Order of Writing While Preparing Your Dissertation

Your dissertation is not written in the same order as it is presented in. The following gives you one idea how to proceed.

First organize your dissertation as a logical argument before you begin writing make your figures to illustrate your argument (think skimming) the main sections are: background to the argument (intro); describing the information to be used in the argument, and making points about them (observations), connecting the points regarding the info (analysis), summing up (conclusions).

Another approach for ordering your dissertation as in outstanding template is; Write up a preliminary version of the background section first. This will serve as the basis for the introduction in your final assignment paper.

As you collect data, write up the methods section. It is much easier to do this right after you have collected the data. Be sure to include a description of the research equipment and relevant calibration plots.  When you have some data, start making plots and tables of the data. These will help you to visualize the data and to see gaps in your data collection. If time permits, you should go back and fill in the gaps. You are finished when you have a set of plots that show a definite trend (or lack of a trend). Make sure to make adequate statistical tests of your results.

Once you have a complete set of plots and statistical tests, arrange the plots and tables in a logical order. Write figure captions for the plots and tables. As much as possible, the captions should stand alone in explaining the plots and tables. Many scientists read only the abstract, figures, figure captions, tables, table captions, and conclusions of a paper. Make sure that your figures, tables and captions are well labeled and well documented.

Once you have written the results section, you can move on to the discussion section. This is usually fun to write, because now you can talk about your ideas about the data. If you can come up with a good cartoon/schematic showing your ideas, do so.

In writing the discussion session, be sure to adequately discuss the work of other authors who collected data on the same or related scientific questions. Make sure to discuss how their work is relevant to your dissertation. If there were flaws in their methodology, this is the place to discuss it.

After you have discussed the data, you can write the conclusions section. In this section, you take the ideas that were mentioned in the discussion section and try to come to some closure. If some hypothesis can be ruled out as a result of your work, say so. If more work is needed for a definitive answer, mention that.

The final section in the paper is a suggestion section. This is really the end of the conclusion section in a scientific paper. Make suggestions for further research or policy actions in this section. After you have finished the suggestion section, look back at your original introduction. Your dissertation introduction should set the stage for the conclusions of the paper by laying out the ideas that you will test in the paper. Now that you know where the paper is leading, you will probably need to rewrite the introduction.

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