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A dissertation is one of the largest, most in-depth projects that a student will ever work on. To complete this assignment, students must spend months or years working on their topic. For the best results, students can use the following tips.

Get Active

When writing for academic purposes, students should focus on the active voice. Instead of saying, “the car is started by a mobile device”, students should say, “the mobile device starts the car”. Active voice is easier to read and the main way to write during academic papers. If the student does not know how to tell if they are using active voice or not, they can always use an online app to spot instances of active and passive voice. Look for an example to know how it should be.

Begin With the Thesis

While the thesis statement will probably change over time, students need a clear idea about where to start their dissertation. The thesis statement will cover the entire argument of the paper. Ultimately, students will have to undergo an oral defense for their thesis. If the thesis is wrong or weak, it will be much harder to finish the assignment and defend it to an academic committee.

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Verb Tense

Throughout the paper, students should be consistent with the verb tense that they use. As a rule, students should use present tense when they write.

Never Use the Word “Claims”

When citing an author or a paper, students should never say things like “the author claims that”. Using words like “claim” makes it sound like the author's results are in question. If the student wants to use these quotes and data to support their argument, they should use words like “states” or “says” instead.

Good Writing and Ideas Go Hand in Hand

To get a top score, students have to be good writers. At the same time, they need to have strong ideas and concepts in their writing. The main things that the paper is graded on is the quality of the student's ideas and their thesis statement. However, if the writing is poor, it can end up detracting from the quality of the students ideas. To ensure the best results, students must make sure that their writing and their ideas are excellent.

Make an Outline

A dissertation is way too long to play it by ear or wing it. Students must know exactly what they are going to say in each section, or they will end up getting lost. The best way to make a coherent argument is to make an outline first. The outline should include every section of the paper, the various paragraphs and the evidence that will be used in each section. Once a good outline is made, the student will have a much easier time writing.

Read Through Examples

Very few people have ever read through a dissertation. Unfortunately, this makes writing even harder for the student. To become good at specific types of writing, the student must be familiar with the styles and formatting that is expected. Reading through example papers and papers in academic journals can help the student to learn what will be expected from their work.

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Save Time for Editing

For such a large project, it is easy for the topic to wander off track during the paper. Editing and proofreading enable the student to fix their argument before they hand it in. In addition, students should take time to edit the paper for typos, spelling errors or weirdly structured sentences. Reading aloud can help the student to hear problems in their writing. Changing the font or waiting a few days to edit can also help the student to approach their writing with a different perspective. Students may also want to ask a classmate, academic adviser or tutor to help with editing the final draft.