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How can I get Dissertation Support?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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There are many methods for garnering dissertation support, and given the length of these projects and how much they matter in whether a student graduates, support is surely needed. Types of help a student may receive vary greatly, and some types are routinely accepted as useful and ethical by colleges, while other kinds fall into either unethical support or support that is barely ethical. The more ethical forms of support include using dissertation books or guides, belonging to groups of other students working on their dissertations, making use of faculty advisors, and getting help from campus writing centers. Support that falls within the gray area of being ethical includes paying professional editors to assist with a dissertation. Paying someone else to completely write the dissertation is definitely unethical.

There are numerous books on writing a thesis or dissertation, and these may offer general dissertation support or be specific to certain fields. Students may want to check out these books from school libraries first, to see which ones seem most useful. Many of them have laid out plans that take the student from start to finish, and they cover practical tips for research, organizing material, writing, editing, and possibly issues like conformation to style guides. A lot of students find this form of dissertation support highly useful.

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A number of colleges or college departments have dissertation support groups for students who are in the dissertation-writing phase of their studies. When these are unavailable, there are also many support groups online that could be a useful way to obtain help or information.

Another viable form of dissertation support comes from faculty advisors, and this is why it is so important to choose a primary advisor with care. Having a professor who is noted for going the extra mile and who might be willing to read sections of the unfinished dissertation is extremely useful. The faculty advisor is probably the best source of advice on what will be accepted. Taking advantage of his or her advice may significantly boost the chance of having the dissertation accepted on its first submission.

Many campuses also have writing centers with programs offering dissertation support. Using these writing centers to work on structure, grammar, and editing can be important. Some students are loath to do this because writing center employees may be principally other students, but there are usually teachers on hand for more complicated questions.

One type of dissertation support that is frowned upon, and possibly not accepted is paying a professional editor. Instead, students should consider making use of fellow students and trading editing services. It is definitely unethical to pay someone else to write a dissertation, and should the matter be discovered, the student would likely be asked to leave the school, or a doctorate could be voided. There are services that offer to write dissertations, and while it might be tempting to let someone else do the work, it is expensive and it means any PhD earned is worthless.

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