Dissertations are extremely long pieces of research and academic theory that take most graduate students several years to complete to satisfaction. Many graduate students hit a lag in their academic progress because the dissertation process is just so immense and tricky. This is compounded by the fact that most graduates do not know how to properly write a dissertation in the first place. Being uncertain how to begin a task is one of the leading causes of procrastination, after all!
If you are struggling to begin or finish a dissertation, it is high time that you read some sample copies. Reading other students’ dissertations will give you a sense of what is expected of the paper, and it will give you insight into your own project and how to best portray it in words.
In the old days, this required trekking over to the university library and digging up dusty copies of long-gone student’s papers. These days, it is simply a matter of getting online and using a few key search terms and databases. Google Scholar is a particularly useful repository of graduate research papers, though they may be buried alongside many academic journal articles.
Search engines such as JSTOR and WorldCat will also reveal many graduate dissertations. These sources are particularly fruitful because they provide you access to the dissertations and theses of graduate students from hundreds of other graduate programs, including ones completed by international students. They can potentially give you a real wealth of information and tons of useful examples.
In addition, you can search online for sample dissertations using a basic web search engine, to turn up a variety of sample essay services. Many websites sell sample copies of research papers for student’s private, individual use. If you are struggling to finish your dissertation, purchasing a few samples for your own use can be highly helpful.
There are also many places in the real world where you can find dissertation samples. Ask faculty members in your department for sample copies -- they should have dissertations from every student they have ever mentored, going back dozens of years. Ask your own academic adviser as well for copies of their students’ dissertations, as these will give you a direct sense of what your adviser expects in a finished product. Finally, you can make the trek to your school’s library. Most schools have a whole section of the library devoted to its own graduates’ academic work.
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