A Complete Tutorial on Writing a Political Science Dissertation

Writing a political science dissertation may seem like a daunting task at first. Most students can’t get past the idea of having to spend several months staying up late either researching content at the university library or writing draft after draft after draft. While a political science dissertation is a tough task, the process of writing it can be made easier through some careful planning. Here’s a complete tutorial on how write a great graduate document:

  1. Develop a Long Term Plan
  2. Organization is important when writing a document of this length. Make a list of all the major milestones you will need to reach. Working backwards from your final deadline spread out the milestones evenly across the months leading up to the due date. Keep track of this schedule to ensure you meet your goals.

  3. Start Your Research Early
  4. Soon after creating your work plan and schedule you should start researching content immediately. Head down to the university library and speak with a reference librarian. He or she should help you optimize your searches so that you are only reviewing resources related to your topic.

  5. Keep Your Notes Organized
  6. You’re going to do a lot of research and will likely have tons of notes to deal with. Keep your notes as organized as possible. Whether you use notecards or notebooks, be sure you have all of your information down correctly. This goes for citation information as well.

  7. Create a Dissertation Outline
  8. Each graduate dissertation in different disciplines will have specific sections you will need to address. It would be a good idea to review a completed example before structuring your own. When you create your outline try to be as detailed as possible to make the composition process easy on you.

  9. Start Writing the First Draft
  10. If you’ve stayed on top of your work plan and schedule you should be starting to write the first draft with plenty of time left before your deadline. When writing the first draft you shouldn’t concern yourself with getting the words down right: the best approach is write quickly and efficiently, so that you get down your best ideas just as they appear in your mind.

  11. Revise, Revise, and Revise
  12. Even the best writers can find a number of ways to improve on their first drafts through revision. When doing this you should think about the myriad ways you can make your presentation stronger. The goal is to convey your ideas in the most effective way possible.

  13. Edit and Proofread Final Draft
  14. Finally, the last step is to edit and proofread the entire document. You should do this at least once on your own and then ask a colleague or friend to review your work afterwards. They will be likely to find mistakes you might have missed and will contribute to making your dissertation perfect.


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