking a topic is the amount of pleasure you get in answering. Here's why: A dissertation project involves some frustrating times; your personal interest in your topic is your best help in getting through that frustration.

A dissertation should be useful. You'll be happier about doing a dissertation if you feel that somebody will use it. And you'll want to do a better job if you feel that somebody will read and use your dissertation. It is even better if the dissertation is useful not just at the moment of completion, but also later. It should not be a snapshot of information that immediately becomes dated; the dissertation should ideally be something with information you can talk about and that people can use for years.

If you are going into any branch of education, try to make your dissertation something that can become a journal article; such articles look very good on resumes.


You can find out what is expected of you by reading dissertation – especially those chaired by the person who will chair your dissertation. And you get ideas for procedures to follow both from dissertation and from other research projects.

In checking abstracts (Journalism Abstracts and Dissertation Abstracts) go back at least to 1965, and look under several key terms – and not just in the “Mass Communication” section. You'll find lots of television references, for instance, under “Education” and “Psychology. ”

Do your dissertation carefully; you never know when a prospective employer will see it. And certainly, you are finding out how critical future graduate students can be of dissertation that have been done before. You are also finding out how much these future students will depend on your dissertation.

These are the “big six” journals that should not be omitted from your literature research:

Journal of Broadcasting, Journal of Communication, Journalism Quarterly, Human Communication Research, Public Opinion Quarterly, Communication Research. There are many others, of course, that may – for an individual dissertation – be even more important.

You will find many opportunities to help your fellow graduate students. I hope you will do so. You will need help at some point.

About the Author

Fred Holt is a United State, new jersey-based writer/broadcaster specialising in academic writing services. He is skilled in MLA, APA, and Chicago manuals of style. His work included, dissertation help, thesis writing, term paper, research paper, essay writing, buy dissertation etc.


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